Chiara Latimer of Center for Neurodiversity Recognized as "2024 Woman to Watch"

Chiara Latimer

Image Alternative Text: Depicted is Chiara Latimer, standing beside the Rowan University Office of Career Advancement banner and office.


Note: Neurodiversity is a term that was conceived in 1998 by sociologist Judy Singer.1 It references the full range of natural variations in cognition, learning, behavior, and socialization within the entire human population. In other words, we all have differences, and our differences are natural and valuable.

The Center for Neurodiversity at Rowan University defines neurodiversity culture as "group belonging and pride formed around shared lived experiences, personal disability identity, and social justice activism."2 Foundational readings on disability culture are available via Disability and Society.3,4

The Center for Neurodiversity embraces disability rights lecturer James I. Charlton's mantra, "Nothing about us without us,"5 and envisions a fully inclusive community with meaningful participation for all.


Promoting and Advancing Neurodiversity Understanding

Please join the Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in congratulating Chiara Latimer, who serves as Co-Director of the Center for Neurodiversity and Coordinator of the Autism PATH (Preparation and Achievement in the Transition to Hire) Program. Latimer has been recognized as a "2024 Woman to Watch" by South Jersey Biz.

The "2024 Women to Watch"6 feature comprises women advancing their careers while championing the next generation of go-getters. Our Division of DEI team is immensely proud of Latimer for her outstanding dedication to the neurodivergent student population at Rowan University. In her roles, she supports students through both Center for Neurodiversity7 and Autism PATH8 programming, providing individualized guidance during transitions from graduation to meaningful employment.

Latimer has dedicated her career to neurodivergent communities. In 2007, she served as a mentoring program leader for differently abled elementary school students and was recognized as a finalist for the Jefferson Award for Public Service in Delaware. This leadership experience guided her career and academic goals towards supporting neurodiverse students and families. After achieving a master of family therapy (MFT) at Drexel University, she focused on providing therapeutic services to clients on the autism spectrum and their families.

Across 2013 through 2019, Latimer served as family consultant at the Center for Autism in Philadelphia, wherein she served as liaison for care teams to families of clients, and service providers supporting clients enrolled in programming. Her clients transitioned to secondary education, and she began focusing on neurodiverse students' needs within higher education. In order to support students and families during these periods, she developed curricula on the transition to higher education, and parent support groups to encourage sharing of information on supporting their children. She further piloted a "Career and College Exploration" curriculum, teaching young adults self-advocacy strategies to support campus residential life. Further, while chairing the aforementioned parent support group at the Center for Autism, she connected with employers seeking to support a neurodiverse workforce.

Latimer went on to serve as adjunct faculty for Camden County College's Garden State Pathways Program (GSP),9 focused on self-advocacy strategies and career development, and in 2018, began working as access associate at the Community College of Philadelphia and supported implementation of academic accommodations and collaboration with students and faculty.

Latimer's steadfast dedication to guiding neurodivergent students' transition into adulthood and higher education led her to Rowan University where, in 2019, she began serving as inaugural program coordinator for the Autism PATH Program. At PATH, she continues her focus on career readiness and educating employers, promotes empathy and inclusion, and works with both the Office of Accessibility Services and Office of Career Advancement. Further, she is currently completing her doctorate in higher education leadership.

As Latimer shared with South Jersey Biz, "It is imperative to highlight the need for increased awareness related to the experiences of intersectional identities of women. DEI efforts need to promote the celebration of neurodivergent women ... Women hold so many identities, and we need to capture these varied experiences through DEI initiatives."6

Latimer serves as a champion for all neurodivergent people among the Rowan University community, and she is a role model for the larger community in promoting, advancing, and innovating neurodiversity understanding. She is an integral member of the Division of DEI Leadership Team and we are proud to work with her.


About the Center for Neurodiversity at Rowan University

The Center for Neurodiversity launched in 2021 as a result of the Neurodiversity Task Force,10 a group comprised of neurodiverse faculty, staff, students, and community partners. Chiara Latimer was appointed Co-Director of the Center for Neurodiversity, wherein she oversees programming alongside fellow Co-Director John Woodruff. As an integral department within the Division of DEI, the center serves as a cultural center and positions neurodiversity within DEI initiatives, recognizing all aspects of human diversity—neurodivergence, disability, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, etc.—are natural and valuable.

Foundational to the work of the Center for Neurodiversity and Division of DEI are shared tenets of neurodiversity culture, with focus on the following:

  • valuing neurological differences as diversity and one of many aspects of identity,
  • recognizing that a variety of minds benefits society,
  • viewing neurodivergence from a strengths perspective, and
  • understanding that neurodiversity and disability co-exist


Center for Neurodiversity at Rowan University Graphic

Image Alternative Text: Depicted is a rainbow infinity symbol in soft shades of yellow, orange, red, green, and blue, against a gradient background in soft shades of green and blue. The text surrounding the symbol reads, "Neurodiversity Understanding" and below the symbol reads, "At Rowan University, we recognize mind differences as natural human variation and as valuable." The Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) logo and website link to "" are positioned at the bottom of the graphic.

Click here to download the graphic.


The Center for Neurodiversity provides the following resources for faculty, staff, students, and the entire Rowan community, as well as professional development curricula for external organizations:

  • programming, professional development curricula, and events that present neurodiversity through a strengths-based lens, with focus on social justice;
  • research prioritized by the neurodiversity community, including participatory research that advances opportunity and autonomy for neurodivergent individuals; and
  • community engagement with students, educators, and families/caregivers centered on neurodiversity culture, needs, and initiatives

To learn more and/or explore potential partnerships, please email


Follow the Rowan University Division of DEI:



  1. Adan, A., Fortunato, P., & McAllaster, G. (2021). Defining and Celebrating Neurodiversity. Rowan University. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  2. Center for Neurodiversity. What We Do. Rowan University. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  3. Peters, S. (2000). Is There a Disability Culture? A Syncretisation of Three Possible World Views. Disability & Society, 15(4), 583–601.
  4. Chiang, E. S. (2020). Disability Cultural Centers: How Colleges Can Move Beyond Access to Inclusion. Disability & Society, 35(7), 1183–1188.
  5. Charlton, J. I. (1998). Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment. University of California Press.
  6. Maccar, M., Murray, C., & Valcourt, C. (2024). 2024 Women to Watch. South Jersey Biz. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  7. Center for Neurodiversity. Welcome. Rowan University. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  8. Autism PATH Program. What is PATH?. Rowan University. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  9. Garden State Pathways Program. Camden County College. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.
  10. Center for Neurodiversity. Neurodiversity Task Force Members. Rowan University. Retrieved from on February 26, 2024.