Chair - Judah B. Axe, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Judah B. Axe is an Associate Professor of Education and Behavior Analysis at Simmons College in Boston, MA. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis at The Ohio State University. Judah’s research is on evaluating procedures for teaching verbal behavior to children with language delays, examining motivational variables influencing social behavior, and manipulating motivating operations to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior. Judah serves on the editorial boards of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and the International Journal of Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition to serving as Chair of the VB SIG, Judah is a Trustee and the Continuing Education Coordinator of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Student Relations Chair of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy.
Chair-Elect - April N. Kisamore, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
April N. Kisamore is currently an assistant professor at Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ, a Clinical Supervisor in the Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University, and a Director at New Jersey Behavioral Health Services in Caldwell, NJ. April completed her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University in 2013 under the advisement of Dr. Amanda Karsten and her M.A. in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University in 2009 under the advisement of Dr. James Carr. April has conducted research in the areas of verbal behavior and language development, skill acquisition, social skills, parent and staff training, functional analysis, and reinforcement procedures for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. She has published and presented her work in peer-reviewed journals and at local and national conferences. April has served as a guest reviewer for numerous journals and is currently on the editorial board for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. Her principal research interests include strategies for teaching language with intellectually disabled populations, the development of language in non-disabled children, acquisition of problem solving strategies (e.g., visual imagining, self-talk) with intellectually disabled and non-disabled populations, parent and staff training, and addressing social needs of young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Secretary - Tina M. Sidener, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Tina M. Sidener is an Associate Professor in the Applied Behavior Analysis Department at Caldwell University. She received her doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University and completed a predoctoral internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She currently serves as the Director of Training in the Caldwell University Center for Autism and ABA. Dr. Sidener is a board member of several journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Education and Treatment of Children, and Behavior Modification. Her current clinical and research interests include verbal behavior, establishing conditioned reinforcers, teaching play skills to children with ASD, assessment and treatment of stereotypy, and pediatric feeding disorders.
Treasurer- Jason Vladescu, Ph.D., BCBA-D, NCSP
Jason C. Vladescu, Ph.D., BCBA-D, NCSP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University and Director of Evaluation and Assessment in the Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Dr. Vladescu completed his pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. His research interests include early behavioral intervention for children with autism spectrum and related disorders, increasing the efficiency of academic instruction, staff training, and applied applications of equivalence-based instruction. He has published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavioral Interventions, Behavior Analysis in Practice, The Psychological Record, Behavior Modification, Teaching of Psychology, Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, and the Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. Jason has served as a guest reviewer for numerous journals and is currently on the editorial board for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.
Grant Competition Coordinator - Rocío Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Rocío Rosales earned her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale under the mentorship of Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt. She currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to joining the faculty at UMass Lowell, Rocío was Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Youngstown State University (2009-2013). Her research interests include the application of verbal behavior and derived stimulus relations, including acquisition of a second language for children with and without disabilities; and the evaluation of teaching strategies for caregivers working with individuals with special needs.
Research Competition Coordinator - Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Shillingsburg obtained her doctoral degree and training in clinical child psychology and behavior analysis at Auburn University. She is licensed to practice psychology in the state of Georgia, and is a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level. Currently, she is the Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Autism and Related Disorders, at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Shillingsburg provides supervision and training to pre-doctoral interns as part of an APA-accredited internship at the Marcus Autism Center and has mentored numerous doctoral and master’s level practicum students and post-doctoral fellows. She has also served on thesis and dissertation committees and mentored student research projects. Dr. Shillingsburg's research and clinical work focus on the theoretical and practical applications of the analysis of verbal behavior to the assessment and treatment of language skills specifically strategies to promote language and social relatedness in children with autism. Dr. Shillingsburg's work is frequently presented at regional and national conferences and she has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals on various topics specifically within the study of verbal behavior and ASD. In addition she serves on the editorial boards of the Analysis of Verbal Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Newsletter Editor - Amber Valentino, Psy.D., BCBA-D
Amber Valentino received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 2008, from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Marcus Autism Center/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her training focused on early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism and other developmental disabilities with a particular focus on verbal behavior. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Clinical Services and Research for Trumpet Behavioral Health and resides in San Jose, California. Dr. Valentino’s clinical and research interests include the assessment and treatment of language deficits, primarily in children with autism. Her specific interests include the behavioral analysis of alternative and augmentative communication systems, novel strategies to develop vocal verbal behavior, and the development of methods to overcome barriers in verbal behavior acquisition. Dr. Valentino has served as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a guest associate editor for Education and Treatment of Children and currently serves on the editorial board of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. She has also had recent peer-reviewed publications in the Journal of Behavioral Education, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Behavior Modification, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Website Coordinator - Amanda P. Laprime, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Amanda P. Laprime obtained her doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2014 from Simmons College under the advisement of Dr. Ronald Allen and Dr. Judah Axe, and her master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2008 from Northeastern University under the advisement of Dr. Gary Pace. Currently, Dr. Laprime serves as a Program Coordinator, managing a state grant to service the unique needs of high-risk youths with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Center for Children with Special Needs in Glastonbury, CT, as well as a faculty member in the Northeastern University graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis and the University of Saint Joseph. Amanda is also an Advisor to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and was appointed to the role of Assistant to the Executive Director, Dr. Rob Holdsambeck, in May 2015. She has served as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. Her research interests include the analysis of verbal behavior as it relates to the role of motivating variables when reducing problem behavior, the role of functional analyses in short-term stabilization settings, school-based settings, and instructional methodology to establish complex discriminations.
Student Group Liaison to the Board- Stephanie Phelan, M.S., BCBA
Stephanie Phelan serves as the Student Group Liaison to the VB SIG Council. Stephanie is a doctoral student in theBehavior Analysis program at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts under the advisement of Dr. Judah Axe. Stephanie’s research interests include teaching complex verbal behavior including problem solving, recalling past events, and advanced verbal repertoires such as multiply-controlled intraverbals and autoclitics.
Editor of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior - Mark R. Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Mark R. Dixon, BCBA-D is a Professor and Coordinator of the Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program at Southern Illinois University. For the past five years he has also served as the Director of an SIU initiative (Behavioral Consultant Group) to infuse behavior analysis within schools, alternative education, and residential facilities serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Mark also runs a behavioral therapy clinic (Project HEALTH) for persons suffering from problem gambling or obesity. Dr. Dixon has published 8 books, over 150 peer reviewed journal articles, and delivered over 500 presentations nationally and internationally. Dr. Dixon is recognized as one of the most skilled programmers of behavior analysis research and data collection systems worldwide. His software has been distributed across many countries and has been translated into foreign languages. Mark has been the Editor of the peer-reviewed journals Behavior Analysis in Practice and Analysis of Gambling Behavior. He is also a former Associate Editor for Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Associate Editor for the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management. Mark’s research and/or expert opinions have been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, National Public Radio, This American Life, and local affiliates of ABC, CBS, PBS, and the Southern Illinoisan. Most recently Dr. Dixon has starting directing an animal learning laboratory to the BAT Program to allow for nonhuman research that models the applied challenges of brain injury, dementia, and autism.
Our officers are committed to the verbal behavior community and the dissemination of verbal behavior research to clinical and educational outlets. Officers serve a 3-year term and are voted in by current members. We welcome you and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with you!