Board of Directors
Under the leadership of the Chair, Nicholas D. Young, the Board of Directors consists of researchers, educators, professionals, and parents who support individuals with learning disabilities. Serving as a voice of hope for these individuals and their families, the Board of Directors provides direction, oversight, and guidance to the professional staff of LDW®, as well as its Advisory and International Board of Advisors.
Nicholas D. Young, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Nicholas D. Young has worked in diverse educational roles for over 20 years including serving as director of student services, principal, graduate professor, higher education administrator, and superintendent of schools. He holds numerous degrees from Austin Peay State University, Westfield State College, Western New England College, Union Institute & University, and American International College, including a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology. Dr. Young currently serves as the Past President of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) as well as the Chair of MASS Small and Rural Schools Task Force. He has presented and published widely on a variety of topics in education and psychology and was named the Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year for 2010. Additionally, Dr. Young has served in the military for more than 26 years; and he is currently a field grade officer serving in a command assignment in the US Army Reserves.
Matthias Grünke, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Matthias Grünke is a full professor of special education at the University of Cologne. Before his current assignment, he was a full professor at the University of Oldenburg. He received his Masters degree in educational psychology from the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg and his Ph.D. as well as his postdoctoral degree ("Habilitation") in special education from the University of Cologne. Dr. Grünke is a trained behavior therapist and Montessori educator. His research has focused on the efficacy of teaching methods for learning disabled students and on professionalizing special education teachers.
Dr. Grünke published nearly 100 scholarly articles and books between 2000 and 2010. During the same time, he presented over 100 papers and posters at professional conferences. He is the editor or author of the (German) textbooks Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities, Learning and Behavior Problems, Fostering Resiliency in Children and Youth with Learning Disabilities, and Teaching Students with Math Problems. Together with Dr. Jürgen Wilbert, he edits the German speaking and peer-reviewed journal Empirical Special Education and is one of the associate editors of Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices. He is a member of the editorial board of Aula Albierta, Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (in German), and Psicothema. In addition, he has served as a guest editor for Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and as an ad hoc reviewer for the German Journal of Educational Psychology.
Dr. Grünke is the vice president of Learning Disabilities Worldwide (LDW®), the chair of the professional advisory board of the same organization, the vice chair of the scientific advisory committee of the German Association for Children with 22q11 Deletion Syndrome (KiDS-22q11), and a member of the Consortium for Empirical Research in Special Education (AESF), the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI), the German Association of Colleges and Universities (DHV), the German Association of Psychology (DGPs), as well as the German Association of Education (DGFE). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Cologne, the University of Leipzig, the University of Oldenburg, the University of Potsdam, and the State Study Academy of Saxony. Dr. Grünke has been a doctoral thesis supervisor at the Egyptian Beni Suef University, the University of Cologne, and the University of Oldenburg. He is a regular instructor for the Consortium for Behavior Modification (AVM), for the Institute for Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Medicine, and Sexology (IVS), and for the German Institute for Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (DIREKT). He has served as a consultant for the German Federal Department of Education and Research (BMBF) and other renowned institutions.
Elizabeth J. Bienia, Ed.D.
Elizabeth J. Bienia served as an elementary school educator and administrator in various rural and urban settings in Massachusetts for more than 30 years, where she has worked to create positive learning environments for all students. As a building administrator, she has fostered partnerships with students, staff, families, various local businesses, and higher education institutions. Further, she has been a graduate adjunct professor at the Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College, and the College of Our Lady of the Elms. She has written widely on topics in education from preschool to Ph.D.
Mark Taylor, Ph.D.
Mark Taylor is an instructor in educational research for Elms and Springfield College. He holds a BA from UMASS, and M.Ed and Ed.D from American international College. Dr. Taylor holds a Ph.D., in Education Leadership from Manda University. He holds a Special Ed certification in CT and MA. He is a Learning Disability specialist and is an author of several books and articles.
Prince Emmanuel Chinweoke Aja, MD.
Immediate Past Chair
Dr. Aja is a medical doctor, and he is the co-founder and CEO of K&A petrol Holdings Ltd; a founder of Divine Medical Center, Inc.; president and founder of the Associations of Progressive Nigerians in the Americas, Inc.; senior partner of Nofab Global Mining, Ltd.; partner of M&M Capital Investments, LLC.; founder and CEO of Aja Global Holdings, LLC.; and CEO of Aja International Ventures, Ltd.
Teresa Allissa Citro, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro is the CEO of Learning Disabilities Worldwide. She is the co-editor of two peer-reviewed journals Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices. In addition, Dr. Citro has edited and co-edited numerous books on learning disabilities and special education; several have received awards and others were translated into Spanish and Arabic.
She has produced 7 award-winning videos on several topics such as teacher training, selecting colleges/universities, children with learning disabilities openly discussing their feelings, and adults with learning disabilities discussing their past academic experiences. She co-produced two DVDs, one of which is in Greek, on teacher training and produced a CD, The Physician and the Child with Learning Disabilities as a resource for pediatricians.
Dr. Citro sits on the board of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow’s Work Task Force, and The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Mental Health Task Force.
Board of Directors
Ellen Duchaine, Ph.D.
Dr. Ellen L. Duchaine is a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University in the College of Education for the
Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Special Education. Dr. Duchaine began her career preparing
future teachers after an extensive career in public schools in the southeast both as a teacher and an
administrator. She came to Texas after completing her Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr.
Duchaine’s focus within the teacher preparation program includes specialized class instruction, inclusion,
and co-teaching with an emphasis that ALL students are general education students. Dr. Duchaine is a
strong supporter of specialized instructional and intervention practices. She teaches evidence-based
instructional strategies, classroom management, special education law and understanding the specialized
needs of students with disabilities to current and future teachers across all grade levels and content areas.
Dr. Duchaine earned a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida in St.
Petersburg which set her on an administrative track and teacher training. As a Special Education
Coordinator, she focused on IDEA Compliance, Writing IEPs, RTI, CPI Crisis Training, Differentiated
Instruction, Positive Behavior Supports, and BIPS. Completing her Ph.D. in Exceptional Student
Education added leadership experiences in Juvenile Justice, PBIS, LRE, Inclusion, and Joining Academic
Instruction with Behavior Management to build and sustain school success for students with behavioral
and learning difficulties. Dr. Duchaine wants parents and teachers to value the abilities of individuals with
disabilities and to construct positive attitudes, hold high expectations, provide grade level instruction
along with skill interventions, and to promote equivalent opportunities in school.
Dr. Duchaine has dozens of peer-reviewed articles and published book chapters, as well as extensive
international, national, and local conference presentations and workshops. She served as both Host and
Chair for the 30 th International Congress on Learning Disabilities in 2022.
In addition to teacher-preparation and scholarship in the field of special education, Dr. Duchaine provides
services to parents and schools through Educational Behaviors Consulting. As a child advocate and
educational specialist, she meets with concerned parents, reviews the student’s IEPs, evaluations, and
other paperwork, and observes the child in school and sometimes at home. Following the review and
observations, Dr. Duchaine develops an action plan with academic and behavioral goals, inclusion
criteria, and additional services as appropriate with the parents prior to collaborating with the school
personnel to negotiate the most appropriate services for the individual child. Through Educational
Behaviors Consulting Dr. Duchaine offers school-based and district-based professional development
tailored to the needs of the specific participants.
Honorary Board Members
Jordan Rich has been a fixture on radio and TV for nearly thirty years. In 1996, Jordan signed on with WBZ News Radio 1030 as a fill-in talk host and eventually succeeded his longtime friend and mentor, the late Norm Nathan. Since then, Jordan has hosted the weekend late nights at WBZ, and his program is heard throughout much of the U.S. and Canada as well as worldwide on the Internet.Along with his on-air work, Jordan Rich maintains a full schedule running his audio production and marketing firm Chart Productions, Inc. He has appeared on hundreds of local and national commercials and narrations for such clients as The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops, Sullivan Tire, The New England Sports Network and Liberty Mutual. Jordan offer’s voice-over classes throughout the year and is responsible for having trained dozens of talented performers. Jordan is often out on the speaking circuit serving as master of ceremonies and auctioneer at dozens of events a year.