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.
Velika Lee, M.S., BCBA
Manager of Early Start Services
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. Velika would like the focus of her career to be within the area of Early Intervention. In her free time, Velika enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling and practicing yoga.
Chang Choe, M.A., BCBA
As a University of California Los Angeles graduate, Chang Choe’s studies emphasized sociology and applied developmental psychology. In addition, he earned his Master of Arts degree in Teaching from National University. Prior to working as a behavior analyst, Chang served as a teacher at UCLA’s Early Care and Education Center and was responsible for maintaining the center’s quality programming as well as assisting with curriculum development and planning. As a behavior analyst, Chang is an experienced clinical supervisor with demonstrated history of working in individual and family services for over 17 years and has contributed to the empowerment and education of individuals in the Korean speaking community by providing parent training workshops throughout Orange County. He is skilled in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Staff Development with experience mentoring countless clinical and master’s level supervisors. Chang has extensive experience with behavior reduction with self-injury, physical aggression, tantrums, and is well versed with desensitization programs and implementing behavior momentum strategies.
Kathy Linares, M.S., BCBA
Kathy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has a Master’s of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from the The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While looking for a job after graduation, she stumbled upon ABA and found her passion. Kathy has been working in the field of ABA for almost 5 years in various roles as a 1:1 Behavior Therapist, Parent Training Consultant and Case Supervisor for people of all ages with various developmental disabilities. 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 as a Clinical Supervisor is the opportunity to create comprehensive individualized intervention programs so that families can see a lasting behavior change and and overall improved quality of life. In her free time, Kathy enjoys working out, traveling, camping and hiking with her dogs.
Katherine Nichols, M.S., BCBA
Janis Niemann, M.S., BCBA
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.
Raudel Alba, M.S.
Raudel graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has finished 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.
Samantha Rose Garcia-McDonald, M.S.
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.
Senior Parent Training Consultants:
Anca Barsan, M.A./ M.S.,
Anca has dedicated the past 12 years to exploring the helping fields of Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Ball State University, and a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from National University. Anca’s current focus revolves around contributing to the well- being of children and families affected by Autism and other related developmental disorders. One of her greatest passions has been improving child-parent dynamics. As a Senior Parent Training Consultant with BSP, Anca receives much joy in helping children develop a voice of their own and assisting parents in the process of navigating challenging behaviors and supporting their children’s growth with grace and ease. Anca is involved in several healing practices and creative projects, dedicating most of her free time to personal growth, friends, family, art and nature.
Sunny Cheon, M.S.
Sunny has a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. Sunny has been working with BSP since 2016 and enjoys working for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities. She values the field’s unique opportunity to work not only with the individual but empowering the family as a whole. Sunny hopes to open more doors for the Korean community using her bilingual skills and further enrich the diversity of the support group. In her free time, Sunny enjoys a variety of arts, listening to music, and traveling.
Stephen Hampson, B.A.
Stephen started at BSP in 2016 after receiving his Bachelors Degree in Linguistics from Cal State Fullerton. Stephen started as a 1:1 Behavior Therapist and had the privilege to work with a lot of early intervention clients. That experience helped shaped his passion for working with younger children. After a year at BSP, Stephen applied and became a registered behavior technician (RBT). In late 2017, Stephen became a parent consultant and began teaching behavior management and Pivotal Response Treatment strategies to parents. After 2 years of experience, Stephen was promoted to Senior Parent Consulant. Stephen will soon apply for a Masters Program en route to his eventual BCBA. Stephen‘s interests include hanging out with his family, video games, and making people laugh with middling to passable humor.
Francisco Hernandez, B.A.
Francisco has always wanted to and continues to serve people and their families. Through a passion for helping, statistics, and evidence driven practices he is able to assist others with their best interests in mind. In the three years at Behavioral Support Partnership, Francisco has honed his skills in Pivotal Response Treatment, parent education, and case supervision. He has received his Bachelor’s in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California Irvine (UCI) and aspires to continue on the path towards higher education.
Kate Stark, B.S.
Kate graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program at National University ans she is working towards her BCBA. Kate‘s interest in working with individuals with special needs began while she was still in college, when she was interning at the Claremont Autism Center. She loves to see the ongoing progress made by children and their families. In her free time, Kate enjoys surfing, swimming, and hanging out with friends.