Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

By Kayla Bates-Brantley, Hallie Smith, & Chris Furlow

Mission and History
The Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi (BAAMS) is a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Mississippi, promoting ABAI’s 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. Our mission is to promote and support the practice, research, education, and dissemination of behavior analysis throughout the state of Mississippi. BAAMS serves as a scientific and professional reference group for all in the State of Mississippi who identify themselves as scientists or practitioners in disciplines which embrace the principles and practices of behavior analysis. BAAMS works to identify and promote the use of effective, humane, and ethical behavioral procedures in meeting the educational and habilitative needs of persons that are typically developing and persons with developmental disabilities within the State of Mississippi. Additionally, BAAMS advises political, legislative, and policy-making bodies with respect to all matters pertaining to behavior analysis in the State of Mississippi and organizes and sponsors an annual convention, which serves as a forum for presentation of scientific progress, technological advancements, and clinical practice, as well as discussion of the affairs of the organization. BAAMS was founded on February 7, 2015 and became an affiliate state chapter of ABAI in 2015.

BAAMS is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of a president, past president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, ABAI and APBA representatives, the ad hoc student representative, and four members of the duly designated regions of the State.

  • President: Hallie Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • Past President: Chris Furlow, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
  • President Elect: Garret Yeager, BCBA, LBA
  • Treasurer: Robyn Brewer, BCBA, LBA
  • Secretary: Hailey Ripple, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • ABAI Representative: Kayla Bates-Brantley, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • APBA Representative: Kayla Crook, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • Region I Representative: Lillie Taylor, BCBA, LBA
  • Region II Representative: Laura Katherine Barker, BCBA, LBA
  • Region III Representative: Madeline Potter, BCBA, LBA
  • Region IV Representative: Greg Standford, BCBA, LBA
  • Student Representative: Rita Druffner, BCBA

Elections for all officers and representatives are conducted near the Annual BAAMS Conference each year, which occurs annually in November. Present, past president, president-elect and student representative serve terms lasting January-December for each year. Treasurer and sectary serve 2-year terms. While ABAI, APBA 3 and region representative serve 3-year terms.

There are three types of membership with BAAMS: Full Members, Affiliate Member, and Student Member. The criteria and benefits of membership include:

  • Full Member (including original Founding Member of BAAMS): Any individual holding (a) at least a bachelor’s degree in behavior analysis, psychology, education, or related field, with training or professional experience in behavior analysis and whose full time professional commitment includes teaching, research, and/or practice in behavior analysis or (b) BACB certification (i.e., BCBA-D, BCBA, or BCaBA). Full members may vote and hold office.
  • Affiliate Member: Any member evidencing interest in the discipline of behavior analysis, but lacking formal training therein, may apply for this class of membership. Affiliate members are entitled to all benefits except for (a) the right to vote on matters of interest to the organization, and (b) the right to hold office. Affiliate members may serve as members on BAAMS committees.
  • Student Member (including original Founding Student Member of BAAMS): Any individual pursuing formal training in the discipline of behavior analysis, which may include programs in behavior analysis, psychology, education, or a related field but not yet gainfully employed therein on at least a half-time basis may apply for membership in this category. Such application must be accompanied by an endorsement on letterhead by a program coordinator or program official certifying the applicant’s student status. This application will be reviewed in a manner similar to the review of those candidates for Full Member status. Student members may neither vote nor hold office, though they may serve as members on BAAMS committees.

BAAMS has 59 active full members with 78 student members as of March 30, 2022. Member meetings occurred throughout the year at region meet-ups in addition to an annual meeting held at the BAAMS conference on November 14–15, 2022.

Meeting Activity
The 2021 Annual BAAMS Conference took place in-person at the Landers Centers in Southaven, Mississippi on November 4–5. Members could acquire 9 CEs, 2 Ethics CEs, and 1 Supervision CEs: totaling 12 available CEs for the conference. With 158 participants; speakers included:

  • Zahra Hajiaghamohseni, Ph.D., BCBA (ABX Solutions), “Supervisory Volume: A Systematic Approach to Making Ethically Responsible Decisions About YOUR Supervision Capacity in Practice!”
  • Dr. Jonathan Tarbox, BCBA-D (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), “On the Role of ACT to Address Diversity in Behavior Analytic Research”
  • Dr. Jonathan Tarbox, BCBA-D (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), “Using Acceptance and Commitment Training to Enhance ABA Services for Families Living With Autism”
  • Alice Shillingsburg, PhD, BCBA-D (May Institute, Inc.), “Putting Social Interaction at the Heart of Autism Interventions”
  • Shane Spiker (Positive Behavior Supports, Corp.), “Reframing Dangerous Behavior: Avoiding Assumptions and Creative Problem Solving”
  • Dr. Tyra Sellers, JD, BCBA-D (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) and Sarah Lichtenberger, Ph.D., BCBAD (Behavior Analyst Certification Board), “Ethics Update from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board”
  • Student Research Symposium

The 2022 BAAMS Conference is currently scheduled for November 14–15 and will be held at The Mill in Starkville, Mississippi.

Other Activity
BAAMS Executive Committee for 2020–21 made it a priority to clarify the direction of the association by developing a formal mission statement. Our belief that a strong, concise mission statement gives our council and members purpose and improves engagement in our work.

“The mission of the Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi is to promote and support the practice, education, research, and dissemination of behavior analysis throughout the state of Mississippi.” Objectives and/or core values will be developed within the 2021–22 term to drive our mission.

The BAAMS Executive Committee for the 2021–22 year made it a priority to set goals and objectives that will be prioritized for the organization within the year:

  • Goal #1: Increase membership of full members by 10% across the calendar year.
  • Comparison points will be enrollment on February 7, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
  • Goal #2: Increase member involvement throughout the year instead of just conference attendance.
  • Goal #3: Complete new website renovation and change systems/platforms for membership enrollment and conference registration.
  • Goal #4: Assist or participate in one advocacy project/initiative during the calendar year.
  • Goal #5: Increase conference attendance of full members by 10%.

Contact Information