Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D. Principal Investigator

Dr. Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine.  Her work is primarily focused on high functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). She studies and implements school and clinical intervention programs to help children and adolescents with ASDs. Her current research efforts extend to using cognitive neuroscience methods, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to study cognitive control; learning, motivation, and rewards processing; functional connectivity; and neurodevelopment from early adolescence through young adulthood in individuals affected by ASDs.

Kiele Argente, B.S.

Kiele Argente, B.S.

Junior Specialist

B.S. Biological Sciences, Emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2014.

Kiele Argente is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from UC Davis in 2014 with a B.S. in Biological Science with an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in a genetics lab researching the SOG-1 gene and its involvement in the repair of double strand DNA damage, and was a member of the Division I UC Davis Women’s Soccer Team. She has extensive experience working with children and young adults, as well as elderly individuals with disabilities. Currently she coordinates the Higher Cognition, Emotional Development, and Language Processing (HELP) Study and is also involved in the Autism Phenome Project (APP), and the Attentional Behavior and Cognitive Control (ABC) Study. She is also a co-leader in the MIND Institute’s Social Skills program. She is enjoying exploring the field of child psychology and plans to attend graduate school after gaining research and clinical experience.

Jennifer E. Farren, B.A.

Jennifer E. Farren, B.A.

Junior Specialist

B.A. Cognitive Science, B.A. Molecular Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2014

Jen Farren is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute. For two years during her undergraduate career at UC Berkeley, Jen worked in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology preparing specimens for the museum and investigating the diversity of vertebrates across the world. She currently works as a study coordinator for the Higher Cognition, Emotional Development and Language Processing (HELP) study. Jen is also involved in the APP and the ABC studies, meeting with study participants and analyzing data. She will soon start working on a new pilot study to investigate the neurobiological components of reading comprehension and self-esteem in adolescents and young adults with ASD using functional and structural brain imaging techniques. Jen is also a co-leader in the Social Skills program. She plans to pursue a career in health care in the future.

Andria Farrens, B.S.

Andria Farrens, B.S. B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 2015

Andria Farrens is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Biomedical Engineering. As an undergrad, she interned with DMG Mori, tutored physics in the SASC at UCD, and participated in the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory on campus. She now uses her engineering skills to provide technical assistance for ongoing research projects. She is also a co-leader in the MIND Institute’s Social Skills program. She is enjoying using her technical skills in a meaningful way while gaining research and clinical experience, and plans to attend graduate school in the near future.

Sarah Mahdavi, B.S.

Sarah Mahdavi, B.S.Social Skills Coordinator
B.S. Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2015

Sarah is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She assists Dr. Marjorie Solomon in autism research and coordinates the Social Skills Training Program. During her undergraduate studies, Sarah assisted with research involving children with autism, Fragile X, and Down syndrome. Sarah was previously a Child Life Program Student Assistant at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She is a member of the UC Davis Willow Clinic and helps provide preventive health care for the homeless population of Sacramento. Sarah hopes to attend medical school in the future.

James McCauley, B.S.

James McCauley, B.S. B.S. Psychology, Santa Clara University, 2009

Jamie McCauley is a doctoral student in the Human Development Graduate Group at UC Davis, and works in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Santa Clara University in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology. For several years, Jamie was a behavioral consultant and a social skills leader for a company providing Applied Behavior Analysis and educational support for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. He also worked as a research assistant at the UC Davis MIND institute in a lab investigating social language with infants and children with Fragile X. His research interests include examining the social development of adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, and the factors that lead to successful transitions to early adulthood.

Tasha Oswald, Ph.D.

Tasha Oswald, B.S. B.S., Cognitive Science, Minor: Philosophy, University of California, San Diego

M.S., Developmental Psychology, University of Oregon
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Oregon

Dr. Oswald is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Autism Research Training Program (ARTP) through the UC Davis MIND Institute, and is active in Dr. Peter Mundy's and Dr. Marjorie Solomon's labs. She has worked on several studies examining typical and atypical trajectories of social cognition, executive function, and internalizing behavior. As a developmental psychologist, her work centers on later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with a focus on autism. In particular, she has explored the developmental relations among theory of mind abilities, working memory, inhibitory control, and attention in older children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, Dr. Oswald is working on a study investigating college adjustment and academic achievement in students with ASD relative to students with ADHD, anxiety disorders, and typical development.