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.


46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Special Event #229
CE Offered: BACB
International Task Force on Education in Behavior Science and Application
Sunday, May 24, 2020
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Domain: Theory
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Peter R. Killeen, Ph.D.
Panelists: ILANA GERSCHLOWITZ (Star Academy), AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana), GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro CIEL; LearnMore, Inc.), MARTHA HUBNER (University of São Paulo), JENNA MRLJAK (Association for Behavior Analysis International)

The ABAI Task Force on International Education has been working since January to create a model to improve educational opportunities and develop formal recognition of behavior analysts that could be adapted for individual countries. Constituents from Brazil, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain will provide an update on the task force’s progress.We welcome the attendance of all those interested in this effort.


Ilana Gerschlowitz lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the mother of three boys. She completed her B.Com (LLB) (commerce and law degree) in 1998 at the University of the Witwatersrand and was subsequently admitted and practiced as an attorney. In 2004 when her oldest son, David, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 20 months, she immersed herself in research to find solutions.

In 2009 she hosted the landmark Challenging Children Conference, which successfully provided a platform for the introduction of ABA to South African parents and professionals.

Ms. Gerschlowitz is the founding director of the Star Academy (Star), an affiliate of the US-based Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Now 10 years old, Star has provided access to ABA programs to more than 230 children around the country with autism or related disorders, as well as to children in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Mauritius, and Zambia. Other Star projects include providing ABA instruction to underprivileged children in Johannesburg and a program called Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning challenges, including those with ADHD.

In 2015 Ms. Gerschlowitz was recognized for her work in education with the CEO Global Award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government in the Education and Private Sector for Region, Country, and Continent. In 2018 she was a finalist for the Europcar Jewish Women in Leadership Award. She is the author of Saving My Sons: A Journey With Autism, published in 2019 and which helps light the way for many parents coping with autism or learning difficulties in Africa.

AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana)

Dr. Agustín Daniel Gómez Fuentes has a degree in psychology from Universidad Veracruzana, a master’s in psychology (behavior analysis) from Western Michigan University, and a doctorate in behavioral science from the University of Guadalajara. Dr. Gómez Fuentes has been recognized as a National Level I Investigator by the Mexican National System of Investigators of the National Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he has a PROMEP profile and has been director of more than 80 theses on psychology and education, as well as published more than 16 articles in specialized scientific journals on those same topics. Additionally, he has published 10 book chapters and 3 specialized books on behavioral science and education. His research interests are mainly focused on linguistic modes and their relationships, as well as historical and philosophical analysis of psychological concepts.

Dr. Gómez Fuentes was a member of the program committee for the 2013 ABAI International Conference in Mérida, Mexico, and truly instrumental to its success and subsequent positive effects encouraging the growth of behavior analysis in Mexico. He promoted the conference and its call for papers among his colleagues at Universidad Veracruzana, gave a talk as part of a symposium, and chaired two other sessions.

GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro CIEL; LearnMore, Inc.)

Gladys Williams leads the program on autism and verbal behavior at David Gregory School in New Jersey. She is the founder and director of Centro CIEL in Barcelona and Oviedo, Spain, and of LearnMore, Inc., an institution that promotes effective teaching strategies. She earned her doctoral degree in special education and behavior analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was a recipient of the Fred S. Keller Research Grant to study language development and autism. She has won several awards for her contributions to the field of applied behavior analysis. Dr. Williams has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the American Journal on Mental Retardation, Teaching Exceptional Children, and others. She has been a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior and Social Issues, and The Behavior Analyst. She is a frequent guest speaker in Europe and South America. Dr. Williams’s main objective is to implement effective strategies to teach functional verbal language to nonverbal children and to investigate strategies and techniques to facilitate social skills and functional language acquisition. Her quest is to use behavioral technology to benefit children around the world.

MARTHA HUBNER (University of São Paulo)
Dr. Hubner is a full professor of experimental psychology at the Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. She was coordinator of the graduate program in the experimental department from 2004 to 2010. She is also past president of the Brazilian Association of Psychology (2002 to 2005), of the Brazilian Association of Behavioral Medicine and Psychology (2008 to 2011), and past president of the Association of Behavior Analysis International (2015 to 2017), serving also as International Representative at ABAI (2009 to 2014). She conducts research at the Institute for Science and Technology (INCT) on learning and conducts research at the Laboratory for the Study of Verbal Operants (LEOV) involving processes in the acquisition of symbolic behaviors such as reading, writing, and verbal episodes. She is currently invited professor at the Psychiatry Institute of USP, Chair of Psychology Section at the University Hospital at USP and she is immersed in three areas of research, teaching and application: empirical relations between verbal and nonverbal behavior, control by minimal units in reading, and verbal behavior programs for children with autism spectrum disorders.
JENNA MRLJAK (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Jenna Mrljak earned her Ph.D. in psychology (behavior analysis) along with her MA and BS degrees from Western Michigan University, under the advising of Dr. Richard Malott. Throughout her graduate career she taught and supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate psychology courses. She trained and supervised over 65 graduate student instructors. She also has experience with OBM and helped develop extensive systems for performance management and continuous-quality improvements within those courses. She has several years of experience in early intervention for children with autism and has provided BCBA supervision for four years in early childhood special education classrooms. Additionally, her research included teaching critical prerequisite skills for children with autism and improving staff training systems in the classrooms. Her interests spread across many areas including early intervention, instructional design, technology, social justice, and behavioral systems at the cultural level. She is dedicated to researching and delivering high-quality educational programs for all learners. Dr. Mrljak is currently the Education Manager for the Association for Behavior Analysis International.



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