Melissa Sweitzer, Ph.D., BCBA-D
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
Marina is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over a decade of 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.
Janis 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 9 years of experience working with children who have special needs and their families. Her interests include early intervention, social skills facilitation, and working with individuals with challenging behaviors.
Tracy 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.
Andrew 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.
Raudel Alba, M.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.
Dylan graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior and have recently obtained a Master’s Degree of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dylan has 4 years of experience in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), primarily working with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Dylan has a special interest with working with the younger population. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the gym, playing sports, and traveling.
Kathy Linares, B.A.
Kathy received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While looking for a job after graduation, she stumbled upon the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and found her passion. Over the past three years, Kathy has worked in a variety of roles. She has been a 1:1 Behavior Therapist, Parent Training Consultant and Case Supervisor for children with various developmental disabilities, ranging in age from 15 months to 19 years. Kathy has also completed all the coursework for her Master’s in ABA at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and will be sitting for the BCBA exam in early 2019. Although she has experience working with many populations, as a native Spanish speaker, she especially enjoys working with families from the Latino community. What Kathy finds most fulfilling about her job is the opportunity to create comprehensive individualized intervention programs so that families can see a lasting change in their child’s behavior and overall quality of life.
Senior Parent Training Consultants:
Velika 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.
Serena Richardson, M.A.
Serena is an East Coast transplant that began her career in Applied Behavioral Analysis 15 years ago while still an undergraduate. She achieved a B.A. in Biology through Rutgers University in New Jersey. She recently achieved a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Marriage and Family Therapy through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and she is projected to sit for the BCBA exam in February 2019. Serena has worked for BSP in various positions for over 4 years with experience across diverse populations and settings. Although most of her experience is in ABA, Serena has also provided counseling for refugees in Berlin, Germany and for high-risk high school students through the Orange County Department of Education. Outside of work, Serena enjoys marathon running, anything outdoors, traveling, spending time with friends and family. One of her greatest passions is getting creative in the kitchen.
Samantha Rose Garcia-McDonald, M.A.
Samantha has a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University and three years of experience assisting children and their families. She received a double major in Sociology and Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. During her time in undergraduate school, she worked as a Social Psychology Research Assistant and then a Child Psychology Research Assistant. It was at this time that she began working with children on the Autism Spectrum and fell in love with the field of applied behavior analysis with its clinical efficacy. Samantha’s interests include reading, yoga, cinema, and exploring art museums and new places.