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Colloquiums: 2013-14

Fall Welcome/Faculty Introduction
Friday, September 6, 2013

-Graduate Student Orientation
2 - 3 p.m., Room 1718 Wood Hall
*New students are required to attend*

-Graduate Teaching Orientation
3 - 4 p.m., Room 1718 Wood Hall

-Psychology Faculty Colloquium
4 - 5:30 p.m., Room 1718 Wood

-Psychology Graduate Student Reception
5:30 - 7:30 p.m., First floor atrium, Wood Hall

-Happy Hour
7:45 p.m., University Roadhouse Bar and Grill
*All faculty and students are welcome to attend*

Undergrad Resourse Day
Graduate Student Organizations

2 - 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Location: Wood Hall, 1st Floor Atrium. Followed by Q&A in room 2734 Wood Hall

Come join us for an informative event geared towards helping you find your way into the field of Psychology. See flyer for more information.

Data Security

Greg Lozeau
Office of Information Technology
Western Michigan University

4 p.m. Friday September 20, 2013
Location: Wood Hall, Room 1718

*All graduate students and faculty are asked to attend*

Michigan Autism Conference

October 9 - 11, 2013
Western Michigan University Fetzer Center

Several noteworthy and prominent invited speakers will be on campus. For more information, visit

Career in Sales

Oliva Sitto
Total Quality Logistics

2 - 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - Brown bag lunch
Location: Wood Hall, Room 2734

Grab some pizza and meet recruiters from TQL to learn more about how your Psychology degree can fit with a career in sales!

Preclinical Investigation of Behavioral and Pharmacological Interventions for Tobacco Addiction

Mark LeSage, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator
Department of Medicine
Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation

2 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2013 - Colloquium
Location: Wood Hall, Room 1718

Immediately following presentation, Friday, October 11, 2013 - Happy Hour Celebration
Location: University Roadhouse Bar and Grill

Cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use are associated with over 400,000 deaths per year in the U.S..  Despite the availability of interventions for smoking cessation, their efficacy is limited and better interventions are needed.  This presentation will discuss the fundamentals of modeling smoking behavior in nonhumans for the purpose of evaluating behavioral and pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation.  Findings from preclinical studies in rats that examine the effects of alternative non-drug reinforcement, vaccines and nicotine-specific antibodies, and tobacco control policies being considered by the Food and Drug Administration will be discussed.

A Verbal Behavior Account of Analogical Reasoning

Caio Miguel, Ph.D.
California State University, Sacramento

12 p.m. Monday, October 14, 2013 - Brown bag lunch with graduate students
Location: Wood Hall, Room 3713

4 p.m. Monday, October 14, 2013 - Presentation
Location: Chemistry Building, Room 1720

The purpose of this talk is to describe the equivalence-equivalence model of analogical reasoning and a novel procedure that involves training relational tacts of stimulus compounds to establish simple propositional analogies. Our data have suggested that relational tact training may be sufficient to produce novel tacts, analogical reasoning, and component equivalence relations. Implications for future research and practice will be discussed.

So, You Want to Go to Graduate School!

Bette Ludwig
WMU, Department of Psychology Advising

4 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2013
Location: Wood Hall, Room 1301

The Psychology Undergraduate Advising office will be sharing tips on how to get into graduate school and how to make yourself a competitive applicant. Faculty and current graduate students will also speak on a number of topics and experiences regarding admission into our graduate programs

Applications of Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior to Older Adults

Jon Baker, Ph.D.
Southern Illinois University

4 p.m., Friday, November 15, 2013
Room 1718, Wood Hall

The presence and impact of age-related language deficits have been acknowledged both the field within the field of behavior analysis (e.g., Gross, Fuqua, & Merritt, 2013; Skinner, 1957; Sundberg 1991) as well as the broader field of gerontology (Cohen-Mansfield & Werner, 1997), though relatively little research has focused on remediation of those deficits. This dearth of intervention research is partly related to the notion that age-related language deficits are the result of biological processes. However, there is growing support that environmental variables can and do play a role in language deficits among older adults. This talk will review data from a series of studies aimed at the assessment and treatment of age-related language deficits among older adults, as well as discuss directions and implications of future research.

Performance Management and Behavior Analysis at M&T Bank

Richard S. Gold
Executive Vice President
M&T Bank

4 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2013
Location: Wood Hall, Room 1718

Mr. Gold is an Executive Vice President and heads M&T Bank’s Business Banking, Mortgage, Collections and Western Business Operations and is responsible for 2,000 employees working across 13 states. Since 2001 Rich has been working with Aubrey Daniels International, a behavioral consulting firm, to develop and implement performance management systems based on the principles of Behavior Analysis throughout his division. Mr. Gold will speak about the role Behavior Analysis has played at M&T Bank, as well as his own experience getting involved in Behavior Analysis.

Behavior Analysis in Urban Communities:  Lessons Learned from a Charter School Implementation

Denise Ross, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
College of Education
DePaul University

4 p.m., January 17, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 1728

Each year, millions of elementary and secondary students in urban communities fail to perform academically on grade level, negatively affecting their post-secondary educational, social and financial outcomes. Garfield Park Preparatory Academy – a charter-contract school founded in Chicago Public Schools in 2009 – was established to improve academic outcomes for elementary students in an impoverished community by replicating the successful Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) model of schooling developed at Columbia University. However, both school and community factors impacted the development and sustainability of the AIL model, the school, and its supporting systems. In this colloquium, factors that contributed to the school’s successes and failures are analyzed in the context of behavior analysis in schools.  Recommendations for implementing behavioral models of schooling in urban communities will be discussed.   

Denise Ross is an Associate Professor of Education in the Counseling and Special Education Department at DePaul University. She researches applications of verbal behavior to improve language and literacy deficits for students with and without disabilities, and is the co-author of Verbal Behavior Analysis: Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children with Language Delays with R. Douglas Greer (Pearson, 2008).  To date, she has founded multiple preschool, elementary, and university programs in behavior analysis, including a charter-contract school in Chicago Public Schools.  Denise received her Ph.D. in Special Education from Columbia University in 1998.

Ethics in Behavior Analysis - Brown Bag Lunch Series

Dr. Wayne Fuqua
Western Michigan University

12 p.m., February 3, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 2734

Topics will include ethics in the workplace and in the field of Behavior Analysis, as well as answering questions about ethical dilemmas and the gray areas we may encounter.

*Ethics CEU's will be available

Research Day

9 - 4:30 p.m., February 14, 2014
Brown Hall, Room 1028

Latent Responses and the Duration of Stimulus Control
Thom Ratkos and Dr. Jessica E. Frieder
9:00 - 9:45 a.m.

Evoking Emotion in a Laboratory Setting: Preliminary Data on the Relationship Between Personality Psychopathology, Environmental Context, and State Emotion Dysregulation
Lauren Borges and Dr. Amy Naugle
9:30 - 9:55 a.m.

The Effects of the Temporal Placement of Feedback on Performance
Nate Betchel, Dr. Heather McGee, Dr. Bradley Huitema, and Dr. Alyce Dickinson
10:00 - 10:25 a.m.

The Evaluation of Two Feedback Schedules on Teaching Performance of Undergraduate Applied Behavior Analysis Students Delivering Direct Instruction Lessons
Elian Aljadeff-Abergel, Dr. Stephanie Peterson, Mariah Cole, Kristin Hagen,
and Becky Wiskirschen
10:30 - 10:55 a.m.

Using Behavioral Interventions Amoung Unionized Workers to Increase Attendance
Marlies Hagge and Dr. Ron Van Houten
1:00 - 1:25 p.m.

Examining Barriers to Treatment of Maternal Depression in a Primary Care Setting
Jennifer Kuhn, Julie Huston, Chelsea Sage, Carmelita Foster, Dr. Amy Damashek, and Dr. C. Richard Spates
1:30 - 1:55 p.m.

The Neurobehavioral Consequences of Chronic Atrazine Exposure during Early Development in Male Female Sprague-Dawley Rats
Jennifer Walters and Dr. Lisa Baker
2:00 - 2:25 p.m.

Identifying and Teaching Children who do not Demonstrate Repertoires Critical for Academic Success
Joseph Shane, Jennifer Mrljak, Sarah Lichtenberger, Katie Ouellette,
and Dr. Richard Malott
2:45 - 3:10 p.m.

Motivational Interviewing an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A Stepped-Care Approach to the Treatment of Adolescent Depression
Rachel Petts, Julissa Duenas, and Dr. Scott Gaynor
3:15 - 3:40 p.m.

Training Giant African Rats to Find People: An Initial Demonstration
Kate LaLonde, Dr. Amanda Mahoney, Dr. Tim Edwards, Christopher Cox, Bart Weetjens, Dr. Amy Durgin, and Dr. Alan Poling
3:45 - 4:10 p.m.

Starting Your Own Michigan LLC

Dan Sundberg
Ph.D. Graduate Student
Western Michigan University

12:30 p.m., March 28, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 2902

Thinking about doing private consulting work or even starting your own small business? Whether you work with the developmentally disabled, in the clinical setting, or in the business world this can be a very attractive option. Come to this brown bag event to learn more about your options for setting up a small business, and specifically how to start a Michigan Limited Liability Company. We will discuss the ins and outs of this process as well as pros and cons of various business structures, and have an open discussion on what it means to be self-employed.

Bring your laptop to this event and you will be able to have the major steps completed towards starting your own business by the end of this event!

Stimulus Control Among Adults with Cognitive or Developmental Disabilities

Dr. Jonathan Baker, BCBA-D
Associate Professor
Southern Illinois University

4 p.m., June 30, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 2722

Functional analyses and function-based treatment are often predicated on effective stimulus control. In functional analyses, successful multi-element designs require that, as conditions rapidly change, stimuli effectively evoke the response so that the response can contact the contingency. Once the function of behavior has been determined, treatments like functional communication training may require signaled extinction components to ensure that new responses do not decrease in strength when caregivers are unable to provide reinforcing stimuli. This presentation will cover data from two studies in my lab. The first is a study evaluating the impact of researcher-programmed discriminative stimuli on functional analysis results among older adults with neurocognitive disorders. The second is a study evaluating the role of visual and auditory stimuli on a functional communication treatment, with periods of extinction for both the communicative response and the challenging behavior, for adults with developmental disabilities.

Establishing Verbal Capabilities for Secondary Students with Reading Delays

Dr. Denise Ross
Associate Professor
DePaul University

4 p.m., July 7, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 2722

Verbal capabilities are developmental stages that enable a learner to acquire more complex, advanced verbal behavior.  Research suggests that identifying and teaching verbal capabilities, and their subcomponents when they are missing, can facilitate the acquisition of more advanced verbal stages.  For example, teaching a non-vocal student to match auditory stimuli can facilitate the acquisition of speech when cannot be acquired incidentally or with direct instruction. In the current presentation, I will discuss verbal capabilities and reader-writer repertoires for secondary students with reading delays. Specifically, I will describe the characteristics of secondary students with reading delays and then discuss verbal capabilities that may potentially help them acquire reading comprehension.  Finally, I will describe a research program designed to identify and teach missing verbal capabilities for secondary students with reading delays.

Behavior Analysis for Neurocognitive Disorders: Improving Health, Independence, and Quality of Life

Dr. Claudia Drossel
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Michigan

4 p.m., July 31, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 1728

Many individuals who have cognitive losses, due to acquired brain injuries or degenerative diseases, experience difficulties in everyday functioning and social interactions that would not be predicted based upon the neurodegenerative process alone.   This excess disability is commonly a function of modifiable factors.   While the effects of modifiable factors on health, maintenance of independence, and quality of life are increasingly recognized in the general population and targeted through public health promotion and disease prevention programs (e.g., stress management, diet and exercise regimens), programs to prevent the excess disability commonly associated with neurocognitive disorders have not been adequately developed and disseminated.  Behavior analysis is uniquely suited to fill this gap:   The continuum of behavior analytic assessment and intervention strategies – basic, applied, and clinical – supports a unique and functional understanding of cognitive losses and associated behavioral and emotional changes and of the specific factors that potentially decrease an individual’s ability to maintain participation in a variety of life domains.  Behavior analysis promotes individually tailored, collaborative, and innovative treatment strategies and suggests a new vision for improving the health, independence, and quality of life of the many individuals with neurocognitive losses and the people who care about them.

Contingent Payments as a Treatment for Severe Behavioral Health Problems

Dr. Anthony DeFulio, BCBA-D
Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

4 p.m., August 4, 2014
Wood Hall, Room 1728

There is broad consensus that health-related behaviors are critical targets for modern medicine. This provides a fantastic opportunity for behavior analysts to improve the human condition. The general approach is to deliver desirable consequences contingent upon healthy behavior change. This approach is branded “contingency management.” Over the last seven years I have applied contingency management to address problems of drug abuse and medication adherence.  These problems jeopardize individual well being and are a source of substantial costs for our society. This presentation will begin with a brief description of the training history that led me to my current line of research. We will then turn to a review of the basic procedures and evidence base for contingency management in the treatment of drug abuse. The core of the presentation features descriptions of controlled trials of employment-based contingency management. This work has been the focus of my clinical research, and includes drug use and medication adherence targets. I will conclude by describing my next steps. I recently began work on a smartphone-based medication adherence intervention for HIV+ drug users. I also hope to develop a nationwide system for delivering contingency management treatment to drug abusers.


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