Jessica S. Akers, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Akers completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, working in the Munroe-Meyer Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Disability Disciplines with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Utah State University and her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from California State University, Fresno. Dr. Akers is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral Level (BCBA-D).

Dr. Akers’ research interests include strategies for promoting appropriate social and play skills and verbal behavior in individuals with autism and related disabilities. She is primarily interested in targeting appropriate play between children with autism and their typically developing peers and siblings. She has published her research in journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Learning and Motivation, and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.

Dr. Akers has worked with children with autism and related disabilities in home-, center-, and school-based programs targeting both skill acquisition and the reduction of challenging behavior.