Little Star Center Announces Formation of Distinguished Board of Advisors

Little Star Center is pleased to announce the formation of a distinguished board of advisors consisting of notable and influential individuals in the field of behavioral analysis.  The board membership includes: Dr. Patrick Friman, Dr. Dorothea Lerman, Dr. Dennis Reid, Dr. Mary Jane Weiss and Dr. Thomas Zane.  The board is conducting the first of three annual meetings this week.

“I have wanted to put together an advisory board of prominent behavior analysts for years,” said Mary Rosswurm, executive director of Little Star.”When Dr. Zane came out to visit a few years back to launch Little Star’s lecture series, he really guided me on how to put it together. The purpose of the board of advisors is to advance our center’s clinical programming and ensure that it is empirically validated, highly effective, and produces the best possible outcomes for our learners.

“We believe we can achieve this by developing our clinical directors through prominent mentorship. Leadership on best practices is essential as we expand our services and further refine our procedures. Advisory board members will help direct research, skill acquisition, and behavior deceleration techniques as we continue to provide state-of-the art services to our learners while contributing to the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA).  In addition, they will help us continue the Little Star Lecture Series–which is free to the public. I am truly humbled by the five advisory board members–that they would give their time to help Little Star. We look forward to an exciting and productive future with their involvement.”

Patrick C. Friman, PhD., ABPP received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He is the current Vice President of Behavioral Health at Boys Town and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of  Nebraska School of Medicine. He was formerly on the faculties of Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, and Creighton Schools of Medicine.  He was also formerly the Director of the Clinical Psychology Program at University of Nevada as well as the Associate Chairman of the Department of Psychology.  Dr. Friman is the former Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and former President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.  He is also on the editorial boards of six peer-reviewed journals. He has published more than 180 scientific articles and chapters and three books and he currently writes a regular column on child behavior for Family Spectrum Magazine.  The primary focus of his scientific and clinical work in is in the area of Behavioral Pediatrics and Behavioral Medicine.  Dr. Friman’s work in behavioral pediatrics has concentrated on the gap between primary medical care for children on one side, and referral-based clinical child psychological and psychiatric care, on the other. A secondary focus is on adolescent behavior and development an example of which is a commercially available DVD on Adolescence and Other Temporary Mental Disorders.  He also specializes in consultation regarding workplace issues such as motivation, dealing with difficult people, change, and pathways to success. 

Dorothea C. Lerman, Ph.D., BCBA-D is Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she directs the master’s program in applied behavior analysis and serves as Director of the UHCL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of interest include autism, developmental disabilities, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury), and she has published more than 60 research articles and chapters on these topics. Dr. Lerman is the founding editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice and former associate editor of The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Developmental Disabilities. She has received a number of significant awards for her work including the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award, the 2001 B.F. Skinner Award by the American Psychological Association (Division 25), and the New Researcher Award by the American Association on Mental Retardation (Division 5). She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis-International in 2008.

Dennis Reid, Ph.D., BCBA-D has more than 35 years of experience as a manager and clinician in residential, educational, and community support settings for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, and has consulted with human service agencies in the majority of states of the United States as well as Canada and New Zealand. He has published over 140 refereed journal articles and book chapters focusing on applied behavior analysis and authored or co-authored eight books. His Motivating Human Service Staff book is now in its 2nd Edition and received the Writer’s Digest Certificate of Merit Award. Dennis is also the senior author of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Supervisory Training Curriculum. In 2007 he was awarded Fellowship status in the Association for Behavior Analysis International and in 2006 received the AAIDD International Research Award. Dennis is the founder and current director of the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Morganton, North Carolina, USA. His company has employed people with autism and other severe disabilities in a supported work capacity for 17 years.

Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Executive Director of Research at Melmark. She is also a Professor at Endicott College, where she directs the Master’s Program in ABA and Autism.  Formerly, she served as clinical director at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University. Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 25 years. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, on evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, in training staff to be optimally effective at instruction, and in maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University and has written numerous articles and four books on autism.  These include Right From the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism (co-authored with Sandra Harris, 1998; 2nd edition, 2007), Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism (co-authored with Sandra Harris, 2001),  Sibling Stories: Reflections on Life With a Brother or Sister on the Autism Spectrum (co-authored with Lynne Stern Feiges, 2004) and Practical Solutions for Educating Young Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome (2008).  Dr. Weiss is a regular presenter at regional, national, and international conferences on topics relevant to ABA and autism. She is Past President of the Autism Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis, and serves on the Board of Trustees for Autism New Jersey, on the board of the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts and on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research.

Thomas Zane, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor of Education and Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Online Program at the Institute for Behavioral Studies, Van Loan Graduate School, Endicott College. Dr. Zane earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology at Western Michigan University and his doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis at West Virginia University. He has served as a Post-Doctorate Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts, Professor at Mount Holyoke College, and Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry. He is a licensed psychologist in New York and Massachusetts. Dr. Zane has published in various journals and books, presented at regional, national, and international conferences, and been an invited lecturer in Ireland and the Republic of China. His research interests include teacher training, staff development, and evidenced-based practice in autism. As part of his duties at Endicott College, he offers a BCBA certificate program through distance learning.