JumpStart Autism Center

Serving Children, Families and the Community

Catherine Kovatch, PhD, BCBA

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Kovatch studied School Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, earning a Masters Degree and Ph.D.  As an undergraduate and graduate student, Dr. Kovatch was a research assistant for Dr. Myrna Shore, studying programs to teach problem solving skills to children (ICPS program). Dr. Kovatch completed her internship at Eastern State School and Hospital, a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, which is where she first began to work with young people with developmental disabilities and autism. She started her professional career at the Bancroft Residential School in 1993, providing psychological services, including individual and family therapy, group therapy, evaluations and behavior planning and intervention for children and adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. More recently Dr. Kovatch has been a consultant for school and community based programs providing evaluations and behavior interventions for children with behavior disorders and developmental disabilities. Her particular interest is designing and running social skills groups for children with social deficits.

Dr. Kovatch has been a Girl Scout and Girl Scout leader for most of her life. A recent transplant to New Mexico, she enjoys spending her free time exploring the region.

Mary Klotz, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Klotz studied Child Development at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. She specialized in child, adolescent and family psychology and completed her internship in child clinical psychology at University of New Mexico Hospitals, Department of Psychiatry. Before pursuing her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology, Mary was a teacher at the Community Therapeutic Day School in Boston, MA and she worked with children who had behavioral differences and learning disabilities. Dr. Klotz has over 10 years of experience providing evidenced-based treatment and comprehensive assessment across both clinical and school settings. She conducts comprehensive developmental and psychological assessments for children ages three years and older presenting with variety of concerns including: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders and other behavioral and social-emotional issues.

Brian R. Lopez, PhD, BCBA


Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Lopez has specialized in the diagnostic assessment and evidence-based treatments of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopment disabilities for the past 15 years. Dr. Lopez is a New Mexico native who returned to New Mexico after working in California and Colorado. At JumpStart Autism Center (JAC), Dr. Lopez is a member of our early diagnostic team, works with JAC mental health providers to provide parent training and behavioral consultation, and collaborates with JAC's ABA Clinical Supervisors to oversee JAC's ABA programs.

Before starting JumpStart in 2008, Dr. Lopez worked at the University of New Mexico's Center for Neuropsychological Services and the Center for Development and Disability. There he specialized in the diagnosis of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and helped supervise clinical psychology interns and post-doctorate candidates. Dr. Lopez also worked at UNM's Center for Development and Disability (CDD) where he was an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics. At the CDD, Dr. Lopez was a member of the multidisciplinary diagnostic team that conducted ASD evaluations, collaborated on a range of research projects (e.g., social skills groups, early treatment initiation in new diagnosed families with ASD, and MEG studies on very young children diagnosed with ASD). Prior to moving back to New Mexico, Dr. Lopez worked in San Diego at the Center for Autism Research Evaluations and Services. He earned his PhD from the California School of Professional Psychology-San Diego in 2001, where he specialized in the treatment and diagnosis of individuals with ASD. Similarly, Dr. Lopez completed his APA Internship at Denver Health Medical Center and his post-doctorate training at San Diego's Children's Hospital Institute for Developmental Research.


When not at JAC, you can find Dr. Lopez spending time with his family. He enjoys spending time at the baseball fields and swimming pools with his two sons. He loves coaching his boys, but finds going to professional baseball games much more enjoyable.