Some people spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach or on picnics, but some CSUN psychology professors, students in the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program and alumni spent that weekend sharing their research at the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Convention in San Diego. Thousands of professionals from around the world took part in the annual event, which focused on recent advancements in behavior analysis.
CSUN had more than 30 faculty, students and alumni from the ABA program and Psychology Department putting their expertise to work at panel discussions, symposia and presentations. Professor Ellie Kazemi, Associate Professor Debra Berry Malmberg, Associate Professor Tara Fahmie, and Assistant Professor Stephanie Hood and their students showcased the research conducted in their labs and how the ABA program prepares students for research and practice. The two-year program had a 97 percent graduation rate in 2016-2017.
CSUN students, faculty and alumni presented 18 symposia at the conference this year. Topics by CSUN presenters included behavior therapy to teach social and communication skills to individuals with developmental disorders; how practitioners can apply the latest technology such as virtual reality and robotics; novel methods of assessment and prevention of problem behavior; and improving instruction in the college classroom through gamification.
The conference also gave students, graduates and faculty a chance to connect as well as share their knowledge with peers. “ABAI hosts very well attended reunion events, and I think the CSUN reunion was one of the high points of the entire conference for our M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis students and alumni,” said Malmberg, the academic director of the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis program. “We have a great advantage to having such strong Matador pride, and these types of events are helpful for fostering these continued relationships between faculty mentors and our alumni who are doing fascinating work.”
ABAI supports research, education and practice in the field of Behavior Analysis and has 94 affiliated chapters in the United States and abroad. It has more than 6,000 members from nearly 70 countries.