Rich Center - Meet the Admin Team



Mike Latessa

Interim Executive Director

Mike joined The Rich Center for Autism in May of 2019 as our Associate Director of Development and is excited to be back on the campus of Youngstown State University. He earned both his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration along with his Master’s Degree in Education here, while also playing for the Penguin football team.

Mike joined The Rich Center after spending five years at Cardinal Mooney High School, where he served as the school's Vice President of Finance, Operations, and Advancement. When asked about why he joined us, Mike said “I am extremely excited to be a member of The Rich Center team. Through working in education, coaching, and my Master’s Degree course of study in counseling, I have increased my awareness on how Autism touches us all. Raising and educating a child with Autism can be both challenging and extremely rewarding. While there may indeed be many struggles, families can succeed if given the right support. That is why I joined the team here, specifically to help generate the funds necessary to support our families, our staff, our facilities, and the autism community in the region!” Outside of The Rich Center, Mike enjoys coaching football, volunteering in the community, is a member of the Youngstown Rotary, and you will see him tailgating at YSU football games. Go Guins!



Rachael Dobson, MSEd., BCBA, COBA

Associate Director of Behavior, Lead BCBA

Rachael has worked in the field of special education for over eight years, six of which took place at The Rich Center for Autism. She has experience working as a Lead Instruction Specialist, Classroom Supervisor, and her current position as a Behavior Analyst. Rachael has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University and a master’s degree in special education from Youngstown State University. While working on her master’s degree, she completed certification coursework in applied behavior analysis at Penn State earning her Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. She is also a Certified Ohio Behavior Analyst (COBA) though the State Board of Psychology. Rachael enjoys working at The Rich Center and implementing positive behavior support plans for the students. She loves seeing the progress the students make over time and the independence they achieve with every skill they learn.





Tia S. May

Classroom Supervisor and Center Licensing Specialist

Tia S. May worked as an after-school coordinator at the YWCA for 2 years then moved to working in daycare for 5 years with 3 years as a Pre-School teacher at Wee Care Day Care and Learning Center. Tia has worked at The Rich Center for 11 years, getting hired right out of college as an Instruction Specialist then being promoted to a Lead Teacher in the classroom. She has since been promoted to Classroom Supervisor, and has held this position since 2008. Tia has had many responsibilities throughout the program. Most recently she has been given the responsibility of taking care of all state and licensure regulations for the center.

Tia has an Associates of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Reading and Child Development both from Youngstown State University. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Youngstown Alumnae Chapter.

Tia says that “there is no other job that is more rewarding than being a special education teacher”. “The students at The Rich Center melt my heart everyday with the milestones and goals they reach daily.” Tia loves the working environment here at the center because of the ‘Team Teach Model” used here at the center you really learn how to work with other professionals while gaining so much knowledge in the autism field.





Erika Campolito

Classroom Supervisor

Erika Campolito is a Transition Classroom supervisor at the Rich Center for Autism and The TOPS supervisor for Youngstown State University. Erika started teaching in 2008 and joined the Rich Center team in 2013. She graduated from Youngstown State University with her undergraduate degree in integrated Social Studies certified grades 7-12. Erika also obtained her Master's degree from Youngstown State in Special Education with the Autism certificate. Erika loves working at the Rich Center, learning about her students and watching them grow and learn. Erika loves being apart of the ever-changing Special Education community.




Board Certified Behavior Analysts


Julia Rach

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Julia began as an intern at the Rich Center in the Spring of 2013. She then became an employee at the Rich Center the following summer and has worked here for the past three years. Prior to the Rich Center, Julia was a TSS (wrap-around) in Pennsylvania for Comprehensive Children and Family Services.

Julia graduated from YSU with a bachelor’s in Psychology in 2011. She then went on to receive her master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis and has since passed her certification exam to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She is also a member of the Ohio Association of Behavior Analysis (OHABA).

Julia very much enjoys working at the Rich Center and loves the connections she makes with students and families and watching her students learn and progress each day!





Joe Corpa

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Joe Corpa is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at The Rich Center for Autism. He has worked at The Rich Center for Autism for 4 years. Joe attended Youngstown State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice (2010) and a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (2016). He passed his certification exam in September 2016 to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Joe also works as a Behavior Analyst in The Rich Center’s in-home therapy program. Joe worked as a manager in retail before coming to the Rich Center for Autism. He grew up in Struthers, Ohio, and currently lives in Youngstown, Ohio. He has been married to his wife Jasmine for 5 years and they have two dogs. They enjoy dining downtown at the Federal, going dancing and exercising after work. Joe’s favorite part about working at The Rich Center for Autism, is the dynamic group of employees he gets to work with. He loves that these people genuinely care for our children and respects the professionalism they display daily. He also loves watching the children grow and develop. Everyday these children make you smile and love the work that you are doing. Joe enjoys his job at The Rich Center for Autism and feels that it is growing and expanding in a positive way. He is excited to see what the future holds.

Support Staff


Mary Pat Defino

Center Operations Coordinator

Mary Pat Defino is a proud YSU alumnus with BSBA in Business. She is the Center Operations Coordinator at The Rich Center for Autism and has held that position for almost 2 years now. She has a pretty diverse background. She had worked at the hospital for 17 years, holding several positions pertaining to office management, payroll, and accounts payable, and as a contractor in Cleveland area before coming here.

Mary Pat has a wonderful husband, 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. She keeps very busy attending to all of their activities, while trying to find time for her and her husband. They enjoy traveling and her bucket list is large. She and her husband are active members of St. Michael’s Church in Canfield.