2015-16 Events and Colloquia

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University hosts presentations each year.

FALL WELCOME AND MEET THE FACULTY COLLOQUIUM

Department of Psychology Faculty

Sep. 11, 2015

As part of The Department of Psychology’s orientation day, faculty will present an overview of their research and the research of their graduate students. This is a great opportunity to get to know faculty and to hear about the amazing things happening in our department.

"Youth with sexual behavior problems: myths and facts"

Amy Damashek, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
Associate Professor

Sep. 25, 2015

Dr. Amy Damashek is an associate Professor of clinical psychology. Her recent research has focused on the role of caregiver supervision in children’s unintentional injuries, particularly among low-income families. She is also interested in cultural differences among parents with regard to their safety beliefs and child injury prevention practices. In addition, she has conducted research on factors related to client engagement in home-based services to prevent child neglect (i.e., SafeCare) and is interested in implementing evidence-based child maltreatment interventions and prevention programs in the state of Michigan. Clinically, Damashek is well-versed in evidence-based psychotherapies for child and adolescent behavior problems, treatment of inappropriate youth sexual behaviors and treatment of child post-traumatic stress disorder

"Good Observers Make Good Practitioners"

David Eckerman, Ph.D.

Oct. 2, 2015

Train to Code is a cloud-based online program that teaches observation skills using programmed instruction principles. The trainee learns to label events in videos using a controlled vocabulary created by the training developer and video selected by the developer. They are then certified as an expert observer. We find that if a trainee learns to label good and bad performances (e.g., autism services being delivered) they themselves are better prepared to perform those services—a Say-Do Transfer quite similar to the Observer Effect in Worker Safety. 

Dr. David Eckerman Ph.D. from Columbia U, 1966. His dissertation was "Mediation of a Conditional Discrimination in Pigeons" with W.W.Cumming asadvisor. He taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1966-2001 and off and on since). He taught several times as a visiting professor in Brazil. His interests include basic behavioral processes, behavioral toxicology, and effective online training of perceptual and behavioral skills.

Michigan Autism Conference

Radisson Hotel Downtown Kalamazoo

Oct. 7 to 9, 2015

Research Colloquium

Oct. 16, 2015

Seeking research opportunities? Come! Discover! Get involved. "Discovering Knowledge—one data point at a time."

"Behavior therapy for adolescent depression"

Scott Gaynor, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
Associate Professor

Oct. 16, 2015

From a behavioral perspective, depression is a summary label for a set of responses emitted in a context, not an internal (neurobiological or psychological) defect within a person. As such, depressive symptoms should be treatable by changing environment-behavior interactions and the context in which they occur. Behavioral activation and acceptance and commitment therapy are two behavioral approaches to treating depressive symptoms. The goal of BA is to promote contact with positive reinforcement by engaging clients in focused activation strategies to counter avoidance/withdrawal and to increase goal-directed and values-guided behavior. ACT shares a similar goal, but adds mindfulness (acceptance and defusion) strategies in an effort to increase willingness to engage in activities despite unpleasant thoughts or emotions. This talk will describe what the Behavior Research and Therapy Lab at WMU has learned in our attempts to develop, implement, and evaluate behavior therapy interventions with youth reporting depressive symptoms.
 
Dr. Scott Gaynor received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he had the good fortune to be mentored in behavior analysis by Rick Shull and clinical behavior analysis by Scott Lawrence and Rosemery Nelson-Gray. He completed his clinical internship and a post-doc at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic working with David Brent. The next stop was WMU where he has been on the faculty for 14 years. At WMU he has had the ongoing pleasure of mentoring groups of fantastic students in the Behavior Therapy and Research Lab.
 

"The effects of social comparison feedback and objective feedback on work performance for high and low performers"

Shezeen Oah , Ph.D.
Chang-Ang University

Oct. 23, 2015

This study examined the relative effects of social comparison feedback and objective feedback on work performance for high and low performers. We recruited 150 college students and asked them to work on a simulated work task in a preliminary session. Based on the performance scores measured in the preliminary session, only participants whose scores were above 60th percentile (60 high performers) and under 40th percentile (60 low performers) were included for the experimental sessions. The 60 participants in each group (high and low) were randomly assigned to two feedback conditions (social comparison and objective). The results indicated that the social comparison feedback was more effective than the objective feedback for the high performers. For the low performers, however, the objective feedback was more effective than the social comparison feedback. 

"A Comparison of the Effects of Incentive and Penalty Procedures on Work Performance"

Shezeen Oah, Ph.D.
Chang-Ang University

Oct. 23, 2015

This study consists of two experiments tPhart ocofemspsaroedr the effects of incentive and penalty on work performance. In Experiment 1, 58 participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups: incentive and penalty groups. Participants had to work on a computerized work task and follow safety rules while working on the task. Participants in the incentive group earned a base pay of 5,000 won (approximately US $5) at the beginning of the experiment and could earn an additional 50 won for completing each task if they followed all the safety rules given. Participants in the penalty group earned 10,000 won at the beginning of the experiment and could lose 50 won for completing each task if they did not follow any of the safety rules. The results showed that the incentive and penalty procedures did not exert differential impacts on work performance. In experiment 2, 210 participants were randomly assigned to one of six experimental groups: incentive, penalty, and no reward groups under two different consequence delivery schedules (continuous and VR 5). Under the continuous condition, the payment was determined in the same way as in Experiment 1. Under the VR 5 condition, 250 won was either added to (for the incentive group) or deducted from (for the penalty group) the base pay for each correctly or incorrectly completed work task based on a VR 5 schedule, respectively. The results showed that the effects of the incentive and penalty procedures were comparable under the continuous condition, whereas those of the incentive procedure were more effective under the VR 5 condition. Future research needs to be conducted to replicate the present findings and deal with other relevant variables such as schedules of reinforcement and emotional responses of participants.

"Grant writing: the process"

Louis Burgio, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
Adjunct Professor

Oct. 30, 2015

Brown Bag Discussion

"taking it to the streets: interventions that improve the quality of life of elders and their care providers at home and in long-term care"

Louis Burgio, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
Adjunct Professor

Oct. 30, 2015

The speaker presents an overview of 30 years of research in the broad target area of Behavioral Gerontology. The research is categorized by research setting, nursing home or community, and research focus, intervention or “nonintervention”. The non-intervention category includes research conducted to provide information that will produce better informed interventions. This includes direct observations of client and caregiver behaviors, the development and validation of various standardized measures, and the investigation of a host of factors that mediate or moderate client and caregiver behaviors, and client and caregiver responsivity to intervention. The presentation will focus on the author’s current research on the science of translating and implementing interventions developed through traditional randomized clinical trials into real world settings. Throughout the presentation the author will highlight how behavior analysis has influenced all aspects of his research efforts.

brown bag discussion

Jeannette Lia Gaggino, M.D.
Bronson Methodist Hospital
Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services

Nov. 2, 2015

Dr. Jeannette Gaggino is the medical director of Behavioral Health Services at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Gaggino has more than 25 years’ experience in general pediatrics. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Gaggino serves as the chair of the Developmental Behavioral Mental Health Committee and is former president of the Michigan Chapter of the AAP. She is also a consultant to the University of Michigan Collaborative Care MC3 project with the Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and to the Kalamazoo Collaborative Care Program, an initiative that offers psychiatric consultative service access to adults based on the MC3 model.

Given the high demand for behavioral health services, in the primary care setting, Dr. Gaggino partnered with WMU’s Dept. of Clinical Psychology to develop an integrated behavioral health/primary care external practicum internship. With the help of the clinical psychology doctoral students, Dr. Gaggino has streamlined operations to improve health outcomes. She is currently developing protocols train physicians in developmental and behavioral screening. 

Join us as Gaggino discusses the emergence of Integrated Behavioral Health, the Rambling Road external practicum, and her work to expand this model throughout Kalamazoo and Michigan.

Memorial colloquium for dr. neil kent

Former faculty and associate chair for the department passed away on March 8, 2015.

Nov. 6, 2015

"Apply for academic positions: panel discussion"

J. Adam Bennett, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University

Jessica Korneder, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Oakland University

Jonathan Baker, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Western Michigan University

Nov. 20, 2015

Three graduates of the WMU psychology department will hold a brown bag discussion on and provide advice for applying for academic positions.

"Applying for practitioner jobs: panel discussion"

Dana Pellegrino, BCBA
Braintrust Behavioral Health

Lauren Cavalli, BCBA
Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research

Tamina Stuber, BCBA
Building Bridges Therapy Center

Zach Dugger, BCBA
Braintrust Behavioral Health

Nov. 20, 2015

Four alumni from our behavior analysis program will provide advice on applying for practitioner positions in the field of ABA. 

"Autism, credentialing, and behavior analysis"

Jim Carr, Ph.D.
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Chief Executive Officer

Dec. 8, 2015

James E. Carr, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the chief executive officer of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. His professional interests include behavior analyst credentialing, behavioral assessment and treatment of developmental disabilities, verbal behavior, and practitioner training. Carr has published over 125 scientific articles on these and other topics. Carr is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and has served on the editorial boards of 10 other behavior analysis journals, including four appointments as associate editor. Carr is president of the Colorado Association for Behavior Analysis and past president of the Mid-American and Alabama Associations for Behavior Analysis. He received his doctorate in 1996 from Florida State University under the mentorship of Dr. Jon Bailey and previously served on the behavior analysis faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-99), Western Michigan University (1999-2008), and Auburn University (2008-11).

"an update on the behavior analyst certification board"

Jim Carr, Ph.D.
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Chief Executive Officer

Dec. 8, 2015

The presenter will discuss recent developments at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The most current data on the BACB’s credentialing programs will be provided: Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and Registered Behavior Technician. In addition, a number of recent and impending developments at the BACB will be described, including changes to standards, new initiatives, various international development activities, and the BACB’s role in the U.S. licensure movement.

"Overcoming the effects of trauma: Lessons learned from the science of recovery"

Russell Jones, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech University
Professor

Dec. 10, 2015

Dr. Russell Jones is a professor of psychology at Virginia Tech University and a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in trauma psychology in the areas of natural and technological disasters as well as interpersonal violence. He is also an expert in the behavioral sciences. A related area of study is Disaster Preparedness. Among consequences of trauma studies include Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and Post Traumatic Growth. Assessment, conceptualization, and treatment of consequent psychiatric and psychosocial disorders also serve as a major topic of interest. Co-editor of Behavior Therapy and Black Populations: Psychosocial Issues and Empirical Findings, Jones has also served as a member of numerous editorial boards and served as a guest reviewer for a variety of peer reviewed journals. 

He is a member of the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group administered by the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. He recently became a member of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Advisory Committee designed to provide advice to Secretary Margaret Spellings at the Department of Education. He is engaged in the mental health efforts following the 4-16 shootings at Virginia Tech. Jones received his Ph.D. from Penn State University and completed his clinical internship at Brown University. He also held a secondary appointment at Yale University at the Child Study Center. He has appeared on CBS News, CBC News, BBC, PBS, C-Span, and a host of other media outlets including print, radio and the web.

"military psychology and evidence-based practices currently in use"

Major Matthew S. Willerick, Ph.D.
United States Air Force

Dec. 11, 2015

Dr.  Matthew S. Willerick is the commander of the Mental Health Flight, 66th Medical Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston. In addition to being a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Michigan, Dr. Willerick is also a Survival Evasion Resist and Escape Certified Psychologist through the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from WMU in 2006 and 2011 respectively.  He was highly involved in the Behavior Research and Therapy lab as well as the Clinical Studies Lab during his years at WMU.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled the "Effectiveness of motivational enhancement group treatment in a community treatment program with a substance abusing population." He completed his doctoral internship at Wright Patterson Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio following his commissioning in the United States Air Force in 2010. From 2010 until 2014, Dr. Willerick also provided comprehensive behavioral health services within the primary care setting. Dr. Willerick is responsible for the oversight of the mental health, substance abuse and family advocacy needs of base personnel. In addition to training and leading a staff of eight mental health providers and enlisted technicians, Willerick also serves as the base Director of Psychological Health and is the base Suicide Prevention Program Manager. Due to the geographical location of Hanscom Air Force Base, the mental health clinic is also responsible for ensuring the mental health needs are met in the seven state New England region for all active duty, reserve, and national guard members from all branches of the military. Within his mental health flight, Willerick is also responsible for ensuring quality and effective care is rendered to the active duty population who are dealing with a variety of issues.  Additionally, Willerick is responsible for ensuring the medical and mental health staff are trained in applying evidence-based practices in the care of mental health patients in accordance with current Air Force instructions. The current brown bag discussion will provide a broad overview of Air Force Mental Health services offered and a more detailed look into the current application of evidence based practices within this system.

EUP Master Project Presentations

Dec. 18, 2015

"promoting positive verbal climates in urban schools"

Nancy Neef, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
Professor

Dec. 18, 2015

Dr. Nancy Neef will introduce examples of our developing efforts to promote more positive climates in urban schools through shaping of verbal behavior.  In one study, a multiple baseline design across participants examined the effects of shaping of general education teachers’ verbal behavior about their interactions with students, and the collateral effects on their interactions. We differentially reinforced teachers’ responses to experimenter questions that favored teachers’ behavior-specific praise and found that specific praise increased while reprimands decreased as teachers interacted with their students. Shaping verbal behavior therefore appears to be a viable option for adding desired behaviors to teachers’ repertoires. Specifically, our findings suggest that an effective strategy may be to arrange contingencies for teachers’ verbal behavior about how they interact with their students rather than for the interactions themselves. In another study, a multiple baseline across kindergarten students showed that training and token reinforcement for tootling increased the children’s reporting of positive behaviors of their peers. However, there were no collateral effects on the children’s positive interactions with one another, which remained low. These examples provide directions and needs for future research related to verbal shaping in applied settings.

"Teaching evidence-based practices by practicing evidence-based teaching"

Nancy Neef, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
Professor

Dec. 18, 2015

The very dimensions that define applied behavior analysis ensured a strong technology long before evidence-based practices became a buzz word.  However, the power of that technology in achieving aims depends on its use. The importance of effectively teaching others about implementation of evidence-based behavior analytic practices therefore cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, the high failure rate on the BCBA exam and other observations suggest that time-honored practices for building competence are not effective, and some have argued that the very community that investigates the phenomenon of learning has largely ignored its teaching. The presentation will consider efforts to respond to this need with recent examples of using behavior analysis to teach behavior analysis, consistent with historical practices in the psychology department at WMU. 

Psy 3300 Finals Poster Presentations

 Dec. 18, 2015

WECAN brown bag

Kim Bancroft, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
WECAN Clinic Coordinator

Jan. 22, 2016

Dr. Kimberly Bancroft is an alumnus of Western Michigan University’s Department of Psychology, and a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of Michigan. Her clinical interests and areas of experience include diagnostic evaluation of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, functional analysis and treatment of severe behavior problems, pediatric feeding disorders, assessment and treatment of pediatric chronic pain, rehabilitation psychology and child and family coping and adjustment to medical conditions. Dr. Bancroft completed her predoctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with special emphasis in pediatric psychology. She has served as a he has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, outpatient mental health clinics, acute and rehabilitation hospitalizations and intensive outpatient clinics. She has served on interdisciplinary treatment teams for the Intensive Feeding Program at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, as well as with the inpatient and day rehabilitation teams at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Currently Dr. Bancroft serves as the Clinical Coordinator for the Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (WECAN), an interprofessional diagnostic evaluation team that is part of the Autism Center of Excellence at WMU.

Midwest behavior analysis job fair

Department of Psychology

Jan. 29-31, 2016

Department of Psychology’s 3rd Annual Midwestern Behavior Analysis Job Fair. The mission of the Midwestern Behavior Analysis Job Fair is to provide students of all educational backgrounds and expertise the opportunity to engage in professional and social interactions with potential employers in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Companies hosted a colloquium to discuss their business and open position.

Graduate research Day

Feb. 5, 2016

Students within our three graduate school programs, presented research they have been conducting here at WMU to the behavior analysis and industrial organizational behavior management applicants for the 2016-17 academic year. 

undergraduate practicum fair

Feb. 26, 2016

Considering going into the field of of psychology? Do you want to know how to make the most of your undergraduate experience? 

undergraduate research Colloquium

March 18, 2016
12 p.m., 1220 Chem

Do you want to learn about the research being conducted in our Behavior Analysis, Clinical Psychology, and/or Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management programs? Do you want to get involved in a research project?

Then this colloquium is for you!

A Contextual Behavior model of modern racism in the in the PSYCHOTHERAPY relationship and how to overcome it

Jonathan Kanter, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Dr. Kanter received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Washington in 2002. Shortly afterwards he became a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he conducted research on Behavioral Activation (BA) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), with specific emphasis on working with minority and disenfranchised groups, working cross-culturally, and developing the most effective training methods. In 2013, Dr. Kanter came to the University of Washington under the FAP Term Professorship to establish and direct the Center for the Science of Social Connection (CSSC).  As Director, he aims to gain a better understanding of human closeness and social connection that integrates disciplines, including evolution science, neuroscience, anthropology and psychology, within a behavioral science foundation. The model that serves as the basis for this effort is based on the principles of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) and addresses established research documenting the role of social connection as a mediator of outcomes across broad and significant domains of human functioning and health.

March 18, 2016
1 p.m., 1710 Chem

Understanding race-based stress and trauma within a cognitive-behavioral framework

Monnica Williams, Ph.D.
University of Louisville

Monnica Williams, Ph.D. is licensed clinical psychologist, Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Counseling Clinic, LLC, in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her Master's and Doctoral Degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia, where she conducted research in the areas of mental illness, tests and measurement, and ethnic differences. She completed her clinical internship at McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital Site, where she completed rotations in mood disorders, sexual disorders, and emergency psychiatric medicine. Prior to her move to Louisville, Dr. Williams was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Williams is an authority on sexual orientation-themed OCD (called SO-OCD or HOCD). She has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and scientific reports, with a focus on anxiety-related disorders and cultural differences, including articles about OCD best practices.

March 18, 2016
1 p.m., 1710 Chem

Brown Bag - Sponsored by bagso

Josh Plavnik, Ph.D.

March 18, 2016
2 p.m., 2734 Wood Hall

Colloquium - Sponsored by BAGSO

Josh Plavnik, Ph.D.

March 18, 2016
4 p.m., 1720 Chem

Pediatric Psychology - Sponsored by CPGSO

Kim Bancroft, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
WECAN Clinic Coordinator

Brown Bag Discussion
April 1, 2016
1 p.m., 2734 Wood

Colloquium sponsored by IOGSO

Darnell Lattal, Ph.D.

April 1, 2016
4 p.m., Location TBD

Colloquium sponsored by CPGSO

April 13, 2016
4 p.m., Location TBD

Department of Psychology awards celebration

April 22, 2016
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Location TBD