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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #144
Quiet Courage
Saturday, May 25, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: MERAL KOLDAS (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute )
CE Instructor: Shahla Ala'i, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: SHAHLA ALA'I (University of North Texas)

We live in a complex time, socially, politically, and spiritually. Global and disciplinary paradigms are interrogated and challenged; questions about our human response to power, justice, knowledge, ethics, and suffering emerge daily. The science, practice and training of behavior analysis is at the nexus of this complexity. How does a young professor of applied behavior analysis find their place, purpose, and effort in this context? Through a series of examples and drawing on the wisdom of social activists within and outside of the field, as well as her own experience, Shahla shares reflections and advice for young professors, who are often concurrently serving as teachers, researchers, and practitioners. Through stories and data, loving and responsible possibilities are explored and examined.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

New professors and advanced graduate students and researchers, and practitioners and advanced professors that are interested in supporting and nurturing the development of new professors in applied behavior analysis

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe 3 societal conditions that present challenges to young professors in applied behavior analysis; (2) Describe 3 conditions of the academy that present challenges to young professors in applied behavior analysis; (3) Describe 3 strategies for meeting these challenges.
SHAHLA ALA'I (University of North Texas)
Shahla Alai-Rosales, PHD, BCBA-D, CPBA-AP is a Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. She has taught courses in Texas, Europe and the Middle East on a variety of topics, including ethics, early autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, technology transfer, behavior change techniques, and cultural diversity. Shahla has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, and supervision and mentoring. Shahla has more than four decades of experience working with families and has trained hundreds of behavior analysts. She has received awards for her teaching (SGA ‘Fessor Graham Award), her work with families (Onassis Scholar Award), and for her sustained contributions (UNT Community Engagement Award, TXABA Career Contributions Award, the GSU Lutzker Distinguished Lecturer and the 23-24 University of Kansas ABS Outstanding Alumni Award). She was a member of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, the ABAI Practice Board, the ABAI DEI Board and an Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice. Shahla is co-author of Building and Sustaining Meaningful and Effective Relationships as a Supervisor and Mentor (LeBlanc, Sellers & Alai, 2020) and Responsible and Responsive Parenting in Autism: Between Now and Dreams (Alai-Rosales & Heinkel-Wolfe, 2022).



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