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Meet the ASSERT Team

Tom Higbee

Thomas S. Higbee, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Director

Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University and Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism that he founded in 2003. He is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Utah. His research focuses on the development of effective educational and behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities as well as the development of effective training strategies for teaching parents and professionals to implement effective interventions. He is a former associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and a current associate editor for the European Journal of Behavior Analysis and the International Journal of Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Higbee is committed to the dissemination of effective behavioral interventions and has helped to create intensive behavior analytic preschool and school programs for children with autism and related disorders in Brazil, Russia, Portugal, and throughout his home state of Utah. He is the past president of the Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA) and currently serves as a member of the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Psychologist Licensing Board of the state of Utah.

Lyndsay Nix

Lyndsay D. Nix, MS, BCBA, LBA

Program Coordinator

Lyndsay graduated from Utah State University with a Master of Science Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. She also graduated as Valedictorian with a dual Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education: Early Childhood (birthage 5) & Mild/Moderate Disabilities (K–12+), and is a licensed professional educator. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in the state of Utah. She has worked at the ASSERT Autism Program since 2007. She is the Program Coordinator at ASSERT, where she serves as the main contact for the program. Feel free to email her with any questions about ASSERT!

Thesis: An evaluation of a stimulus preference assessment of iPad applications for young children with autism

Kassidy Reinert

Kassidy S. Reinert, MS

Case Manager and Clinical Coordinator

Kassidy Reinert received her BA in Psychology with minors in Disability Studies and Human Development & Family Sciences from the University of Wyoming and MS in Special Education with BCBA coursework from Utah State University. She works with the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) preschool as a case manager and clinical coordinator. Her research interests include activity schedules, technology in teaching, and parent training. She is preparing to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Thesis: An evaluation of an iPad based activity schedule

Azure Pellegrino

Azure J. Pellegrino, MA, BCBA, LBA

Cache School District Contract

Azure Pellegrino earned her BA and MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University, Fresno. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst in Utah specializing in early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Azure is a doctoral student in the Disability Disciplines program at Utah State University, working under Dr. Thomas Higbee. She has provided clinical services at the Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training (ASSERT) preschool, as well as in preschool through sixth grade ASSERT classrooms in Granite, Nebo, and Cache County School Districts. Her research interests include teaching language, play, and social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lorraine Becerra

Lorraine A. Becerra, MA, BCBA, LBA

Nebo School District Contract

Lorraine Becerra received her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MA in Behavioral Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University, Northridge. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and doctoral student who works with Dr. Thomas S. Higbee at the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) preschool. Her previous experiences include working with children and adults diagnosed with autism in community based non-profit clinical settings, school districts, and in-home services. Her current research interests include early-intensive behavioral interventions, effective staff training, and increasing social skills. Lorraine is the current student representative of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and and the Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA). She is also an active student member of other professional associations including the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA), and the National Latino Psychological Association (NLPA).

Kylee Lewis

Kylee Lewis, MS, BCBA, LBA

Case Manager

Kylee Lewis received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Utah State University in 2012, and her Masters degree in special education with the BCBA emphasis in January 2017. In May 2017 she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She works with the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) preschool as a case manager.

Thesis: An evaluation of fading procedures on the effects of children using activity schedules to play on the playground appropriately

Katelin Hobson

Katelin A. Hobson, MS, BCBA

Case Manager

Katelin received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2011. In July 2011, she began working at an inclusive preschool for children diagnosed for children with autism. After working in the field for four years she returned back to Arizona State University to receive her masters. In May 2017 she received her MS in Applied Behavior Analysis. In September 2017, she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Katelin is a doctoral student in the Disability Disciplines program at Utah State University, working under Dr. Thomas Higbee. She has provided clinical services at the Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training (ASSERT) preschool.  Her research interests include joint attention, verbal behavior, and  teaching social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Amy Heaps

Amy M. Heaps, BS

Case Manager

Amy Heaps received her bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Science from Utah State University in 2015. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Special Education with BCBA coursework. In 2013, Amy began working at Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) preschool, where she is currently providing clinical services as a case manager.

Annie Galizio

Annie Galizio, B.S.

Case Manager

Annie Galizio received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Behavior Analysis at Utah State University under Dr. Amy Odum in the Psychology Department. Her research interests include reinforced behavioral variability, delay discounting, and behavioral pharmacology in humans and nonhuman animals. In addition, she provides clinical services at the Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training (ASSERT) preschool and is researching reinforced behavioral variability and choice in children with autism in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Higbee. She is preparing to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).