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Board of Directors

Under the leadership of 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.

Executive Board


Nicholas D. Young, Ph.D., Ed.D., Chairman

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., Vice Chairman

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.


Micheline Malow, Ph.D., Secretary
Micheline Malow is a Full Professor of Special Education at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. In addition to teaching courses in Exceptional Students and Instructional Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning and Behavioral Disorders, she has presented at numerous professional conferences, published articles on students with exceptional needs, friendship and teacher attitudes, and has co-authored a book for Greenwood Press, Adolescents and Risk (2008). Dr. Malow is co-editor of Strategies for Successful Learning, an online journal for general and special education teachers published by Learning Disabilities Worldwide.

Robin Welch, M.Ed., Treasurer

Robin Welch is an Elementary School Principal in Framingham, Massachusetts, and awarded Massachusetts Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2005.

Prince Emmanuel Chinweoke Aja, MD., Immediate Past Chair  Dr. Aja, is a Medical Doctor, 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 Nofab Global mining Ltd, Partner M&M Capital Investments LLC, Founder & 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


Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel, Ed.D., ABSNP, NCSP, CCJS-MAC, BCPC, CCJS-MAS, FAPA,

Dr. Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel is a Full Professor of Psychology at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. In addition, she served as one of the developers of the Psychology internship program as well as a faculty advisor for students pursuing their internship in the field of Psychology. She lectures within the Masters of Education Program-Special Education cohort focusing on the area of Assessment. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, a Master's degree from Bridgewater State University, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies Degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, and her Doctorate Degree from Nova Southeastern University. In addition, Dr. Leonard-Zabel completed course work in Paralegal Studies, a post-doctoral fellowship in Attentional Disorders, and post-doctoral work in Special Education Law, School Neuropsychology, and Forensics. In addition, Dr. Leonard-Zabel owns a private practice specializing in evaluations for neuropsychological learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, court-involved issues, pediatric cancer affecting learning and memory, and pre-adolescent/adolescent substance abuse.

Dr. Leonard-Zabel served 16-years as a voluntary member on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts School Psychologist Association and served as an Executive Board Member of the American Board of School Neuropsychology. She presently serves as a clinical instructor and supervisor for the Kids Inc. Post-Graduate/Post-Doctoral Hybrid model program based in Dallas, Texas for the School Neuropsychology Certificate Program. She assists with training professionals in the United States and abroad to be board certified by the American Board of School Neuropsychology. She holds diplomat and fellow certifications in the field of School Neuropsychology, Homeland Security, Forensic Counseling, Psychotherapy, Clinical Counseling, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Addictions, and Disability Analysis. Recently, she was awarded Emeritus Status from the American Board of Disability Analysts attesting to the highest level of skill and expertise in the area of Disability Analysis.

Dr. Leonard-Zabel is a presenter at national and international conferences on an ongoing basis. She has written articles and chapters involving School Neuropsychological Ethical and Legal Issues as well as the Neuropsychology of Juvenile Criminal Behavior. In addition, she has written and presented webinars on a variety of topics focusing on Attentional Disorders, Neuropsychology of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, the Neuropsychology of Autism, Neuropsychology of Visual-Motor and Language, Hyjacked Brain involving Adolescent Addiction, and Cancer Brain-the Neuropsychological Learning Effects of Cancer Treatment on the Pediatric Brain, among others.

Dr. Leonard-Zabel is serving as one of four Committee Chairs for the Annual World Conference under the direction of the Learning Disabilities Worldwide Congress. In addition, she was appointed to serve as the Associate Editor for "Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices" which is a peer-reviewed journal, published bi-annually by LDW.


Gloria D. Campbell-Whatley, Ph.D.

Dr. Gloria D. Campbell-Whatley is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the Department of Special Education and Child Development.  Currently, she is a Faculty Fellow for Inclusion for the UNC System. She has written 4 books, one being a textbook published by Pearson Education.  She is nationally recognized as an inclusion specialist, consultant, trainer, and keynote speaker. Related to inclusion, she has developed 14 modules/training manuals and written five applied research reports.  She has also delivered and produced 51 keynote addresses, strands, workshops, and television presentations, as well as 60+ international, national, regional, state, and local presentations across the United States and abroad (London, Spain, Africa, Brazil, China, and Australia).  Additionally, in Brazil and Africa, she worked with the Ministry of Education and with various universities.

Kristi L. Santi, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristi L Santi is a tenured Associate Professor of Special Populations in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston in Houston, TX. Currently, Dr. Santi is the principal investigator on two OSEP funded projects. The first is the OSEP: Model Demonstration Projects for Early Identification of Students with Dyslexia in Elementary School. The project (Assessment, Intervention, and Instruction for the Prevention and Treatment of Dyslexia (AIIPaT: Dyslexia)) focuses on ways in which schools can improve the reading outcomes of students with reading disabilities through the application of Improvement Science and the Concerns Based Adoption Model to build teacher, school, and district capacity in the state of Texas to implement MTSS. The second is the OSEP: Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel. The goal of Leadership for Special Populations and Educational Disparity (LEAD: SP+ED) is to train scholars who have the knowledge, skills, leadership capacity to address academic, behavioral, and transition needs of students with disabilities and the ability to change the system in which educators function.


She has extensive experience working with high-intensity needs students in the k-20 educational settings. Prior to joining UH, Dr. Santi served as a teacher in both inclusion settings and in resource classrooms in elementary, middle, and high school and owned her own consulting firm where she worked with middle school teachers and administrators at state designated turn-around schools throughout the U.S. Dr. Santi was a co-investigator of an IES NCSER grant, Identification of Reading and Language Disabilities in Spanish-Speaking English Learners, which focuses on secondary analysis of a large-scale data set to develop a theoretical and empirical framework for the identification of disabilities in language minority students. Dr. Santi was part of the development team for the Texas Third Grade Reading Academy. She was a lead designer for the Texas Primary Reading Inventory’s Intervention Assessment Guide. Dr. Santi was also the lead author on the Texas Progress Monitoring Assessment for students whose first language is English (Progress Monitoring for Beginning Readers) and for students whose first language is Spanish (Monitoreo del progreso para lectores emergentes) along with intervention activities for those assessments (c.f., Santi et al., 2007a; Santi et al., 2007b). Dr. Santi was an investigator for an IERI (1.2 million) funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences which involved randomization of over 200 schools throughout the state of Texas in both urban and rural settings to different conditions related to early reading assessment. As part of the IERI study, Dr. Santi developed professional development training for K-3 classroom teachers and coaches, professional development and training for coaches, and worked with principals on data management for the schools. Mentoring students around special education has been a focus of Dr. Santi since she was a special education teacher. While teaching, she guided student teachers through the intricacies of teaching students in special education while adhering to federal and state laws.


Charles B. Hutchison, Ph.D. 
Dr. Charles Hutchison is an Associate Professor at UNC Charlotte, Dept. of Middle, Secondary, and K12 Education.

Frank Vargo, Ph.D.
Dr. Frank Vargo is a professor of Graduate Studies in the Master of Arts with Concentrations in Psychology and Counseling of Union Institute & University. He holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology; graduate degrees in school psychology, counseling, education; and a bachelor’s degree in music education.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Vermont College, Dr. Vargo is the director of his clinic, The Fireside Center for Psychological and Educational Services in Leominster, Massachusetts, and he is a pediatric developmental neuropsychologist at North Shore Children’s Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts. Dr. Vargo is a licensed psychologist and health care provider, a nationally certified school psychologist, a licensed educational psychologist, a certified guidance counselor, a certified school adjustment counselor and social worker, and a certified music teacher.



Honorary Board Members


Jordan Rich 
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.

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