Ariana Riccio leads research to mitigate the gap in services that autistic individuals experience in postsecondary settings. Her studies seek to improve curricula, transition supports, and pre-employment campus programming for autistic youth by using participatory research design, which employs the autistic community as co-creators of research products.

Riccio is the principal investigator (PI) of the National Science Foundation-funded project Engaging Autistic STEM Undergraduates in Creating Supportive Learning Environments, and she is co-PI on Making Mentors: Enhancing Access to STEM Careers for Autistic Youth through Mentorship Programs in Makerspaces. She is collaborating on the NASA-funded initiative NASA’s Neurodiversity Network, which is working to create pathways to NASA participation and STEM careers for neurodiverse learners, particularly those who identify as autistic.

A widely published author, Riccio’s findings appear in journals including Autism and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She also presents her work at national research conferences.

Riccio holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York and a BS in Biology and Community Health from Tufts University.