Chapter Spotlight: Mid-American ABA

“[W]e are optimistic that this year will be different, and we will be able to resume our typical schedule…”

Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt

The Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) is a regional affiliate of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. MABA is a membership organization devoted to promoting scholarly interchange in behavior analysis through its annual convention. The annual convention also allows for dissemination of the science of behavior analysis to the public and to professional behavior analysts residing in the Midwestern United States.

As was the case with so many events in 2020, MABA was unable to hold its annual conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are optimistic that this year will be different, and we will be able to resume our typical schedule and hold our 20th annual conference in Detroit, October 28-20, 2021. As such, we have decided to “Supersize” our conference from the normal day-and-a-half to two full days, October 29-30. Also, we will be adding an ethics conference Thursday, October 28. More information on the ethics conference will be announced this summer!

Our Supersized 2021 line-up of speakers will include two keynote addresses by Dr. Bridget Taylor and Dr. Amy Odum; invited addresses by Dr. Jon Austin, Dr. Claudia Dozier, Dr. Jonathan Pinkston, Dr. Karen Toussaint, Dr. Sacha Pence, Dr. Sarah Lechago, Dr. Matt Locey, Dr. Jonathan Miller, Dr. Claudia Drossel, Dr. Jeff Stein, Dr. Suzan Mitchell, and Dr. Kathryn Kalafut; opening and closing addresses by Dr. Amanda Karsten and Dr. Stephen Walker; and workshop presented by Dr. Matthew Brodhead.

We will be adding an exciting new opportunity for students to get additional presenting practice! The MABA Data Blitz will occur on Thursday, October 28, 2021 and all student members (or interested student members) may submit! Also, in the coming months, we will be sending out calls for poster submissions and submissions for our student and recant graduate paper competition.

We were able to hold our 2020 Forrest J. Files student paper competition. We had many wonderful submissions this year and are happy to announce our winners! Ms. Fernanda Oda (University of Kansas) is the winner in the Basic Research category and will join us in Detroit to present her paper “An Experimental Analysis of Gender-Biased Verbal Behavior and Self-Editing Using an Online Analog.” Dr. Alec Bernstein (Marcus Autism Center), is the winner in the Applied Research category and will join us in Detroit to present his paper “Response Blocking to Identify Skill and Motivation Deficits for Inappropriate Self-Feeding.” Please join us in congratulating both our winners!

Starting in 2019, MABA began to recognize an individual who made significant contributions to the science of behavior analysis through research, teaching, and/or professional service with our Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Science Award. Our 2020 recipient was Dr. Alyce Dickinson (Western Michigan University). Dr. Dickinson’s extensive research in management reward systems and organizational systems analysis, including focuses on individual and small group monetary incentives, performance feedback, and goal setting, made her an ideal recipient for this honor. We will announce our 2021 recipient in the weeks prior to the 2021 conference.

Again, we are very excited for the upcoming 2021 convention, which is slated to be held October 28-30th in Detroit, MI at the Crowne Plaza. Membership dues are currently available for Professional Full ($50), Professional Affiliate ($35), and Student ($15). One of the many benefits of membership will include decreased registration for the annual conference and continuing education (CE). Please see our website ( for more information on membership benefits.

Additional discounts on conference registration and CEs will be available online until October 8, 2021. After that date, full-priced registration and CE fees must be paid on-site. We will offer 14 Type II CEs over the course of the conference, and an additional 3 Type II Ethics CEs will be available by attending the workshop.

The current president of MABA is Dr. Amanda Karsten (Western Michigan University) and the president-elect is Dr. Steven Walker (Aurora University). More information about MABA, membership options, the annual convention, lodging accommodations, student presentations and awards, and registration information may be found at the organization’s website ( or by contacting the MABA Operations Coordinator: Dr. Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) at

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