Meet Our Directors
Chelsea Evenstad, M.S, BCBA, LBA
Director of Behavior Support
Chelsea Evenstad is the Director of the Behavior Support Department at the North Dakota Autism Center. Chelsea’s primary responsibilities include oversight of all Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in the department. This includes active collaboration with teams regarding student/client goals, progress, and all associated interventions. Chelsea also oversees community collaboration including partnerships with school districts or rural providers. She is active in the development and oversight of parent and student/client relationships to work toward client/student driven treatment with parent transparency and training. Chelsea has been working with the North Dakota Autism Center for over 11 years. She received her undergrad in Psychology from Concordia College and her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from The Esteves School of Education at Sage.
What drives Chelsea is her passion for bringing the highest quality, most researched, and up to date ABA services to the state of North Dakota. It is Chelsea’s mission to be a leader and frontrunner as an ABA provider in North Dakota by ensuring both client and caregiver satisfaction and by always putting client’s communication and goal-setting first.
In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her two children and husband. She enjoys skiing, volleyball, basketball, golf and tennis. Chelsea enjoys traveling and experiencing new sights and tastes. She enjoys traveling back home to Southwestern Minnesota and spending time in her small hometown community. Although there is not much time for it, she also enjoys the opportunity to binge watch a good series or get lost in a book.
Bethany Johnson, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
Assistant Director of Behavior Support
Bethany Johnson is the Assistant Director of the Behavior Support Department. Bethany has been working with the NDAC for over 5 years. She can be found focusing her energy in overseeing and facilitating training systems and continued education programs for the staff. She received her Masters of Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati.
Bethany is energized in knowing that she may have the chance and opportunity to help clients reach their communicative potential within the groups that matter the most to them, their friends and family. Her goal is to be a catalyst for change in the right direction, all while involving clients in the treatment planning process, and ensuring that empathy and experience come first and the process comes second.
You can find Bethany working on an art project, doing a puzzle, or baking a mean loaf of banana bread (her kitchen table always has a brown banana on it) while listening to the Harry Potter audio books.as well as spending time with her family in Grand Forks – all while keeping her two young sons and husband out of trouble. Occasionally Bethany might be cheering on her husband at a local Rubik’s cube competition for speed solving.
Meet Our BCBAs
Erin Stephany, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Erin Stephany is a Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst of the Behavior Support Department at the North Dakota Autism Center. Erin’s passions, goals and responsibilities include oversight of all of her clients and staff.
Erin enjoys collaborating with other BCBA’s in the company as well as providing feedback and training ideas to help with the success of all clients.
She also enjoys building relationships with each family she has and sharing in the family’s success along with them. Meeting and exceeding client goals from learning to speak to decreasing problem behaviors which may be preventing clients from achieving success in their daily lives, keeps Erin motivated to go above and beyond so each child and family can feel that success.
Erin’s passion for ABA and children with Autism began when she started working at the North Dakota Autism Center. Shortly after, Erin started her masters program at the Esteves School of Education at Sage and graduated with a degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism.
Rachel Yarusso, M.S, BCBA, LBA
Rachel Yarusso is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in the Behavior Support Department at the North Dakota Autism Center. Her role includes overseeing Registered Behavior Technician’s implementation of programming and behavior plans for her caseload. Rachel has been working with the North Dakota Autism Center for 3 years.
Rachel earned her undergrad in Rehabilitation and Human Services at the University of North Dakota, and her Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University.
She has a drive for excellence, a passion for organization and stimuli development, and creating efficient systems to best serve the needs of her clients. In Rachel’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She enjoys long walks, yoga, painting, and thrifting. When time allows, she enjoys traveling to new places.
Emily Anderson, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Emily Anderson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the Behavior Support department at the North Dakota Autism Center. Emily’s primary responsibilities include conducting new client intake meetings, completing skills-based and functional behavior assessments, designing treatment packages, and providing supervision to her team of Registered Behavior Technicians. Emily has been working with the North Dakota Autism Center for over 5 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communication from North Dakota State University and her Master’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Capella University.
Emily’s passion stems from building meaningful relationships with families while helping them reach their full potential. She is driven by the research and progression of the field, and is continuously seeking out opportunities to grow and develop her skill sets as a clinician and as a leader in the field.
Outside of the office, Emily can be found chasing after one of her three boys or her dachshund in a variety of venues including but not limited to: various softball fields while “watching” her husband play, any park, and Target. She is an expert in ordering things off Amazon and acting surprised when multiple packages show up at the door. When not partaking in one of the above riveting activities, Emily can be found scrolling through TikTok on her porch swing. When time allows for it, Emily enjoys rereading the same book for the 4th time and starting a new series on Netflix, only to switch back to The Office.
Emily Hanson, M.ED., BCBA, LBA
Emily Hanson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the Behavior Support Department at the North Dakota Autism Center. Emily’s role involves managing a caseload of clients and their individual goals. Emily also collaborates with a team of staff to create and implement individualized behavior intervention plans for each child. Emily worked at the North Dakota Autism Center from 2014-2016 as a Registered Behavior Technician before moving to Colorado. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University and became a BCBA in 2018. Emily returned to work at the North Dakota Autism Center in September of 2019.
Emily’s goal is to meet each client’s needs and teach at their pace of learning while working closely with parents and other family members to alleviate any stress or anxiety that occurs. Emily thrives on promoting a positive company culture and keeping the energy light and fun. She celebrates with her clients as they achieve their goals and shares in the joys and successes with family members.
Outside of work you can find Emily on a walk with her anxiety-ridden, 100-pound chocolate lab, watching The Office with her husband, or spending time with her family. She loves to travel and explore new places, but her favorite place to be is relaxing at the lake.