By Rachel Kramer
The Texas Association for Behavior Analysis (TxABA) continues to be guided by the mission to advance the science of behavior analysis to improve the world in which we live by disseminating knowledge from the science and providing resources to the behavior analytic community and the public in Texas in an ethical and high-quality manner. TxABA
Membership in TxABA is a 365-day membership from the date of payment; individuals may join anytime during the year. Vong/affiliate membership is $60 and student/RBT membership is $30. Members receive discounts on conference registration as well as free registration and CEUs for the TxABA webinar speaker series. Members may serve on TxABA Committees to help shape behavior analysis in Texas and participate in TxABA SIGs.
TxABA Executive Council (EC)
The 2022-2023 Executive Council consisted of President Jeffrey Dillen, President Dr. Summer Gainey, Council Member Jennifer Hines, Council Member Dr. Berenice de la Cruz, Council Member Dr. Joseph Dracobly, Council Member Dr. Leslie Neely, Senior Student Representative Julie Hrabal, Junior Student Representative Marcus Strum (non-voting), TxABA Executive Director Rachel Kramer (non-vong), and TxABA Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Zachary Morford (non-voting). TxABA The TxABA Executive Council continued to meet monthly to discuss strategic plan progress, monitor the budget, discuss upcoming events, oversee TxABA Committees, approve SIGs, appoint TxABA PPG officers, and discuss current events/issues in the field.
TxABA Strategic Plan
The TxABA Executive Council met in person in July 2022 to review progress on the TxABA Strategic Plan. As we grow our committees, TxABA has adjusted short-term goals while retaining long-term goals: 1) Develop the organizational infrastructure for committees, special interest groups (SIGs), the executive council, and administration; 2) Refine the relationship between TxABA and the TxABA Public Policy Group (TxABA PPG); 3) Support the quality and growth of the science and practice of behavior analysis through expansion of funding opportunities for science, practice, and research, and through the expansion of service offerings beyond the annual conference; 4) Increase the visibility and awareness of behavior analysis and TxABA among the public, and; 5) TxABA will engage in activities that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity as it pertains to its members, constituents, and conference attendees.
The TxABA Strategic Plan will be updated in July 2023, as we select short-term goals for the next three years. This process involves a SWOT analysis by the Executive Council and a member survey. The majority of short-term goals will be implemented through TxABA Committees and by the TxABA Executive Director.
TxABA Annual Conference and Awards
TxABA hosted its 38th Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX on April 27-30, 2023. It was a hybrid conference with BehaviorLive live streaming the conference and providing asynchronous viewing for most presentations after the conference. TxABA continued this year to offer pre-conference workshops on Thursday. The conference consisted of 9 tracks with all invited presentations: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Track, Neurodevelopmental Disorder Track – Adults, Professional Track, General Track, Education Track, Social Issues Track, Organization Behavior Management Track, Research Track, and Niche Areas Track. The Niche Areas track was new to our conference this year and the purpose is to offer presentations similar to the general track but in areas with a smaller number of behavior analysts working. TxABA expanded our Sunday offerings at the conference to have an interactive panel with autistic self-advocates, an event for RBTs and students, and a networking event for individuals who work with adults with neurodevelopmental disorders in Texas. This year we had a welcome event for students, RBTs, and first-time conference attendees to provide guidance on attending a conference. Thank you to everyone who made the 2023 TxABA Conference a success! The 39th Annual Conference will be held at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria on April 11-14, 2024.
Two awards were presented this year at the TxABA 2023 Conference. Dr. Kent Johnson was presented with the Enduring Career Contributions to Behavior Analysis award for his many contributions to our field during his extensive career. Dr. Johnson’s career has left an enduring legacy to the science and application of behavior analysis through his founding of Morningside Academy, co-founder of Headsprout, co-author of five books and over 30 articles for professional audiences and serving consecutive 3-year terms on the Executive Council of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Dr. Bruce Weinheimer was presented with the Career Contributions to Behavior Analysis in Texas award for his diverse work throughout his 40-year career in Texas. Dr. Weinheimer has worked in a variety of settings including TX State Supported Living Centers (previously State Schools), TX MHMR, TX Department of Aging and Disability Services, school districts, and private practice. He has worked as an adjunct faculty at several universities over the years and trained both psychologists and behavior analysts. The majority of Dr. Weinheimer’s work has involved being the first behavior analytic contact for professionals in other fields. TxABA was honored to recognize these two individuals for their numerous contributions to the field of behavior analysis over their careers.
A major change this year is that TxABA updated our logo and website. Our new logo features the state of Texas with our state flower the bluebonnet. The bluebonnet was chosen as both a symbol of Texas and a symbol of growth. A bluebonnet may struggle to grow in a relatively barren environment but will thrive in a rich environment. The behavior analyst in working with individuals or animals strives to create a rich environment to nurture and foster growth.
We are working to update the functionality, content, and style of our website to increase ease of use across platforms. We are growing our resources page on the website with contributions from two different committees. As we continue to update, you will find different Texas landscapes on our website, symbolizing TxABA’s commitment to being an organization for the science and practice of behavior analysis for the entire state from the piney woods and coastal regions across the hill country and plains regions to the desert and mountain regions. TxABA values the diversity that makes Texas beautiful and unique. TxABA continued to increase dissemination beyond the annual conference with the TxABA Speaker Series webinars that are free to TxABA members. In 2023, TxABA will host a total of 6 webinars with topics based on a member survey. For more information on the TxABA speaker series, please visit our website www.txaba.org/2023speakerseries/.
TxABA currently has nine standing committees that were created to implement the strategic plan. TxABA standing committees are the Awards Committee, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity for Everyone Committee, Grants and Funding Committee, Professional Issues and Development Committee, Program Committee, Promoting Engagement Committee, Special Interest Group Committee, and Student Committee. The Professional Issues and Development Committee took the lead in promoting our committees during the 2023 conference. The TxABA Promoting ABA ad hoc Committee finished their work this year by making recommendations to the TxABA organization, as well as gathering resources for the TxABA Website. TxABA
has seven Special Interest Groups (SIGs) with the approval of the Severe Behavior SIG this year. The six other SIGs are the Alamo City Behavior Analysts, Austin Area (ATX) ABA, Behaviorists for Social Responsibility, Organizational Behavior Management, Pediatric
Feeding Disorders, and Supporting ABA Success in Residential Settings.
TxABA Public Policy Group (PPG)
The TxABA PPG is the sister organization of TxABA that focuses on legislative issues and lobbying. The 2022-2023 TxABA PPG officers consisted of President Rany Thommen, President-Elect Mariel Cremonie-Fernandez, Treasurer Berenice de la Cruz, Secretary Anna Sciarillo, and Communications Jennifer Perry. The TxABA PPG was busy with their new lobbyist during the 2023 legislative session. For more information, please visit https://behavioranalysispu.wixsite.com/txabappg.