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Oxford Board

Nice to meet you!

Chitra Yarasani


Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology

My interest in working with individuals with ASD comes from my interactions with my mom. She is mostly deaf in both ears and does not feel comfortable wearing hearing aids, thus I have had to adjust in how I communicate with her. I grew up going with her to the grocery store, doctors appointments, and other places as she could not understand what others were saying. Through this, I have developed a passion for helping people who struggle to communicate and socialize with others. I want to help those with ASD improve their social skills and serve as someone to support them, especially in settings that can be anxiety inducing. I also want to make Emory a more inclusive environment for neurodiverse individuals by de-stigmatizing autism and stopping the perpetuation of misconceptions about ASD.

Oumy Gueye

Social Media Chair

I want to be apart of Autism Awareness Organization at Oxford simply because one of my long term goals is to bridge the health care inequity gap. This program will help me learn the skills and knowledge to implement as an undergraduate student towards this goal. Oftentimes I find myself questioning the stigmas placed on certain individuals and how that affects the quality of care that they receive. The same is true about Autism. When I first learned about autism, I was told that “it’s basically a learning disorder.” After some research however I was shocked to learn that Autism varies from person to person. The formation of stigmas are very important because of the domino affect that they create. A decrease in the awareness of Autism causes people to make more assumptions, which causes a decrease in the quality of care that Autistic individuals receive in healthcare. This decrease in the quality of care is important because this could result in a doctor prescribing the wrong medication to an Autistic individual which inevitably affects that persons whole life. Being apart of the Autism Awareness Organization at Oxford will enable me to help society progress as a whole simply through awareness. Most importantly, the bonds and network that I will form as an executive board member will ensure I continue this work after graduating from Oxford and Emory College.

Charlotte Emerson

Advocacy Chair

I initially joined AAO to make new friends and become involved with local service. Personally, I did not know many things about the daily lives of neurodiverse people and the struggles that they face. As a result of joining AAO and making new friends within the community, I have became more compassionate and educated. As advocacy chair, I look forward to writing articles that will promote ideas of inclusion so that people with ASD can live happy and healthy lives on and off Emory campus.

Abby Furey

Advocacy Chair

I joined AAO because I believe wholeheartedly in the inclusion of people of all intellectual abilities and differences. I fear in the college setting we lose sight of the amount and importance of people with intellectual differences in our society. It is my life’s mission to make sure we all have fair, equal opportunity and resources regardless of our abilities. AAO helps me do that at Emory!

Rachel Tupler


Human Health and Psychology

I decided to join Autism Awareness because my best friend at home has autism. Growing up around him, I learned a lot, like how to be an ally, advocate, supporter, and friend. When I came to Emory, however, there was little acknowledgment of ASD and other neurodivergent people. I am passionate about educating the student body, providing support, friendship, and spreading awareness about ASD and other neurodivergence. I am also looking forward to doing research with professors and continuing my work with people with autism. I am also very passionate about advocating for proper terminology, dismantling ableist views, and instead lifting them up and amplifying neurodiverse voices.

Ryan Scholte

Events Chair

I volunteered for 4 years unified sports and similar programs in high school, which offers opportunities for children with disabilities to get involved in sports and socialization. Autism Awareness allows me to continue my passion for helping people and be a part of a great community. I also can’t wait to learn more about ASD and help spread a greater understanding about ASD.

Thomas Pharr

Research Chair

I believe more research surrounding ASD is crucial to create a more inclusive environment for the neurodiverse community. I have a passion for research surrounding ways to identify and understand the vast array of different experiences for those on the autism spectrum. Often, it can be difficult for those without autism to understand how exactly autism affects a specific individual; so I hope to see more research into ways to empower those with autism to feel more integrated into their community. I am also interested in the ways that ASD can interact with other aspects of mental health like anxiety and depression, and how we might be able to create treatment options for these things with autism in mind.

Jianing Wang

Service Chair

I want to know how to better help people with autism.

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