Trainees at the Tarjan Center
One of the Tarjan Center's chief activities is the preparation of personnel for careers in fields relating to developmental disabilities. Because the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities are complex, service providers and professionals require expertise in many different disciplines. Our faculty and trainees follow an interdisciplinary approach and provide state of the art diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment services through UCLA-based Tarjan Center Clinical Training & Services. We welcome our new trainees for 2016-2017.
Andy Vuong, B.S., is a doctoral student in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA. He is a graduate student researcher in the Kameron Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory run by Dr. Eileen Fowler of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. In 2015, he received his B.S. in biophysics and mathematics from Wake Forest University. His research interests lie in biomechanics and its relation to brain imaging, specifically in the population of children with spastic cerebral palsy.
Kate Christoferson is an undergraduate bioengineering student at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of engineering and Applied Science. Kate previously worked at Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Portland, Oregon. While at Shriners Hospital she worked in the motion analysis lab. She assisted doctors and researchers on the evaluation of muscle function and gait analyses of patients. Kate has the distinct privilege of continuing her work in this field at the UCLA Center for Cerebral Palsy with Dr. Eileen Fowler, the director of the Kameron Gait and Motion analysis Laboratory. Kate is currently assisting Dr. Fowler in a study for a co-pilot gaming project. This project’s goal is to help children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities partake in playing video games while simultaneously develop and improve motor skills through the use of assisted controls. Kate’s work at Shriners Hospital and the UCLA Center for Cerebral Palsy have played an integral part in her pursuing a career in bettering the lives of children with disabilities post graduation.
Graduate Student Researcher
Ms. Orendain is a neuroscience doctoral student at UCLA studying the impact of early life adversity on pubertal maturation and structural neurodevelopment in youth. She is also a science policy fellow with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a creative writing teacher to detained youth in LA County, and an active mentor particularly with females and other marginalized groups. Ms. Orendain contributes to the scientific understanding of youth neurodevelopment and pubertal maturation within the context of adversity exposure to inform legislation and policy as it pertains to child welfare and Juvenile Justice System reform. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida and holds a Masters of Public Health with High Distinction from the University of Queensland in Australia. Her research experience includes work on large randomized controlled trials, including phase III and IV clinical drug trials, as well as longitudinal neuroimaging studies, particularly of developing youth.
Jasper Estabillo, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Clinical Psychology Fellow in the UCLA PEERS Clinic and a Postdoctoral Scholar in the UCLA Department of Psychology. She received her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology from Louisiana State University and completed her predoctoral internship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior in the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities track. She has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in a variety of research and clinical settings, and she has extensive experience in applied behavior analysis. Her postdoctoral work focuses on training community mental health providers in evidence-based interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. In the UCLA PEERS Clinic, she facilitates PEERS for Young Adults social skills groups.
Reina is a clinical psychology intern in the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities track at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Reina has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for over 16 years, starting at a summer camp for children with speech delays, and working in various research and clinical settings. She completed her undergraduate degree at Emory University and after graduating worked as a research associate in the Kasari Lab at UCLA for two years. After this, she began graduate school at Virginia Tech and is completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Her research interests focus on social and emotional development in children with ASD, highlighting the impact of systems (e.g., peers, parents, the family) and how they inform interventions, by looking at mechanisms of change and treatment outcomes.
Alana is a Clinical Psychology Intern at UCLA specializing in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and a Doctoral Candidate at Marquette University. She graduated with honors from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She completed a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at Marquette University. Alana’s interests center on mental health comorbidities among youth and adults with autism—in particular, how comorbidities present and are measured, and how interventions may be adapted or developed to address comorbidities and improve the quality of life for autistic people.
Laura Adery, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Clinical Psychology Fellow in the UCLA PEERS Clinic and a Postdoctoral Scholar in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Vanderbilt University and completed her predoctoral internship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior in the Adolescent Serious Mental Illness track. She has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in both research and clinical settings with special interest in inclusion in the arts and cultural community through work with the ACM Lifting Lives® Music Camp in Nashville, TN. Her postdoctoral work focuses on expanding treatment and intervention resources and investigating self, identity and community inclusion for adolescents at risk for psychosis. In the UCLA PEERS Clinic, she facilitates PEERS for Teens social skills groups.