"Working as an Applied Behavior Analyst is a rewarding career allowing you to make a significant impact on the lives of those you serve."
How did you become interested in the special education field?
Employment with a residential group home. Around 3 decades ago I answered an employment advertisement in the newspaper that said, “Job of a lifetime. Work with troubled youth.” I’ve been in the field of special education ever since.
What is your philosophy of teaching?
Significant positive student outcomes is the common goal for educators, parents, administrators and politicians share. Evidence based instruction is the most efficacious way to reach that goal. Empirical evidence of individual outcomes should inform decision making but does not replace the professional judgement of the educator.
What types of candidates do you hope/recommend to pursue our programs in applied behavior analysis?
Candidates of the BCBA-Track program require a growth mindset, persistence, and a passion for helping children.
How does the BCBA-Track programs best support and prepare its students?
Relevant, engaging and comprehensive content that merges theory with real world experience. Dedicated faculty and staff who motivate those around them and respond quickly to student needs.
What words of advice would you give to people looking to pursue this profession?
Working as an Applied Behavior Analyst is a rewarding career allowing you to make a significant impact on the lives of those you serve. The path to certification requires a growth mindset, a strong work ethic, and a passion for helping others. Engage in your coursework, read the required books and articles. If you don’t understand something, ask your instructors! Understand and internalize that feedback from your instructors is given to help you grow, not to ridicule.
Briefly describe your own road to higher education.
About 3 years after earning my Masters degree, a friend from that cohort called me one day and told me about a graduate assistantship in special education at the university she was enrolled in. I applied for the position and was lucky enough to work on a grant funded nationwide research study. I quickly fell in love with research and instruction that takes place in academia.
What are your research interests?
Distance education and professional development for individuals who work with students with disabilities, emotional regulation, digital badges and competency based instruction, assistive and instructional technology.
What do you like to do outside of education?
I enjoy going to live music events, playing the guitar, being in nature, people watching, and an occasional session of Dungeons and Dragons.