Meet the CAC Members

Communication Advisory Committee

The ASF Communication Advisory Committee (CAC) is committed to helping all individuals with Angelman syndrome improve their communication skills.

The CAC is made up of eight Angelman Syndrome, education and communication industry experts. The team works toward two major goals:

  1. Define high-priority areas of AS communication research for funding, and attract new professionals to explore AS communication research.
  2. Develop a strategic plan for use by the ASF Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee to guide the review and funding of communication research proposals.

The CAC will:

  • Consider all ways that individuals with AS of all ages and genetic subtypes communicate, from pre-symbolic to symbolic.
  • Identify the role of communication/interaction partners (e.g. parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, employers) in helping develop communication skills in a variety of settings.
  • Consider all aspects of communication – receptive, expressive, reading and writing, functional communication, social and practical skills.
  • Evaluate new technology and devices for improving communication skills for individuals with AS.
  • Provide guidance to the ASF Scientific Advisory Committee for communication research proposals.
Dan Harvey, PhD CAC Chair
Dan Harvey, PhD

Dan Harvey was appointed to the ASF Board of Directors in 2012, and chairs the ASF Scientific Advisory Committee and Communication Advisory Committee.
Dan has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery research both in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. He became involved with the ASF after his son, Matthew, was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome in 1996. From 1997 to 2001, Dan was a member on the ASF Board of Directors and served as vice president from 1997 to 1999.

Dan resides in San Diego, California with his wife, Karen, and has three children, Michelle, Jay and Matthew. Matthew is diagnosed with AS.

photo of Dr. Stephen Calculator Stephen Calculator, PhD CAC Member
Stephen Calculator, PhD

Stephen Calculator was appointed to the ASF Scientific Advisory Committee in 2008 and most recently selected as a member of the Communications Advisory Committee.

Dr. Calculator is Professor and Chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of New Hampshire. He earned his doctorate in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. Dr. Calculator has published and lectured extensively in the areas of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and inclusive education for students with severe disabilities, drawing upon his ongoing experiences as a consultant to numerous schools and other agencies in the USA and beyond. His consultations have included work with more than 75 children with Angelman syndrome, providing assistance to families and other team members in developing educational and communication programs.

Dr. Calculator developed the Enhanced Natural Gestures system, an evidence-based approach for developing a communication repertoire in individuals with AS. Most recently he published hid edited book, “Angelman Syndrome: Communication, Educational, and Related Considerations.”

Jane Summers, PhD CAC Member
Jane Summers, PhD

Jane Summers was appointed to the ASF Scientific Advisory Committee in 2006 and will bring her expertise to the Communications Advisory Committee.

Dr. Summers is an Assistant Professor (part-time) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and is Director of Interprofessional Practice in the Underserved Populations Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Dr. Summers has published papers on sleep and behavior problems in children with Angelman syndrome and training parents to implement ABA teaching procedures with their children.

She has received grants from the ASF to study the effectiveness of ABA-based approaches for teaching functional skills to children with Angelman syndrome and to develop a battery to assess children’s learning, memory and motor performance.

Erin Sheldon, M.Ed CAC Member
Erin Sheldon, M.Ed

Erin Sheldon earned her graduate degree studying the educational needs of students with Angelman syndrome. Erin conducts professional development workshops and webinars for educators and therapists on the assistive technology, communication, and literacy needs of students with significant disabilities, including AS. She has published journal articles, book chapters, and manuals for educators. Erin is the mother of Maggie, a 12 year old with deletion-positive Angelman.

Penelope Hatch, Ph.D. Penelope Hatch, Ph.D. CAC Member
Penelope Hatch, Ph.D.

Penny Hatch is a Research Assistant Professor for the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. Dr. Hatch received her Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prior to joining the CLDS, Dr. Hatch was a school-based speech and language pathologist and an assistive technology specialist. In 2009 she received the Nathaniel Otis Owings Speech and Hearing Sciences Time-limited Scholarship and in 2010 the UNC Graduate Education Advancement Board’s Impact Award. She has published several works including a collaborative piece on literacy and assistive technology for students with significant disabilities.

Carole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Carole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP CAC Member
Carole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Carole Zangari is a Speech Language Pathology (SLP) faculty member in the College of Health Care Sciences at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Dr. Zangari’s primary areas of interest are augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for children and adults with developmental disabilities, and the use of online instruction and social media for pre-service SLPs and practicing professionals. She teaches AAC courses at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, coordinates the AAC Lab, and provides clinical supervision to graduate student clinicians.

In addition, Dr. Zangari serves as the Executive Director of the NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Satellite and writes for the blog,

Rose Sevcik, Ph.D. CAC Member
Rose Sevcik, Ph.D.

Rose Sevcik, Ph.D.
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Rose Sevcik, Ph.D.
Rose Sevcik is a Professor of Psychology at Georgia State University where she specializes in communication, language, and reading development; developmental and learning disabilities; and parent and school intervention.

Dr. Sevcik research interests center on the development of symbolic processes, specifically oral and written language development, with a focus on the context of intervention research. She has two long-standing lines of research. The first is focused on children with significant developmental disabilities who are considered to be at high risk for speech and language disorders. The second line has examined the effect of different instructional content and methods on teaching children who are struggling to learn to read.

Courtney Castelli, EdS CAC Member
Courtney Castelli, EdS

Courtney Castelli is a dedicated mom, wife and educator. Courtney has spent eighteen years in the field of education both as a classroom teacher and as building administrator.

Courtney earned her Master of Science in Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and is in the final stages of completing her doctorate degree from McKendree University in the area of curriculum and instruction.

She currently resides in Columbia, IL, with her husband, Eric, and children, Lucy (AS, del +), Lauren, and Colin.