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.

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.

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.

Rachel Goetz
Behavior Technician

Rachel joined the Pier Center as part of her practicum experience in July 2015 until October 2016. Rachel returned to the Pier Center in February of 2017 as a full time Behavior Technician. She has experience working with individuals with disabilities and applies her experience and her education towards her work with her clients.

Jessica Maxwell
Behavior Technician

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Jessica has a master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She works full-time at Siouxland Mental Health as an Adult Integrated Health Home Care Coordinator, and Quality Lead. Jessica began working part-time at the Pier Center in August 2016 to complete her practicum experience. Jessica hopes to integrate Behavior Analysis into a non-traditional setting, and is excited to continue working with those in need.

Jennifer McCormick
Behavior Technician

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Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management from Morningside College. She previously worked at Opportunities Unlimited for five years working with children with disabilities. Jennifer joined the Pier Center in August 2016 and is excited to be learning more about behavior analysis and applying it to make a difference.

Andrea Prior
Behavior Technician

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Andi has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Child Development Studies form 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.

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 with the Pier Center and is 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.

Machensey Shelgren
Registered Behavior Technician

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Machensey graduated from Buena Vista University in May 2016, where she double majored in Psychology, and Criminology & Criminal Justice.  Machensey has a passion for helping people and intends to attend graduate school in the future. Since joining the Pier Center in May 2016, Machensey has coordinated circle time and obtained her Registered Behavior Technician credential.  Machensey can routinely be found laughing and trying to get her clients and coworkers to laugh.  Her infectious smile and upbeat personality make her a wonderful member of the Pier Center for Autism team.

Miranda Smalley
Registered Behavior Technician

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.

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.

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.