Dr. JEssica Frieder, BCBA-D

       Dr. Jessica Frieder received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Allegheny College (2001).  She credits the classes and guidance she received from Dr. Rodney D. Clark for her decision to pursue a career and lifelong goals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.  While completing her studies there, she worked as a juvenile probation officer, which involved her taking charge of coordinating community service activities and carrying a unique caseload of individuals with special needs.  This experience led Dr. Frieder to further her education in behavior analysis.  In the summer of 2003 she completed her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis/Special Education at The Ohio State University under the direction of Dr. Stephanie M. Peterson and Dr. Lloyd D. Peterson. During her training at Ohio State, Dr. Frieder was involved in a variety of research projects.  These projects focused on the development of effective interventions for individuals with severe problem behavior primarily motivated by escape as well as utilizing self-monitoring to increase on-task behavior in school-based settings. Jessica’s thesis concentrated on implementing self-monitoring across different social skills for children in an elementary school setting who were at-risk for school failure and expulsion.  Dr. Frieder also worked in the campus’ Office for Disability Services, where she trained college students with disabilities to use adaptive technology and assistive devices.

       Following her training at The Ohio State University, she worked as a behavior analyst for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA on a highly specialized multi-disciplinary program titled Residential Enhancement Services Promoting Opportunities for New Directions (RESPOND) under the direction of Dr. Bernie Fabry, Dr. Martin J. Lubetsky, and Dr. John J. McGonigle.  During her stint there, she designed, implemented, and trained residential staff to deliver behaviorally based interventions for individuals with dual diagnoses and multi-system involvement.  During this time Dr. Frieder also became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

       In 2005, Dr. Frieder returned to school to pursue her doctorate degree under the primary supervision of Dr. Stephanie M. Peterson and Dr. Lloyd D. Peterson at Idaho State University.  While there, she served as the project coordinator for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant under principal investigator, Dr. Stephanie Peterson that examined the effects of concurrent schedules of reinforcement and adjusting demand requirements on the communication, compliance, and problem behavior of children with varying disabilities who display escape-maintained problem behavior in school-based settings.  Dr. Frieder was also instrumental in conducting research on collaborating with educators to conduct functional analyses as well as designing and implementing reinforcement-based interventions via the use of web-based technology.  Dr. Frieder completed her dissertation on examining the role of various dimensions of reinforcement in the role of response allocation in a concurrent operant paradigm for children with escape maintained problem behavior in school-based settings.  In 2009, Dr. Frieder received her Ph.D. from Utah State University. 

       Upon graduation, Dr. Frieder became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA.  While there she served as program coordinator for the ABA course sequence and worked with students from a variety of disciplines.  She oversaw practicum placements for students in early intervention autism programs and helped coordinate all activities for students pursing to attain their Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BCBA).  Dr. Frieder also served as a faculty advisor for Psi Chi and the Gay-Straight Alliance. 

       Dr. Frieder came to the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University in August 2011.  She is excited to be a part of the Behavior Analysis faculty in the department and to work with both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Frieder currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Student Autism Alliance of Michigan and the WMU Best Buddies Chapter. 

       Her current areas of research interest focus on language acquisition and augmentative communication systems for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities.  She is also interested in effective social skills instruction, self-monitoring and self-management procedures as they relate to both academic and social behavior.  Other areas of research focus include effective parent training models, the integrity with which behavioral strategies are implemented, as well as the effective training for future teachers and other practitioners.

       In her free time, Dr. Frieder enjoys traveling, cooking/baking, hanging out with her dog Harley, watching horror movies, reading, hiking, swimming, weightlifting, and playing the piano and saxophone.  

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