Briana Bronstein M.A. Ed is a research coordinator working under Dr. David Mandell on the Autism Intervention Research- Behavioral 3 grant which uses community partnered participatory research to improve access to care and school transitions for under-served families of children with autism. She also provides classroom consultation to new Autism Support teachers in the School District of Philadelphia. Briana is a doctoral student at Temple University pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in Special Education. Her interests include access to care and diagnosis for under-served children with autism.
Prior to coming to Penn, Briana received her Master of Arts degree in Education with an autism endorsement and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary/ Special Education and American Studies from La Salle University. She is a former autism support teacher with experience in grades K-5. Briana has experience providing ABA services to children with autism and other developmental disabilities in both home and school settings. She recently completed the Applied Behavior Analysis certification program through Florida Institute of Technology and is completing the supervision and field experience component needed to sit for the BCBA exam.
Rudy Calderon Jr., MEd
Rudy earned a B.A., in Social Work at Texas Tech University in 2008, a Master of Education, Special Education Mild/Severe in 2012 from the University of Utah and completed a graduate certification program in Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of Colorado – Denver in 2014. Rudy currently serves as an autism consultant for Philly AIMS and has welcomed the challenge of applying ABA in school-based settings. “My time in human services, education and behavioral support services has reinforced my desire to continually increase my knowledge of behavior and skill acquisition using research based methods to appropriately address maladaptive behavior and create communities of support for individuals with disabilities and or mental health issues and their families.” He has completed the supervision and field experience component needed to sit for the BCBA exam and will sit for the exam in the spring of 2016.
Hilary Cantiello, MLA
Hilary Cantiello is a Research Coordinator for the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research and is a part of Dr. Cynthia Zubritsky’s team. Before joining the Center, she worked in Prevention and Intervention for a co-occurring program for women and their children in West Philadelphia. She holds a Master’s of Liberal Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on maternal and child health. She is interested in trauma informed care, particularly for children.
Sumedha Chhatre, PhD
Dr. Chhatre is a statistical analyst with over ten years of experience in medical outcomes research. She has been involved in various health services research projects ranging from mental health, cancer, aging and HIV. She has a proven track record of grants and peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Chhatre has had primary oversight and responsibility for data management and statistical analysis for many prospective, retrospective and randomized control studies. She is the principal investigator and collaborating investigator on several federally funded grants and have published more than 25 peer reviewed articles.
Diana Cooney, MSEd
Diana Cooney, MSEd, provides classroom consultation to new Autism Support teachers in the School District of Philadelphia. Her interest include, increasing social skills in children with autism and preparing them for inclusive settings.
For the past10 years, Diana has worked in many settings to provide evidence-based treatment to children ages 3 to 21 with autism and their families. She received her Master of Science degree in Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University in 2012. After completing her degree, Diana oversaw a therapeutic after-school program and therapeutic summer camp for children with autism and related disabilities, focusing on increasing social and communication skills and transferring these skills to children’s home environments. Diana also has experience working in early intervention and residential services.
Samantha Crabbe, MSEd
Samantha Crabbe is a clinical research coordinator at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. She is currently working with Dr. David Mandell and Allison Nahmias on a study analyzing the outcomes of preschool aged children with autism receiving early intervention services in Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Penn she was a study coordinator at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia examining eating habits in young children. As a Philadelphia area native, Samantha loves finding new things to do in the city with family and friends in her free time.
Hilary Dingfelder, PhD
Dr. Dingfelder is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in assessing and treating youth with anxiety, OCD, tic disorders, trichotillomania, and autism. Her research has focused on factors affecting the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices for youth with psychiatric and developmental disorders in community settings. Her previous work includes an NIMH-funded F31 studying the impact of the classroom climate on autism intervention implementation and outcomes. Dr. Dingfelder is the clinical director of PATCH (Pennsylvania Hospital Anxiety Treatment for Children at Hall Mercer), a specialty clinic for youth with anxiety disorders, and provides direct clinical services both at PATCH and COTTAGe (Child/Adolescent OCD, Tic, Trich, and Anxiety Group). She also trains, supervises, and consults with doctoral students and community mental health clinicians, and, along with Dr. Rinad Beidas, oversees the evaluations for the Philadelphia Alliance for Children’s Trauma Services (PACTS) project. Dr. Dingfelder received her B.A. from Cornell University, completed her clinical internship at Children’s Memorial Hospital, completed her clinical internship at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Liz Gale-Bentz is an interviewer on the Philadelphia Alliance for Children’s Trauma Services (PACTS) project. Liz is a third year clinical psychology doctoral student in Dr. Naomi Goldstein’s Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab at Drexel University. Her clinical and research interests include working with justice-involved populations to improve short- and long-term outcomes. She is also interested in the ways in which program development, implementation, and evaluation can be used to inform policy and practice decisions, particularly within the juvenile justice system. Liz received her B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies from the University of Virginia in 2010.
Courtney Gregor is a clinical research coordinator working under the direction of Dr. Rinad Beidas. She is assisting on Dr. Beidas' RO1 Grant: Fidelity Accuracy: Comparing Three Strategies (FACTS), her SAMHSA Grant: Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS) and her R21 Grant: Adolescent Suicide Prevention In Routine clinical Encounters (ASPIRE). Prior to arriving at CMHPSR, Courtney worked in a developmental psychology lab at Johns Hopkins University for one year and a cognitive psychology lab at University of Chicago for two years, studying the effects of math anxiety and beliefs about math ability on children's math performance. She graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in Cognitive Science. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys cycling and dining at new restaurants!
Adam is a research assistant that works on a variety of projects. He performs extensive data entry for the Clinical Algorithms and AIMS (Autism Instructional Methods Study) projects. He also assists with de-identifying research documents, transcription, and additional research tasks. He earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Arcadia University in 2010.
Meghan Kane MSEd, BCBA
Meghan Kane is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has a master’s degree from Temple University’s applied behavior analysis program. She is currently working with the coaching team at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania providing consultation for programs servicing children with Autism. She has experience working with children with developmental disabilities and their families during early intervention, as well as during school age years. She also has experience with staff training and professional development for people working in the field of special education. Meghan’s professional interests include effective interventions for children with autism, and program wide supports and systems for maximizing learning for individuals receiving special education services.
Adina Lieberman, MPH
Adina Lieberman works with Dr. Rinad Beidas as the manager of her research projects. Adina received her Bachelor of English degree from Boston University in 200 nd her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. She has worked for the University of Pennsylvania since 2004, largely in human subject research oversight. Adina is interested in addressing the many determinants of health in the Latino population of Philadelphia. She the Program Director of Puentes de Salud’s ESOL and yoga programs and serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Centro Nueva Creación. She lives a happy life in South Philly with her husband Patrick and their dog Rudy.
Missy Modesti is the social worker for the Penn Medicine Autism Clinic. While helping families navigate through the complicated network of systems, Missy also manages the clinic and works to develop and maintain community provider relationships. Prior to joining the CMHPSR team in 2014, she provided social work services to families in Philadelphia's Early Intervention system, working primarily with families with children newly diagnosed with autism. Missy earned her BSW from Cabrini College and is currently completing her Master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania.
Allison Nahmias MEd, MA
Allison is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, working under the mentorship of Robert Schultz, PhD. and David Mandell, ScD. She is interested in the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for young children with ASD that are effective and sustainable in community settings. Allison is currently working on a study that investigates the role of preschool early intervention setting in relation to cognitive outcomes for children with autism.
Elizabeth Noll, PhD
Elizabeth Noll, PhD is a data manager and data analyst in the Department of Psychiatry, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Noll has twenty years of professional experience coordinating and monitoring data collection and statistical analysis activities for population-based research projects in both university and private research environments. Much of her work has involved maintaining, utilizing and integrating large public and private health and mental health survey and services databases; writing programs (SAS/SPSS/STATA) to perform statistical computations for descriptive and inferential data analysis; and creating tables, graphs and reports of findings. Dr. Noll also provides consultation to investigators on suitable data elements needed to answer specific research questions of interest. Her research interests include the health and welfare of low-income populations and evaluating behavioral health interventions and her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Preventive Medicine, and Evaluation Review among others.