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Meet the Faculty and Staff

Elizabeth DelPizzo-Cheng
Elizabeth DelPizzo-Cheng
Coordinator of Student Support Services
Valbona Demiri
Valbona Demiri
Coordinator, Doctoral Program
Kathleen Dyer
Kathleen Dyer
Associate Professor, ABA
Kristin Foley
Kristin Foley
Director, Online Instruction and Training
Katie Johnson
Katie Johnson
Anna Linnehan
Anna Linnehan
Director of Academic Operations
Videsha Marya
Videsha Marya
Director of Practicum and Immersion Experiences
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Lisa Tereshko
Director of Quality Assurance and Research
Dean, Institute for Applied Behavioral Science

Adjunct Doctoral Advisors & Adjunct Faculty

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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 H. Cihon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPBA-AP

    Dr. Joseph H. 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 Director of Research at Autism Partnership Foundation, adjunct professor at Endicott College, Certification Coordinator at the Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council, and on the council for the Autism Special Interest Group. Joe has 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities in home, school, and community settings. His research interests in behavior analysis are broad and include 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 serves on the editorial boards for the International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education and Behavior Analysis in Practice and has published over 70 in peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters.

    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

    Mark Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D

    Dr. Dixon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate and a clinical professor at the Department of Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois- Chicago. Dr. Dixon has published 12 books, over 230 peer reviewed journal articles, and delivered 1000s of presentations around the globe. His research and/or expert opinions have been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, National Public Radio, This American Life, and Netflix’s series Bill Nye Saves the World. Dr. Dixon cares for individuals and their families impacted by autism and other developmental disabilities through his innovative research that guides practice. He has generated millions of dollars of funding to infuse behavior analysis within local schools and treatment facilities and created multiple clinics for persons diagnosed with autism and related conditions. 

    Kathleen Dyer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCBA-D, LABA

    Dr. Kathleen Dyer, is an Associate Professor, and has served on the faculty of Institute of Applied Behavioral Studies at Endicott College for the past 10 years. Previous to this position, she was instrumental in the establishment of the River Street Autism Program in 2000, where she served as Clinical Director. She is a Doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Speech Pathologist and Certified School Administrator. Her research and training techniques have been disseminated widely through national and international presentations, as well as through books, encyclopedias and articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Her research findings in treating core deficits in autism are documented as evidenced-based practices by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the National Standards Project. She served as a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Edited by F.R. Volkmar, Yale University School of Medicine). She has also served as a member of review boards for numerous behavioral journals, and serves as an Advisor of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. Her research interests include the development of effective procedures for improving communication and learning in persons with ASD, choice and preference, treatment of challenging behaviors, staff training and organizational systems change.

    Paul Gavoni Ed.D., BCBA-D

    Dr. Paul "Paulie" Gavoni, a distinguished behavior analyst and educator, has devoted nearly 30 years to enhancing performance and behavior in education, human services and sports. His wide-ranging roles—from COO to Professor, Vice President, School Administrator, School Turnaround Manager, MMA and Boxing Coach—are unified by his expertise in Applied Behavior Analysis. Committed to leveraging behavioral science for human betterment, Dr. Gavoni has had a transformative impact on individual and organizational efficacy across diverse arenas.

    Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.

    Peter is the Executive Director of the EPIC Programs in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Gerhardt has over 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 co-edited “The Handbook of Quality of Life for Individuals with ASD” (Springer, 2022) and authored or co-author a number of articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD. He has presented nationally and internationally on this and related topics. 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 currently serves as adjunct faculty in the Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education.

    Jill Harper, Ph.D., BCBA-D

    Dr. Jill Harper is the Senior Director of Professional Development, Clinical Training, and Research at Melmark New England. Dr. Harper also holds an adjunct position with Endicott College and currently serves as the president of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT). She received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida in 2012. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders, mechanisms responsible for behavior change, and staff training and supervision. Her work has been published in such journals as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Dr. Harper regularly presents at regional and national conferences.

    T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D.

    T. V. Joe Layng is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and was the 2020 recipient of the APA: Division 25 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award. Joe has over 50 years of experience in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior with a particular focus on the design of teaching/learning environments. He earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences (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. Also working with pigeons, Joe collaborated with Paul Andronis and Israel Goldiamond on investigating the production of untrained recombinant, complex symbolic repertoires in pigeons from simpler behavioral components which arose from the arrangement of nonlinear consequential contingencies, a process they described as contingency adduction. Joe 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. He was a 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 used by millions of children, for which he was the chief architect. He is widely published including coauthoring a self-instruction book on Signal Detection Theory, and 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. He oversees 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. 

    Noor Y. Syed, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA/ LBS (NY, CT, PA)

    Dr. Noor Syed (she/her) is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Applied Behavior Analysis, as well as the founding Director of the Center for Autism Advocacy: Research, Education, and Supports (CAARES) with Empire State University. She has also been named the Turben Director of Autism Advocacy. The Center’s primary initiative is to help Empire State become a fully inclusive and supportive college for those who identify as neurodiverse through a multi-tiered system of support framework. She is the Director of Anderson Center International, Doctoral Advisor in ABA with Endicott College, and a certified general and special education teacher. She believes strongly in advocacy and collaboration, and values learning with and from others. Dr. Syed serves on the ABA Ethics Hotline, is co-facilitator of the Associations for University Centers on Disabilities ABA national workgroup, and a member of the Organization for Autism Research’s Scientific Council. She is also President-elect of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Syed has consulted with autism clinics globally, including in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Romania, and Uganda. Her research interests lie in advocacy, ethics, and social justice initiatives. Dr. Syed received her undergraduate degree in ABA at Binghamton University and her doctoral degree in ABA with Teachers College, Columbia University.

    Nicholas Weatherly, Ph.D., BCBA-D

    Dr. Nic Weatherly is a senior-level executive, field coach, and researcher with over 20 years of success leading progressive people operations and culture change. Dr. Weatherly’s expertise is in maximizing safety and leadership performance by monitoring KPIs, implementing science-based coaching practices, and establishing results-focused objectives and timetables using an individualized, collaborative, and sustainable approach. He has given or contributed to nearly 100 scholarly presentations and workshops worldwide on training, safety, and leadership topics, co-authored the book Deliberate Coaching, and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications.

    Prior to joining SCCi, Dr. Weatherly was the Head of the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology and a management consultant with Aubrey Daniels International. 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 currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and continues to work on various workgroups and committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Recent efforts have included assisting in the revision of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code and in the development of the Code Compliance system. Dr. Weatherly has served as a member of the BACB Disciplinary Review Committee and is currently a coach trainer and mentor for the BACB’s Ethics department.

    Dr. Weatherly has a Master’s and Ph.D. in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.

    Mary Jane Weiss, PhD., BCBA-D, LABA

    Dean of the Institute for Applied Behavioral Science and Director of the Ph.D. Program in ABA. She serves as chair of the ABA Department and of the Endicott Institute for Applied Behavioral Science. She has been working as a behavior analyst serving people with autism for nearly 40 years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2000. She previously served as an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University, and as Director of Research and Training and as Clinical Director of the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University for 16 years. Dr. Weiss has authored numerous chapters, several books, and many articles on ABA. Her clinical and research interests center on teaching compassionate care and collaboration skills to practitioners, in identifying effective ways to teach ethical decision-making, on advancing DEIB initiatives within higher education and service delivery, and on defining best practice ABA techniques. She is a regular presenter at regional and national conferences on topics relevant to ABA and autism, is an editor at Behavior Analysis and Practice, and is a frequent reviewer for professional journals. She is a past president of the Autism Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis, a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, an ethics subject matter expert and ethics trainer/coach for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, a member of the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, a member of the board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, and an advisor to Autism NJ.