Board and bylaws



Alice Keyl Austin

Alice Austin, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Washington State University and a Master of Arts in Behavior Sciences (ABA sub-plan) from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She earned her Doctorate in Special Education and Rehabilitation (specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis) from Utah State University in 2011. She is a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Oregon. Dr. Austin’s primary area of expertise is ABA-based, early intervention for children with autism. She also has experience providing ABA services to school-aged children and adults with developmental disabilities. In addition to direct service provision at AKA Consulting, she has conducted a variety of trainings for both parents and teachers and has provided consultative services to school districts. She is currently an adjunct professor at Oregon Institute of Technology, teaching graduate-level courses in behavior analysis. She recently served as board member to the Oregon Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board.

Vice President


Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper, MEd, BCBA, LBA earned her Masters of Education from Arizona State University in 2013. She is a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Oregon. Sarah works at Victory Academy providing ABA services, supervising those implementing ABA services, providing parent and staff training, and collaborating with Victory’s team of specialists.




Emily Kearney

Emily Kearney

Emily Kearney, MA, BCBA, LBA, received her master’s degree in special education from Sonoma State University, focusing on using ABA to increase prelinguistic communication among young children. Emily completed her post-graduate ABA studies at Florida Institute of Technology. She currently works at Building Bridges, providing ABA to young children. In the past, she has worked as a paraprofessional, led social skills groups, used operant conditioning to train rehabilitated but unreleasable water birds permanently housed at an education facility, and trained public school staff to implement ABA techniques within their inclusion programs. She is interested in generative learning and Relational Frame Theory, especially as it relates to children with strong emerging social and language repertoires.




Analise Herrera

Analise Hererra, MA, BCBA, LBA earned her master’s degree from Lewis and Clark University and then took post-graduate coursework in ABA at St. Cloud University. Analise is the Clinical Director at the Portland branch of The Center for Social Dynamics. She has been involved in ORABA for many years.





Public Policy Chair


Melissa Gard

Melissa Gard, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she received her PhD in behavioral psychology and her master’s degree in human development and family life. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. Her clinical work focuses on the treatment of autism using the principles of ABA, and she has worked with families nationally and internationally to this end. She currently provides home- and center-based services in the Portland area through Building Bridges. Services target all areas of development, behavior, and social interactions through direct teaching, staff and parent training. Melissa also teaches graduate-level courses in behavior analysis as an adjunct faculty member at Oregon Institute of Technology and within NCNM’s Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research degree program. At NCNM, behavioral classes focus on the planning and implementation of behavioral interventions and the measurement of behavioral outcomes.

Student Representatives

Alisha Sheetz

Alisha Ming Sheetz

Georgia Paxson

Georgia Paxson

Alisha Ming Sheetz, BCBA, RBAI and Georgia Paxson, RBAI, provide ABA therapy to young children with autism at Building Bridges. Alisha, who recently completed her Master’s degree including graduate level coursework in ABA at National University and became a BCBA, and Georgia, who is currently studying ABA at Ball State University, share the role supporting student members of ORABA and students interested in learning about the field of Behavior Analysis.

Board Advisors

Maria Lynn Kessler

Maria Lynn Kessler

Maria Lynn Kessler, PhD, received her doctorate in psychology from Florida State University and her MS in ABA from Southern Illinois University. Maria Lynn leads the BCBA-approved course sequence in ABA from Oregon Institute of Technology and was awarded The Oregon Tech Foundation Faculty Achievement Award from the College of Health, Arts, and Sciences for providing her students with opportunities to gain more knowledge of their field through participation in meetings, networking with local professionals, and bringing in guest speakers. Dr. Kessler partnered with Gregg Gassman from Southern Oregon University to create a joint master’s in education program with an emphasis on ABA, preparing students to meet the requirements of BCBA certification and providing them with the background necessary to teach learners with ASD and other social/emotional delays.

Jenny Fischer

Jenny Fischer

Jenny Fischer, PhD, BCBA-D, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she first began working with children with autism during a practicum course. Jenny completed her Master of Science in Psychology (Behavior Analysis specialization) from California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock, CA in 2007, and completed her PhD in Psychology (Behavior Analysis specialization) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles Campus, in May 2016. Jenny’s research interests include teaching language to children with autism, particularly teaching generative language repertoires. Jenny has been practicing as a BCBA in Central and Southern Oregon since 2007, and officially opened Cascade Behavioral Intervention in 2010. She has been actively involved in legislative advocacy for insurance coverage of ABA, has served on the board of the Oregon Association for Behavior Analysis and the Oregon Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board. She enjoys partnering with community organizations to expand and improve the resources available to Oregon’s families.


ORABA By-laws 2017