Brooke Ingersoll, PhD, BCBA-D, is the director of the MSU Autism Lab. On the RISE study, she is the Principal Investigator for MSU’s site. Dr. Ingersoll’s research focuses on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of social communication interventions for individuals with autism. She also conducts research on the impact of ASD on the family and the broader autism phenotype. A major emphasis of her current work is on the development of community-focused, parent-mediated interventions for young children with ASD.
Amy Drahota, PhD, is an assistant professor at MSU. She is serving as a Co-Investigator on the RISE study. Her work is in the area of autism and implementation science. As Co-I, she will be working with the implementation team to better understand how providers adapt the intervention for their settings.
Ellie Harrington, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the RISE study. She received her PhD in School Psychology from the University of Oregon, and completed her predoctoral internship at the May Institute. Her clinical and research interests are centered around early childhood, and early intervention for children at risk for behavioral, mental health, and educational challenges at school entry. Clinically, her work has focused on evidence-based interventions for children with emotional and behavioral disorders, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and parent training. Her research has focused on parent-child factors and early environmental contexts as they relate to self-regulation in the service of academic and socioemotional components of school readiness.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Julia Nauman, BS, is the current Lab Manager of MSU’s Autism Lab. She received her B.S. as a Neuroscience and Psychology double major with a minor in Philosophy from Tulane University. Julia is currently working as a research coordinator and research assistant for the RISE study. She has experience working on research teams at Rutgers University and Tulane University. At the latter, she wrote an honors thesis on ADHD inattentive symptoms and the effects of working memory and perceptual load as they relate to attention and distraction. Julia intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is interested in pursuing research focused on neurodevelopmental disorders, and especially attentional and social impairment and repetitive behaviors present in autism and ADHD.
Project Coordinator/Research Assistant
Anthuanet Espinel, B.S., is a Research Assistant at MSU’s Autism Lab. She received her B.S. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Psychology and Child Learning and Development with a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, Anthuanet worked and completed an honors thesis in the Think Lab. Her research interests include parent-child relationships and early interventions for children with autism. She enjoys traveling and being with friends in her free time. In the future, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Research Assistant/Caregiver Liaison Spanish Speaking Families
Sanchia Fernandes, BA, is a Research Assistant at MSU's Autism Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate, Sanchia worked as a Research Assistant at the Early Development Lab and at the STAR Initiative at UVA. At STAR, she contributed to autism research in clinical, community, and school settings. Sanchia's research interests include communication impairments and interventions for children with ASD and comorbid mental illnesses in people with ASD. She intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future.
Research Assistant/Provider Liaison
Mya Howard, B.S., is a Research Assistant at MSU’s Autism Lab. She received her B.S. in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience and Spanish from Ohio State University. During her undergraduate career, Mya worked as a research assistant in the Attitudes and Social Cognition Lab and later the Mood and Personality Studies Lab. She also worked in a licensed psychologist’s office where she helped with autism evaluations. Her research interests include repetitive behavior and eye contact in children with autism spectrum disorder as well as increasing accessibility to early interventions. She enjoys playing card games with friends and watching TV shows in her free time. In the future, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Research Assistant/Caregiver Liaison
Diondra Straiton, MA, is a doctoral student in Michigan State University's Clinical Science program in the Psychology department. She holds a M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University and a BA degree in Psychology and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College. Diondra will serve as a research assistant for the RISE study. She is interested in implementation strategies to promote the use of evidence-based practices for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in community settings. Her research has focused on providers’ use of parent training interventions for Medicaid-enrolled youth with ASD within the community mental health system in Michigan. Diondra also has experience coordinating research projects focused on increasing service access and improving transitions across service systems for youth with ASD within Philadelphia’s early intervention program and the School District of Philadelphia.
Hannah Tokish, B.A., is a doctoral candidate in MSU’s Clinical Science program. Prior to joining the MSU Autism Lab, she completed her BA in Psychology at Cornell University and spent two years as a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience at the Marcus Autism Center. Hannah is interested in the design and implementation of accessible early interventions for children with ASD as well as the impact of caregiver coaching techniques on child development, parental well-being, and provider self-efficacy. When she’s not in the lab, Hannah loves to hike, take fun dance classes, and play the ukulele.
Other MSU Team Members:
Kyle Frost, MA
Anamiguel Pomales Ramos, BS
Read more about MSU’s Lab and Team Here: https://autismlab.psy.msu.edu/about/meet-our-team/