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CLINICAL STAFF
Melissa Sweitzer, Ph.D., BCBA - Executive DirectorMelissa Sweitzer, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Executive Director
Licensed Psychologist
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Dr. Sweitzer is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, specializing in Applied Behavioral Analysis and developmental disabilities. Dr. Sweitzer received her Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California and has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with challenging behaviors in a wide range of settings including home, school, residential settings and vocational day programs. She has conducted numerous workshops and presentations on applied behavior analysis nationwide.

During her extensive career, Dr. Sweitzer has held clinical and management positions at the Florida Mental Health Institute's Parent and Child Training project, the Regional Center of Orange County, and private treatment agencies. In 1990, Dr. Sweitzer started a behavior consulting practice in Southern California that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities. In 2005, she founded Behavioral Support Partnership, providing in-home treatment services for children with developmental disabilities and their families, where she currently serves as President and Executive Director.

Directors & Managers:

Marina Garcia, M.A., BCBA - Area DirectorMarina Garcia, M.A., BCBA
Clinical Director

Marina is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over seven years experience working with children diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities. She has extensive experience working in the home, community and school settings. Marina enjoys working with the early intervention population and is especially passionate about educating and empowering our Spanish speaking families.

Marina has a Master’s degree in Teaching with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA. Marina has extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis, including Pivotal Response Treatment and Positive Behavior Support strategies. She is certified in PECS and has attained Level III Certification in PRT. Marina has taught coursework on Autism at Cal State Los Angeles and behavior management classes at Harbor Regional Center and Regional Center of Orange County. She has also volunteered her time to speak at various Spanish speaking support groups throughout Orange County.


Kyle Gravel, M.S., BCBA, MFTIKyle Gravel, M.S., BCBA, MFTI
Director of Parent Training Services 
Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern #IMF91669
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Kyle, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern supervised by Dr. Melissa Sweitzer (PSY10740), has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Kyle is the Director of Parent Training Services and works as a Counselor for BSP Family, BSP’s counseling center. Kyle has Level II PRT Certification.

Kyle has over 12 years of experience working with children and families; he has completed internships at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Wheeler Clinic’s Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services for Children Team, and at the School Psychology Department of Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School. Kyle was previously employed as a Psychiatric Technician on the Psychiatric Unity of St. Mary’s Hospital and as a Social Skills Provider for the Pediatrics Department of the University of California, Irvine’s Medical Center.


Janis Niemann, M.S., BCBAJanis Niemann, M.S., BCBA

Manager of Early Start Services

Janis Niemann is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Advanced Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University. Janis is originally from Buffalo, NY where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in History Education. Janis has over six years of experience working with children who have special needs and their families. Her interests include social skills facilitation and working with individuals with challenging behaviors. She is also a coordinator to BSP’s Social Skills Group and designs and facilitates activities for this program.

Erica NiemiErica Niemi, M.A., BCBA

Clinical Manager
East Bay Office

Erica is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University, and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in 2013. Erica has over 8 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Additionally, Erica has worked with children, families and adults with a variety of mental health concerns. Outside of work, Erica enjoys hiking, reading, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

Tracy Sharkey, M.S., BCBA - Quality Assurance CoordinatorsTracy Sharkey, M.S., BCBA
Director of Training

Tracy has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has Level IV PRT Certification. She has a Bachelor's degree from University of California, Irvine, where she majored in Psychology and Social Behavior. Tracy has been utilizing Applied Behavioral Analysis principles working with children for over 10 years, and more specifically with children with autism for the past 7 years. As Director of Training, Tracy is able to impart her excellent clinical knowledge and skills to new employees. She is responsible for staff development, new employee training and ensuring treatment fidelity in the field.

Clinical Supervisors:

Andrew Donahue, M.A., BCBA - Program ManagerAndrew Donahue, M.A., BCBA

Andrew is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over 4 years of experience helping children and adults live more fully through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from California State University of Long Beach. Upon graduating, he was highly encouraged to work as a 1:1 Behavior Therapist by a close friend in the field who recognized his affinity toward friends with special needs. Since then, he has found and pursued this passion toward attaining a graduate degree in Teaching with its emphasis in ABA. He has a wide variety of experience in home, school, and community settings with children and adults ranging from 18 months to 23 years of age. Andrew highly values the holistic family-centered approach of his field and finds deep satisfaction in helping others achieve valuable goals.

Program Supervisors:

Cathleen Cathleen "Cat" Arroyo, MS, M.Ed, MAT-ABA

Cat is a Program Supervisor at BSP. She began working in group homes for adults with Developmental Disabilities in 2010. Coming from Educational Counseling, she decided to continue her education in Human Behavior which led her to In-home ABA in 2012. She worked her way as a Behavior Interventionist for 2 years, to becoming an ABA Supervisor in 2014. She furthered her education to complete the BCBA coursework in 2015. Her experience varies from adults with Developmental Disabilities from the age of 65, to children as young as 2 with Autism. She enjoys music, unicorns, sports cars, and continuing to learn how to make a difference in her clients’ lives.
Lynn Cho, B.A. - Program ManagerLynn Cho, M.S.
East Bay Office

Lynn has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for over 5 years. She received her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, East Bay and recently completed her M.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in ABA from Kaplan University. Lynn plans to sit for her BCBA exam in late 2016. Lynn also has a Level 1 Certification in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). She enjoys supporting children in order to help them grow as individuals and in her free time, Lynn enjoys hiking with her dogs and engaging in arts and crafts activities.

Senior Parent Training Consultants:

Raudel Alba - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantRaudel Alba, B.S.

Raudel graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is now starting his Master’s program in Applied Behavioral Analysis at National University. Raudel has been working at BSP since 2014. Prior to joining BSP, Raudel had the opportunity to intern at Mater Dei High School in their Learning Center where he assisted high school students with learning disabilities. In his spare time, Raudel enjoys going to see abstract art, designing (interior, models, home design), and spending time with his family and friends.
Dylan Dongird, M.S. - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantDylan Dongird, M.S.

Dylan graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dylan joined BSP with 3 years of experience in the field of ABA, primarily working with children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities and he has a special interest in supporting our very young kids. Outside of work, Dylan enjoys going to the gym and playing sports such as basketball and tennis. He also enjoys traveling and trying out new foods.
Jamila Kelly, M.Ed - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantJamila Kelly, M.Ed

Jamila earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Biola University. After working with individuals impacted with developmental disabilities in the school and home settings from ages 18 months to 24 years for more than 5 years, she was inspired to earn her Master's degree in Education with specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. Jamila completed her BCBA coursework and will be eligible to take the exam in 2015. During her employment at BSP (2013) she has received training from Kennedy Kreiger Institute, enhancing her skills to work with individuals challenged with brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal disorders. Jamila's passion is working with families to develop support systems and positive encouragement, utilizing evidence-based interventions to enhance the clients’ independence and of quality of life.
Velika Lee, B.A., BCaBA - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantVelika Lee, B.A., BCaBA

Velika started working with children and families while she was living in Bulgaria in the field of Social Work and specialized in connecting families from ethnic minority backgrounds to social services. Velika worked as a 1:1 Behavior Therapist with BSP from 2014-2015 before moving to Singapore. During her time abroad, Velika continued her work in ABA providing services to clients from across the world. Upon returning to the United States in 2017 and obtaining her BCaBA, Velika started back as a Sr. Parent Training Consultant with BSP. In her free time, Velika enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling and practicing yoga.
Kathy Linares, B.A. - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantKathy Linares, B.A.

Kathy graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She worked in a kindergarten classroom for children with special needs which then motivated her to begin working in the field of ABA as a 1:1 Behavior Therapist. She has acquired experience with children of various ages and populations but her particular area of interest involves working with families from the Latino community. Kathy is now attending The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and working towards her Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis, and plans to sit for the BCBA exam in 2018. In her free time, Kathy enjoys going to the beach, traveling, dancing and spending time with her friends.
Ione Smith, B.A. - Sr. Parent Training ConsultantIone Smith, B.A.

Ione Smith received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Cal State, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). She is currently getting her Masters in ABA at National University. Ione has over 10 years’ experience in the field of ABA. She started in this field as a private swim instructor for children with special needs, continued on to work in public schools, private schools, and in home and community programs. She also spends her time volunteering for the Room and Board Coalition, finding homes for adults with behavioral health challenges. In her leisure time, she loves seeing her niece and nephew, going to yoga, reading, and walking to the farmer’s market on the weekends.
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