Research Lab Director

Dr. Marisa Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA or 517-432-3926

Dr. Fisher is an associate professor of special education at MSU. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Denver. She then received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Fisher’s research focuses on the social outcomes of adolescents and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Williams syndrome (WS), and intellectual disability (ID). Dr. Fisher’s program of research examines the risk factors and experiences related to friendship outcomes and social victimization among adolescents and adults with IDD. She designs community-based interventions to increase social competence and acceptance and to decrease social vulnerability and victimization of individuals with IDD. She is the principal investigator of several research projects, including the evaluation of a social skills training program on improving employment outcomes for high school students in Project SEARCH, the development of a social skills training program for young adults with WS, and improved measurement of bullying experiences of adolescents with ASD and ID. 

Doctoral Students

Alyssa Uher

Alyssa Uher is a doctoral student in the Special Education program at Michigan State University under the guidance of Dr. Marisa Fisher. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received both her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with a side focus on family life education and Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University. She has worked with students with disabilities and their families for the past 6 years. Her research interests revolve around bringing cultural competency further into the light in the field of applied behavior analysis and increasing cultural humility in the field.

Master’s Students

Previous Lab Members

Cynde Josol

Postdoctoral Clinical Trainee

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program

Collaborative START Lab

UC Davis MIND Institute

Rebecca Kammes, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior


Lindsay Athamanah, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Special Education

University of Missouri-St. Louis | Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership

Katie Cwiakala

Katie Cwiakala graduated from MSU with a BA in secondary mathematics education and English.