Our Team

Dr. Ty Vernon, Koegel Autism Center Director

Email: tyvernon@ucsb.edu
Office: Education 2143

Dr. Ty Vernon is the Director of the Koegel Autism Center.  His primary research interests lie in novel methods for measuring, understanding, and altering the social developmental trajectories of individuals with autism.  He focuses on the development and evaluation of  innovative social interventions, including early social engagement paradigms for toddlers and their parents and socialization programs and groups for school-aged children, adolescents, and adults with ASD.

Dr. Vernon received his Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology (clinical emphasis) from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010.  He completed his pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center (housed within Yale University’s School of Medicine).  During his graduate and post-doctoral training, he acquired training in state-of-the-art autism intervention, assessment, and research methods from two world-renowned programs: UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center and the YCSC’s Autism Program. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology within the Department of CCSP.  

Dr. Vernon's faculty page

Dr. Anna Krasno, Koegel Autism Center Clinical Director

Email: akrasno@ucsb.edu
Office: Koegel Autism Center 1146

Dr. Krasno is the Clinical Director of the Koegel Autism Center. She oversees the clinical training and supervision of the Autism Center staff as well as designs and implements clinical service initiatives.

Dr. Krasno is a licensed psychologist and received her Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology (clinical emphasis) from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014. Prior to her graduate training, she spent two years as a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience at the Yale Child Study Center's Autism Program (housed within Yale University School of Medicine). She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, CA, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University. She obtained her post-doctoral training at Child Abuse Listening and Mediation (CALM) in Santa Barbara, CA.

Clinic Coordinators
Kristina Elias, Clinic Coordinator

Email: autism@education.ucsb.edu
Phone: (805) 893-2049

Kristina is currently pursing a Bachelor’s of Science in Bio-Psychology from UC Santa Barbara with minors in German and Applied Psychology. She hopes to pursue her education and is interested in many fields of psychology research.

Anne Dong, Clinic Coordinator

Email: autism@education.ucsb.edu
Phone: (805) 893-2049

Anne is an undergraduate student pursuing a BA in Psychology and minors in Education and Applied Psychology. She loves music, nature, and working with kids!

Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Researchers
Amy Barrett, M.A.


I am a doctoral student in the Clincial, Counseling, and School Psychology program (clinical emphasis) working with Dr. Ty Vernon. My primary area of interest lies in improving social and language development of young children with autism through the implementation of social Pivotal Response Treatment.

Shereen Cohen, M.A.

Email: scohen@ucsb.edu

I was born and raised in San Diego, and earned my Bachelors degree at UC San Diego. I completed my honors thesis on the face processing in adolescents with ASD, and thus discovered my passion for ASD research. 

Erin Engstrom, M.A.

Email: erin@ucsb.edu

I am a student in the Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology program. My current research interests include empathy expression in individuals with ASD, and improving higher education and employment outcomes for adolescents and adults with ASD. I am specfically interested in understanding these areas through the lens of neurodiversity while utilizing and improving strength-based, motivational behavioral interventions.

Jordan Ko, M.A.
Email: jko@ucsb.edu
I am a clinical psychology doctoral student working with Dr. Ty Vernon. My research at UCSB centers on social intervention for individuals with ASD across various stages of development (toddlerhood through young adulthood) and novel methods for measuring treatment outcome of social interventions. I am generally interested in parent and peer-mediated interventions to improve relationships and social trajectories.
Liz McGarry, M.A.


Daina Tagavi, M.A.
Special Education Graduate Student Researchers
Angela Ente, M.A.
Katerina Ford, M.A.
Adam Garber, B.A.
Jessica Hai, M.A.

Email: jhai@ucsb.edu

Kelsey Oliver, M.A.

Email: koliver@ucsb.edu

I am a doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk Studies. My current research interests include the dissemination of PRT to families, school personnel, and other professionals in addition to the support and education of parents with children on the spectrum. I am also interested in social skills interventions in inclusive school environments, particularly in elementary schools.

Samantha Poyser, B.A.
Founding Directors
Dr. Robert Koegel, Founding Director

Dr. Robert Koegel is currently a professor at UC Santa Barbara and will be gradually transitioning to Stanford School of Medicine between July 1st and December 31st. He can be contacted at koegel@ucsb.edu and koegel@stanford.edu.

Robert Koegel, Ph.D., was the Founding Director of the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is an international authority in the area of autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school integration.  He has published well over two hundred articles and papers relating to the treatment of autism.  He also has authored 6  books on the treatment of autism and positive behavioral support.  He has been the recipient of numerous multimillion dollar research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California, the United States, and other countries. 

Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, Founding Clinical Director

Dr. Lynn Koegel is now a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and can be contacted at lynnk@stanford.edu.

Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., was the Founding Clinical Director of the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, development of grammatical structures, and pragmatics.  Dr. Koegel is co-author and co-editor of major textbooks on autism and positive behavioral support and is co-author of the bestselling book Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Life (Penguin, 2004). In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts throughout the United States and have been translated in most major languages used throughout the world. Dr. Lynn Koegel is actively involved in providing support and intervention services in school districts, both locally in California and throughout the United States. Dr. Koegel, and her husband Robert, were awarded the first annual recipient of the Sesame Street Children’s Television Workshop Award for brightening the lives of children.  She has also been featured in news reports on television stations throughout the United States and has appeared on episodes of the internationally broadcast ABC television series Supernanny.