Outreach Staff

Head Clinical Consultant

Cheryl N. Engel, Ph.D. is a NYS licensed psychologist who specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). She has worked as a School Psychologist in public schools in New York and as a clinical psychologist in various clinic setting, and has worked at Center for Spectrum Services since 2007. Dr. Engel is the Clinical/School Psychologist and Head of the Clinical Department at Spectrum Services, where she provides counseling, social skills and behavioral support services to students and transdisciplinary evaluations. In addition, she provides specialized training to staff and serves on the Center for Spectrum Services leadership team. Dr. Engel is approved by the New York State Education Department as a provider of training in the needs of children with autism and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Hudson Valley Psychological Association (HVPA).

Clinical Consultants

Sharon Koczaja, L.C.S.W., Q.C.S.W., B.C.D. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified School Social Worker, and Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work.  She holds Qualified Clinical Social Worker and School Social Work Specialist credentials, and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Sharon has decades of experience doing psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups in settings, which have included an outpatient mental health clinic, a day treatment program, a residential program, and here at Spectrum Services. She has worked at Spectrum Services for over 30 years. Sharon specializes in providing individual counseling and social skills groups for children on the Autism Spectrum along with family counseling and support services.

Behavior Intervention Specialist

Tiffany Francese-Sears, MA, LMHC, is a psychologist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  Tiffany has vast experience working with individuals with Autism and other developmental needs. She also has many years’ experience as an adjunct professor at Dutchess Community College and Marist College specializing in therapeutic interventions. Tiffany is a Psychologist, with over a decade of experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Tiffany is confident that she can provide students, caregivers and professionals with the appropriate information necessary to help them live a more productive life.  Currently, she is completing her coursework to earn her degree as a Board Certified Behavioral Specialist.

Behavioral Specialist

Niels Hoyt is a Certified Trainer of Safety Care, previously a trainer in Psychological and Physical Management Training (PMT) for six years, a Certified Trainer for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) for 14 years and has also been trained in Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention (SCIP). Neils has been the supervising Behavioral Specialist at the Center for Spectrum Services for over 20 years, working primarily with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Annually, Neils trains all Spectrum Services staff on therapeutic intervention and crisis prevention. In addition, he has conducted numerous workshops for school districts and agencies on behavioral de-escalation and strategies for intervention. He is an involved father and grandfather of 7 children.