Meet the Team2019-06-27T15:51:59+00:00

Meet the Team

Central Staff

Leigh Grannan, M.S., BCBA
Leigh Grannan, M.S., BCBADirector
Leigh Grannan serves as Director for The Autism Clinic at Hope, located in Springfield, Edwardsville, and Maryville, IL and St. Louis, MO. Leigh, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, earned a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2004. She worked as a Clinical Instructor and School Coordinator for eight years at The Autism Program of IL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. There she collaborated with the program’s Speech-Language Pathologist to provide supervision to graduate students in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy and Communication Disorders and Sciences programs. In addition to clinic therapy services, she supervised graduate students providing consultation services in area schools. Leigh is a graduate of the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) training program. She has conducted research in language acquisition with children with ASD and is trained in administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2nd Edition. Leigh has provided didactic trainings on a number of topics including challenging behavior, toilet training, and supporting students with ASD in the classroom.
Kate Ogilvy
Kate OgilvyBilling Specialist
Kate started at The Autism Clinic at Hope in November 2016 as the Intake & Records Specialist before moving into the Billing Specialist role in April 2018. She studied Psychology at Michigan State University and previously worked in Hospice as an Admissions Coordinator. Working at The Autism Clinic is Kate’s first experience helping with families of children with autism.
Jessica Murphy
Jessica MurphyBilling Specialist
Jessica, Billing Specialist at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working at the clinic since March 2017. She studied medical coding and billing at Midwest Technical Institute and graduated in 2012. She has previously worked at the Hope School as Policy & Health Information Assistant. Jessica has been working with families of children on the Autism Spectrum since 2012.
Kirsten Lockenour-ChransBilling Specialist
Hannah LarsonScheduling Specialist

Springfield, Illinois Location

Joanna Morrissey, M.S., BCBA
Joanna Morrissey, M.S., BCBASite Lead
Joanna, a BCBA, at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum in various capacities since 2006. She completed her undergraduate degree in Deaf Education from Illinois State University and Lincoln Christian University and subsequently spent 7 years teaching special education. During her time as a teacher, she began working on her Master’s Degree in Behavioral Analysis and Therapy through Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Joanna graduated with her Master’s in December 2016 and obtained her BCBA credential in May 2016. Her professional interests include organizational behavioral management and supporting children with ASD and their teachers in the classroom.
Natalie Donaldson
Natalie DonaldsonClinician II
Natalie, a clinician at The Autism Clinic at The Hope Institute for Children and Families, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since 2009. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and then moved to Minnesota to begin working on her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis through St. Cloud State University. Natalie is projected to graduate with her Master’s in Spring 2017 and will sit for her Board Certified Behavior Analysis exam in 2017. Her professional interests include severe problem behavior, functional communication training, and verbal behavior.
Samantha O’Connor, BCBA
Samantha O’Connor, BCBAClinician III
Samantha, a clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum in various capacities since 2014. She completed her undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology at University of Illinois at Springfield. Sammie began working as an intern and a therapy assistant in January of 2015 and became a Registered Behavior Technician in December 2015. She worked part-time at Hope in the behavior department for residential youth while working part-time as an RBT at the clinic and then transitioned to a clinician at the clinic. During her time as an RBT, Sammie began working on her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati and graduated in April 2017.

Her clinical interests include functional communication training, organizational behavioral management, and decreasing severe problem behavior.

Sarah Beth Alexander, BCaBa
Sarah Beth Alexander, BCaBaClinician II
Sarah Beth, a Clinician at The Autism Clinic at the Hope Institute for Families and Children, has been working with children on the Autism Spectrum since 2008. She has provided Applied Behavior Analysis services in various settings including school, clinic, and individual home programming. She completed her training to become a Registered Behavior Technician in August 2015. Sarah is currently enrolled at Kaplan University to complete her degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is expected to graduate in summer of 2017 and will sit for her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst exam in 2017. Her clinical interests include severe problem behavior, functional communication training, and facilitating the generalization of skills to natural settings.
Rebecca Tavernor, BCBA
Rebecca Tavernor, BCBAClinician III
Rebecca, a clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since April 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Springfield in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development. Rebecca began working as an intern at the Autism Clinic in 2015 and became a Registered Behavior Technician in July 2015. While working as an RBT, Rebecca pursued her Master’s degree and graduated in December 2017 from the University of Illinois Carbondale with a Master’s in Behavior Analysis and Therapy. She became a BCBA in September 2018. Her clinical interests are in functional communication training, behavior management, and generalization of skills into the natural setting.
Meghan Doherty, BCBAClinician III
Savannah Durr, SLP
Savannah began her career at The Autism Clinic in Springfield, IL as a part-time Behavior Technician in 2015. She continued working at TAC while completing her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Illinois State University. Savannah graduated with her master’s in 2017 and worked for one year in early intervention, serving children with developmental delays ages 0-3. Savannah has experience working in the pediatric outpatient hospital setting, where she received introductory formalized training in infant and toddler feeding disorders and therapy. She returned to TAC as a contractual speech-language pathologist in October 2017 and began her full-time employment as the speech-language pathologist in December 2018. At TAC, Savannah sees children on the autism spectrum for speech and language therapy sessions and is a member of the diagnostic team. Savannah conducts Level I Autism Screenings and participates in autism diagnostic evaluations at the Springfield location. Savannah’s areas of interest include AAC, sensory feeding disorders, and replacing problem-behaviors with functional communication.
Rachel BurkeClinician I
Rachel, an RBT, at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since 2014. She completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Monmouth College. She then began working as a Paraprofessional in an Autism specific classroom which lead her to pursue her Masters in Psychology with an ABA Concentration. She completed her Master’s Degree in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2019. She will be finished with her ABA concentration in the summer of 2019. She has worked at The Autism Clinic since 2018 and is currently pursuing fieldwork towards becoming a BCBA. Her professional interests include supporting children within classroom settings and functional communication training.
Edward McCrackenClinician I
Edward (Ed) has been working at The Autism Clinic since February 2017. He completed his Registered Behavior Technician training and earned the certification in May 2017. He is passionate about his work because he has multiple family members who have been diagnosed with autism. Ed completed his bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology in August 2015 and took some time off from school to determine what path he wanted to take his career. He decided in mid-2017 that becoming a BCBA was his goal. In August 2017, he enrolled in Arizona State University’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program and completed the program in May 2019. He is currently pursuing supervised independent fieldwork with The Autism Clinic. As a clinician, his interests include functional communication training, reducing challenging behaviors, and working on desensitization toward food.

Edwardsville, Illinois Location

Falyn Lockenour, M.S., BCBASite Lead
Falyn Lockenour, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), serves as the Clinical Site Lead at The Autism Clinic at Hope located in Edwardsville, IL. Falyn has worked with children and young adults (0-18) diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities since 2013 in a variety of contexts including: in-home, school, daycare, and clinical settings. While completing her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois – Springfield, she fulfilled her internship requirements working as a behavior technician at The Autism Clinic in Springfield. She then furthered her education and completed a Master of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Throughout her graduate career she served as a research assistant leading and supporting research projects in preschool and clinic settings and completed a graduate assistantship where she provided in-home services to families involved with the Department of Child and Family services. Following graduate school, Falyn returned to The Autism Clinic as a clinician and obtained her certification as a BCBA in November 2017. Her clinical interests including functional communication training, ameliorating challenging behavior, promoting rapid skill acquisition, and systematic desensitization. When she’s not in the clinic, she enjoys using principles of applied behavior analysis to teach her dog new tricks and cheering on the St. Louis Blues.
Jessica Loverude, M.S., CCC-SLP
Jessica Loverude, M.S., CCC-SLPClinician
Jessica Loverude earned a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) in 2014. During her time at SIUC Jessica worked as a graduate assistant at The Autism Program of IL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Jessica collaborated with Board Certified Behavior Analysts to provide language, social skills, and conduct research. In addition, Jessica worked as a Life Skills Aide at OPTIONS: Transitions to Independence assisting adolescents in social skills, adaptive skills, and problem-solving skills. After graduating Jessica worked as a speech-language pathologist in a Saint Louis Area Public school providing speech, language, and social skills therapies as well as conducting evaluations.
Megan TolanClinician II
Mary Hoerner, BCBAClinician III
Mary has been a clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope since March 2018. She has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since September 2012. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy. After working with a BCBA during her Occupational Therapy Internship at Sarah Busch Hospital in 2011, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at St. Louis University. Mary completed her practicum at Perandoe Special Education Cooperative where she implemented ABA strategies in a variety of classroom settings. She became a BCBA in 2014 and worked for an agency providing in-home ABA therapy all around the St. Louis area. In March 2016 she joined Skillcorps through the Global Autism Project. With this volunteer organization she traveled to Indonesia to train the teachers there to use evidence-based practice with their students with autism and empower them to become experts in their own community. Her clinical interests are in behavior management, play skills, adaptive skills and functional communication.
Brandy Davis, BCBAClinician III

O’Fallon, Illinois Location

Anna Hogg, M.S., BCBASite Lead
Anna Hogg serves as the Site Director at The Autism Clinic at Hope located in O’Fallon, IL. Anna, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), earned a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2009. Anna has worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders since 2007 in home, school, community, and clinical settings. Throughout her experience, Anna has collaborated with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Medical Doctors, and teachers to provide consistent services for her clients and their families. In addition to clinical work as a BCBA, Anna supervised graduate students in the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at the University of Missouri while working at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia, MO. During her five years at the Thompson Center, Anna also conducted and assisted with research in the following areas of ABA: Assessing preference for and reinforcing efficacy of a therapy dog; Animal assisted social skills intervention; Free operant durations and reinforcer assessments; Competing stimulus assessments and parent interview; Tolerating haircutting through differential reinforcement of other behavior; Cultural competence within behavioral skills training; Decreasing problem behavior during haircuts in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: systematic replication and extension.
Rachel Minelli, Ph.D
Rachel Minelli, Ph.DClinical Psychologist
Rachel Minelli, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, is a member of the diagnostic team at The Autism Clinic. Rachel conducts Autism screenings and diagnostic evaluations at multiple sites. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. She then obtained her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Illinois State University. Rachel began working with individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2009. As a graduate student, Rachel provided therapy services to children on the Autism Spectrum through The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP). She went on to complete her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she provided therapy and assessment services to children with developmental disabilities and other mental health concerns. Rachel has experience working with children and families in a variety of settings (e.g., home, outpatient clinic, school, residential facility, hospital). In addition to working with individuals who have developmental disabilities, Rachel also has experience working with individuals who have mental disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Rachel has worked at The Autism Clinic at Hope since 2018 and is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri.
Jaclene SweetmanClinician II
Jaclene, a Clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope, O’Fallon, has been working with individuals with disabilities in various capacities since 2008. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Missouri, Columbia and spent 8 years working in special education in the public schools. During that time, she began working on her Master’s Degree in Behavioral Analysis and Therapy through Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Jaclene graduated with her Master’s in December 2015. She will be sitting for her board certification exam in May with the hopes of becomes a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Jaclene’s professional interest include functional communication training, verbal behavior, and decreasing severe problem behavior.
Samantha BretlClinician I
Samantha, a clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope, O’Fallon, has been working with individuals with disabilities since 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville (SIUE) in Psychology while having an internship at St. Louis Children’s hospital during her Sophomore year. After graduating from SIUE she pursued her master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Ball State University and graduated in the Fall of 2019. She will be sitting for the BCBA exam in November with the hopes of becoming a BCBA. Samantha’s professional interest include desensitizing, functional communication, and adaptive skills.

Kirkwood, MO Location

Meika Valerio, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Meika Valerio, M.Ed., BCBA, LBASite Lead
Meika has worked with individuals on the Autism Spectrum providing Applied Behavior Analysis services 2011. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois and Master of Education in Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati in December of 2015. Meika has worked at The Autism Clinic in various capacities. She began as an intern and behavior technician in the Springfield clinic in 2013 and transitioned into the role as a lead behavior technician in 2014. Meika obtained certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2016 and moved to St. Louis in 2017. Her clinical interests include systematic desensitization, intensive toilet training, and functional communication training. When she’s not in the clinic, she enjoys cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals!
Krystal N. Coleman, MS, BCBA, LBABehavior Analyst
Krystal Coleman is a Clinician at The Autism Clinic at Hope. She has been working with children since 2010. She has provided Applied Behavior Analysis services in various settings including school, daycares, clinic, and individualized home programming. She completed her training to become a Registered Behavior Technician in September 2015. Krystal graduated from Kaplan University with a Master of Science in Psychology degree with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis in November 2015. Krystal is currently working to obtain national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Her clinical interests include feeding challenges, life skills acquisition, and problem behavior.