By Sarah Pope
The North Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis held its 34th annual conference in person from February 22 – February 24, 2022. The conference was a great success thanks to the leadership of Shanun Kunnavatana, President (Easter Seals UCP of NC and VA), as well as the rest of our Executive Council including Monique Baker, Past President (Effective Interventions); Nina Deese, President Elect (Easterseals UCP of NC and VA); Haja Jallow, Vice President (Caring Hearts Behavioral Services LLC); Leigh Ann Strain, Secretary (Effective Interventions); Nancy Poteet, Treasurer (Private Consultant); Sarah Pope, Member-at-Large (Mosaic Pediatric Therapy); Janis Krempa, Member-at-Large (Building Steps Forward); Elizabeth Thurman, Student Representative (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jamie Clary, Publications Editor (Riddle Developmental Center); Fred Spooner, Senior NCABA Advisor (UNC-Charlotte); Duke Schell, Senior NCABA Advisor (Riddle Developmental Center); Ruth Hurst, NC Psychological Association (Murdoch Developmental Center); Sarah Pope, Liaison to ABAI and ACE Coordinator (Mosaic Pediatric Therapy), Selene Johnson, Community Liaison (ABC of NC) and a host of other NCABA volunteers.

The conference included a variety of invited speakers, workshops, and concurrent events with presenters from across the state and country present on a variety of topics in addition to the Welcome and Award Presentation, the Annual Business Meeting, poster presentation, and a student symposium. The first day of the conference began with workshops on Challenging your Cultural Responsiveness: The Importance of Integrating Cultural Values within Ethical Behavioral Service Delivery (Natalia Baires, PhD, BCBA-D) and Being a Critical Consumer of ABA Literature (Aaron Check, MA, BCBA & Katie Wolfe, PhD, BCBA-D). These workshops were then followed by invited presentations focusing on the following topics:

Toward Ethical Clinical Practice: Considering the Intersection of Disability and Race Models in Applied Behavior Analysis (Natalia Baires,

Promoting the Scientist-Practitioner Model through Applied Research and Dissemination (Kristin M. Hustyi, MA, BCBA, LBA)

The second day of our conference began with 13 concurrent presentations. These presentations were then followed by invited presentations focusing on the following topics:

BCBA Licensure: A Review of Statutes and Update on the Rules Regulating the Practice of Behavior Analysis in NC (Selene Johnson & Thomas Thompson, PhD)

Supporting Data-Based Decision Making in Early Career Practitioners (Katie Wolfe, PhD, BCBA-D)

Economics of Extinction: Adding Nuance to Discussions of the Viability of Extinction as an Intervention (Joseph M. Lambert, PhD, BCBA-D)

The third day of our conference began with invited presentations covering the following topics:

Effects of Visual Exposure to Natural versus Built Environments on Delay Discounting and Behavior Economic Drug Demand (Meredith Berry, PhD)

Motivational Interviewing – Some Whats, Whys, and Hows for Behavior Analysts (Carolynn S. Kohn, PhD, BCBA-D)

Skill Acquisition Programming and Stimulus Control Technologies: A Non-Linear Research Program (Tom Cariveau, PhD, LP, BCBA-D)

     These invited presentations were followed by workshops on Bridging the Gap: Building Applied Research Programs to Improve Organizational Performance and Patient Outcomes (Kirstin M. Hustyi, MA, BCBA, LBA) and Improving the Process and Product of Intensive Intervention for Challenging Behavior Through Data Triangulation (Joseph M. Lambert, PhD, BCBA-D, Bailey A. Copeland, MEd, BCBA & Jessica L. Paranczak, MEd, BCBA, LBA).

Our speakers did an outstanding job of delivering meaningful and important content to our attendees. This year, NCABA was able to offer both NCPA and BACB continuing education credits, including supervision and ethics credits. Up to 17 BACB credits were available to participants (inclusive of 1 ethics credit and 7 supervision credits) as well as up to 14 NCPA credits.

A total of 564 registrants participated in the 2023 conference. This was an increase of 150 additional participants compared to our 2022 virtual conference which included 414 registrants. NCABA was thrilled with the high level of participation and attendance as the conference was now back in person.

At the opening of the conference, Shanun Kunnavatana welcomed all participants. Awards were given to several very deserving individuals during the opening remarks. Joseph Deacon (Positive Behavior Supports Corp) was awarded the Fred Keller Excellence in Behavior Analysis Award; Jose Montes (Positive Behavior Supports Corp) received the Technical Utilization Award, and Alexandria Brown (University of North Carolina Wilmington) received the Student Scholarship Award. Dr. Martin Ivancic was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. NCABA also awarded its first Student Research Grant to Taylor Kennedy for a project on Overcoming Picture Interference Effect. Taylor will receive a grant from NCABA in the amount of $1000 to complete her research.

The NCABA Student Representative, Elizabeth Thurman (University of North Carolina Wilmington), organized an excellent student symposium for this year’s conference, including presentations by Monique Pinczynski (University of North Carolina Charlotte), Thai Williams (University of North Carolina Charlotte), and Trudy Georgio (Texas A&M University).

We hosted a poster presentation with the following posters winning in their respective categories. Undergraduate Winner – Emily Hutchinson, Emma Auten, and Carole Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington): Individualized Heart Rate Assessment in College Aged Adults as a Measure of Physical Activity Graduate Winner – Delanie Fetzner Platt, Tom Cariveau, Paige Ellington, and Alexandria Brown (University of North Carolina Wilmington): Prediction of Response Patterns Across Data Recording Methods Professional Winner – Gracy Dailey, Michelle Moore and Abbey Jordan: Client Choice in Selecting Treatment Methods.

This year’s annual business meeting was well-attended. The Board welcomes Jacqueline Hamilton in the position of Vice President, Lauren Broadwell in the position of Member at Large, and Kayla Jefferson in the position of Student Representative. Nancy Poteet was re-elected into the position of Treasurer.

Deserving a special thank you and acknowledgement are Jamie Clary, Ruth Hurst, Fred Spooner, Duke Schell, Selene Johnson and Sarah Pope who serve non-voting but essential functions for the NCABA Board. Jamie Clary serves as our NCABA Web Editor, Ruth Hurst serves as our liaison to NCPA, Sarah Pope serves as our ABAI liaison and ACE Coordinator, Selene Johnson serves as our Community Liaison, and Fred Spooner and Duke Schell serve as Senior NCABA Board Advisors. We want to sincerely thank out-going board members Monique Baker (Past President) and Sarah Pope (Member at Large) for all they have done to support and advance NCABA during their terms.

Please visit our website at and see additional information regarding past events, and upcoming opportunities, and to find information on becoming an NCABA member. The NCABA website also provides information about our history since 1989, including the “25 Year History” slide show, links to newsletters, and information about the conference and upcoming events, including our NCABA summer Autism conference and planning for our 35th annual conference to be held next February 2024 in Winston Salem, NC.

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