Meet Our Trainees
Jazmin Burns is a Postdoctoral Scholar Fellow in the LEND program at the UC Davis MIND Institute, as well as an Emerging Leader Intern for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). She graduated from Alliant International University – Sacramento in May 2019 with her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Jazmin has been a part of the UC Davis MIND Institute and UC Davis Health System serving in many different roles since 2012. Her passion includes working with individuals who have neurodevelopmental disabilities and/or experienced trauma. Jazmin’s dream is to continue to work at the UC Davis MIND Institute as a clinical psychologist, while simultaneously starting a private practice to serve underrepresented populations who have neurodevelopmental disabilities and mental health needs.
Amar Chakraburtty is completing his training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UC Davis. He trained in Atlanta, Oklahoma City, and London before arriving in California. He sees children with a wide range of illnesses including depression, ADHD, autism and psychosis. He has engaged in extensive research resulting in several peer reviewed publications and national presentations.
My name is McKenzie Courtney. I am a School Psychologist in a public school district in the Sacramento area serving students from Transitional Kindergarten to 8th grade. As a School Psychologist, I work with students with unique needs in various capacities including assessment, behavior support and intervention, counseling, and consultation with parents and staff. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to advocate for inclusive and evidence-based practices for students with disabilities in the schools.
Hello my name is Anu Gupta and I am currently a 2nd year Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow. I was born and raised in the East Bay. I am the eldest of four, with two sisters and a brother. I completed by residency at University of South Dakota and then returned to Davis for my fellowship. I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and baking.
Kimber Rice currently works as a Family Engagement specialist for the San Juan Unified School District. She supports families and students to navigate the educational system, including Special Education. Kimber has been an advocate for families of children with disabilities for ten years and hopes the LEND program will help to expand her knowledge to better support families.
Amy Shafer recently received her master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Portland State University in 2019. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at Western Washington University in 2013 and returned for her Post-Baccalaureate Degree in 2016. Amy has worked with individuals on the spectrum for 10 years in a variety of school and clinical settings, both in the United States and abroad. Her areas of interest include prelinguistic communication, augmentative and alternative communication, social communication, and school-aged language and literacy. Amy values family-centered practice because, as a sister of a brother with developmental disabilities and mental health disorders, she realizes the life-long impact it has, not only on the individual but, also, on their family. Her dream is to work in early intervention and provide speech and language services, as part of an interdisciplinary, to children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
I am a third-year doctoral student at UC Davis in the School of Education and my advisor is Dr. Nicole Sparapani. My research interests include how evidence-based practices can be implemented in classroom settings to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in particular the role of paraprofessionals in facilitating learning opportunities and fostering student engagement. Prior to becoming a graduate student, I worked as a school administrator and educational consultant in the UK, specializing in provision for students with learning disabilities in general education classrooms.
Medium/Advanced Medium-Term Trainees
Jean Callaghan-Hoskins is a graduate student completing her masters degree in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis (ABA). She is currently working with children on the autism spectrum while at the same time working towards becoming a board certified behavior analyst. She is excited to be a part of the LEND program.
Maria Casas is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She currently works at Kaiser Permanente in the Early Developmental Screening Program (EDSP), a Northern California regional program that provides developmental screenings, referrals and coordination of services for children at risk for developmental delay or autism. Maria has over 20 years of experience serving children and families. As a bilingual/bicultural clinician and consultant, she’s had the honor and opportunity to work closely with culturally diverse and underrepresented communities at the local and state level. Participating in the LEND program will enhance her learning to better serve children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and continue with her commitment to advocacy and addressing barriers to accessing services.
Hello! My name is Colleen and I am currently part of the UC Davis Master’s Entry Level Nursing Program. As a nurse, I am interested in working with the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in order to be the patient advocate for children in critical condition as well as their families. I would like to strengthen the connection between families and healthcare professionals, which is why I am interested in developing a training program that equips providers in communicating effectively with children with special needs. Because I have multiple family members with autism, I want to be involved with parent and sibling support groups of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
My name is Elizabeth Guyette and I am a pediatric speech language pathologist at the Kaiser Permanente Pediatric Rehabilitation Department in Oakland, CA. I first became passionate about working with children with autism when I was a one-on-one special education aide for a young school-aged boy with autism. In the last 20 years since that first job, I have found I love to work with parents of young children with autism to help guide them in building the earliest steps towards social communication and language through individual therapy and teaching The Hanen Centre’s More Than Words Class. I am thrilled to be a part of the LEND Fellowship Program with the hopes of bringing the most up-to-date evidence-based practices in assessment and treatment to all of my clients while advocating for best practices in the community.
Shannon Hoffman is a licensed physical therapist with 12 years of experience in both clinical and academic settings. She has primarily worked with adults with neurologic impairments, developing a specialty practice in balance and vestibular rehabilitation. Shannon is also a mother of two, and her interest in neurodevelopment grew as her children did and as she became more involved in their classrooms and activities. Through these professional and personal experiences, she has developed a keen interest in better understanding the interaction between movement (motor development, motor control, and exercise), sensory processing, and cognitive, emotional, and social functioning, particularly for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities including ADHD and ASD.
Cynthia joins the LEND Training Program as a Family Member Representative. She is grateful for the opportunity to increase her knowledge about Neurodevelopmental Disorders, learn and practice ways to promote inclusion in schools and in the community, and increase her familiarity in public policy. She has a special interest in nervous system disorders, and mental/behavioral/physical health for school-aged children and adolescents.
I am a certified occupational therapy assistant working in the Elk Grove Unified School District. I’m especially interested in learning more about various neurological disorders in school aged children. I have 9 years of experience working with children and young adults with varying disabilities. I swim on the Sacramento Masters Team and enjoy open water swimming. I have escaped from Alcatraz 3 times. I have 3 young adult children and have been married for 25 years. My husband and I enjoy hiking with our dog, Bella.
My name is Maria Lozano Vazquez and I am a second-year nursing student at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. I have a B.S. in Health Science with a concentration in Community Health Education from Sacramento State. During my clinical rotations, I have encountered people with different neurodevelopmental disabilities. I quickly realized that I needed to seek out opportunities to learn more to better serve and advocate for this patient population and their families in any clinical and community setting and across the lifespan. I look forward to fulfilling that goal in my new journey with LEND!
My name is Iris V. Mota, I graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in Psychology. I am interested in gaining expertise knowledge about neurodevelopmental disabilities in order to serve as a support and resource of knowledge to children and their families. I aspire to further my education in the field of psychology in order to serve underrepresented and low-income communities in clinical and educational settings. I am a mother to two young boys who are 11 and 10 years old and we love to spend time with our family who live in the Bay Area.
My name is Kirsten Munk and I have been a registered nurse for 14 years. After graduating from CSU, Sacramento’s School of Nursing in 2005, I started my nursing career in pediatrics at UC Davis, but my passion has always been community health. I have worked in the public schools as a credentialed school nurse for the last 11 years. I currently serve as part-time adjunct faculty in the School Nurse Credential program at Sacramento State and am pursuing my doctor of nursing practice (DNP).
My interest in early childhood development began when I did research at the Infant Studies Center and U.C. Berkeley. After graduating, I worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This introduced me to the field of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. I attending medical school in St. Louis, then residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. I have spent the last two years working as a Pediatrician in the Bay Area. I am very excited to have just started my Developmental Behavioral Pediatric fellowship at UC Davis.
Hannah Rea is a clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Georgia. She is currently completing her predoctoral psychology internship at the MIND Institute and UC Davis CAARE Center. Her clinical and research interests focus on reducing barriers to assessments and interventions for children with developmental disabilities.
Symone Sayabath is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working for The Early Developmental Screening Program at Kaiser Permanente. She provides developmental screenings and coordinates services for children with developmental disabilities to include Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has extensive experience in working with children and families in a variety of positions which includes providing direct services in early intervention, school systems, outpatient specialties clinics, program coordinating, case management and advocacy here and abroad in Japan. Her current interest includes learning more about evidence-based, family-centered, and culturally-sensitive care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and families in underrepresented communities.
Vlad Shakhunov is a physical therapy student at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). Currently, Vlad is completing his final year of school, and will obtain a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in July 2020. He has been a part of a program called STEPS (Supported Treadmill Exercise Program at Sacramento State-Easter Seals) which was founded in 2013 by Dr. Katrin Mattern-Baxter, a professor of physical therapy at CSUS. This program helps young children with neuro-motor impairments learn how to walk earlier and more independently. Vlad has a special interest in behavior-related neurological disorders, specifically ADHD and ASD. His goal is to integrate evidence-based practice in order to understand and better serve children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Meredith Stawicki is a Speech-Language Pathologist at UC Davis Health, where her current area of clinical practice involves treating patients with a diverse range of cognitive, communication and swallowing disorders. Meredith has a special interest in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, working inpatient, outpatient and as the primary speech therapist with UC Davis Health’s Multidisciplinary Developmental Feeding Clinic, providing assessment and intervention for infants through adolescence with feeding and swallowing disorders. Meredith’s interest in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders began when she was a volunteer at UC Davis during her undergraduate career and has continued to grow through her graduate training at Northwestern University, internship and clinical fellowship completed at UC Davis Health, Lactation Educator Counselor training, and experience presenting on the topic of Therapeutic Feeding Interventions in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's national convention and to students in graduate programs for Speech-Language Pathology.
I am excited to be part of LEND program because it is an opportunity for me to acquire new skills and knowledge. I have a master's degree in Mass Communication from India. I am currently working in the area of developmental disabilities, advocating children’s needs and supporting the families. I have a passion to continue working in this area. I am looking forward to work with all the wonderful people involved in the LEND program.
I am a licensed clinical social worker, among many things. My professional interests include social work, case management, therapy, family, diversity, and also autism, ADHD, and other forms of neurodiversity. I have a lot of experience living with, working with, serving, and supporting people with neurodivergence and their families. I love learning about, and anything related to, neurodiversity. I am autistic myself. And while I know and love to identify and find the gifts and strengths of those with neurodivergence and their families, I also acknowledge and know the struggles and suffering that those with neurodiversities and their families can experience. I want to be present to others, and to help and support the best I can and as others would like.
Maria is a current Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) student at the University of California, Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and will be graduating in December 2019. She has worked as a personal attendant for a local nonprofit organization for the past 5 years providing support to adults with developmental disabilities in their own homes and in the community. She has an interest in learning about, becoming immersed in, and advocating for public health and policy change related to greater access to and greater quality of care for marginalized, vulnerable, and misunderstood communities.