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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Julie Angstadt '13

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Posted on Friday, March 1, 2024

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Julie Angstadt ’13

Degrees from Westminster: Early Childhood/Special Education, Minor in Christian Education

Current City, State of Residence: State College, PA

Current Occupation/Employer: Hummingbird ABA Therapy

Position Title and Description: Owner & Clinical Director

Advanced Degrees and Licensure:
MA, Applied Behavior Analysis from Cairn University
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Pennsylvania Board of Medicine, Licensed Behavior Specialist (LBS)

Why did you choose Westminster College: I chose Westminster after a friend from my church recommended it to me as she was an alumna and recommended me for the Jerb Miller Scholarship. After touring the campus, I decided that is where I wanted to be.

This 2013 Early Childhood/Special Education graduate is about to celebrate the grand opening of the expanded Hummingbird ABA Therapy, her new center in State College, Pennsylvania, serving children with special needs. The owner and clinical director of the neurodiversity-affirming Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provider explains her career journey started with leadership and activity roles at Westminster. 

Tell us about your career path since graduating in 2013.

Since graduating from Westminster, I have started a family (pictured left: James, 8 and Amelia, 5), completed my masters degree, earned two board certifications in Applied Behavior Analysis (BCBA and IBA) and a license from the PA Medical Board as a Licensed Behavior Specialist (LBS) and started my own practice. In 2020, my company, Hummingbird ABA Therapy was just me and 2 clients. Now in 2024, we have grown to be the largest provider of therapeutic autism services within an hour radius of State College, PA. Most recently, I purchased a building for Hummingbird's new clinic space as our rented space was becoming too small for our growing needs. In three years, we've experienced 300% growth in both clients and staff. 

How well did Westminster prepare you for your career?

While my coursework at Westminster provided me with the preliminary skills I would need for the future, my most important learning came from the independence and leadership roles I held while attending there. The liberal arts education, paired with opportunities to actively participate and be a leader in various activities created an amazing foundation to pursue continuing education, like a graduate degree and board certifications. 

How would you describe the level of academics you experienced during your time at Westminster College?

As someone who frequently talks to undergraduate and graduate students at a variety of universities throughout the country, I have not seen an education department with as much practical experience as Westminster provided.

What organizations were you involved in while on campus?

I was in Alpha Phi Omega, Chapel Staff, Women's Choir, Chapel Drama, Allies, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Disabilities Awareness Club.

Did you learn any significant life lessons while at Westminster?

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. I am incredibly proud of our current staff and am excited for the level of support we currently offer and we’ll be able to offer once our new building opens in late March 2024. So much of what we do with the autistic community is individualized to the child; and having the additional flexibility and space in our new center will allow us to do that more effectively. On average today, we see 10-12 clients per day in our building, and 15-20 clients per day in schools and homes.

What are some of the opportunities and goals for your new facility?

My main goal for our new center is to have a space of our own that we can truly individualize to meet each child’s needs. We will have individual therapy rooms for each of our clients, a large sensory room with swings, a trampoline, and a ball pit, a designated Speech and Occupational Therapy Room, and multiple group rooms for social skill development. Our staff will also have a lot more space to work privately and efficiently in separate offices. We will continue to offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and Occupational Therapy (OT). We are also hoping to hire a speech therapist this year to assist in meeting the needs of our clients with speech needs. With the size of our waitlist, we have multiple openings for masters level behavior consultants or behavior analysts, with or without the Board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) credential. We also typically have 1-2 openings for Behavioral Health Technicians or Assistant Behavior Consultants. Visit our website for rewarding career opportunities. 

Connect with Julie on LinkedIn here.