A passion for improving the quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorders has brought acclaim to Dana Battaglia, Ph.D., one of Long Island's top 40 under 40.

by Patrice Armstrong-Leach

Each year since 1998, Long Island Business News has honored young professionals from Long Island who make exceptional contributions in their fields in its 40 Under 40 program. Notable honorees have included Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, former New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington and Claudine Cangiano, senior director of health system operations for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

Dana BattagliaAdd Dana Battaglia, Ph.D., to that list. The assistant professor in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was honored at the annual event on January 24 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. The event presented a unique opportunity to network with professionals in different fields. Suzy Lederer, Ph.D., Dr. Battaglia’s colleague and friend, and her father, Antonio (Tony) Montemagni, attended the ceremony.

“It was a huge surprise to have been honored with this award,” Dr. Battaglia said. “It was very exciting. The event was fantastic, and all the honorees were inspiring.”

Dr. Battaglia, a licensed speech-language pathologist for 12 years, created a graduate course at Adelphi to educate future speech-language pathologists about autism spectrum disorders. As a board member of the Long Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a consultant with Genesis/Eden II Programs, she works tirelessly to improve clinical practices and the quality of life for those with autism spectrum disorders.

“I was honored as a result of my work with individuals with autism spectrum disorders, as well as my interest in incorporating technology in the classroom,” she said. “These acknowledgements demonstrate the value of pedagogy and clinical practice in higher education by the greater Long Island community.”

Despite her many achievements, Dr. Battaglia said she considers her greatest accomplishment the birth of her son, Joseph Anthony Battaglia. Yet she has many more professional goals in her sights.

Dr. Battaglia wants to “continue to investigate innovative methods to incorporate technology in secondary education,” she said. She is also committed to improving the lives of young cancer patients. She is the president and co-founder of Shannon’s Fight, a nonprofit organization that helps children affected by rare forms of cancer.

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