Board of Directors

Catherine is a certified professional educator in school social work and licensed clinical social worker. Catherine received her BA in clinical psychology from Smith College and her MSW in clinical social work from the Smith School for Social Work and has a background as a clinical supervisor at the Yale Child Study Center, school social worker for children with severe disabilities to those with the brightest of intellectual gifts. Catherine has also been an assistant school administrator, and educational consultant. Catherine was president of the Connecticut Association of School Social Workers and a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Bullying. Catherine is currently a member of the National Association of Social Workers Ethics committee. She was a member of the Smith College’s 504 committee and assisted with the integration of students with visible and invisible disabilities. Catherine’s diverse experiences have given her a unique perspective on how to support the work of dedicated educators, mental health providers, and parents, all working from different perspectives of the same goal—the child’s best interests.

Founder, Executive Director

Catherine A. Hogan, MSW, LCSW


“Jay” brings us forty years of educational experience, including 30 years as a high school principal in districts including New Canaan, West Hartford, East Haven, and Chappaqua, NY. Since “retirement” in 2006, he has served interim principalships in Southbury/Middlebury CT; Rye, NY; and three in Newtown at the High School, Intermediate School, and Middle School. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, an M.A.T. from Brown, and a B.A. from The University of Notre Dame. He heads Jay Smith & Associates LLC, education consultants. Throughout his career Jay has seen students struggle with social communication challenges. He believes our Foundation’s innovative approach is a valuable addition to help young people become all that they can be.

President of the Board & Education Director

John J. Smith, Ph.D.


Janet learned about the Social Communication Foundation in 2011 and immediately recognized that their cross-peer training programs were essential to the social development of young people with communication challenges. Janet understands the struggle and hope of parents who have children with communication challenges and how that hope can fade when their children face unemployment. Using her career promotional skills from real estate and non-profit development, Janet advocates to bring SCF cross-peer training programs to young people at an early age.  


Janet Tanner


Stephen is a professor of special education and autism at Adelphi University. Stephen is an author and international speaker on autism. Stephen travels internationally supporting programs around the world that are developing services for children with autism. President emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England and former board member of the Autism Society, Dr. Shore serves on the advisory board for Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, United States Autism and Asperger Alliance, and other autism related organizations. Dr. Shore’s research focuses on comparing different approaches for persons with autism for the purpose of matching practice to individuals needs. Stephen will collaborate with us to capture the essence of what is working in our programs so that those variables can be replicated.

Research to Practice Evaluator

Stephen Mark Shore, Ph.D


Dr. Halligan began her counseling career as a consultant for Yale University Medical School and then became a counselor and director of Guidance at Sacred Heart Academy. She spent the majority of her career as a college counselor at Fordham University and at Western Connecticut State University where she also served as director of the counseling center.  In addition to her practical work, Dr. Halligan also ventured into education: She taught at the C.G. Jung in New York City, and served as a visiting associate professor at Fordham University. Then she served as a part of the adjunct faculty at Fordham, and at Iona College, the College of New Rochelle, Mercy College, Fairfield University, Washington University of St. Louis, Northwestern University Medical School and at Western Connecticut State University. 

Mental Heath Services Coordinator

Fredrica Halligan is Ph.D.

Debra Carroll SCSU Neuropsychologist.jpe

Deborah A. Carroll is a Developmental Neuroscientist, Certified Yoga Teacher, Deep Play for Kids Instructor, and the mom of two beautiful, talented young women with high-functioning autism. She knows first-hand from both her professional training and the experience of her own children, the repercussions for people who struggle with social communication. The SCF &unique program fills an essential niche in understanding social communication diversity and ameliorating communication challenges. As an internship supervisor, she has placed undergraduate students in the program as typical peers. The inclusion teaming method benefits not only the young people with social communication challenges, but the typical peers grow tremendously in their understanding and facilitation of social communication. Dr. Carroll serves as a board member to further promote the mission of the social communication foundation.

University Consultant

Deborah A. Caroll, Ph.D.

Rachel Hurley.jpg

Rachel has over 20 years experience working as an accountant at both privately owned and publicly held companies. In addition to her corporate experience, she has been managing the bookkeeping tasks for Social Communication Foundation since 2010.   Rachel is also the mom of a high-school student with severe ADHD and social challenges and she believes in the mission of SCF and recognizes the positive impacts the program will have for students like her son.  

Treasurer of the Board

Rachel Hurley

Catherine A. Hogan, MSW, LCSW

As Executive Director position, Catherine leads the curriculum with updates on communication research; advocates for statewide programs; and trains future facilitators.  

Founder, Executive Director

Catherine A. Hogan, MSW, LCSW

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Shannon Beth is a seasoned Marketing Designer with over 20 years experience creating campaigns across all industries for mobile, social, print and grassroots marketing. 


"Everyday Autism teaches me new lessons about how human beings {and their pets} communicate. I turn that emotion into devotion and put it to work to perfecting user-friendly design and marketing that speaks clearly to all people. 

Marketing Communications Manager, Parent Particpant

Shannon Beth {sb} Engravalle


Genna is the New Haven Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self-Advocate Coordinator. She has been working at DDS since 2006.  Genna leads meetings in the south region of CT for self-advocacy and completes monthly reports on activities in the local area she serves.  Genna is a Connecticut resident and has graduated from Nonnewaug High School.  After high school, Genna attended New York Institute of Technology, Vocational Independence Program and then Vista Vocational and Life Skill Center. Genna made many improvements to VISTA while a mentor on the Student Advisory Committee.  She is a role model to those with diagnosed disabilities. Genna is socially skilled and is thrilled to give her insight to the Social Communication Foundation.

DDS Self-Advocacy Coordinator, Board Member

Genna Lewis, DDS Self-Advocate Coordinator


Brendan graduated from Southern Connecticut State University. He is interested in history and linguistics.  Brendan has an autism spectrum disorder and has been a co-leader with the Social Communication Foundation since 2010.

Former Participant / Outreach Specialist

Brendan Wendt, BS


Sean participated, while a student of Fairfield Preparatory School in our first service group in Westport CT in 2010.  Sean was at that time.  Sean continued his efforts to support the mission of the Social Communication Foundation while attending Holy Cross College. Sean has served as a board member and demonstrates continued willingness to support our mission as he moves towards his career path.

Former Participant / Outreach Specialist

Sean Donoghue

Advisory Team

A teacher for almost forty years in traditional classrooms and elsewhere, Virginia received her MA from Teachers College, Columbia and her MAT from Yale. Having worked with children in grades 4-12 and their parents, in urban, suburban and rural schools, both public and private, in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Colorado, she recognizes the need for the Social Communication Foundation. She believes that the forum the Foundation provides-bringing together young people with and without communication challenges-is an excellent way to improve the ability of both groups to understand, live, and work with each other. Currently she volunteers as a “teacher coach” at St. Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven.

Facilitator/Teacher Coach

Virginia T. Wilkinson, MA, MAT

John is an Aspergian expert in the field of autism and communication diversity.  When Aspergers had not yet been identified, John was labeled and a problem child.  He dropped out of high school in 10th grade. His unidentified Asperger’s gave him rare insights in the field of electronics and he designed special effects guitars for the KISS band in the 1970s.  John had several good corporate jobs but could not fit in.  He realized he had no problem with machines so he started his own automotive repair business.  John was fortunate to be identified with Asperger’s later in life and this information transformed his life.  John has served on many prestigious boards.  In 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius named him to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee which develops – among other things – the Strategic Plan for autism research that guides NIH, CDC, and many private researchers. John will provide feedback to our management team on our efforts to measure the value of our work, both for socially challenged people and their peers who are socially integrated.

Autism Research Advisor

John Elder Robison


Dr. Grant received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Grant specializes in treating patients in the context of psychiatry, pastoral counseling, and outpatient counseling.  Licensed to practice in Connecticut and New York, Dr. Grant is board certified in medical psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, post-traumatic stress, domestic violence and drug and alcohol addiction. Dr. Grant has experience in autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.  Dr Grant is currently the President of the C G Jung Institute in New York.

Group Placement Advisor

Ronald A Grant, MD, DMin, NCPsyA, STM


(203) 605-8727


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