Samara is a fourth-year doctoral student in the department of Education in the Human Development and Psychology division. Her research is supervised by Dr. Jeffrey Wood, and focuses on the transition from high school to adulthood, higher education, employment, and quality of life for autistic youth and young adults. She is also interested in studying autistic individuals' experiences with healthcare, sexuality, and gender. Samara received her bachelor's degree in Intensive Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, where she completed an honors Thesis on learning and memory. In her free time, she works as an assistant teacher and administrative assistant at Spectrum Laboratory, an organization that helps autistic adults find employment and opportunities in the entertainment industry, provides classes in a variety of artistic mediums, and produces songs and movies created by autistic talent. She also loves reading, playing board games, knitting, and playing with her cat.