One of the primary purposes of the Marquette Autism Initiative is to educate and train the next generation of autism professionals.  To that end, we seek to engage undergraduate and graduate students from diverse disciplines. Currently, over 20 students from 3 colleges and one external university are participating in the MAI.

Graduate student opportunities:

Graduate students from within and outside of Marquette regularly assist with research initiatives, participate in/co-lead PEERS® groups and MUSCLES camp, and assist with coordination of Consortium events. If you are a graduate student interested in connecting with the research, programs, or outreach of the MAI, please contact the MAI faculty member in your discipline, or Amy Van Hecke, for more information.  

Undergraduate student opportunities:

Current and recently graduated undergraduate students, from both within and outside of Marquette, also regularly participate in the activities of the MAI.  These opportunities can consist of for-credit research experience (Psyc 4956_116), a class specific to autism (EDUC 4931/PSYC 4931/SPPA 4931, Autism for the Professions), volunteer opportunities, internal PEERS internships, and external internships at the Autism Society of Southeastern WI.  Beginning Fall 2019, MARQ 1600_702 will be available. This course is by application, and provides students the opportunity to learn about autism in the context of serving as a peer mentor for a student on the autism spectrum as part of the On Your Marq college support program. For more information about Psyc 4956, MARQ 1600_702, or volunteer/internship opportunities, please contact Amy Van Hecke. For more information about EDUC 4931/PSYC 4931/SPPA 4961, please contact Mary Carlson. For more information about external internships at the Autism Society of Southeastern WI, please contact Khadijah Makky.

Current trainees

Graduate students

  • Sylvia Peña
  • Alana McVey
  • Hillary Schiltz
  • Rachel Stanley
  • Elyse Adler
  • Alexis Arias
  • Alexander Barrington
  • Brianna Yund
  • Summer Pehl
  • Brittany Ramirez
  • Kaitlin Wirman
  • Megan Niedermeyer

Undergraduate students

  • Genesis Martinez
  • Cheyanne Hagan
  • Morgan Ford
  • Claire Nicklaw
  • Cecily Banks
  • Maria Cobo Nieto
  • Carly Colman
  • Rachel Henry


  • Kenia Rivera
  • Rachel Hafner
  • Laurie Donnell Bjustrom, Ph.D.
  • Angela Haendel, Ph.D.


  • Audrey Meyer Carson, Ph.D.
  • Jeff Karst, Ph.D.
  • Kirsten Schohl Willar, Ph.D.
  • Sheryl Stevens Pleiss, Ph.D.
  • Bridget Dolan Wozniak, Ph.D.
  • Niharika Jain, Ph.D.
  • Nicole Gregor Salowitz, Ph.D.
  • Mya Herro, Ed.s.
  • Ellen Beste, Ed.s.
  • Jennifer Hilge, Ed.s.
  • Carolyn Turner, Ed.s.
  • Christy Casnar, Ph.D.