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         Mindy is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Learning About Behavior lab.  Mindy received her Master of Arts degree from Dr. Richard Malott’s Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) at Western Michigan University, the same school she attended for her Bachelor’s degree.  During her time in BATS, she gained experience working with young children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities through her practicum at WoodsEdge Learning Center.  She also gained experience teaching a variety of classes and supervising others.

          As both an undergraduate and a graduate student, Mindy worked at HomeLife, Inc., an adult foster care home serving consumers with behavioral disabilities, which is where she was first introduced to behavior analysis.  In addition to working as a direct care staff, she also worked as a shift supervisor, behavioral technician, and activities coordinator and received lead supervisor training.  She also worked as a Graduate Assistant at WoodsEdge Learning Center during her second year in the Masters program. Currently, Mindy works as a Graduate Assistant/Behavior Analyst at Summit Pointe, where she conducts behavior assessments and develops behavior plans for individuals with disabilities and mental health diagnoses.  She also works for their autism center conducting diagnostic testing and behavior assessments, and developing early intervention programming.

          Mindy is currently working on her dissertation, which is a replication of her thesis regarding the role of an imitative repertoire in the acquisition of speech during the implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with children with autism.  Her interests include autism, verbal behavior, and the assessment and treatment of problem behavior.  In addition to pursuing her Ph.D. in behavior analysis, Mindy is also working to fulfil the requirements for obtaining a license as a clinical psychologist.

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Kimberly is a third-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.

Kayla received the Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (WMU), and has continued with the Learning About Behavior (LAB) Lab and Dr. Jessica Frieder to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy in Behavior Analysis at WMU. During her graduate studies, Kayla has served in a variety of professional roles. Kayla currently serves as 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. Kayla has also supported transition-related services as a Graduate Assistant for the WMU-based Summer Transition Program. In this position, Kayla assisted with the College Experience Course and social skills workshops, ran 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. Kayla also supported the Intensive Child and Youth team by developing a social skills curriculum and assessing pre-requisite skills for classroom settings.

In addition to these professional roles, Kayla has been widely active on both a local and statewide level. For three 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 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) and the Graduate Instructor for PSY 2517: ABA in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 

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Shir zion, m.a.

          Shir Zion is a first-year doctoral student in the Learning About Behavior Lab. Shir received her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Business Administration/Honors in Business from California State University, Northridge, CA. During her time as a master's student, she was introduced to behavior analysis by Dr. Ellie Kazemi. Shir joined Dr. Kazemi's behavioral research lab shortly thereafter and assisted in leading numerous supervision workshops and developed several research presentations. She gained experience presenting in a variety of venues including classrooms, Brown Bag events, and behavior analytic conferences including CalABA (California Association for Behavior Analysis) and ABAI (Association for Behavior Analysis International). She has also served a variety of professional roles including acting as Dr. Kazemi's lab coordinator and graduate teaching assistant. Shir is primarily interested in conducting socially and clinically relevant research for healthy eating behavior and prevention of obesity and eating disorders. This interest resulted in the completion of her thesis, titled "Experimental Analysis of Variables that Affect Healthier Snack Selection".

          Currently, Shir acts a Behavior Specialist on the BTC team at Summit Pointe. There, she develops behavior plans and conducts frequent behavior assessments for adults with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. She also trains and conducts treatment integrity checks on staff’s implementation of the behavior plan.

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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. Avner received his Master degree in Special Education with a focus in Autism from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Upon graduating Avner was trained and certified as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). 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. In particular Avner is interested in conducting research on children who exhibit self-injurious behaviors (SIB) and implementing and evaluating different behavioral treatment packages aimed to reduce these types of behaviors.

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