Neurodiversity Alliances

Who we are…

The Stanford Neurodiversity Project is a special initiative of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.  

Lawrence Fung, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. Dr. Fung specializes in the phenomenology, neurobiology and novel interventions of autism spectrum condition.  He serves as Director of the Adult Neurodevelopment 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.

Mark Gavartin is a Program Manager for the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. He focuses on the Neurodiversity at Work Program. He holds a degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz and has worked in Employment Services for 10 years. Most recently, he was a Program Manager at Hope Services where he managed multiple programs to help Neurodiverse individuals find meaningful employment. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family, cooking, and scuba diving.

Kevin Sun is an M.D. candidate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Interested in psychiatry, he seeks to learn more about neurodiversity to better serve his future patients. He joined the Fung lab in 2019 to work on neuroimaging and neurosteroid metabolomics studies, and to contribute to the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. Outside of research, Kevin is a concert pianist with a Masters degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

David is an MD candidate at Stanford with an interest in psychiatry.  Before medical school, David studied GABAergic interneuron development as a graduate student.  He joined the Fung Lab to further explore both of his interests in neuroscience and autism by assisting with the molecular neuroimaging project.  Outside of the lab, David is an avid hiker, cyclist, and weightlifter. 

Lauren Clarke is an MD student at Stanford and a passionate advocate for inclusive health. Lauren joined the Stanford Neurodiversity Project to develop educational programs that teach physicians how to provide care to adults on the autism spectrum. Outside of medical school, Lauren enjoys staying active and has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for many years.

Hannah Karsting is an intern for the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. She is a sophomore at Columbia University studying Psychology and Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species. Hannah became interested in neurodivergence after being diagnosed with ADHD at age 17 and subsequently learning about other neurodivergent diagnoses received in early childhood. Beyond research, she enjoys directing, musical theatre, plant-based eating, and spending time with animals!

Sepehr Asgari is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2021 and 2022. He 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).

AnDrea M Crawford is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She enjoys swimming, reading, and collaborating with others. Her communication skills were put to the test when she had to become an advocate for her son with autism. She explored her options for education and graduated from UC Berkeley in (2021) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies and during that time she was introduced to the neurodiversity movement.  She is enthusiastic about this opportunity to be a proactive asset in the movement.    Fun Fact: AnDrea loves hummingbirds.

Pranav Gurusankar is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. He 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!

Amari Jones is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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.

Esperanza Padilla is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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!

Rachel Schuck is a SNP-REACH camp counselor and research coordinator for SNP-REACH in 2022. She 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!

The executive sponsor of this project is Dr. Laura Roberts, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor.

 

 

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.

Isabella He is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022, as well as a research intern in the Fung Lab. She 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.

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. She is also a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. 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!

Sasha Balasingam is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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.

Hannah Crousore is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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! 

Isabelle Hsu is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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.

Eli Oh is a SNP-REACH camp coordinator in 2022. 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! 

Krisha Patel is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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.

Cynthia Wen is a SNP-REACH camp counselor in 2022. She 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 

Ayush Agrawal (he/him) is a high school student from San Diego. Deeply inspired by his experiences with his younger brother with autism, Ayush authored a book - Iterating Autism - discussing personalized design thinking principles to help families better deal with autism, and is actively engaged with multiple autism-related nonprofits. Outside of autism, Ayush is very passionate about environmental issues, having conducted multiple research studies and presented at scientific conferences/competitions. 

Alumni of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Vicky Lam graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Biomedical Research. She is a M.D. candidate of California University of Science and Medicine. With the Fung Lab, she explores her passion for science by assisting with neuroimaging studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder. She hopes to apply the insight and knowledge gained from clinical research towards her education in medical school. 

Ladan Mohamed is Lab Manager and Clinical Research Coordinator in the Fung Lab. She graduated from Yale University, with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science.

Helen is a freshman at Northwestern University at Chicago. She served as the chair of the Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA) in the 2020-2021 academic year. After attending the inaugural SNP neurodiversity summer program for high school students, she founded the Neurodiversity Committee at her alma mater (Harker School), leading a team of students to spread awareness for neurodiversity. In the summer of 2020 and 2021, she served as a program coordinator for SNP Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High School Students (SNP REACH). Additionally, Helen was a research intern working on the development of a musical abilities assessment for individuals with ASD, a passionate volunteer for individuals with autism, the managing editor of Harker school’s yearbook, and an avid musician.

Catherine Gao (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate and Human Biology major at Stanford University. She is passionate about disability advocacy and health equity, and hopes to bring these perspectives with her as she pursues psychiatry. Currently, she is working on the Stanford Neurodiversity Project's high school summer program. Outside the classroom, she loves writing, reading, and photography.

Isabelle Frances Morris is currently a graduate student in University of Minnesota. She graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in psychology. She is unapologetically Autistic and is passionate about using her experiences to change systems for the better. Isabelle is excited to join the Stanford Neurodiversity Project in developing student support programs.

 

Christy Matta, M.A. is a Program Manager of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. She focuses on the Neurodiverse Student Support Program. She was a mental health practitioner specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and work with emotional dysregulation and throughout her career she has worked with neurodiverse individuals. Prior to joining the SNP, she worked in non-profits and local government and in 2004. She co-designed and provided clinical supervision to a winner of the American Psychiatric Associations (APA) Gold Award. Christy is the author of “The Stress Response”.

Generous financial support is provided by: 

  • Autism Speaks
  • Anonymous Donor
  • Christian Chabot
  • Marcia Goldman Foundation
  • Randi and Todd Goldman 
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External Networks