Senior Staff  

Florida Children's Institute, FCI, Jacksonville, FL. Dedicated to your child's potential.

Catherine Baker Simms, Ph.D., BCBA-D

CEO & Clinical Director

Dr. Catherine Simms founded Florida Children’s Institute in 2014 to make a difference for children and families coping with a wide range of behavior issues and learning disabilities.  Dr. Simms earned a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida in 2015, under Timothy Vollmer; an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Developmental Disabilities from Auburn University in 2011, under James Carr and Linda LeBlanc; and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Florida in 2010. She also holds a B.S. in Health & Exercise Science from Wake Forest University, earned in 2006.

Dr.  Simms’ areas of specialization and research are in communication/verbal behavior, early intervention, schools consultation, parent training, and problem behavior reduction.  When she’s not working, she loves spending time with her husband and family, snuggling with her two dogs, camping, going to the beach and watching college basketball.

Florida Children's Institute, FCI, Jacksonville, FL. Dedicated to your child's potential.

Molly Hankla, MA, BCBA

Assistant Clinical Director

Assistant Clinical Director at FCI since 2016, Molly Hankla specializes in school consultation, parent training, and problem behavior reduction. Ms. Hankla’s research interests include assessment and skill acquisition for novel behaviors and populations. She obtained her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2013 and an M.A. in Psychology, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, from the University of the Pacific in 2016, studying under Carolynn Kohn and Matthew Normand. In her spare time, Ms. Hankla enjoys teaching yoga, traveling, hiking, and playing with her cat.

Counseling Staff  

Florida Children's Institute, FCI, Jacksonville, FL. Dedicated to your child's potential.

Brittany Williamson Lowe, LMHC

Counselor

Brittany Lowe received her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Florida. Trained in psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and systemic approaches to counseling, she tailors interventions to meet the unique needs of her clients. Depending on the presenting problem, she may consult with parents to improve their children’s behavior, work with families to improve their communication, perform individual therapy for children struggling with emotional or behavioral difficulties, or conduct family therapy to assist families dealing with loss or transition. Brittany is also a certified yoga instructor who uses that knowledge to treat anxiety and depression and promote self-care within her practice. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, kickboxing, traveling to new places and spending time with her family, friends and beloved yellow Lab, Reagan.

Behavior Analysis Staff  

Shannon Nowell, B.A.

Registered Behavior Technician

Shannon Nowell has served youth and young adults ages 3-21 in the Jacksonville community for over a decade. She began her career as an educator, focusing primarily on reading intervention for at-risk youth, and has also worked with diverse populations as an advocate for children and families. Mrs. Nowell earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida State University in 2004 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of North Florida, studying directly under Dr. Clare Liddon. She is particularly interested in early intervention, verbal behavior, and the application of behavioral science within diverse settings and populations. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her dogs at the dog park, relaxing on the water with her husband, and spending time with her Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentee. Her future aspirations include becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and potentially pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology.

Sophie Gibbons

Registered Behavior Technician

Sophie Gibbons is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Child Psychology, from the University of North Florida. She has always had a passion for serving others, and has volunteered overseas in Nicaragua, Haiti, and Guatemala, where she worked directly with children of all ages. Sophie worked with different teams to organize camps for the children and give them one-on-one attention at orphanages. In addition to travelling overseas, she enjoys indoor rock climbing, sketching, longboarding, and volunteering with the local Humane Society. Sophie aims to pursue a master’s degree with a focus in Applied Behavior Analysis after graduating from UNF.

Brianna Woodall

Behavior Technician

Brianna Woodall is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida. On schedule to graduate in the summer of 2020, she plans to continue her education by earning a graduate degree in Behavior Analysis.

Coming from a large family, Ms. Brianna has always had a love for working and playing with children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and family, playing with her dog, drawing, and going to the beach.

Ellie Carmical

Behavior Technician

Ellie Carmical graduated in 2014 from the University of North Florida with a degree in Special Education and a minor in Community Leadership.  She plans to finish her Masters of Education with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis this summer, also from the University of North Florida. Ellie has a passion for helping students with disabilities develop their academic and behavioral skills, better equipping them to succeed in school.  She has been working as a special education teacher for three years and has experience working with a variety of disabilities, and with students in grades K-2 and 3-6. Eventually, she hopes to become a BCBA and continue serving students with varying needs. In her spare time, Ellie enjoys spending time with her husband, frequent trips to the beach, snuggling with her puppy, Harly Jane, and watching college football.  Her favorite place to get away is her parents’ cabin overlooking beautiful Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee.

Kaitlyn Minnicks

Administrative Assistant

Kaitlyn Minnicks grew up in Jacksonville and is currently pursuing dual degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida. Under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Brown, she is currently assisting in a research project examining the relationship of communal versus agentic engagement in young adults and college students. Following graduation, she plans to continue her education by getting a master’s degree in psychology or social work. In her free time, she loves to discover new music, spend time with friends and family, watch documentaries, and play with her dogs.