Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

Previous Page


Special Event #14
Opening Event and Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 27, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom (Plenary)
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Martha Hübner (University of São Paulo)
CE Instructor: Martha H�bner, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: An Operational Analysis of the Psychological Term “Service”


Skinner’s 1945 treatise, “An Operational Analysis of Psychological Terms,” established a defining and fundamental characteristic of radical behaviorism by emphasizing the necessity of understanding scientific verbal behavior in terms of the same principles applied to the understanding of any behavior – that is, in terms of its antecedents and consequences. Further, his call for a functional analysis of any psychological concept was predicated on the position that only such an analysis would lead to more effective action with respect to the subject matter at issue. To the extent that “service” contributes to the survival of our discipline and world view, it follows that an examination of the conditions under which we speak of “service” may prove useful in our efforts to target and increase such activities. Thus, this talk will review some of the varied forms of professional activity that occasion service descriptions, with an eye toward creating and identifying opportunities, facilitating the professional actions needed, and consequating service efforts effectively.

CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Dr. Carol Pilgrim is professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Pilgrim has contributed substantially to behavior analysis through her leadership, teaching, and research. She has served as president of its major organizations, including ABAI (as well as its Southeastern ABA chapter), the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association. She also served as secretary of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and as a board member of that organization for 8 years. She has advanced the dissemination of behavior analysis and the vitality of its journals in her roles as chair of the Publication Board of ABAI, editor of The Behavior Analyst, co-editor of the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, and associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She has served on the board of directors of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and other organizations, and chaired numerous committees. Dr. Pilgrim is known, in addition, as a stellar teacher and mentor. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and the ABAI Student Committee Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award. Dr. Pilgrim's research expertise and contributions traverse both basic experimental and applied behavior analysis. Her health related research has brought behavior analysis to the attention of scientists and practitioners in cancer prevention, and she is noted for her innovative work on the development and modification of relational stimulus control in children and adults.

SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: The New England Center for Children: Twenty Years of International Service Delivery


Vincent Strully, Jr., CEO and Founder of The New England Center for Children (NECC®), is proud to accept the 2017 SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis on behalf of NECC. Despite the growing acceptance and demand for behavior analytic services, there are considerable challenges to developing sustainable models of service delivery internationally, including language barriers, differences in cultural practices, and funding considerations. Over the past 40 years, we have identified several components that are essential for the development of sustainable models of service delivery worldwide. Government funding and support are critical for success, as are training programs that provide local staff access to graduate-level instruction in behavior analysis. Also, NECC’s development of the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE®), an application providing an interactive interface containing assessment tools, lesson plans, teaching materials, and student performance reports for over 1,900 skills, has provided an effective and efficient curriculum necessary for delivering sustainable services.

VINCENT STRULLY (New England Center for Children)

SABA Award for Scientific Translation of Behavior Analysis: The Future of Behavior Analysis


Behavior analysis has been foundational for a broad range of treatment and prevention interventions. However, there are reasons to believe that behavior analysts are not contributing to the improvement of societal wellbeing to the extent that B. F. Skinner envisioned in his seminal writings. In the past 2 years, I have spoken with hundreds of behavior analysts, many of whom expressed this kind of concern. I will summarize these concerns and suggest principles that might help behavior analysis as a field fulfill its promise to bring about unprecedented advances in human wellbeing. Specifically, I will suggest changing the criteria regarding what a behavior analysts should know from one that restricts our focus to practices and methods that are explicitly labeled as “behavior analytic” to one that encourages behavior analysts to embrace any empirical evidence or methods that contribute to human wellbeing, initiating much more empirical research on strategies for influencing climate change, and forging alliances with other areas of behavioral science.

ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute. He is the author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve our Lives and Our World. Dr. Biglan has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 30 years. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; high-risk sexual behavior; and antisocial behavior. He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs and community-wide interventions. And, he has evaluated interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior, antisocial behavior, and reading failure. In recent years, his work has shifted to more comprehensive interventions that have the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He and colleagues at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences published a book summarizing the epidemiology, cost, etiology, prevention, and treatment of youth with multiple problems (Biglan et al., 2004). He is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. As a member of Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, he is helping to develop a strategic plan for implementing comprehensive evidence-based interventions throughout Oregon. Information about Dr. Biglan’s publications can be found at

SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: The Psychology Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington: A Port for Behavior Analysis for Four Decades


Behavior Analysis has been a significant focus of the Psychology Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington since 1976. The department’s contributions to the field can be measured in research, teaching, and service. The faculty have published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters spanning the experimental analysis of behavior, applied behavior analysis, and translational research. Faculty and students closely collaborate on research, including: basic learning principles, choice, teaching, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral economics, stimulus control, memory span, contingency management, functional analysis, preference assessment, health behavior, animal behavior, and pediatric feeding. In addition to training countless undergraduate students in behavior analysis, the program has graduated 96 master’s students who have completed a thesis with a behavior analytic focus, and will begin training Ph.D. students in behavior analysis in 2017. Faculty have served in leadership roles within ABAI and Div. 25 of APA, and various other national, state and regional organizations. They have served as editors or editorial board members for key journals such as The Behavior Analyst, JEAB and JABA. The presentation will include a brief history of the department’s contributions, as well as a description of its vision for the training of behavior analysts.

JULIAN KEITH (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss variables related to starting and sustaining international ABA services; (2) describe the essential components for the development of sustainable service delivery.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh