Faculty and Staff
Meet the Faculty and Staff
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Cynthia Anderson, Ph.D., BCBA-D.
Cynthia Anderson, Ph.D., is a Senior Vice President at May Institute, and Director of the National Autism Center at May Institute. She earned her PhD in Clinical Child Psychology at West Virginia University and is a Board Licensed Psychologist and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Her research centers on understanding factors that influence successful adoption and sustained implementation of evidence-based practices in real- world settings. Current research projects are focused on assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior, early intensive behavioral intervention, and school-based interventions. Current and past sources of funding for her research include the Institute for Education Sciences, U. S. Department of Education, and the Department of Defense. She currently serves as Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice and is on the editorial board of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Joseph Cihon, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Cihon received his B. S. in special education from Fontbonne University, M.S. in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas under the mentorship of Drs. Shahla Ala’i, Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, and Manish Vaidya, and his Ph.D. in applied behavior analysis at Endicott College under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Jane Weiss. He is currently the Co-Director of Research at Autism Partnership Foundation, adjunct professor at Endicott College, and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Autism Special Interest Group. Joe has over fifteen years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities in home, school, and community settings. His research interests in behavior analysis are broad and include, but are not limited to, evaluating assumptions within practice, examining historical foundations in behavior analysis, training thoroughgoing behavior analysts, examining the effectiveness and training professionals in shaping techniques, increasing favorable interactions among children, their families, and interventionists, developing contingencies to promote generalization and maintenance, and improving mealtimes for selective eaters. Joe has numerous publications in several behavior analytic journals and has served as a reviewer for several journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, the Journal of Developmental Neurorehabilitation, and the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
David J. Cox, Ph.D., M.S.B., BCBA-D
David J. Cox, Ph.D., M.S.B., BCBA-D has been working as a behavior analyst serving a wide range of populations for 15 years. He received post-doctoral training in Behavioral Economics and Behavioral Pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, post-doctoral training in Data Science from Insight Data Science, a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida, a M.S. in Bioethics from Union Graduate College, and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2011. He is currently the Chief Data Officer at the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and an Adjunct Doctoral Advisor for the PhD Program in ABA at Endicott College. David's basic research interests are in the experimental analysis of complex behavior, quantitative analyses, behavioral economics, behavioral data science, and artificial intelligence. His applied research interests are in ethical behavior, clinical decision-making, and health behavior.
Valbona Demiri, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Val Demiri received her doctorate in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in 2004 and her Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA) from Rutgers University in 2005. She has served as an adjunct professor at Endicott College since 2012 and has been advising doctoral students since 2019. Val is the District-Wide Behavior Specialist at the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, N.J. Previously she served as the Assistant Director of Outreach Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers where she spear-headed the Early Intervention Program for children with autism. Her role included consultant and trainer to various New Jersey school districts and New York City public schools regarding autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. Val has presented on Applied Behavior Analysis, ethics and autism locally, nationally and internationally. More recently she has turned her attention and research interests to Mental Health, Acceptance and Commitment Training and Clinical Behavior Analysis. She is the co-author of the books, Jumpstarting Communication Skills in Children with Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Applied Verbal Behavior: Woodbine House and Tools of the Trade: Easy Data Collection for the Classroom: Different Roads to Learning
Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.
Peter is the Executive Director of the EPIC School in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Gerhardt has nearly 40 years of experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He is the author or co-author on a number of articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt serves as Co-Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research and is on numerous professional advisory boards including the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education.
Jill Harper, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Harper received her Ph.D. (2012) in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida, an M.S. (2006) in Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University, and a B.S. (2003) in Family Studies and Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Director of Professional Development, Clinical Training, and Research at Melmark New England. Dr. Harper also holds adjunct positions with the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Endicott College. Dr. Harper is a Board Certified Behavior Analysts. She received the 2013 Jerry Shook Practitioner Award from the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) for excellence in clinical practice. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders, mechanisms responsible for behavior change, and maintenance and generalization of treatment effects. Dr. Harper has published work in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and regularly presents at regional and national conferences.
T. V. Joe Layng
Dr. T. V. Joe Layng is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International with over 50 years of experience in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior with a particular focus on the design of teaching/learning environments. Joe earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science (biopsychology) at the University of Chicago. At Chicago, working with pigeons, he investigated animal models of psychopathology, specifically the recurrence of pathological patterns (head-banging) as a function of normal behavioral processes. While at Chicago he also contributed to the discovery and characterization of the behavioral process known as contingency adduction. Joe also has extensive clinical behavior analysis experience with a focus on ambulatory schizophrenia, especially the systemic as well as topical treatment of delusional speech and hallucinatory behavior. In 1971 he founded the Center for Innovative Design and Programed Instruction at Western Illinois University. A few years later Joe established a research/treatment program, the Personal Effectiveness Group, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical Center. He went on in 1984 to found Enabling Technologies, a software firm which was one of the first to use gamification to teach business software, as well as an array of business products and advanced 3D modeling software. In the 1990s, Joe was Director of Academic Support and then Dean at Malcolm X College in Chicago where he founded the award winning Personalized Curriculum Institute. In 1999, he co-founded Headsprout where Joe led the scientific team that developed the technology that formed the basis of the company’s patented Early Reading and Reading Comprehension online reading programs, for which he was the chief architect. The reading programs have helped millions of children learn to read and have been awarded the software industry’s most prestigious acknowledgment, the CODiE Award, for best instructional solution. He is currently a partner in Generategy, LLC, which publishes the patented Music Learning Lab. Joe has spent the last several years mentoring students, and interested investigators and practitioners in nonlinear contingency analysis. He has published over 50 articles or chapters, a range of software applications, a self-instruction book on Signal Detection Theory for behavior analysts, Decisions and Judgments in Ambiguous Situations, and recently coauthored the book Nonlinear Contingency Analysis: Going Beyond Cognition and Behavior in Clinical Practice.
Caio Miguel, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Caio Miguel is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Sacramento and an Adjunct Doctoral Advisor for the Ph.D. Program in ABA at Endicott College, Caio also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Paulo-Brazil. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de SaÞo Paulo in Brazil, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Western Michigan University under the co-advisement of Dr. Jack Michael and Dr. James Carr. Caio is a former Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (2015-2018) and Editor-in-Chief (2009-2011) for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. He is the recipient of the 2013-2014 award for outstanding scholarly work by the College of Social Sciences at Sacramento State, the 2014 Outstanding Mentor Award by the Student Committee of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching Verbal Behavior from the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group of ABAI, the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award from the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University and the 2020 Jack Michael Award for Outstanding Contributions in Verbal Behavior. Caio’s research interests are on verbal behavior, stimulus equivalence/derived relational responding, and problem solving.
Robert F. Putnam Ph.D., LABA, BCBA-D. L.P.
Robert is the Executive Vice President for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Consultation for the May Institute. Heoversees a team of school consultants who provide behavioral consultation to public schools in New England and across the country. As head of May Institute's research-based, school-wide behavioral support interventions, an applied behavior analytical, organizational behavior management initiative, Dr. Putnam has provided consultation to districts and states throughout the country relative to effective emotional/social/behavioral support interventions. He also serves as Senior Vice President of Research and Consultation at the National Autism Center (NAC) at May Institute and was an Expert Panelist on the National Standards Project of the NAC. Dr. Putnam also serves as a national consultant in behavior support and mental health for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Services.
Dr. Putnam's research interests are in using function-based interventions to improve prosocial skills and behavioral support strategies for individuals with emotional/behavior disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual and developmental disorders. Dr. Putnam is a past president of the Massachusetts Association for Behavior Analysis (MassABA). He is also a member of the Executive Board of the National Association of Positive Behavior Support and is currently its Treasurer. In addition, he serves as a national implementation partner and subject matter expert on autism with the Department of Education's Office of Special Education Program's National Technical Assistance Center for PBIS.
Dr. Putnam consults and has made presentations nationally and internationally in Canada, China, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Dr. Putnam received his Ph.D. from Boston College and is a licensed psychologist and a certified health service provider. He has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Putnam has given more than 250 presentations at schools and national and local conferences relative to developing and implementing effective discipline, applied behavior analysis, functional behavior assessment, and positive behavior support practices. He is the recipient of over 1.5 million dollars in grant funding. Dr. Putnam is widely published, including over 40 manuscripts, briefs, chapters, and books, including manuscripts in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavior Analysis Today, Behavior Modification, Child and Family Behavior Therapy, Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, Journal of Special Education Leadership, Beyond Behavior, Education and Treatment of Children, Psychology in the Schools, Journal of Applied School Psychology, Educational Psychology, Psychiatric Services, Insights on Learning Disabilities, and Psychiatric Services.
Shawn Quigley, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Shawn Quigley, BCBA-D is the Director of Professional Development and Clinical Training for Melmark Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate degree in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University. During his graduate studies, Dr. Quigley had opportunities to manage a federally funded research grant; help develop two different county mental health service systems for adults and children; and practice in multiple settings. These experiences provided a strong foundation for understanding service development, regulatory requirements, scope of competence issues, and resource allocation. He completed a post-doctoral psychology fellowship with the University of New Mexico Medical Group. The fellowship provided Dr. Quigley an opportunity to conduct diagnostic evaluations in an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) clinic, and support families and individuals with ASD. He stayed with University of New Mexico Medical Group as a manager of behavior services. This position provided an opportunity to support the development of behavior analytic services across the state. Some of the projects included recruiting behavior analytic providers to the state, increasing the capacity of current providers, supporting advocacy groups, developing state regulatory guidelines for service delivery, and developing the initial steps for behavior analyst licensure. He has also actively taught and supervised graduate students at multiple universities. Dr. Quigley has supported the profession through service on editorial review boards; publishing research; being active with regional and national service groups (i.e., currently a board member for Autism SIG and president of the Ethics SIG); and serving as a subject matter expert for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
Alice Shillingsburg, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Shillingsburg currently serves as Sr. Vice President of Children’s Clinical Services and Training at May Institute. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Auburn University and completed her predoctoral internship and post- doctoral fellowship at the Marcus Institute. She previously served as the Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center and held an appointment of Associate Professor at Emory University in the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Shillingsburg is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Her clinical expertise includes the development of language and behavioral programming to address a variety of behavioral difficulties and social communication deficits associated with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has published over 50 empirical papers and book chapters on interventions for children with autism and related developmental disabilities. She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Operants, editorial board member of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and is past associate editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.
Dr. Noor Syed (she/her)
Dr. Noor is an Assistant Professor of Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Coordinator, and founding Director of the Center for Autism Advocacy Research, Education, and Services with SUNY Empire State College. The Center’s current initiative is to help SUNY Empire become a fully inclusive and supportive college for those who identify as neurodiverse or differently abled through a multi-tiered system of support framework. It focuses on embedding universal and tiered supports for students, faculty, and staff such that supports are freely accessible to all without necessitating disclosure. This initiative is being spearheaded by a team of autistic advocates, students, SUNY Empire faculty and staff, and behavior analysts, promoting cultural shift through collaboration. Dr. Syed has recently been named the Turben Director of Autism and, on behalf of Center, secured a $1 million endowment from the Turben Foundation. In addition, Dr. Syed will be overseeing the launch of a Master’s of Science in ABA through SUNY Empire in Spring 2022. She is also the Executive Director of Anderson Center International, an organization dedicated to building compassionate, sustainable resources for evidenced-based practices globally, and is an Adjunct Doctoral Advisor in ABA with Endicott College, and a certified general and special education teacher. Dr. Syed has had the privilege of consulting with autism clinics globally. Her interests lie in compassionate care, cultural humility, and social justice through an analysis of diversity, equity, and inclusion, an area in which she is currently conducting research. Dr. Syed received her undergraduate degree in behavior analysis under Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk in the Institute of Child Development at Binghamton University and completed her PhD in ABA with Dr. R. Douglas Greer at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Nicholas L. Weatherly, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Nicholas Weatherly is an author, business and leadership consultant, and the Vice President of Operations at Milestones Behavioral Services. His areas of research and practice focus on developing sustainable business solutions, coaching systems, organizational assessments, and training systems. Prior to joining Milestones, Dr. Weatherly was a management consultant with Aubrey Daniels International and the Head of the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Weatherly is the Past-President of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, the Georgia Association for Behavior Analysis, and the Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis. He was the inaugural chair of the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Board, one of the first stand-alone licensing boards for behavior analysis in the country, and continues to stay active in public policy efforts. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an Ethics Mentor and Trainer for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Dr. Weatherly received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University's Applied Behavior Analysis Program with concentrations on behavioral systems analysis, behavior-based safety, and training systems. He is the co-author of the book Deliberate Coaching: A Toolbox for Accelerating Teacher Performance and author of the upcoming book Applying Ethics to Organizational Behavior Management: Getting Results the Right Way. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.