University of California, Riverside



 j Jan Blacher, Ph.D., a nationally known family researcher, advocate, and columnist, developed her vision for the SEARCH Center based on more than 30 years of research with hundreds of Southern California families who had children with disabilities, many of whom were Spanish-speaking. Her research has resulted in better understanding of family adjustment, and of how behavioral challenges, common in autism, affect families. Notably, her research focuses on positive as well as negative impacts on families.  
k3 Katherine Stavropoulos, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside. She completed her Postdoctoral work at the Yale Child Study Center with Dr. James McPartland. Dr. Stavropoulos received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from University of California, San Diego, and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Trinity College. Dr. Stavropoulos’ doctoral dissertation explored neural correlates of reward anticipation to social versus nonsocial stimuli in children with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As an assistant professor, Dr. Stavropoulos will conduct translational studies to continue exploring the reward system in ASD, as well as how anxiety contributes to social deficits in ASD. She plans to investigate school-based interventions for children with ASD, and how those interventions affect neural activity, behavior, and school performance. She is also involved in diagnosis of children with ASD and is pursuing clinical licensure. 
g Geovanna Rodriguez, M.A., is a fourth year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UCR and is currently a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center. Geovanna is a bilingual assessor and has experience in assessment, intervention, and counseling of school-aged children with and without autism. Geovanna's research interests examine the interplay of co-occurring psychopathology and ASD, and its impact on social and behavioral outcomes of children and adolescents with and without developmental disabilities. 
m Marina Murphy, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in School Psychology at UC Riverside's APA-accredited doctoral program. Marina is a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center, and has experience in assessment, intervention, counseling, and consultation with school-aged children and their teachers, parents, and providers. Marina's research interests include the school engagement experiences of adolescents, as well as the development of social skills in youth with and without disabilities, such as autism. 
y Yasamine Bolourian, M.A., is a second year doctoral student in the Special Education program at UCR, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center. Yasamine previously earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and served as the research coordinator at UCLA PEERS, an outpatient program offering an evidence-based social skills intervention for youth with autism. Her current projects examine successful outcomes of young children with autism transitioning into the early school grades, as well as the experiences of college students with autism and ADHD. Future directions of study will likely include examining mental health profiles and social-emotional functioning of youth with autism. 
e Elizabeth Llanes, M.A., is currently a second year graduate student in the School Psychology doctoral program. Before coming to UCR, she obtained an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, Elizabeth is a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center. Her research interests include the early transition to school for young children with autism spectrum disorder. 





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