Our Staff

Sean P. Peterson
Clinical Director

Sean Sean is the Clinical Director of the Pier Center for Autism. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and began working in the field of behavior analysis as a graduate student at Texas Christian University. Sean has been working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over a decade. In May 2016, he completed his Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. He has a passion for serving those with special needs and enjoys working to meet the needs of individuals with autism in the Siouxland.

Jeremiah Gray
Operations Director

Jeremiah has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bellevue University. He joined the Pier Center for Autism in April 2017 following an 18 year career in Human Resource Management.  Jeremiah also has extensive knowledge of sales and marketing as well as finance.  He’s excited to be able to support the clinic, the staff, and the clients, any way that he can.

 

Miranda Smalley
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

img_0230Miranda has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from West Virginia University. She is a former graduate supervisor at the Intensive Autism Service Delivery Clinic and teaching assistant at an alternative elementary education program in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Miranda joined the Pier Center in August 2016 and is excited to continue her journey working with children with autism.

Andrea Prior
Behavior Technician

10301191_10152375465819607_783272700459252736_n-1 Andi has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Child Development Studies from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  For the past 20 years, Andi has worked various jobs in the social work field at the Department of Human Services in Nebraska, Boys Town, and, most recently, teaching Parenting classes for Crittenton Resource Center.  Andi’s passion for children with Autism comes from  having a son who has Autism.

Alex Quinlain
Registered Behavior Technician

Alex (2) Alex graduated from Morningside College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He formerly worked at an alternative school in South Sioux City, NE as a para-educator. While there, he developed a language program to help students develop their language skills. He has a passion for working with people of all ages and plans to continue his education at the University of South Dakota to pursue a master’s degree in School Counseling.

Trudy Rants
Registered Behavior Technician

TrudyTrudy has a bachelor of arts from Morningside College. She previously worked for Mid-Step Services as a QMRP at Parkview Homes. She has spent the last few years working in the Sioux City Schools at both the elementary and middle school levels with children with autism spectrum disorder. Trudy joined the Pier Center in February 2015, and her excitement about employing behavior analysis to help clients reach their fullest potential beams forth from her humor and smile.

 

Eric Reynolds
Behavior Technician

img_0225 Eric is a current master’s student through West Virginia University’s Online Multi-Categorical Special Education 5-Adult Program. Through his coursework he will also be graduating with an autism endorsement. Eric works part-time at the Pier Center and is also currently getting field experience through Sioux City Schools. From his experience and training on behavioral strategies at the Pier Center, Eric believes that he will be even more prepared to begin his career in the field of special education.

Natasha Weltz
Behavior Technician

img_3291Natasha graduated from Buena Vista University in 2014 with her degree in elementary education with endorsements in reading and special education. She worked at Irving Elementary for 3 years as a reading interventionist then transferred to North Middle and worked as a para-educator in the School within a School classroom. Natasha joined the Pier Center in January 2015. As a behavior technician she excels in data collection, protocol implementation and assisting her clients in achieving their goals.

Makenzie Bates
Behavior Technician

Makenzie joined the Pier Center in May 2018 and has a bachelor’s of science in (Molecular and Behavioral) Neuroscience from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. While obtaining her degree, she worked as an inpatient physical and occupational therapy tech. She also interned at the Madonna School for Special Needs in Omaha, Ne. Her interest in the autism community began while working as a nanny for a child with autism. She is excited to help children unlock their full potential.

Katie Phillips
Behavior Technician

Katie graduated from Briar Cliff University in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Prior to the Pier Center, she worked locally as an optician.  Katie joined the Pier Center in August of 2017 and plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis.

Jacey Hanna
Registered Behavior Technician

Jacey started at the Pier Center for Autism in August of 2017. She graduated from Graceland University with a Bachelors Degree in Human Services with a Spanish minor and an emphasis on Psychology. She has extensive experience in the daycare field as well as the YWCA of Fort Dodge.   Jacey plans to continue her education within the next few years to complete her masters degree in a behavior related field.

Alyssa Eberhardt
Behavior Technician

Alyssa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey with an emphasis in Childhood Development and Experimental Psychology.  Previously, Alyssa worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities at Crossroads of Western Iowa as a residential coordinator and most recently at Jackson Recovery as a counselor in the Adolescent Crisis Unit.  Alyssa joined the Pier Center in December 2017 and is excited about the prospect of furthering her education in the field of Behavioral Psychology.

 

Catherine Clark
Behavior Technician

Catherine joined the Pier Center in February 2018.  She graduated from Wayne State College with a bachelor’s degree in Human Service Counseling. In college, Catherine interned with the Boys and Girls Home and Family Services in Sioux City, where she learned she loved working with children. Catherine’s passion for autism stems from having a sister with autism.

Elizabeth Penyich
Behavior Technician

Elizabeth joined the Pier Center in February 2018.  She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Modification. Prior to joining the Pier Center, Liz spent two years as a case worker for individuals with various disabilities, including mental health services. In addition, she has extensive experience with child care and preschool education. Elizabeth is excited is to be able to combine her passions and help individuals reach their unlimited potential. “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

Brooke Smith
Behavior Technician

Brooke graduated from Morningside College with a bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology. During her last semester at Morningside, Brooke interned at the Pier Center and started working full-time in May of 2018. Throughout college, Brooke worked with individuals with a variety of disabilities at Crossroads of Western Iowa which is where her interest in working with individuals with autism started.

 

 

Maria Lonsdale
Behavior Technician

Maria graduated from Morningside College with a major in Counseling Psychology. She joined our team in May 2018. Maria previously worked at the Crittenton Center Emergency Shelter & Youth Development where she learned she was passionate about working with children and making a positive difference in their lives.

 

 

Tina Cobbs
Behavior Technician

TinaTina is a current master’s student through Morningside College. She is also working through the Florida Institute of Technology to complete the coursework necessary to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Tina works part-time with the Pier Center to complete her practicum experience. The fact that Tina has a son with autism and her experience as a teacher continues to make her a valuable asset to Pier Center for Autism team.

Angie Dunlop
Behavior Technician

AngieAngie is a current master’s student through Morningside College. She is also working through the Florida Institute of Technology to complete the coursework necessary to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Angie works part-time with the Pier Center to complete her practicum experience. Angie has worked in the Sioux City’s schools for the last decade as a teacher and has proven herself a competent therapist willing to learn to support her clients.

 

Social Skills Team

Nicole Bacan
Speech-Language Pathologist
Patty Kann
Speech-Language Pathologist

Patty is a speech language pathologist who was first exposed to children with autism in the 1990s. Since 2011, the primary focus of her caseload in area school districts has been individuals on the autism spectrum.  Patty has particular interests in social language use and complex communication needs. She joins Nicole as our second part-time speech language pathologist.

Jan Turbes

Jan is an Autism and Challenging Behavior Specialist within the tri-state area with immense experience in the areas of assessment and treatment of challenging behavior.  Jan works part-time with the Pier Center to support a variety of needs for our clients including challenging behavior and social skills.  With over a decade of experience in the fields of behavior analysis and autism, Jan remains one of our biggest advocates for the advancement and continued training of our staff.  In addition, Jan was one of the original board members for the Pier Center for Autism.