Tamara Massey-Garrett is the Disability Services Manager of the Center for Disability Services at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) and has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Services. She has 20 years of experience in disability services with an emphasis in providing accommodation and assistive technology services to college students with disabilities. Her past experiences include four years working in the field of vocational evaluation and rehabilitation counseling for veterans and high school students participating in TRIO programs at AUM. She’s collaborated with Auburn University on grants funded by the National Science Foundation for the AUM Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities – STEM program and currently for the AUM Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) program. In addition, she’s manages and coordinates a summer College Prep program with Easter Seals Central Alabama and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. She serves as state president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alabama (LDA AL) and as past president of the Alabama Association on Higher Education and Disability (AL AHEAD). Ms. Massey-Garrett also regularly makes conference presentations for AL AHEAD, LDA AL, Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity, Auburn University Transition and Postsecondary Disability Training Institute.
Webmaster for LDA Alabama
Matthew Norsworthy is the Assistive Technology Specialist at Auburn University Montgomery. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in English at Auburn University Montgomery. While working as Assistive Technology Specialist, he has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of conferences and programs concerning inclusivity and awareness of individuals with disabilities as well as programs that help individuals with disabilities achieve their educational and career goals.
Suzanne Fornaro served as president of the Alabama state and Mobile County affiliates of LDA of Alabama and continues to serve on the state Board of Directors. For the Learning Disabilities Association of America at the national level, she is Co-Chair, Communications Committee; Co-Editor, THE LD SOURCE; and was President of LDA from 2004-2006. Currently serving as a presidential appointee to the national Board of Directors and as a member of the Public Policy and Development Committees, she has served on the Board, Executive Committee, and chaired a variety of committees for LDA since 1990. She is the parent of an adult child with learning disabilities. Suzanne brings her expertise and education in Communications and Public Relations to LDA. She is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board and retired as Director of Public Relations with a national engineering firm. She has 30+ years of experience in communications and public relations and expertise in public relations planning, external and internal communications, community and media relations. She has served on the board of directors for Public Relations Council of Alabama-PRCA (President), Southern Public Relations Federation-SPRF (VP and Secretary), and Mobile Public Relations Council (President). She has received 14 awards from public relations organizations for creation and execution of projects ranging from brochure development to strategic communications planning. Suzanne was named to the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2015 and was previously recognized with the Practitioner of the Year Award, Professional Achievement Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from PRCA and SPRF. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations) from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Communications (Mental Health Information) from Syracuse University.
Dr. Jendia Grissett
Dr. Jendia Grissett has served as the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) from 2016 to the present. Prior to her appointment as Associate VPAA, Dr. Grissett served the University in the capacity of Dean and Chair the College of Education, as well as Institutional Effectiveness from 2007 – 2012. From 2012 – 2016, Dr. Grissett served as an Educational Administrator with the Alabama State Department of Education charged with Educator Assessment and Educator Preparation. Prior to her tenure with Faulkner, Dr. Grissett had 15 years experience as a clinical social worker and school social work practitioner. Dr. Grissett served as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) past chair of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults, and former consulting editor for Children & Schools. Dr. Grissett serves Faulkner and the higher education community as a SACSCOC and CAEP reviewer. Dr. Grissett earned the Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Troy University, the Master of Social Work from The University of Alabama, the Master of Science in Education from Capella University, and Doctor of Education from Alabama State University.
Pat became a member of LDA in the mid 1980’s. She served as president for her local and state (Alabama) affiliates and continues to be an active LDA Board Member. She is the parent of an adult son with LD/ADHD. Prior to her LDA focus Pat earned her MLA from Peabody College (Vanderbilt University), her Graduate Certification for Medical School Libraries from Emory University and served as a medical school librarian at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler’s College of Medicine Library. She later earned her M.A. in Special Education with a Depth Study in Learning Disabilities from the University of Alabama. She served as Director of Disability Services at Faulkner University, Montgomery, AL from 1994-2016. While at Faulkner University, she served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Alabama Association of Higher Education and Disability (AL AHEAD) and on the University of Alabama’s Advisory Committee for the Southeastern Conference and Symposium on ADHD 2006-2016. In earlier years she served as a higher education representative on the Alabama Commission on Higher Education’s Ad Hoc Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation Assistance for three years.
Because her early active participation in LDA proved to be as integral as her graduate studies in her quest for appropriate education services for her son, Pat continues to mentor parents, grandparents, and students on transition issues with emphasis on federal statutes, case law, institution policy and appropriate documentation of disabilities. Both Pat and her son earned a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Alabama.
Nichole Fussell serves as the Director for the Center of Disability Services at Faulkner University. She serves as a board member on the Alabama LDA. Her job history has consisted of working at Baptist Hospital in the behavioral health site as a behavioral health therapist. There she gained a working knowledge of diagnosis, documentation, and related accommodations. She has a knowledge of the DSM-V and based treatment and accommodations on the patient working diagnosis. She also worked for Comfort Care Hospice as a medical social worker gaining a better understanding of family and environmental units within crisis. She also provided resources and therapy needs within the hospice capacity. Nichole worked for Gift of Life as a care coordinator for women on Medicaid insurance that were pregnant. She provided resources and education to women and families in need. Mrs. Fussell holds a Bachelor of social work from Lipscomb University, a Master of social work from The University of Alabama, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker for the state of Alabama. She has 5 years of experience in social work. She is currently enrolled in the University of Connecticut’s certificate program in post-secondary disability services and will complete this program May 2019.
Julie Cox, LICSW, CGRS has a Master Degree in Social Work and has provided social work services for 25 years in medical facilities, private practice and hospice/palliative care. She is a military spouse and the parent of an autistic son with severe dysgraphia . Julie is the Founder of A Parent’s Perspective which provides therapeutic services geared toward parents, children/adolescents and adults with physical/emotional needs. She has a great passion for families/individuals advocating for the their children/self, understands the complexity of navigating for needs and the impact of raising a special needs child can have on the family.