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Kimberly is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Learning About Behavior lab. Kimberly received her Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University, and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA. While at AASU, Kimberly worked as a behavior consultant for Savannah Chatham County Public Schools’ Jumpstart program, a preschool intervention program for children diagnosed with ASD. She worked directly with staff and students to implement principles of behavior analysis throughout all programming.  Kimberly conducted a variety of assessments and implemented an array of interventions, including language-based programs.

After spending some time in the field as a behavior technician, Kimberly was accepted to the Master’s program at WMU. During her Master’s program, Kimberly worked in the Office of Enrollment Services as a graduate assistant for the Early Alert Project Action Team. This research project aimed to improve Early Alert warning systems on campus, and ultimately increase undergraduate retention. Kimberly also completed a practicum at the Envision Center in the Early Intervention program. In addition to these clinical experiences, Kimberly worked as an Instructor of Record for PSY 3300 – Advanced Research Methods. Finally, Kimberly’s thesis examined instructional strategies in college classrooms. It was titled, “Guided Notes: A Literature Review and an Examination of Their Effects on Post-Lecture Quiz Performance in a College Course”.

Currently, Kimberly serves as a supervising BCBA for the Summit Pointe Behavior Treatment Committee (BTC) Practicum. In this role, she conducts functional behavior assessments, writes treatment plans, conducted staff/parent trainings, and oversees overall progress monitoring for individuals with mental disabilities across the lifespan. She also supervises students working towards their BCBA credential. Kimberly is currently working on her dissertation, examining the effects of a Fitbit® treatment package on increasing daily physical activities and overall quality of life for adults with disabilities.

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Kayla Jenssen, m.a., BCBA

Kayla received the Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (WMU) and entered the doctoral program in the spring of 2017. Kayla is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) serving in a variety of professional roles as a part of the Learning About Behavior (LAB) under the advisement of Dr. Jessica Frieder. Kayla currently serves as a member of the Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD) team. As a part of this team, Kayla is the Practicum Coordinator for the PROMOTES Employment Project where she leads a team of undergraduate and graduate-level job coaches in teaching vocational and job-related social skills for young adults diagnosed with ASD. Additionally, she also serves as a classroom consultant for the school district. Outside of the VBISD, Kayla has supported transition-related services as a Graduate Assistant for the WMU-based Summer Transition Program. In this position, Kayla has assisted with the College Experience Course and social skills workshops, run study sessions, created a system for measuring classroom and employment performance, and supervised job coaches and students in their on-campus employment settings. Kayla has also worked as a Behavior Specialist at the Summit Pointe Autism Center where she created trainings and provided supervision for behavior aides, assisted with VB-MAPP assessments, and developed programs and behavior intervention plans for children diagnosed with ASD. Also through Summit Pointe, Kayla participated on the Intensive Child and Youth (ICY) team by developing a social skills curriculum and assessing pre-requisite skills for classroom settings.

Kayla has held a myriad of teaching positions throughout her time at WMU. In addition to serving as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for PSY 2517: ABA in Autism and Developmental Disabilities for two semesters, Kayla also transitioned into the role of instructor for the same course for the 2017-2018 academic year. In addition, Kayla was also an instructor for PSY 1400: Introduction to Behavior Analysis for the 2018-2019 academic year. Outside of WMU, Kayla was hired as an adjunct instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) for the PSY 150: Introductory Psychology course during the fall 2018. In addition to these professional roles, Kayla has been widely active on both a local and statewide level. For five years, Kayla has served on the planning committee for the Michigan Autism Conference as the volunteer coordinator, on-site hospitality manager, and a member of the executive committee. Kayla has also served as a WMU representative for the ABAI Student Committee. At present, Kayla is also involved in a variety of activities both in the community and on-campus as the President of the Student Autism Alliance of Michigan (SAAM). 

Kayla’s current research interests focus on transition-related services for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. More specifically, this includes examining effective and socially acceptable skill acquisition and behavior reduction techniques that can be applied to employment and post-secondary education training. Kayla is currently evaluating the effects of video modeling and Behavioral Skills Training (BST) when applied to job-related social skills, as well as the effects of a Fitbit treatment package including goal setting and contingent rewards on the daily steps of young adults with ASD at a community training location.

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Avner fraidlin, M.Ed., bcba

Avner received a Bachelor in Education with a focus in Special Education from The Kibbutsim College of Education in Tel Aviv, Israel. During his studies Avner gained experience as a Kindergarten teacher for children with special needs as well as typically developing children. Upon graduating Avner was trained and certified as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). Avner received his Master degree in Special Education with a focus in Autism from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Avner is currently a PhD student in the Learning About Behavior lab at WMU under the advisement of Dr. Jessica Frieder.

During his studies, Avner held a position of a teacher assistant at the Behavior Analysis Program at David Yelin College of Education in Jerusalem, Israel. In this setting Avner helped preparing teaching materials and participated in teaching two courses: “Behavior Interventions for Sever Behavior Problems” and “Planning, Implementing and Supervising Behavior Interventions”. During the academic year of 2015, together with the head of the program Dr. Shiri Ayvazo Avner co-led an experimental design research aiming to compare the effectiveness of two behavioral pedagogies on active student response of children with emotional- behavioral disorder. In this position Avner’s responsibilities included designing research conditions and intervention, designing observation data sheets, training observers, collecting and graphing data, withdraw research conclusion and writing the research manual script (which was approved for publication).

Avner’s current research interests include the different variations of FA conducted with children with special needs and treating sever behavior problems for these children as well as typically developing children. Additionally, Avner is currently working on his dissertation, which is aimed to examine the effectiveness of tandem supervision as a method of supervising newly certified behavior analysts or aspiring behavior analysts seeking certification.

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Alyssa Jewett, M.A., BCBA

Alyssa is a third-year doctoral student in the Learning About Behavior lab. Alyssa received her Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University from Dr. Richard Malott’s Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) in 2013, and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Ohio University in Athens, OH in 2011. During her time in BATS, she gained experience implemented early intervention for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities in a school-based practicum setting. In addition, she taught two undergraduate courses and supervised undergraduate students in their implementation of behavior analytic projects.

Upon her graduation from the MA program in 2013, Alyssa worked as a clinician at Trumpet Behavioral Health in San Jose, CA, where she developed and implemented a variety of behavioral assessments and interventions for children diagnosed with autism. After two years in California, Alyssa transferred to Trumpet’s office located in Centennial, CO, where she served at the Senior Clinician, overseeing the operations of the center. After spending four years in the field, Alyssa re-joined Western Michigan University as a doctoral student. During her PhD, she has taught several undergraduate classes at WMU (PSY 1400 – Introduction to Behavior Analysis & PSY 3000 – Statistics/Research Methods) at KVCC (PSY 100 — Introduction to Psychology).

Currently, Alyssa works in a myriad of positions. She is currently the program assistant for the Behavior Analysis program, collaborates with a local school district as part of the school-based practicum team, has several on-going research projects related to training and supervising aspiring behavior analysts, and serves on the executive committee for the Michigan Autism Conference.

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