Meet the Team


Karen D. Bopp, PhD – Director of Provincial Outreach

Dr. Karen Bopp is the lead author for the CIRCA Professional Development Programs. She has a PhD in Special Education and is also a Speech-Language Pathologist. Karen has worked extensively with autistic individuals and their families for over 25 years. She is serving a 4-year secondment (2018-2022) with CIRCA/UBC from the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development where she served for 10 years in the positions of Senior Behaviour Consultant, Autism Policy Lead and, most recently, Director of Autism Information Services BC.

 Sharon Hu, B.A. – Instructional Designer

Sharon is the Instructional Designer for the CIRCA Continuing Professional Development Initiative. She has over 12 years of combined experience as a learning designer for the Justice Institute of BC, UBC Faculty of Education, and Vancouver Coastal Health. She specializes in using media and interactive activities to create impactful online learning experiences.


Pat Mirenda, PhD. – Past CIRCA Director

Dr. Mirenda is a Professor Emerita at UBC. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and taught graduate courses on autism, augmentative communication, positive behavior support, and inclusive education. In 2004, she was awarded the Killam Teaching Prize in the Faculty of Education at UBC and was named a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2008, she was named a Fellow of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She has published over 150 research articles and chapters related to autism, and co-authored two texts on autism and augmentative communication.

Rae Morris, MSW, RCSW – Project Assistant

Rae is a PhD Candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, and an individual and family therapist specializing in neurodiversity and mental health. Her dissertation is exploring mental health service provision in Canada for adults with autism and co-occurring mental health challenges.


Valerie Goodman – Research Assistant

Valerie has four years’ cumulative experience working with youth and adults with diverse needs. She is an M.Ed student in the Special Education program at the University of British Columbia where she is pursuing coursework to become a BCBA. Valerie works concurrently as a research assistant for CIRCA, as well as a Junior Behaviour Consultant supporting families and individuals with autism.


Ross J. Harvey – Videographer

Ross Harvey of Jazzfly Video Productions is an accomplished videographer with over 25 years of experience producing corporate and learning videos. He was particularly happy to be a part of this project as it opened his eyes to the abilities of people on the autism spectrum.