The Story of
When I was a child, a neighbor was diagnosed at a young age with developmental disabilities. It was over this early time in my life that I learned of my desire to support individuals with disabilities. However, I was not quite sure how I would go about doing this until taking an Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis class. Based on my experiences in that class, I just knew I had to learn more about the contingencies effecting my and others behaviors.
During my undergraduate experiences at the University of Kansas, I had the opportunity to study under Dr. Jim Sherman and Dr. Jan Sheldon. I achieved my bachelors degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis in Early Childhood Autism Intervention. For my master’s degree, I chose to study Special Education—Mild-Moderate Cross Categorical Disabilities with Dr. Raymond Taft and Dr. Maura Linas as my advisors at the University of Missouri—Kansas City. I then participated in the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate coursework via the online program at Florida Institute of Technology. Finally, I chose to continue my education online at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology for my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Annette Griffith, Dr. Chrystal Jansz Rieken and Dr. Julie Ackerlund Brandt.
As a professional in the field of behavior analysis, I have gained experience working across a plethora of environments including public and private schools, early childhood clinics, in-home therapeutic settings, adult community based residential services and at a children’s psychiatric residential facility. The opportunities have allowed me to work with individuals between the ages of 2 and 50+ years old who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability.
My research interests focus on increasing the accurate implementation of interventions through behavior skills training (BST) and pyramidal BST. By focusing on staff training aspects within our field, I am also able to expand my focus to almost any facet of radical behaviorism. Some of the strategies I am most interested about include reduction of challenging behavior, early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI), prompting strategies, skill acquisition techniques, schedules of reinforcement combined with group contingencies, positive behavior intervention and supports in alternative education settings and organizational behavior management.
It is through my applied and academic experiences, that I developed a passion for disseminating behavior analytic principles to those pursuing certifications as behavior analysts and those who are interested in the application of data-based decision-making strategies. Thus, my goal is to assist students to be able to critically evaluate the behavioral principles used in both empirical studies and applied practice.