Gabrielsen taught accounting at Salt Lake Community College for 25 years after graduating from BYU in business management. A little boy in her neighborhood sparked the shift in her career. Though not diagnosed at the time, he had autism. He was unable to attend primary due to behavior challenges. Gabrielsen volunteered to work with him and grew to love helping him progress. “I was immediately drawn to working with children who have autism,” she explained. “There is so much to learn and autism affects each child differently.”
Realizing she wanted to pursue autism as her field of study, Gabrielsen returned to school to receive her degrees from the University of Utah in school psychology with an emphasis in autism research. She did a clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, currently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the leading children’s hospital in the country.
Gabrielsen returned to BYU to teach and continue her research on training pediatricians and educators in early identification of autism and other autism issues. She is excited to join the faculty in CPSE because she respects “how caring and involved the faculty members are towards their students,” and how they are on the “forefront of school psychology.”
Gabrielsen and her husband enjoy the outdoors, especially after returning to the Utah mountains. When she has time, Gabrielsen enjoys reading and supporting her husband while he plays rock and roll. They have two children and three grandchildren and one on the way.