MEET THE TEAM
Joshua Baker, Ph.D. - Project F.O.C.U.S. Director
Josh Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the current director and creator of F.O.C.U.S. Josh received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in special education with a research emphasis on accessing the general education curriculum for students with Intellectual Disability and Autism. Josh came to UNLV in the summer of 2012 and has been in love with the Las Vegas community since. Josh has always been an advocate for full inclusion and believes that all individuals should be given the opportunity to achieve their personal goals!
K. Ryan Wennerlind, M.Ed. - Associate Director
Ryan comes to FOCUS from the Clark County School District where he served as a teacher for four years. His teaching experience included teaching students with social/emotional challenges and students with intellectual/developmental disability. Ryan has a Masters Degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a current Doctoral student at the UNLV. His research interests are transition from school to college/work, access to general education curriculum, and inclusion in general education for individuals with I/DD. In his free time, Ryan enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and two children.
Brigitte Sison - Project Coordinator
Brigitte Sison is a graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services. She has a huge passion for people and especially loves being able to work with the young adult population. Brigitte first came to Project FOCUS in 2015 when she completed her undergraduate field experience as an intern, and she was so awesome that we had to hire her! In her spare time, Brigitte can be found watching baseball and enjoying live music.
Rory Carmer, M.Ed. Academic Coordinator
Rory Carmer recently completed her masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Rory was born and raised in Las Vegas and has previously worked with Project FOCUS as a counselor for Rebel LIFE Camp. Outside of work, you can find Rory going to concerts, playing tennis, and spending time with her family.
Carina Law - Educational Coach
Carina is currently pursuing her Bachelor's of Science in Special Education at UNLV. She was born in Malaysia and lived there for nine years before she moved to Macau, which is also known as the Asian Las Vegas, for seven years. Carina immigrated to America in 2012 and has been living here ever since. She is aiming to become an Elementary Special Education teacher and expose students to foundational skills. Carina believes it is crucial to expose students to foundational skills as early as possible so that it could be helpful for them in the long run. She enjoys traveling, going to the movies and karaoke with family and friends!
Julio Corrales - Educational Coach
Julio is a junior at UNLV pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Formally a biology student pursuing medicine, he left the sciences behind realizing their needs to be a radical change in education within the Las Vegas community. Born and raised through the valley’s educational system as a first generation student of immigrant parents, he plans to open a new school in hopes of providing an inclusive, innovative, and stimulating learning environment for all children of Southern Nevada! Besides school and work, Julio spends his time with friends and family. He enjoys philosophy, art, and meditation.
Rebeca Candel - Educational Coach
Beca is a junior at UNLV pursuing her undergraduate degree in Multidisciplinary studies with the intention to become an ABA therapist. She started with FOCUS as a volunteer and was elated to officially join the team as an educational coach. She hopes to share her enthusiasm for life with the world around her and is passionate about pushing herself and others out of their comfort zone. Outside of work and school, she can be found reading, trying out new foods, and spending time with friends.
F.O.C.U.S. is fortunate to have a number of interns from the Human Services and Social Work Programs at UNLV.
Mara Kemmer - Intern
Mara is in her fourth year at UNLV pursuing a major in Human Services and a minor in English. She is passionate about this world and everything it has to offer. She believes there is beauty in every moment, person, and thing so she strives to help others see this, and together make the world a better place! Mara is on the women’s basketball team and has a passion for athletics, so she hopes to one day connect the human services field and athletics in her future career, however that may be.
Payton Murphy - Intern
Payton Murphy is currently a student at UNLV planning on getting his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. Payton was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. When not at school Payton is probably playing video games, going on walks, or trying new foods. Payton is easy going, a team player, and likes to work with new people. One day he wants to go cage diving. Payton plans on using the skills he has learned in the program in his internship with Project FOCUS.
Shea Cormier - Intern
Shea Cormier is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in human services at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For her first internship as a senior, Shea decided to work with project FOCUS in hopes that it will give her direction into her future endeavors. Shea was born and raised in Hawai’i but moved to Las Vegas in 1998 and has been here since. In her free time, Shea loves to spend time with her family and friends and just simply enjoying life.
Elizabeth Morgan - Intern
Elizabeth Morgan is a Senior at UNLV pursing her undergraduate’s degree in Human services, with the hopes of becoming an addictions counselor. Elizabeth’s first ever field experience as an intern has been with Project Focus. She hopes on making great connections with those around her and releasing positive energy throughout the lives of others. Outside of work and school, Elizabeth can be found traveling, working out, going to the movies, and hanging out with loved ones.
Denni Brugada - Intern
Denni is a senior completing his major in Human Services with minors in Marriage and Family Therapy and Business Management. His primary career goal is to become a licensed marriage and family therapist and to open his own private practice. He is a passionate learner and explorer of the world, taking comfort in unfamiliar places, for he knows well that everything will work out in the end. Denni also loves to play table tennis, watch anime, and talk about time travel.
Sidney Bellamy - Intern
Sidney is in her 5th year of school and will graduate this upcoming spring with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She is a Las Vegas native and is a UNLV Rebel Girl Alumni.
Each semester FOCUS also has a number of volunteers! We could not exist without their help! They may give 1 hour or 20 hours of their time per semester! Our volunteers are awesome and believe in post-secondary education for everyone! If you would like to volunteer please check out the volunteer page here!