Meet Our Trainees
Patrick Adams completed his undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He received his MA in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento. Patrick has been working at the MIND Institute for 10 years, conducting research with children and adults who are carriers or diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome. He is interested in learning about interventions for individuals with developmental disabilities, both in a therapeutic and a behavioral capacity. Within the LEND program he would like to learn more about developmental disabilities, including autism. He would also like to learn effective therapeutic strategies and interventions for behavioral and emotional difficulties in this population. In his free time, Patrick enjoys backpacking and woodworking, and loves the San Francisco Giants.
Monica Baumbach is a graduate of Arizona State University with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree focusing on Business and History. She has worked for an educational non-profit in Business Development and moved into Educational Services where she designed online education programs for adult learners. She is the proud wife of an amazing OB/GYN and mom to two incredible boys. At 18 months old her youngest son was diagnosed with ASD and Speech delay. Since then she has dedicated herself to learning how to navigate the world through "Dean's eyes" and help him grow into a resourceful and happy young man. With LEND, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of ASD therapies and programs to help families in underserved communities obtain resources for ASD. She also hopes to be a resource to anyone who would like to understand how programs and therapies impact families.
Ashley Berry is currently a Doctoral student at CSUS studying Physical Therapy. Prior to starting her graduate studies, she worked as a pediatric services aide at Easter Seals. She volunteered in pediatrics at ISIS Healthcare in Sacramento as well as at Shriner's Children's Hospital, and she participated in the STEPS treadmill program at CSUS. She would like to expand her knowledge of how to help children with ASD through her studies within physical therapy, and also expand her knowledge on ASD and how it is treated across an interdisciplinary approach.
Dr. Chinichian's passion is for Clinical Psychology and Social Justice Work. Dr. Chinichian is a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist whose primary areas of interest are Child/Adolescent Development, Trauma, and Minority Mental Health. She spent 6 years of her training working with vulnerable and at-risk youth. During her APA-accredited internship training at UC Davis Children's Hospital CAARE Center, Dr. Chinichian was involved in the assessments and treatments of children and adolescents with a myriad of psychiatric presentations. While interning, Dr. Chinichian worked with refugee families and provided Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Farsi. Through the LEND program, her goal is to develop community outreach programs to better inform multicultural families on Neurodevelopmental Disorders and increase her knowledge on assessments and interventions for ASD/NDD.
Heidi Collins is a second year Child Psychiatry Fellow in UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She earned a BA in Psychology from Emory University and earned an MA in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Maryland. Heidi formerly worked as a Speech Language Pathologist at the LAB School of Washington where she was able to work with teachers, occupational therapists, and parents to provide interventions for children with language and learning disabilities. As part of training in the LEND, Heidi would like to learn more from other disciplines about evidence-based practices and how to be a better advocate for patients and their families with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Todd Collins is a third year Doctoral Candidate studying Physical Therapy at California State University, Sacramento. He grew up in the greater Seattle area, earning his BS in Kinesiology at Western Washington University. His passion for pediatric care began in 2013 when he volunteered at Seattle's Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp. After graduating from WWU in 2013, he became a caregiver for a 13 year old boy diagnosed with a glioblastoma He laughed, played, and cried through this child's chemotherapy appointments at Seattle Children's Hospital. Ever since then, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career that involved changing the lives of children with disabilities. He hopes to accomplish many professional goals within the LEND program by increasing his exposure to an interdisciplinary work environment. Also, he hopes to learn more about the various developmental disabilities that children face daily.
Dr. Erhard graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA double majoring in Native American Studies and Integrative Biology. In 2007, he completed the Post Baccalaureate Program at University of California, San Francisco and was admitted to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry. After obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he completed a two-year Advanced Education in a General Dentistry program at the Lutheran Medical Center/New York University. Dr. Erhard is a staff dentist at the Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center in Placerville, CA. He is also faculty for the NYU Lutheran/Langone Health System's AEGD Dental Program. In late 2016, his son was diagnosed with ASD and that fueled his level of understanding relating to ASD, not only as a professional but also as a parent. The LEND program is an opportunity for him to become a more adept clinician and also a strong advocate/resource for Autism awareness.
Mercedes Erhard has an academic background in Psychology with an emphasis in Developmental Disorders and Child Development from UC Davis. She has always felt a need to help underserved communities, help others find resources and advocate for those who need assistance. She is a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is dedicated to finding and providing all that she can to support her child. The LEND Program is a place in which she hopes to help families through the process of learning about ASD. As a community representative, she would like to share thoughts experiences, and knowledge gained from LEND. She hopes to collaborate with other individuals within LEND to create a fruitful environment of support for those who need services for Autism. It is her goal to use both her personal and academic background in the LEND Program to achieve awareness, acceptance, and assistance to help strengthen every person in every community.
George Ghattas attended The College of the Sequoias and earned two A.S. degrees in Sports Medicine and Mathematics. He then completed the Sport Medicine Program at UC San Diego. This two-year program exposed him to sport related injuries, the importance of prevention, and wound care. Most importantly he had the opportunity to observe athletes through their rehab protocols sparking his passion for physical therapy. George obtained BS degree in Interdisciplinary Health and Rehabilitation Science: Pre-Physical Therapy at California State University, Fresno. He is currently a third year Doctoral Physical Therapy student at California State University, Sacramento. He is passionate about working with children and hopes to pursue a specialty in Pediatric Physical Therapy His goals for LEND include: increased exposure to various pediatric clinical settings and increased knowledge of other health care disciplines through an interdisciplinary setting.
Amanda Johnson currently works as a Special Education Program Specialist at Galt Joint Union Elementary School District. Her daughter was diagnosed with Autism before the age of 2. She took this inspiration and passion with her as a special education teacher and later as a teacher coaching other special education teachers. She serves as the Regional Leader for the California Autism Professional and Training Information Network (CAPTAIN). CAPTAIN focuses on training and coaching the implementation and fidelity of evidence based practices for students/ clients with Autism. She is also on the board of her local family resource center. Amanda is completing her Doctorates in Educational and Organizational Leadership emphasizing on K-12 administration and special education. With LEND, Amanda would like to accomplish gaining a deeper understanding of cross discipline approaches to serving students with disabilities and their families. She also wants to continue to build parent and the community partnerships to give free trainings and workshops.
Nuria Jimenez Ayudarte has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, an MA in Neuropsychology and Education, and a Spanish license for Clinical practice, all of them earned in Spain. She worked for several years as a Clinical Psychologist and then she specialized in learning disabilities. Before coming to California, she worked in a Cognitive Training Center in Madrid coordinating the Child and Adolescence Department, delivering treatments for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and others problems related to academic performance. She considers LEND as an opportunity to increase her knowledge on evidence based treatments for children with ASD/NDD and their families, and interdisciplinary assessment in early care. In addition, she would like to enhance her cultural competence and contribute to the program working with Spanish speaking individuals and families.
Jaime Law is currently teaching at a Pioneer High School as a Resource Specialist. She earned her BA in Sociology at the University of Colorado and her Education Specialist credential from the University of California, Riverside. She also received her MA of Education in Learning Design and Technology (LDT) from the University of Southern California. She is interested in learning about developmental disabilities to become a stronger advocate and educator for her students. It is important to her to better understand disabilities and learn strategies to support learning. With LEND, she hopes to expand her general knowledge of developmental disabilities and learn more about local resources. She wants to be able to connect high school students to local resources that can support them with employment or college aspirations. She also wants to develop skills as a collaborative team player in an interdisciplinary team.
Sonia Milan Switters graduated from Sacramento State in July 2016 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has since then worked for Easter Seals as a Pediatric Physical Therapist. She treats children up to 3-years of age with developmental disabilities and various other impairments in home using a family based model. Her interest in the LEND program is to use the knowledge she gains to become a better Physical Therapist to the children whom she treats. She would like to learn more about Autism research and how to effectively treat a child diagnosed with ASD. She would like to learn more about interdisciplinary care and loves the idea of working as a team. She looks forward to learning more about other fields that are connected to her patients.
Allison Nahmias, Ph.D. received her Master's degree in Child Studies from Vanderbilt University, where she worked with Wendy Stone, PhD and Paul Yoder, PhD. She then received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of David Mandell, ScD. She is now a Postdoctoral Scholar at the MIND Institute. Dr. Nahmias has over 10 years of experience working with children with ASD and their families in educational, clinical, and research settings. Her research and clinical training have primarily focused on the use, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-based practices for children with ASD. Her LEND goals are to further develop expertise in delivering and training community providers in evidence-based interventions for children with ASD and further develop expertise in dissemination and implementation research for evidence-based practices for children with ASD.
Jazmin Burns has a MA in Clinical Psychology. She is a 3rd year Doctoral student at Alliant International University, Sacramento. She has been a part of the UC Davis MIND Institute since 2012. She started volunteering at the MIND during her undergraduate years at UC Davis, and is currently employed in the Attention, Impulsivity, and Regulation (AIR) lab under Dr. Julie Schweitzer. In addition to this, she conducts assessments on infants with Dr. Meghan Miller as part of her clinical practicum experience. During this year in LEND, Jazmin hopes to do more clinical observations, as well as learn more about the evidence based assessments, particularly those within an interdisciplinary emphasis.
Suzanne Shimoyama is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at UC Davis Medical Center, where she also completed her General Psychiatry Residency. Suzanne completed medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Prior to pursuing a career in medicine, she worked for nearly a decade in television and film including writing for a popular children's television show. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Suzanne's professional interests include treatment of trauma in children and adolescents, developmental disabilities, the intersection of psychiatry and the media, and cultural psychiatry. Her goals with LEND are to gain experience in the interdisciplinary treatment of Autism and other Neurodevelopmental disorders and expand her network of colleagues working in this field. She also seeks to gain research experience.
Marissa Swain, M.A., is the current Infant Mental Health Pre-Doctoral Intern at the UC Davis MIND Institute and CAARE Center. Marissa is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. She was introduced to Neurodevelopmental Disorders in children during her undergraduate course in Child Psychopathology at UC Berkeley and developed an immediate interest in this population. Marissa's has 10 years of experience working with this population. She has a passion and professional interest in continuing her understanding of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in children, especially early childhood, and is eager to work within an inter-disciplinary team to gain more insight on this population. Within her LEND training she would like to accomplish expanding her conceptualization of Neurodevelopmental Disorders through exposure and working relationships with various disciplines. She is especially interested in learning more about how each discipline views these disorders and the complexities involved in treating individuals with NDD. She would like to increase her research and professional skills in the field of psychology as well.
Tara Sharpp graduated from Nursing school at the University of Minnesota in 2001 and moved to start graduate school at the University of California, San Francisco. She and her family moved to the Sacramento area in 2008 where she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Davis. During this time, her daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the MIND institute when at 3-years of age. Her son, now 9, is also being evaluated. In 2012, Tara joined the nursing faculty at Sac State and has been mostly teaching in the RN-BSN program since that time. Her family has enjoyed their experiences in various research studies at the MIND Institute for the past eight years, and she is excited to be part of the LEND fellowship.
Rosa Rodriguez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic where she completed Medical school and moved to the U.S shortly after. She worked as a research coordinator in a Cancer Center and then completed Pediatrics residency in North Carolina. She is currently in her first year of her Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship. Her interest in Developmental disability was sparked from her personal experience with Language delay. She is interested in learning more about Developmental disabilities. She would like to be able to teach, manage and empower families by helping them understand and advocate for disabilities.
Jessica Carrizo completed her Master's program in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Utah in 2015. She has a special interest in assessment and treatment within culturally and linguistically diverse populations. After graduation, she completed a Clinical Fellowship in Salem, Oregon at an Outpatient Clinic. She then made a change to the public school setting when she and her husband moved to California. She is currently working at a dual immersion Spanish/English school and a Charter school in Woodland, CA with students with a wide range of disabilities. Her LEND Goals are to make it easier for our SELPA and State to access materials in different languages, and work toward updating assessment and treatment protocols for multilingual students. She would also like to learn how to communicate more effectively with ABA therapists who serve children with communication disorders.
Danielle Scholze is a third year Developmental-Behavioral Fellow at the MIND Institute. She has worked as a General Pediatrician for 7 years before deciding to do additional training in working with patients with Developmental disabilities. This was mainly due to the fact that she felt as if there was so much more she could do to help her patients, but didn't have the proper resources or time to provide them with the help they needed. Being in this Fellowship has given her an excellent education in patients with Developmental disabilities. Her main goals for the LEND program this year is to get more exposure working in interdisciplinary teams and more exposure to community resources.
Petrina Kaluzhny is from San Francisco and had wanted to be a pediatrician since she was a little girl. During college she had an opportunity to be a nanny for a child with Autism which peaked her interest in the field. Then she completed two years of research at UCD MIND Institute and that solidified that Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) would be her field of choice. She received her Medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine and completed her Pediatric residency at University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. She is currently a first year DBP fellow.
Reva Srinivasan is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience coordinating, supervising, and providing early childhood mental health. After licensure, she participated in a 3-year training program in Infant Mental Health through the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland's Harris Training Program. She attended the Developmental Individual Differences Relationship Model's Summer Institute She is currently a Psychologist at an Outpatient Treatment Facility at Youth and Family Services, City of Fremont's Human Services Department. In her role at the outpatient clinic, she supervises clinical staff, interns and a family partner. She also provides therapy to low-income, ethnically diverse and immigrant children aged 0-8 years and their families exposed to trauma and multiple stresses, using a home visiting model. She is also a parent of a son on with Autism. Within the LEND program, Reva hopes to focus on strengthening assessment skills and differential diagnosis of ASD, ADD and other Neurodevelopmental disabilities. Through participation in the LEND program she hopes to be able to learn the latest evidence-based practices for serving children on the Autism spectrum and help families build advocacy skills.
Tricia M. Roberts has a bachelors and a Master's degree in civil engineering, a single subject teaching credential, and 15 years of experience in the engineering and construction fields. She returned to medical school and graduated from UC Davis in 2013. She completed her general psychiatry training at UC Davis and is currently a second year child psychiatry fellow with a special interest in neurodevelopmental disorders.