Stanford Neurodiversity Project - Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High Schoolers (SNP-REACH)
2023 Faculty, Guests Speakers, and Camp Leaders will be updated around March 2023
Lawrence Fung, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project and Organizer of SNP-REACH. Dr. Fung specializes in the phenomenology, neurobiology and novel interventions of autism spectrum condition. Dr. Fung is the editor of "Neurodiversity: From Phenomenology to Neurobiology and Enhancing Technologies" with American Psychiatric Association Publishing. He serves as Director of the Neurodiversity Clinic, and Assistant Professor (University Medical Line) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He is also the father of a teenager on the spectrum.
Rabia Belt, J.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Law and Professor (by courtesy) of History at Stanford. She is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on disability and citizenship. Her scholarship ranges from cultural analysis of disability in media, to contemporary issues facing voters with disability, to the historical treatment of disabled Americans. She is currently writing a book titled, “Disabling Democracy in America: Mental Incompetence, Citizenship, Suffrage, and the Law, 1819-1920” that is forthcoming with in the Studies in Legal History Series with Cambridge University Press. In 2015, the American Society of Legal History named her a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar for her paper, “Ballots for Bullets? The Disenfranchisement of Civil War Veterans.”
Dr. Karen Parker is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University where she directs the Social Neurosciences Research Program and Chairs the Major Laboratories Steering Committee. Dr. Parker's research expertise is the biology of social functioning, with a particular interest in oxytocin and vasopressin signaling pathways. Her preclinical research program focuses on developing novel animal models; her clinical research program encompasses biomarker discovery and therapeutic testing in patients with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Marci Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. In the SNP, Dr. Schwartz contributes to teaching the PSYC229 series (Topics in Neurodiversity: Introduction and Advocacy). She is also the founder of Thrive College Counseling where she works with students with unique learning profiles to find the right college fit. Dr. Schwartz received her Ph.D. in clinical social work from NYU and her certificate in college counseling from UCLA.
Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, M.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a psychiatrist in the Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic and Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She received her BS in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and MD at UC San Francisco. She completed her Psychiatry Residency Training at the Harvard Longwood Program, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Stanford.
2022 Guest Speakers
Beth Grady, M.D., F.A.A.P. is a pediatrician who has been caring for low income children and teens in San Mateo County, California for over 25 years. Her professional interests include promoting a strengths-based neurodiversity model for pediatric primary care and making neurodiversity-positive resources and supports accessible to low income and non-English speaking patients and families. She is particularly interested in the intersection between neurodiversity and trauma. Since 2015, Dr. Grady has led the San Mateo Medical Center’s effort to implement Trauma Informed Care, including participating in the Center for Care Innovation’s Resilient Beginnings Collaborative https://www.careinnovations.org/programs/resilience/.
Olenka Villarreal is the founder of Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto and Magical Bridge Foundation and a former Silicon Valley leader. In 2008, Olenka brought together an effective team of experts, city officials, and volunteers to design and develop the groundbreaking Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, CA. Olenka holds a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from Pomona College and M.B.A. in Marketing from Golden Gate University.
Dani Bowman—who is on the autism spectrum founded her company, DaniMation Entertainment, at age 14 in 2009 and launched DaniMation UK in 2019. She graduated with a BFA in Animation in 2018 and an MBA in Global Strategy and Leadership in 2020. Dani has premiered 10 animated short films, a PSA, and a music video at San Diego Comic Con. Over the next 12 years, Dani has led summer animation camps and around the country, initially with Joey Travolta's Inclusion Films, and then expanding out on her own, adding programs at the University of South Florida and Plymouth University in England, teaching over 2000 youth with autism and other different abilities. In 2020, Dani pivoted to teaching animation from in-person to online with 1-Week Animation Workshops and One-on-One classes. In addition to teaching animation, Dani works with her students as a role model and mentor, encouraging them to follow their dreams. In 2021, Dani and her team participated in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, where she won for “Best Editor” with her film “The Home Office”. Dani is currently working on getting a Ph.D with thesis on how much the impact her program has had in the autism community.
2022 Camp Counselors and Coordinators
Sepehr Asgari is a rising Junior at Stanford University, majoring in Human Biology. His passion for neurodiversity began through his personal experiences with a loved one suffering from mental illness. Outside of academics, he loves all activities involving a board; surfing, longboarding, snowboarding, and cooking (yes, cutting boards count).
Sasha Balasingam is a rising senior at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California and will serve as co-chair of the NNEA Core-Committee for the upcoming year. She grew up as a younger sibling of a sister on the Autism Spectrum and has been involved with several forms of neurodiversity all her life through serving as a representative for special needs inclusion and advocacy. Over the past few years, she has worked with police and fire departments to install a program that helps first responders during emergencies with neurodiverse individuals. Outside of her neurodiversity work, she loves playing piano, dancing, taekwondo, and working in town government.
Isabella Duan graduated from Stanford in 2021 with a B.A.H in Human Biology and a B.A. in Linguistics. She is very interested in the intersection of autism, child language acquisition and medicine, as she is currently conducting research on expressive language and the correlates of reading in children on the spectrum, and she is the program coordinator and event coordinator for the Bay Area Autism Consortium and the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit, respectively. During her time in undergrad, she loved rowing, working with kids, and volunteering in the medical setting: She won three national championships as a member and captain of the Stanford women’s lightweight rowing team, led the Stanford Women’s Educational Erging Program, and was a preclinical interviewer and ‘peer health navigator coordinator’ at Cardinal Free Clinics. She loves spending time in the outdoors, and my favorite things to observe and seek out on a hike are lichen, reptiles, and amphibians!
Pranav Gurusankar is a junior Stanford University majoring in Computer Science. He's particularly interested in learning and memory in neurodevelopmental diseases, and in expanding neurodiversity education in rural communities. Outside of class, his main research interests are in bioelectronics and regenerative medicine. In his free time, you'll find him exploring food spots in the city, cycling, or hiking. Some day, he hopes to visit all U.S. national parks!
Isabella He is an incoming freshman at Stanford University, and serves as the chair of the Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA). With the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, she is working on a vocational training study for neurodiverse/neurodivergent individuals and an AI-powered job matcher project with the Neurodiversity At Work initiative. Outside of neurodiversity advocacy, she is a wrestler, pianist, and an editor for her school journalism team.
Isabelle Hsu is a rising high school senior and will be SNP NNEA’s Co-Chair starting July 2022. Being neurordiverse, she attended 2020’s SNP REACH where she learned so much that she co-founded her high school’s Neurodiversity Club and her own nonprofit later that year; she came back to SNP REACH in 2021 to share her experience and joined the leadership team of NNEA’s core committee as the SNP REACH Support Coordinator where she’s provided other high schoolers feedback and assistance with their neurodiversity projects. Isabelle loves music; she tutors piano to special-needs students, and she’s also been the drum major of her school’s award-winning varsity marching band.
Amari Jones became passionate about disability justice over quarantine. After learning about neurodiversity as a less regarded aspect of civil rights movements, she wanted to become more involved in neurodiversity advocacy. In that spirit, she hopes to help build spaces where everyone can feel safe and thrive. When she can, she likes to practice violin, try different dark chocolates, and pursue whatever interest she happens to be fixated on at that moment.
Eli Oh is recent graduate of UC Berkeley. Throughout college, she was part of an organization called Spectrum where she learned about the importance and power of disability advocacy as she led committees and awareness events for Autism. It is her hope that she can continue contributing and being a part of the Neurodiversity community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and exploring good food spots in SF. She has recently become interested in yoga and boxing, which she hopes to do more of!
Esperanza Padilla is a neurodiversity self-advocate and researcher. Diagnosed with Autism/ADHD later-in-life, she is interested in the experiences of masking and unmasking of Autistic Adults. Undergraduate work at UC Berkeley and incoming doctoral candidate for the Sociology program at University of California, San Francisco. Interests include art, art history, weight lifting. Fun fact: She has lived in the Bay Area all her life!
Krisha Patel is a freshman at Harvard College, planning to study Computer Science and Chemical & Physical Biology. Outside of classes, she volunteers as a student advocate with Harvard’s Best Buddies Program, and is involved in clinical neurodevelopment research at Boston Children’s Hospital. Krisha also helps lead AblifyNow, an advocacy group committed to dismantling ableism. In her free time, you’ll likely find her dancing, roaming around with her camera, or playing bridge.
Rachel Schuck is a doctoral student in the education department at UC Santa Barbara. She has been involved in autism research for almost a decade, both at UCSB and Stanford. Her research interests center around exploring the acceptability of intervention and education programs for those on the spectrum, particularly from the autistic perspective. She is also interested in programs that improve understanding of and attitudes toward neurodiversity. And she really loves cats!
Cynthia Wen is an incoming freshman at UC Berkeley (Class of 2026) studying Cell & Molecular Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology. She is passionate about STEM, business, and neurodiversity and served as the speaker coordinator for Stanford Neurodiversity Project’s Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA). In her free time, she enjoys going on boba runs with my friends, thrifting, and drawing
Hannah Crousore is a third year Psychology & Brain Sciences and Art double major at UCSB. She has been passionate about neurodiversity and have had the joy of celebrating the advantages of neurodivergency for what feels like my whole life! In her spare time, she loves all forms of art, nature, reading, cooking, and cartoons like Bob’s Burgers! Fun fact: Hannah grew up on a ranch in rural north Idaho, basically in Canada!