Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Staff

Liz Ayad, MEd

Liz Ayad, MEd

Liz is an intern at CMHPSR serving on many projects including coaching for Philly AIMS and TeachTown, working in the Autism Clinic, and conducting assessments as part of MOCA. Liz has her Master’s degree in Human Development and is currently earning her doctorate in School Psychology at Lehigh University. Her main interests include providing quality assessments and evidence based treatments to children with autism in under-resourced school districts. 


Briana Bronstein, MAEd

Briana Bronstein, MAEd

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 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, 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

Sumedha Chhatre, PhD

Dr. Chhatre is a health services researcher in the Department of Psychiatry. 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.

Dr. Chhatre has extensive experience with the management and analysis of secondary data bases. She is an expert in: (1) Statistical and econometric analysis, cost and cost-effectiveness analysis, patient reported outcomes analysis, methodology and research design, data linkage, report writing, manuscript writing and grant preparation; (b) Design, quality control and management of databases, and (c) restructuring/extracting large databases. She has worked extensively with Medicaid claims data (health, behavioral health and pharmacy claims); Medicare claims data; Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data; State cancer registries data, State mental health programs consumer and services data   and is an expert in the sue of statistical packages/ software such as SAS, SPSS, Excel and Access.


Diana Cooney

Diana Cooney

Diana Cooney specializes in increasing social skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She currently works with Philly AIMS focusing on inclusive practices in the District. 

For the past 8 years, Diana has worked in many settings to provide evidence-based treatment to children ages 3 to 21 with ASD 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 ASD 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, 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

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

Liz Gale-Bentz

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

Courtney Gregor

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 Kahn

Adam Kahn

Adam is a research assistant who contributes to a variety of projects. He performs data entry, organizes newsletter materials, and provides administrative support. He comes to Penn CMHPSR after eight months volunteering/interning at The Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he primarily performed database entry. He earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Arcadia University in 2010. One unique skill of Adam’s is that he’s a good proofreader! He is thrilled to join the CMHPSR team.


Meghan Kane MSEd, BCBA

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.


Bridget Keogh, MPH

Bridget Keogh, MPH

Bridget Keogh is a Research Coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania.  Bridget is a Philadelphia area native and studied Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University.  Prior to coming to Penn, she worked in public health conducting community outreach and health education with children and adults in South and West Philadelphia.  She is interested in preventive medicine and working with underserved populations.  After witnessing firsthand how often mental health is overlooked in these vulnerable populations, Bridget came to the Center eager to learn more about the field of mental health and substance use.  Bridget is a member of Dr. Cynthia Zubritsky’s research team at the Center.  Dr. Zubritsky’s work includes management and organizational issues in behavioral healthcare systems on the state and national level, trauma-informed care implementation, older adults and behavioral health and consumer health issues. 


Mina Kim, MS

Mina Kim, MS

Mina Kim is a psychology intern at the Center. She is involved in a number of projects, including Philly AIMS and the Philadelphia Alliance for Children’s Trauma Services (PACTS). Mina has experience providing ABA services to children with autism in home and school settings. She has a Master’s degree in School Psychology and is currently a doctoral student in School Psychology at Temple University.


Adina Lieberman, MPH

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

Missy Modesti

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 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

Elizabeth Noll is a 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 analysis activities for population-based research projects in both university and private research environments.   Her work has involved maintaining, utilizing and integrating large public and private health and mental health survey and services databases to perform descriptive and inferential data analysis for publication and presentation. Dr. Noll also provides consultation to investigators on suitable data elements needed to answer specific research questions of interest. Her research interests include evaluating behavioral health interventions and examining the impact of institutional organization and practices on the health and welfare of persons in the public welfare system.  Dr. Noll received her master’s degree in Sociology from Temple University and her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.


Zinnia Piotrowski

Zinnia Piotrowski

Zinnia Piotrowski, M.Ed., BCBA is a certified special education teacher and board certified behavior analyst.  Zinnia has a Master's degree in special education from Temple University and graduate certificate in Behavior Analysis from Penn State University. Zinnia has been involved with Philly AIMS since 2008 when she was a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, and has taught grades K-2 and 6-8. In 2010 Zinnia began working as a behavior analyst for children with autism, providing ABA services with an emphasis on Verbal Behavior programming in home and school settings.


Erica Reisinger, MSEd

Erica Reisinger, MSEd

Erica Reisinger has worked for Dr. David Mandell since 2008 and currently manages the Center's portfolio of school-based intervention research projects and consultation contracts. Erica has a Master's of Science Degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor's of Science degree from Temple University. She is certified in early childhood and elementary education with a focus on multicultural and urban education. Erica is interested in ways to improve how the family, school, and community work collaboratively to improve opportunities for traditionally underserved populations.  Before joining the Center, Erica was involved in other educational research initiatives with the University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph's University, and The Free Library of Philadelphia.  


Keiran Rump, PhD

Keiran Rump, PhD

Dr. Rump is a clinical psychologist at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research.  She leads the Penn Medicine Autism Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she conducts comprehensive evaluations and treatment planning for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.  Dr. Rump also coordinates clinical training and provides clinical supervision and consultation for several of the autism-related research projects led by Dr. David Mandell.  Dr. Rump’s professional interests include improving access to appropriate, quality, evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism.  Her research interests include emotion processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, how this changes with development, and how this relates to the assessment and treatment of comorbid anxiety disorders.  Dr. Rump received her PhD in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.  She completed her clinical internship at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and her fellowship at the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  


Siyuan (Lisa) Shen, MUSA

Siyuan (Lisa) Shen, MUSA

Lisa is a data manager providing database support for various projects at the Center. Lisa started as an intern at the Center and officially joined the Center in 2015. She works closely with Dr. Aileen Rothbard and Dr. Elizabeth Noll. She is currently working with both Primary data and Secondary data. She helps with creating, managing the REDCap database, and performing quality assurance checks on administrative data received from external sources. Lisa graduated from PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania in 2014 with a Master Degree of Urban Spatial Analytics. She enjoys exploring Philly restaurants in her spare time.  


Max Seidman

Max Seidman

Max is a clinical research coordinator at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research working under the supervision of Erica Reisinger and David Mandell on the Ro1 Grant: The Use of TeachTown Technology in Autism Support Classrooms.  He received a B.S. in psychology from Tulane University where he conducted research under Dr. Michael Cunningham on resilience and vulnerability in African American youth. While living in New Orleans, he also spent extensive time working at the NFL YET Boys & Girls club among many other youth educational organizations. In his free time, Max likes to run, hike, and play soccer! 


Christine Spaulding

Christine Spaulding

Christine is a research coordinator working under Dr. David Mandell on the Center’s school-based research projects. Christine received her Bachelor of Science degree from Stony Brook University where she worked as a research assistant in the Social Competence and Treatment Lab.  During her undergraduate years, she also interned at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to learn more about community-based participatory research and the unique needs of urban districts. Christine is interested in school-based services and interventions for children with ASD, and the intersection of education policy and research practice.


Kevin Stevens

Kevin Stevens

Manager, Administration & Finance


Diondra Straiton

Diondra Straiton

Diondra Straiton is a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working with Dr. David Mandell on a study that that uses community partnered participatory research to improve access to care and school transitioning for under-resourced families with children who are on the autism spectrum. Diondra received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant for Swarthmore College’s Cognition & Development Lab and for the National Census of Writing. She also holds a PreK-4 teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include improving access to behavioral healthcare and early intervention for underserved populations, urban education, early childhood education, and community-based research. 


Ming Xie, MS

Ming Xie, MS

Ming Xie has over 5 years of experience quarrying, cleaning and coding Medicaid and other health claims data. She is currently responsible for cleaning and structuring the state policy, Medicaid, education and county-level data for analysis. She also runs validity checks on data elements and manages the integrity and security of the data for the studies. She received her master's degree in Applied Statistics from Villanova University in 2004.


Kelly Zentgraf

Kelly Zentgraf

Kelly Zentgraf is a clinical research coordinator working under the supervision of Dr. Rinad Beidas. In particular, she assists on Dr. Beidas's K23 Grant: Policy to Implementation (P2I) and her R01 Grant: Fidelity Accuracy: Comparing Three Strategies (FACTS). Previously, Kelly worked at the Treatment Research Institute and at the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. She graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in psychology. In her free time, Kelly enjoys practicing yoga and reading.



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