Louisiana LEND Faculty

Philip “Phil” Wilson, Ph.D.

Phil Wilson
LEND Director
Philip (Phil) Wilson is director of the Human Development Center and LEND, and a Professor in the School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Throughout Phil’s career, his focus has been on supporting individuals with developmental disabilities to participate fully in the community and preparing future generations of professionals to continue moving society toward improved quality of life, agency and full participation in the community by persons with disabilities.

Konstance Causey

Young-to-middle-aged black-haired woman smiling, wearing white-black-tree-patterned netted shirt
LEND Coordinator

Konstance Causey is the program coordinator for the Louisiana Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program. She is no stranger to LEND, however, as she recently participated as a family discipline scholar with the graduating cohort of 2022. Her motivation and tenacity to build the capacity of the developmental disability service system to better serve families and individuals with disabilities has made her an exceptional addition to the LEND team.

For nearly six years, Ms. Causey has worked with Families Helping Families of Northeast LA, a family-directed resource center for people with developmental disabilities and their families where she currently serve as Deputy Director. In her current role, Ms. Causey provides training and peer support to empower parents by connecting them to resources and helping them to understand their rights and responsibilities. She also serve as the Regional Advocacy leader for the 12 parishes of NELA, where she works on behalf of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council to support families and individuals with disabilities to become grassroots legislatives advocates for the disability community. Her passion and drive comes from her own unique experiences as a former NICU mom after the premature birth of her daughter Kaidence, a former 24-week micropreemie who experienced developmental challenges.

Ms. Causey holds over a decade of public policy and advocacy experience, beginning with her advocacy efforts during her undergraduate years working on various grassroots environmental and public health policy campaigns. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in African American studies, and from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Master of Public Administration concentrating in Health. She serves on several regional and state committees dedicated to elevating the voice of the “lived experiences” of Louisiana’s citizens in an effort to create and advance more inclusive, equitable programs, services, and services. Her hopes are to continue to channel her unique personal, professional, and academic experiences to contribute to creating lasting, positive change for families.

Margaret “Chris” Champagne, BA

White woman with reddish-blond hair, middle-aged, smiling
LEND Capstone Coordinator
Chris Champagne has a twenty year track record in the UCEDD network.  She joined HDC in 2014 and two years ago she became Core Faculty for HDC’s LEND Program. As part of her role with LEND Chris supports trainees and Mentor Faculty in the development and implementation of a Capstone Project, the program component designed to provide trainees with research experience. The Capstone experience affords the opportunity for trainees to incorporate knowledge gained from LEND into their Capstone project to address a real world problem, opportunity or issue that affects people with disabilities and their families.  Chris works closely LEND Faculty, campus library staff and consultants from within the UCEDD network to ensure that Capstone is a valuable learning experience for both trainees and faculty. Her favorite part of LEND is the beginning of the school year and getting to select, meet and learn from all the new trainees

Liz Gary

Liz Gary headshot
LEND Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Liz Gary serves on the CAC as a family member to a person with a disability. Liz is also a fierce advocate with more than 10 years of experience educating others to effectively influence public policy. She was a trainee in the very first Louisiana LEND cohort in 2010 and now serves as the Policy Coordinator for the LEND program. Liz also has experience working with Northshore Families Helping Families and coordinated the national program Partners in Policymaking for 11 years. She also sits on numerous boards and stakeholder groups to provide feedback and stay up to date on what is happening in our state. She also sits on numerous boards and stakeholder groups to provide feedback and stay up to date on what is happening in our state.

Katie Rambeau, M.Ed.

Katie Rambeau
Family Mentor Experience Coordinator
Katie Rambeau, M.Ed. is a fierce advocate for inclusion and family-centered practice. She has worked to empower families and promote inclusive education throughout her career. As the Family Mentor Experience (FME) Coordinator for the LEND program, Katie works with LEND scholars and families of children with disabilities so that scholars may gain first-hand insight into the needs of a child with developmental disabilities or special heath care need. Katie hopes these scholars may recognize and develop sensitive and realistic treatment plans and interventions in their future practice as a professional.

Maria Ruiz, Ph.D.

Latina woman in striped shirt in white jacket
Lafayette LEND Coordinator

Rose Angelocci, Ph.D., CRC, CWIC

Rose Angelocci
LEND Mentor Faculty
Dr. Rose Angelocci is a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) with the Louisiana Benefits Planning Services (LSU WIPA) housed within the Human Development Center at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Since 2018, she has provided benefits planning services to individuals receiving disability benefits through Social Security. In addition to her work with the WIPA Project, Dr. Angelocci serves as one of the coordinators for the Louisiana Deafblind Project for Children and Youth also housed at HDC. Prior to joining the staff at LSUHSC in 2017, Dr. Angelocci worked at the Training, Resource and Assistive-technology Center (formerly the Training & Resource Center for the Blind) at the University of New Orleans. Dr. Angelocci has a doctorate in counselor education with a minor in qualitative research methods from the University of New Orleans. She has a Masters in Health Sciences in Rehabilitation Counseling from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Angelocci is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a Licensed Rehabilitation Counselor/Supervisor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor/Supervisor, a National Certified Counselor, a Board Certified Tele Mental Health provider, a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, a Certified Deafblind Intervener, and a certified Community Work Incentives Coordinator. Dr. Angelocci has over 30 years of experience in working with individuals with disabilities—especially those who are blind or  deafblind; their families; and service providers who serve them. Her experience includes assessing and training persons in the use of assistive technology and Braille; directing residential programs for students who are blind transitioning from high school to college and/or employment; conducting vocational evaluations and career counseling; and providing pre-employment transition services for high school students with disabilities. Dr. Angelocci has served as adjunct faculty at the University of New Orleans and has taught courses in counseling theories, counseling techniques, counselor supervision, lifespan development, and braille. She has provided administrative and/or clinical supervision to over 40 counselors-in-training. Dr. Angelocci has given numerous presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences as well as published work in professional journals, newsletters, conference proceedings, a book chapter, and audio and video productions. Dr. Angelocci has served on several state and local advisory committees regarding the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. She has served on the Louisiana Rehabilitation Advisory Council, the Louisiana Statewide Independent Living Council (Chairperson), the board of Directors at WRBH Reading Radio, and the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Louisiana Chapter President).

Megan Guidry

LEND Audiology Mentor Faculty

Susan G. “Sue” Killam, M.Ed., CWIC, CESP

LEND Mentor Faculty

Susan “Sue” G. Killam has worked for over 25 years in the area of employment and disability policy. Ms. Killam is a tireless advocate for the civil rights of all people but specifically for individuals with disabilities. Ms. Killam began her career in Louisiana in 1990 as the Lead Trainer for the Supported Employment Systems Change Grant. Following that grant, Sue served as Director of AcME, Inc. (an employment agency initiated by six parents of individuals with disabilities) for 10 years. Ms. Killam has published several articles on supported employment and disability services and is one of the authors of APSE’s Ethical Guidelines. She has served on numerous governor-appointed councils and boards and is one of the founding members of the Louisiana SE Network (now LA APSE) and currently is appointed to the State as Model Employer (SAME) task force. Ms. Killam is currently focused on providing comprehensive career pathways to jobs in demand.

Leslie Lopez, Ph.D.

Leslie Lopez in profile with poster
LEND Speech-Language Pathology Mentor Faculty
Leslie C. Lopez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders, section of Speech Pathology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Leslie’s research interests stem from over 15 years of speech-language clinical experience working with young children with developmental and behavioral challenges and special health care needs, and school-age children with language learning disabilities.  Her current research focuses on early identification of developmental issues, and access to services and supports.  Other clinical and research interests include: interdisciplinary child health and development; special populations including children with developmental disabilities and autism; and quality in health, education, and community services.

Kim Sherman, Ph. D.

Kim Sherman
LEND Psychology Mentor Faculty

Kim Sherman, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who evaluates children referred to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Interdisciplinary (ASDID) Clinic at LSUHSC’s Human Development Center. She is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and a past president of the Louisiana School Psychological Association (LSPA). Dr. Sherman’s areas of interest include assessment and intervention for young children and school-aged youth. Dr. Sherman also works as a Professor of Practice in Tulane University’s School Psychology program and as a trainer and consultant in New Orleans-area schools.

Julie Schiavo

Julie Schiavo
LEND Capstone Mentor Faculty

Stuart Simon, MM, MLIS

Stuart Simon
LEND Mentor Faculty
Stuart, whose father is a photographer, was born in St. Louis but grew up in New Orleans. Stuart holds a BS in Music from Millsaps College from 2007, and two Master’s Degrees, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and both from 2012. One is in Music History, and the other is in Library and Information Science. After that, Stuart returned to New Orleans and pursued a post-baccalaureate certificate in applied computing with an emphasis on Integrated Application Development, receiving it in May 2016. In 2018, Stuart received a Certificate in Web Accessibility from the University of South Australia in Adelaide and the Centre for Inclusive Design in Sydney, Australia. Stuart began working at HDC in February, 2016.  His duties are varied and include: graphics specialist, webmaster, database specialist, and photographer. Outside of work, he enjoys music, New Orleans cultural life, and singing in the choir at Touro Synagogue. Stuart can be reached at ssimo3@lsuhsc.edu or you can visit him in his office in the Human Development Center building in room 468.

Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder
LEND Education Mentor Faculty

Brittney Wright

Brittney Wright Peters
LEND Speech-Language Pathology Mentor Faculty