University of California, Riverside

SEARCH Center



SEARCH Staff


 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.  
ks 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 a linscenced clinical psychologist and is also involved in diagnosis of children with ASD. 
y Yasamine Bolourian, M.A., is a doctoral candidate of the Special Education program at UCR, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 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 ASD. 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 ASD and ADHD. Future directions of study will likely include examining mental health profiles and social-emotional functioning of youth with ASD. 
e Elizabeth Llanes, M.A., is currently a fourth 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 (ASD). 
hmm Ann Marie Martin, B.S., is a second year doctoral student in the Special Education program at UCR and is currently a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center.  She previously earned her B.S. in Psychology from UCSD.  Ann Marie is a bilingual assessor and has experience in assessment and intervention for school-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Ann Marie's research interests include minority culture, bilingualism, language acquisition, and ASD.
laura alba Laura Alicia Alba, M.S., is a first year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UCR. She previously earned her B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University and her M.S. in neuroscience and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include: multicultural perspectives, neural correlates, environmental stress, executive functioning and socio-emotional development among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.
megan

Megan Ledoux, M.A., BCBA, is a first year doctoral student in the Special Education program at UCR, focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center. Megan earned her M.A. in Special Education with an emphasis on Autism from San Diego State University. While earning her M.A., Megan served as a researcher and coach for the CSESA Project (Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism), collaborating with high school educators to support their students with autism in the classroom. Her current research interests include the transition from high school to adulthood, as well as training parents, therapists, educators, and paraprofessionals in evidence-based practices to support individuals with ASD.  

ainsley Ainsley Losh, B.S., is a first year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UCR. Ainsley previously earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and English from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center team, she worked at the University of Michigan STEPS Autism Treatment Program as an SLP clinical assistant and served as the research coordinator for the TRANSCEND Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital studying functional connectivity in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using MEG neuroimaging. She is currently involved in the Smooth Sailing research project exploring the transition into early schooling for young children with ASD. 
ev Elina Veytsman, B.A., is a first year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UCR, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and social skills interventions for adolescents and young adults with social challenges. Elina is a graduate student researcher at the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center. She was previously the clinic coordinator of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, an evidence-based social skills intervention for youth with ASD and other social difficulties. Elina earned her B.A. in psychology with a minor in education from UCLA, and served as a volunteer English teacher in Israel for one year after graduating. Her current research projects include examining the effects of the PEERS intervention with Latino families of middle school aged teens with ASD, and investigating the social trajectory of young adults with ASD and intellectual disabilities as they transition into adulthood.

 

 

 

 

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University of California, Riverside
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Tel: (951) 827-3849
E-mail: searchcenter@ucr.edu

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