Meet the team

Linda Heitzman-Powell Ph.D., BCBA

Dr. Heitzman-Powell is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Doctoral level (BCBA-D). She is the Director of Community Research for the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (KCART) and the Center for Child Health and Development (CCHD) at the KU Medical Center. Dr. Heitzman-Powell has been involved with autism research and training over the last 20 years. She has been a strong advocate for autism services at the state level and is a member of the KS Legislative Task Force on Autism.

Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.

As an associate research professor at the University of Kansas, Dr. Buzhardt’s interests focus on investigating factors that impact the implementation, usability and effectiveness of technology-based intervention, assessment, and training. He has directed and co-directed several federally-funded research projects from NIH, IES, OSEP, NIDRR, and local foundations, including the following: He is co-developer and investigator of the OASIS (Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills) Training to train parents how to implement evidence-based practices with their young children with autism.

Vanessa Snyder, MA, LPC, BCBA

 Vanessa Snyder is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Since 2008, Vanessa has provided in-home, center-based, and school-based support to providers and parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2015, Vanessa joined the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training at the University of Kansas Medical Center where she coordinates the OASIS Coach trainings, and provides clinical services to families of children with ASD and other related disorders.

E (Alice) Zhang, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Zhang is an Assistant Professor with the department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She graduated with her doctoral degree in behavioral psychology. Her research interests focus on increasing access to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related disorders via technology. She provides clinical services including OASIS Parent Training and behavioral consultation through both in-person and telehealth clinics. Dr. Zhang is passionate about advocating for healthcare access and disability rights.

Hanna Traphagan, M.Ed

Hanna received her undergraduate degree in Biological Health with a minor in Psychology from University of Oklahoma, and her Masters of Education in Public Health Education from Texas State University. Hanna has experience working in statewide youth tobacco prevention, juvenile delinquency prevention, and youth substance use prevention. In 2021, she joined KCART where she is a Research Assistant for the OASIS program.

Tiffany Ward, BGS

Tiffany Ward has been working with individuals with Autism since 2008. She graduated¬† from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science, with a specialty in Early Childhood Autism Intervention. In her experience working with individuals with ASD, Tiffany has had the opportunity to work in various settings that include school, clinic settings, and in an intensive behavioral school. Tiffany joined KCART in 2014 and is currently a Direct Service Provider, assisting in the OASIS Provider trainings.