The Story of
Like many in Behavior Analysis, I sort of "fell" into it. I was lucky to have been first exposed to the field during my undergraduate education when Dr. Gregory Madden did a guest lecture during my Psych 101 course on the "Behavioral Emphasis" in our Psychology department. That was the beginning of everything for me...
I have been fortunate in my academic career to have had many inspiring advisors and a variety of clinical, research, teaching, and service opportunities. I completed my doctoral degree in Behavioral Psychology at the University of Kansas (KU) under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Dozier. Prior to beginning my studies at KU, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (UWEC) under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Klatt. I received my Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis & Therapy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Cuvo. Throughout my academic career, I have cultivated a broad academic background in behavior analysis and psychology. For example, although my area of specialty is Behavior Analysis, I have also conducted research in behavioral economics under the supervision of Dr. Greg Madden and in evolutionary psychology under the supervision of Dr. April Bleske-Rechek during my tenure at UWEC.
My clinical experiences have included working as an in-home therapist for children with autism (UWEC), at several on-campus clinics for children with autism (UWEC & SIU), in public schools (UWEC & SIU), and in two inclusive early childhood education classrooms (KU). In these settings I have worked with children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (primarily autism spectrum disorders) and typically developing children. While working in these various settings, I have held multiple positions including line therapist, lead therapist, student coordinator, school consultant and undergraduate supervisor. I have also provided hands-on training workshops on the functional analysis of problem behavior for the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (KCART).
My research interests focus on child development with both typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities including autism. At UWEC, my research was funded by the McNair Scholars Program, allowing me to devote additional time and resources to research. At SIU, my research was on increasing compliance to medical and dental procedures in children with autism, and I contributed to studies on joint attention and language acquisition. My research experience at KU also included treatment of problem behavior, variables affecting skill acquisition, variables affecting reinforcer efficacy, and preference for choice opportunities in typically developing children. Since graduating, I have conducted a variety of research projects with students at all the universities at which I have worked. Most recently, my doctoral students have been conducting projects surrounding reinforcing efficacy of attention, discounting of sex, and treatment mechanism research.
I have taught at three universities, and currently hold an Associate Professor position in the online Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Before this, I taught in the Community Psychology department at St. Cloud State University and the Applied Behavior Analysis department at Penn State Harrisburg. Prior to becoming a full-fledged professor, I learned from a variety of others while acting as a teaching assistant at each university I attended. At UWEC, I served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for psychology and behavior analysis professors for 11 different psychology and behavior analysis courses. At SIU, I served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Nicole Heal for two rehabilitation services courses. During my tenure at KU, I served as a teaching assistant in an applied practicum course in early childhood education and the research methods course under Dr. Claudia Dozier's supervision. These experiences helped shape my current teaching philosophy and practices.
I am also extremely committed to providing service to my department, field, and community. At UWEC, I served on the Advisory Council to the Dean and was an active member of various departmental organizations. At SIU, I served as the program coordinator for the Students Together Advocating for Rehabilitation Services (STARS) organization and as the editorial assistant to Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt for The Psychological Record. At KU, I served on the Graduate Student Organization, various other departmental committees, and as the KU student representative to the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). I am currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Behavioral Education and regularly serve as a guest reviewer for various journals including Behavior Analysis in Practice, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and Social & Behavior Issues. My "passion position/project" is my role as the Operations Coordinator for the Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis. Through that role, I manage a team of other academics and professionals in organizing our annual conference and disseminating research conducted in the Mid-West and beyond.