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Melina Cavazos

Melina Cavazos

Center on Disability and Development
Texas A&M University, TX

Melina Cavazos is a second-year graduate student in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in School Psychology. Inspired by her younger brother, who is diagnosed with autism, and by her mother, her brother’s biggest advocate, Melina is dedicated to learning best practices in supporting students with difficulties and disabilities. She has recently worked with Dr. Deborah Simmons and Dr. Melissa Fogarty in the Integrated Vocabulary of Comprehension (IVC) Project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), where she assisted in various aspects of the project (e.g., program development, assessment, project monitoring, etc.). She is currently working with data from the Counseling and Assessment Clinic (CAC) in Bryan, TX under the supervision of Dr. Krystal Simmons to explore the effects of parent income and motivation on attrition rates. Her current research interests involve addressing the unique challenges faced by college students with autism through development of a comprehensive college transition theory and program, as well as through creating interventions and measures that address the development of self-advocacy skills in these students prior to college attendance. She is looking forward to working with the Center on Disability and Development as an Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) funded Diversity Fellow. Her current research projects as a Diversity Fellow include working with Dr. Dalun Zhang and other Diversity Fellows in surveying the current efforts taken by DD Network Partners to increase diversity in their respective programs, and with Dr. Meagan Sumbera in evaluating the effectiveness of monthly parent training sessions for parents of students with autism.

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