To obtain more information about our research projects, clinical programs, and other services, please email our clinic coordinators at autism@ucsb.edu or call us at 805.893.2049. Please do not contact the directors for this information.

Directors

Ty

Dr. Ty Vernon, Center Director

Center Director
Office
Education 2143

Dr. Ty Vernon is the Director of the UCSB Koegel Autism Center.  His primary research interests lie in novel methods for measuring, understanding, and altering the social developmental trajectories of individuals with autism and related conditions.  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.  

Anna

Dr. Anna Krasno, Clinical Director

Office
Koegel Autism Center 1146

Dr. Krasno is the Clinical Director of the UCSB 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.

Clinical Coordinators

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Jess Khaw

Clinic Coordinator

Jess is currently a fourth-year undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara pursuing a B.A. in Linguistics, as well as a minor in Applied Psychology. She is also a current Research Assistant at the KAC. She hopes to have a career in psychology with a focus on working with neurodiverse individuals to help create more accessibility in both academia and in the workforce. After graduation, Jess intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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Kaiju Morquecho

Clinic Coordinator

Kai(ju) is a full-time staff member and UCSB Alum. This Fall they will be starting a masters program at the Bren School of Environmental Science while working at KAC! 

Graduate Student Researchers 

Maria

Maria Jimenez

Maria Jimenez is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology emphasis working with Dr. Ty Vernon. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2016 and a M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Miami in 2017. Her research interests include the design and dissemination of early parent training interventions for families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is also interested in understanding how to improve treatment access, engagement and outcomes for culturally diverse and under-served families of children with ASD.

Kaylin

Kaylin Russell

Kaylin is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology emphasis working with Dr. Ty Vernon. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Michigan State University in 2018. Her research interests include telehealth adaptations of parent-mediated interventions for children with ASD, along with parent perspectives on implementing Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs). She is also interested in peer relationships and the role of anxiety in group social skills interventions for children with ASD.

Sarely

Sarely Licona

Sarely is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology emphasis working with Dr. Ty Vernon. She earned a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester in 2019. Her research interests include identifying barriers in accessing resources for under-served families of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) along with cultural adaptations of existing parent-mediated interventions. She is also interested in bilingual assessment and intervention.

Sade

Sade Branyan

Sade graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology and a focus in developmental neuropsychology. During her time at Barnard, she worked in the Cognitive Development and Spatial Cognition lab, researching and presenting on early numeracy development in toddlers, and at the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai as a clinical researcher in the Foss-Feig Lab. Sade completed her post-bacc at the ASD and Developmental Science Lab, leading a collaborative study using natural sleep MRIs to investigate neurobiological underpinnings of changes in restricted repetitive behavior/interests (RRBs) over the first five years of life. Sade's research interests include increasing access for under-served families of young children with autism spectrum disorder, along with creating culturally-inclusive adaptations of diagnostic measures and intervention strategies.

Aniela

Aniela Bordofsky

Aniela is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology emphasis working with Dr. Ty Vernon. She earned a B.A. in History and a minor in applied psychology from UCSB in 2020. After her undergraduate studies, she completed a research fellowship in Pharmaceutical Research and Clinical Practice at the Yale Child Study Center. Her research interests include studying Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. She is also interested in increasing widespread access to effective autism interventions via telehealth adaptations.

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Kaitlynn Penner

Kaitlynn is a doctoral student with an emphasis in Special Education, Disability, and Risk studies. She earned a B.S. in Special Education from South Carolina State University in 2014 and a M.S. in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Florida International University in 2016. Her interests include improving the cultural relevance of interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, specifically in the area of parent education and treatment acceptability.

Alumni

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Emily Ferguson

Emily is an alumni who worked in the clinical psychology emphasis with Dr. Ty Vernon. Her research interests include the design and dissemination of social interventions for individuals with ASD, along with the development of novel measures to track individual responses to intervention. She is also interested in developing methods to teach emotion regulation skills to individuals with ASD with a range of verbal and cognitive abilities.

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Rachel Schuck

Rachel is an alumni who specialized in Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies. She earned a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2011 and an MA in Special Education from San Jose State in 2017. Her research interests center on exploring the social validity of autism intervention programs, particularly from the autistic perspective. She is also interested in parent involvement in education/interventions for young autistic children.