We asked Sneha a few questions about her position at TPI, and about her research interests.
Please share what has lead you to this position with the Thompson Policy Institute (TPI)?
I attended the first DisAbility Summit, and the very next day I applied to join Chapmans Ph.D. in Education program. While I was starting my business, Spectrum Success, I realized how much more research and information professionals needed in order to provide successful transitional services to adults on the spectrum, and the Thompson Policy Institute was doing active research in these areas. I knew I had to be a part of it!
What does your role encompass and how do you believe your experience as a GRA will influence future positions and opportunities in academia?
I have already learned and grown so much in my short time as a GRA. I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I look forward to continuing to do so under the guidance of the seasoned researchers at TPI. The GRA position also is a great opportunity to learn from the experiences and knowledge of other GRA’s and open your mind to other ways of looking at things. These are all skills that will be very valuable when working in academia.
What current project are you involved in with TPI?
Last year I worked with Dr. Griffiths, Dr. Giannantonio, and Dr. Hurley-Hanson to collect data from employers to assess their organizational structure and behavior in hiring and supporting employees with ASD. I was also on the leadership board of the Orange County Task Force (OCTI), and the chair of the Business Stakeholder and Training subcommittee. This year I am continuing to work on the Community Living project that we began last year, in which we are working to identify successful factors of community living and inclusion as reported by those who have the highest stake in the results, those with disabilities and their families.
What areas of research do you focus on outside of your work with TPI?
Most of my research goes towards how to best support individuals on the spectrum as the transition into adulthood. The four factors of adulthood that I am currently focusing my research on are employment, living situations, relationships, and college/education. My research includes not only ways to support those on the spectrum, but also how to educate the community in order to make this transition as successful as possible.
What has been the best part of working as a GRA at the Thompson Policy Institute?
The support and mentorship of every person who works within TPI. As a GRA, I feel well respected as I am asked my opinion on how to proceed with projects, and at the same time I have the comfort of knowing that I have the guidance of experienced veterans in the field.
Sneha Kohli Mathur is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spectrum Success, LLC. Her program at Spectrum Success strives to provide adolescents and adults on the Autism Spectrum a chance to secure employment that they are passionate about. She also works directly with employers and community colleges to create successful work and classroom environments for people of different backgrounds and abilities, and increase the level of acceptance and support in the community for these talented and deserving individuals. Sneha is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), she received her Masters degree in Psychology from New York University (NYU), her Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and is currently a student in Chapman University’s Ph.D. program of Education and Disability Studies.
She also has a good sense of humor. Thanks for talking with us, Sneha!