Maninder BhutaniManinder Bhutani is a child & adolescent psychiatry fellow at University of California, Davis school of medicine. After completing his training in General Psychiatry in Brooklyn, NY a State University of New York, Downstate medical center and a fellowship in psychoanalysis at the IPE NYU school of medicine, he decided to explore the other coast of the country to further expand his horizon and exposure to a diverse population and community. He was born and brought up in Punjab, where he completed most of his education and medical school and in pursuit of training in psychiatry moved to the USA. His primary topics of interest include - child development, trauma & resilience, and augmentation of delivery of care with the use of existing and emerging technologies. He has also been active in multiple state medical societies and professional academies in leadership and advocacy roles during his training.

Danielle ChristyMy name is Danielle Christy. This is a picture of me and my amazing family: Brian, Sophia (8) and Samuel (4). I have worked part time as a school psychologist for Westlake Charter School for the past 13 years. As fate would have it, just over four years ago, our son, Samuel, was born with Fragile X syndrome. Navigating the world of special needs through the lens of a parent and educator truly expanded my thinking about disability in ways that I never imagined before. I have found myself even more committed to the cause of advocating for better programs and more inclusion for all kids with disabilities.

Eden DanahueEden Donahue graduated from nursing school at Humboldt State University in 2009 and then worked in the rural community at a skilled nursing facility and a county office of education. Her passion for serving children with disabilities and their families started when she was a school nurse in Humboldt County. Eden completed her school nurse credential and master’s degree at California State University, Sacramento. She completed her doctorate of nursing practice degree in 2018 through a joint program between CSU, Fresno and San Jose State. Eden joined the nursing faculty at California State University, Sacramento in 2015; her teaching assignments focus on community health nursing, including courses within the school nurse credential program. Eden is excited to be part of the LEND fellowship to advance her knowledge to help educate future school nurses about serving people with disabilities.

Kristen GodfreyKristen Godfrey is a Technical Communications major with a B.S., degree from ASU (Fall 2018). Her educational background is diverse, ranging from communication to psychology. In 2015 Kristen completed a two-year creative writing program at UCLA. Her academic interests include creative writing, literature, psychology, neuroscience, neurodevelopmental disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, genetics, animal science, technology, artificial intelligence, computer and information sciences. Kristen lives on a micro-farm in Northern California with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she teaches animal science through the nonprofit organization 4-H. 4-H empowers youth through education and hands-on projects. For more information on 4-H and the Cooperative Extension, please visit:

Lindsey HarmsLindsey Harms is a newly graduated general pediatrician working on an additional year of training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics through the MIND institute at UC Davis. She grew up outside of Portland, OR and loves rainy weather, hiking, and kayaking. Lindsey spent time as a park ranger and backcountry wilderness guide before she met her husband Brian and her dog Maggie during medical school at the University of Washington. After moving to Sacramento for residency, Lindsey discovered she has a passion for early childhood development, parent and child mental health, book clubs, and legislative advocacy.

Allison Kappmeyer-SofiaHello! My name is Allison Kappmeyer-Sofia and I am very excited to participate in the LEND Program as a Long-Term Trainee. The beginning of my educational career took place in the midwest (Wisconsin and Minnesota) earning a bachelor of arts in Elementary Education and then pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching. My career path has taken me to a variety of environments including a residential/nonpublic school, a county classroom, as well as in a school district providing a structured teaching approach for students on the Autism Spectrum. My passion for helping these students and their families overcome obstacles and challenges (behavior, sensory, communication, etc) has lead me LEND and I look forward to gaining and cultivating skills to better support the Autism community.

Zainab MalikI am particularly interested in cultural aspects of psychiatry, especially how cultural factors impact health belief models and engagement in treatment. Completed a psychiatry residency in my home country of Pakistan, before moving to the US.

Maya MatheisMaya Matheis is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Louisiana State University. She is currently a predoctoral psychology intern at the UC Davis CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center and the MIND Institute. She received her Master of Social Work in 2014 from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, with concentrations in child mental health and research methodology. Her clinical and research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in under-diagnosed and under-served populations.

Marykate MillerMarykate Miller is an Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator for the Collaborative START Lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute where she has worked on several NIH and IES-funded trials, focusing on early autism intervention and treatment dissemination. She is a graduate student in the UCSF and UC Hastings College of Law Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law, a transdisciplinary program that focuses on bridging the complexities of the legal system with the intricacies of health care. Her interests include identifying and developing communication pathways necessary for connecting communities with the mental health resources they need.

Kelsey OliverKelsey Oliver, Ph.D. earned her doctoral degree in Education with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk Studies under the mentorship of Dr.’s Robert and Lynn Koegel at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Oliver is now a Postdoctoral Scholar at the MIND Institute. Her research and clinical training has involved supporting families of children with ASD in understanding and navigating service delivery and the special education process. She is a strong advocate for inclusion and also works to disseminate evidence-based practices to educators and service providers.

Rachel ReetzkeRachel Reetzke received her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently a Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellow at the MIND Institute. Her research combines behavioral and electrophysiological approaches to better understand the mechanisms underlying speech perception and learning throughout human development. She has worked extensively in clinical and community-based settings with children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. As a LEND Fellow, Dr. Reetzke will develop expertise in clinical evaluation and intervention for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, and will apply this skill set to interdisciplinary translational research.

Einat ShohamEinat Shoham earned her Master's degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the Hebrew University in Israel. She has been a licensed clinical psychologist in Israel since 2013. Before moving to California, she worked for over 10 years as a psychologist. Her clinical work has focused on assessment and treatment of ASD in children and adolescents. She worked for several years as a psychologist in preschools and classes for children with ASD, mentoring teachers and delivering treatment to children and families. Her LEND goals include increasing her knowledge on evidence based treatments and assessments for children with ASD.

Hillery SwansonI was born and raised in Oakley, California. I have always loved being active outdoors. Some of the activities I enjoy are snow skiing, snowboarding, wake boarding, tennis, golf, hiking, and bike riding. However, I spent much of my time working on my cheerleading career. I was a competitive cheerleader for 11 years and worked for a universal cheer company for 8 of those years. I was selected on several occasions to work internationally and cheer at the 2012 London Olympics. Now I am a pediatric and inpatient physical therapist who loves her career.

Marcia UngerParticular interest in juvenile justice, trauma and community psychiatry. Have participated in research projects involving residency training for capacity evaluations, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and adolescent group therapy.

Venus WongI graduated from the School Psychology program at University of Kentucky. Working with children with developmental disabilities is my passion. It has helped me reflect on my own privileges and opened a door for me to understand those who are in need (sometimes invisible) in our community. I am excited to continue to develop my clinical and research skills during my post-doctoral study. Other than my work, I love traveling to exotic places, learning new things, and chatting with people from different backgrounds.

Advanced Medium-Term Trainees

Rachel AguarinMy name is Rachel Aguarin and I am a second-year nursing student at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. I have a B.A. in Communication Studies at San Francisco State University with a work history in teaching and mentoring school-aged children. My goal is to become a Registered Nurse and to use the nursing profession as a platform in improving the health of low-income children and families through health education and advocacy. As a future public health nurse, I plan to create change and advocate for the needs of underserved communities to not only impact healthcare access and costs, but to also improve health outcomes. On my self-care days, you can find me at the nearest local coffee shop or learning new recipes from BuzzFeed.

Alissa GumbsBetty Irene Moore School of Nursing Nursing Student - Master’s Entry-level Program in Nursing
Degree: BS Biological Sciences from Dominican University of California Hometown: San Diego, CA
Aspiration: Become a nurse in the pediatric field and eventually get my DNP degree
Hobbies: Dancing, cooking/baking, hanging out with friends & family, foodie, travelling & playing tourist in cities
Honors: Sigma Theta Tau - Zeta Eta-at-Large Chapter, Capitol City Black Nurses Association

Briana GumbsOccupation: Nursing Student - Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing - Master’s Entry-Level Program in Nursing
Future goal: Nurse Practitioner
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Degree: B.S. in Health Sciences and minor in Psychology - Dominican University of California
Interest: Pediatrics
Honors: - Zeta Eta-at-Large Chapter of Sigma - Capitol City Chapter National Black Nurses Association (CCBNA)
Hobbies: Cooking/baking, dancing, traveling, movies, spending time with family and friends

Earth SchwartzMy name is Earth Schwartz and I have been working in the field of autism for 18 years. I have worn many hats, from special needs educator to behavioral consultant to curriculum coordinator and most recently, child advocate. I moved to Santa Rosa, California a few years ago from New York City and as much as I adore country life, NYC will always be home. I am getting married in just a few weeks to my lovely fiancé, Jessie and I had no idea how stressful planning a wedding would be! I am a neurodiverse individual and advocate and I greatly believe in celebrating difference.

Victor TranMy name is Victor Tran and I grew up in Sacramento, California. I recently graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in “Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior”, and I aspire to be a Physician with specialty in either Family Medicine or Pediatrics. Growing up, my brothers and I played a major role in raising and caring for our youngest brother because of my parents’ heavy workload to maintain a living. He was later diagnosed with ASD impacting my career path. I am very interested in learning more about the development, biology, and behavioral therapies revolving around ASD and ADHD. In my spare time, I enjoy staying active through: strength lifting, basketball, and tennis.

Charmaine Wood I believe that education is a right, as important as housing and health in providing people with opportunities to live productive, fulfilling lives. Providing an appropriate education for the population receiving special education services is at the heart and core of what I love, what I do.

I have over eighteen years of experience in public education, serving low-income and minority youth. As an educational leader, I have developed and overseen a broad range of programs for students with disabilities. My focus has been on the creation of innovative mental health programs, and the expansion of inclusive education for students with autism.

I started my educational journey in the United States as an immigrant from the Philippines. I have a master's degree in clinical child school psychology from California State University, East Bay, and an administrative credential from the University of California, Berkeley. I am also licensed as an educational psychologist in California.

Medium-Term Trainees

Crystal CourtrightMy name is Crystal Courtright, and I am in my 5th year of working as a school psychologist. I live in Roseville with my husband and two boys (ages 4 and 1). I work with many students with autism in varying capacities, including: assessment, behavior intervention, small group and individual counseling, and consultation with parents and teachers. I am thankful and proud that I get to work with such fun, unique, and spirited students.

John DaileyJohn Dailey currently works as a Behavior Analyst for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. He supports a range of Special Education programs for preschool students. Before that, he was a teacher in one of those programs. John lives in Davis with his wife Mary, who teaches fifth grade. They have a dog and two cats, and love to travel.

Erin FurayErin Furay is a 3rd-year PhD student at Palo Alto University studying Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Children and Families. Before attending graduate school, Erin studied at Santa Clara University and graduated with Bachelors of Science degrees in both Psychology and Child Studies. She is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and their families, and has a particular interest in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders. Erin has experience working with this population personally, as a nanny and swim coach, professionally, as a Camp Director and social skills group co-leader for kids and teens with ASD, and academically, as a research assistant at Stanford University and published author in this field.

Brittnee GillespieI graduated from Loyola Law School in 2015 with the dream of practicing public interest law. Since graduating, I have enthusiastically advocated for scores of children with disabilities. Throughout this time, my passion for child advocacy has only intensified. I am eager to participate in the LEND program because I welcome every chance to gain knowledge that will make me a better advocate.

Kristiana LehnKristiana Lehn is a medical student completing her final year at UC Davis and planning to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is participating in LEND to learn more about development and about services available to her future patients. She hopes to learn about advocacy and to help develop opportunities for other medical students to learn more about the MIND.

Lexie Marks-HicksI have my masters in Clinical Psychology. I am a third-year Doctoral student at Alliant International University, Sacramento. My passion for working within the field of neurodevelopmental disorders flourished while working at the UC Davis MIND Institute from 2012-2016. I worked for a study, Marking of Autism Risk in Babies - Learning Early Symptoms (MARBLES), which investigated the potential biological and environmental factors of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am excited to be back at the MIND Institute and to be a part of the LEND program. The LEND program is my next step in showing my commitment to this field as I hope to provide interdisciplinary care to those with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families in the future.

Sharon MartsI’m Sharon Marts from Santa Rosa. I have a professional and scholarly background in adult learning which I’m passionate about. After starting my career in corporate jobs two decades ago, I shifted gears to working at places where I found more meaning and human interaction in my work.

In the coming year with the LEND program, I would like to focus upon researching and helping to implement evidenced based practices that help those with Autism (and their caregivers) with Post-Secondary transitions to fulfilling adult lives.

Kristen SeltzerI am married, have two daughters, the youngest is 12 and on the autism spectrum. I have a Master's Degree in Psychology, and am a board member of the local non-profit The Fly Brave Foundation. This fall will begin my fourth year homeschooling my daughter with autism.