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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Special Event #99A
Remembering Gerald Mertens
Saturday, May 25, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, St. Gallen 1-3
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Jerry Mertens was the founder of ABAI. If there had been no Jerry Mertens, there would be no ABAI, and you wouldn’t be a member of this wonderful organization. The first meeting of “ABAI” was, in 1974, under the name of “Organization Meeting: Midwestern Experimental Analysis of Behavior Group”. The next year, we became “MABA”, then “ABA”, and now “ABAI”. But Jerry started it all. Jerry was not a scholar, not a researcher; he had an MA (from the University of Mississippi). Instead he was a teacher, at Saint Cloud State University, for 53 years, from 1965 to 2018. Jerry trained up the undergrads and then shipped them off to grad schools around the country. And every summer, for years, he’d load a school bus full of undergrads and take them on a tour of the major behavioral centers around the country. If there had been no Jerry Mertens, there would be many people who would not be behavior analysts today. In recognition of his contribution to our field, ABAI has arranged a remembrance event with some remarks by a few close colleagues, as well as the opportunity for other attendees to speak in honor of Jerry’s memory.

Speakers will include:

Melinda Sota (Executive Leadership Group, Inc)

Peter Killeen (Arizona State University)

Linda Hayes (University of Nevada Reno)

Brady Phelps (South Dakota State University)

Dick Malott (Western Michigan University)




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