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Advisor: Hedda Meadan
Elaine (she/her/ hers) is a first-generation Chicana, raised in East Los Angeles, CA. Having grown up as the oldest child of Mexican immigrants, Elaine holds great respect as the eldest daughter. Despite many obstacles throughout Elaine's educational and cultural journeys, she developed the propensity to persevere no matter what lay ahead. Elaine has been in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2006. Elaine served the community as a behavior technician for 11 years before becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in 2017. Elaine has worked hands on with a wide age range of individuals with disabilities, from early learners to transitional age youth. Elaine has disseminated applied behavior analysis in California, Florida and in the Dominican Republic, with hopes to reach more passionate practitioners around the world. Elaine’s experience includes facilitation of treatment for students engaging in severe challenging behavior. Elaine received her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from California State University Los Angeles and received a master’s degree in teaching with a specialization in applied behavior analysis from National University of La Jolla. Elaine is currently a first-year doctoral student in the department of special education at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign.
Elaine's research interests focus on understanding the intersectionality of sexual education and Latino families of transitional age youth with autism to promote healthy sexual outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Other interest focuses include practices which promote independent self-care, self-advocacy, and functional communication in young adults.
In her free time, Elaine enjoys dancing, gardening, and roller-skating.