Nikki Buckstead, Executive Director
Ms. Buckstead began working in the social service, non-profit field in 1991 as a youth alcohol and drug counselor, working in the schools, juvenile hall and in the community. In 2001, Ms. Buckstead shifted gears and moved from providing direct service into administrative and executive roles in the behavioral health field. She held the position of Executive Director at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) Sacramento Region, working there for close to 11 years. Most recently, she held the position of Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Sonoma County, before relocating to Orange County. Ms. Buckstead also currently consults as a Federal Grant Proposal reviewer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She has worked in behavioral health, community clinic settings as well being the director of a youth coalition, worked as a consultant as a culturally competency coach for non-profit organizations.
Ms. Buckstead has extensive experience working directly with children and adolescents; teachers and administrators; community, faith-based and national leaders; government officials; law enforcement, the Courts, academicians, researchers and evaluators. She possesses an in-depth knowledge of prevention and treatment science and an ability to communicate complex concepts to the public. She is skilled in educating agency decision makers as well as mentors, paraprofessionals, peer educators and volunteers who represent diverse backgrounds and expertise. Ms. Buckstead has extensive experience in community engagement, grant management, fund development, board development, strategic planning, community building, staff development and coaching, community speaking and training.
You can reach Nikki Buckstead at email@example.com
JUSTIN LEAF, PH.D., BCBA-D, Director of Research and Training
Dr. Justin Leaf is the Director of Research and Training for the Autism Partnership Foundation. Justin received his master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science and his doctorate degree in Behavioral Psychology in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. Justin worked directly under the mentorship of Dr. James Sherman and Dr. Jan Sheldon.
Justin has over ten years of clinical and research experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.His research interests include looking at ways to improve social skills for children and adolescents with ASD, developing friendships, comparing different teaching methodologies, and evaluating long term outcomes for children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD. Justin has taught graduate level courses in applied behavior analysis and research methodologies. Additionally, Justin has published several articles in peer reviewed journals; has presented at national and state conferences and invited events; and has consulted on research projects nationally and internationally.
You can reach Justin Leaf at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph H. Cihon, M.S., BCBA, Assistant Director of Research, CABA Supervisor
Joe Cihon is the Assistant Director of Research for the Autism Partnership Foundation. Joe received his bachelor’s degree in special education from Fontbonne University. Upon graduation he enrolled in the master’s degree program in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas. Joe worked under the mentorship of Dr. Shahla Alai-Rosales, Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, and Dr. Manish Vaidya. Joe is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Endicott College under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Jane Weiss. Joe has over ten years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities in home, school, and community settings. His research interests include evaluating approach based interventions, shaping, increasing favorable interactions among children, their families, and interventionists, developing contingencies to promote generalization and maintenance, and improving mealtimes for selective eaters. Joe has published and served as a reviewer for several prominent journals and presented research at national and international conferences.
You can reach Joe Cihon at email@example.com