About the Curriculum Authors

Deb Childress, PhD

Senior Research Associate, 3C Institute

Dr. Childress obtained her PhD in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to 3C Institute, she served as a research associate and a postdoctoral fellow in the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on a longitudinal imaging study aimed at identifying the early markers of autism through behavioral and imaging methodologies. She has 20 years of autism research experience, during which she has examined the behavioral, personality, and cognitive characteristics of individuals with autism and their family members. Dr. Childress also has experience developing behavioral and parent report measurement tools, coordinating multi-site research studies, and collecting data from children and families. She has taught courses and seminars in general child development, autism, and cognitive development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ann Sam, PhD

Research Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Dr. Ann Sam is a research scientist at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current work involves projects with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Sam’s research interests are in the area of autism spectrum disorder with a focus on evidence-based practices and professional development. Additionally, Dr. Sam has experience as a public-school teacher and has over 10 years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum.

KateMelillo 2

Kate Melillo

Speech-Language Pathologist

Kate Melillo is a Speech-Language Pathologist with extensive experience in working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. As a former teacher in both US and international classrooms, Kate became well-versed in differentiating didactic instruction for both classroom and online curriculums. Additionally, Kate has been part of several research teams investigating the feasibility and usability of online curriculums targeted toward developmental disabilities populations across the lifespan. Kate has particularly focused on helping adolescents transition to the college environment, learn social skill strategies for communicating with peers effectively and participating in groups.


Melissa Derosier, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, 3C Institute

Dr. Melissa DeRosier has extensive experience training and mentoring research scientists. In addition to managing the research team at 3C Institute, she holds faculty appointments as research assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), consulting associate faculty in Medical Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, and adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She serves on the faculty for researcher training programs, including the Center for Developmental Science at UNC-CH, the Leadership Training Institute for underrepresented research scientists, and the Research Career Development Institutes for Psychiatry and for Bipolar Disorder. Dr. DeRosier also leads several National Institutes of Health-funded projects examining how to use technology to effectively enhance the training of behavioral scientists, including

About the Software Developers

3C Institute

3C Institute is an award-winning research and development company that creates effective products and services to improve social, emotional, and behavioral health. We accelerate the transition of research into practice so more people benefit from programs that work. In addition to developing evidenced-based programs and technology solutions for researchers, we collaborate with likeminded partners to help further their research and intervention efforts.

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