The behavior analysis faculty at Florida Tech are dedicated and productive researchers and practitioners with a commitment to developing the field of behavior analysis and training the next generation of behavior analytic researchers and practitioners. All of our core faculty are Board Certified Behavior Analysts®.
Elbert Blakely received a Ph.D. in 1988 from Western Michigan in Psychology with a specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has worked in the fields of developmental disabilities, mental health, behavioral pharmacology, experimental analysis of behavior, organizational behavior management, and database design. Dr. Blakely has co-authored 25 articles and one book. The articles address research questions in the experimental analysis of behavior, conceptual issues, and behavioral pharmacology. He is an Assistant Professor at FIT and teaches courses in applied behavior analysis, radical behaviorism, and behavioral pharmacology.
Dr. Blakely also serves as Vice President of Behavioral Services for Quest, Inc. Here, he oversees the delivery of behavioral supports for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Dr. Blakely also provides a company-wide outcomes management system that monitors operational and clinical outcomes for Quest, Inc.
Dr. A. Celeste Harvey has been working with individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities for over 20 years, and has worked in a variety of settings, including supported living homes, supported employment, sheltered workshops, schools, developmental centers for individuals with ID, and EIBI programs. She previously served as the Director of Behavior Services for a 40-county region of Tennessee, working to deinstitutionalize individuals with ID. She currently works as an Assistant Professor at Florida Institute of Technology, in the Applied Behavior Analysis program. Recent research projects include: (1) skill acquisition in elders with dementia, (2) functional analyses with individuals with dementia, (3) video self-modeling to teach communication and social skills to children and adults with Autism, (4) teaching verbal behavior to children in EIBI, and (5) preference assessment methods in individuals with and without disabilities.
Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D, BCBA-D is the Executive Director of the Scott Center for Autism Treatment and a Professor in the Behavior Analysis Program. Dr. Kelley received his doctorate in School Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from Louisiana State University in 2003. Dr. Kelley has held faculty positions at Marcus Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME, and The Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. His research interests include assessment and intervention for severe behavioral disorders, pediatric feeding disorders, the symptoms of autism, and treatment relapse. Dr. Kelley has served on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB), and has served as Associate Editor for JABA. He has also served as a Co-Principal Investigator for several federally funded grants.
Dr. Krebs came to Florida Institute of Technology from the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston where he was a T32 post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Addiction Research. Here, he worked in a translational neuroscience lab with a team of scientists and clinicians in a highly collaborative and multi-disciplinary setting to advance understanding, prevention, and reinstatement of socially significant behavior problems such as drug abuse and relapse. The majority of his work here focused on elucidating some of the neurochemical and behavioral regulators of impulsivity, a behavioral risk factor and contributor to relapse and addiction; several of his findings were presented at national conferences in both oral and poster format. During his graduate work at West Virginia University he received specialized training in the experimental analysis of behavior and behavioral pharmacology while working to identify environmental drivers of impulsive choice and drug tolerance. This work led to 5 peer-reviewed publication; these findings were also presented at both national and international meetings. In addition, he was the primary instructor for several undergraduate psychology courses including Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Biological Bases of Behavior, and Human Development.
He also served as the 2011 West Virginia University student representative for the Association for Behavior Analysis International. In addition to the above activities, he served as a fellow in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program at West Virginia University. Here, he worked at the Intensive Autism Service Delivery Clinic at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities to deliver, train, and supervise undergraduates in intense, one-on-one discrete trial training with naturalistic and incidental teaching to children, aged 2-6, diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Krebs research interests are varied, but he is especially interested in research examining the behavioral economics of choice and building lines of translational work bridging the gap between basic and applied behavior analysis. Some other research interests also include the treatment of problem behavior, weight and exercise management, and evaluation of didactic teaching methods just to name a few.
Dr. Leon is an Assistant Professor in the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience in the assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders and in the development of adaptive skills for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Leon received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. She then went on to work at the Neurobehavioral Unit of the Kennedy Krieger Institute while working toward her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Leon earned her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). Dr. Leon’s research interests include functional analysis and treatment of problem behavior, reinforcer assessment, and conditioned and token reinforcement. Her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavioral Interventions, and the Journal of Behavioral Education. Currently, Dr. Leon is the Site Director for FIT’s Hybrid Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis in Miami, Florida.
Joshua Lipschultz earned his B.S. in Psychology from Lafayette College and M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University. He then received his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has experience working with children with autism in classroom, home, and community settings, and has served as a teacher working with individuals with autism ranging in age from 3 to 21. Joshua also has experience applying process solutions to improve patient scheduling at autism clinics, as well as using feedback to improve nurse rounding behavior to increase patient satisfaction in a hospital setting. His research interests include topics related to organizational behavior management (OBM), compliance, staff training, and rule-governed behavior.
Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz is professor and Associate Dean of the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology, which he founded. In addition, Jose is CEO of ABA Technologies, Inc. and an adjunct professor at Penn State's Department of Special Education. He is a Senior Consultant for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), and serves as a member Florida’s Behavior Analysis Peer Review Committee. Jose was an officer and board member of the BACB for seven years. Jose is a past president of the Florida Association of Behavior Analysis and received its Charles H. Cox Award for Outstanding Service and Advancement of Behavior Analysis in Florida in 2005.
Jose earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in behavior analysis and therapy, from West Virginia University. His publications include a chapter on ethics in Cooper, Heron, and Heward, Applied Behavior Analysis (Second Edition) and an article on autism spectrum Disorders in the National Health Review. His principal areas of interest are professional issues, OBM in academic institutions, instructional design and technology, and the conceptual analysis of behavior.
Bryon Neff graduated with a PhD in behavior analysis from FL Tech, MS in behavior analysis from University of North Texas and BS in biology from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining FL Tech’s School of Behavior Analysis, Bryon was an Organizational Behavior Management consultant whose focus was to conduct gap analyses, improve staff performance and streamline systems within human service agencies. He was a faculty member at the University of South Florida where he directed a behavior analytic program that provided services, training and consultation to the state of Florida’s foster care system and the Department of Children and Families. In addition to his passion for teaching, Bryon’s interests include parent training, teaching with acoustical guidance (TAG) and improving the performance of athletes.
Dr. Katie Nicholson received her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her interests in behavior analysis include the conceptual analysis of behavior, assessment and treatment of children with developmental disabilities, staff training and performance management, systems analysis in human services settings, and social justice and persuasion. She has developed lines of research in teaching verbal operants, tacting private events, efficiency of various trial arrangement procedures, use of technology to train staff, and building rapport with children. Dr. Nicholson has over 15 years of clinical experience in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) for individuals with autism and other disorders (age 1-87) across a wide variety of settings (public school, private school, university-based clinic, hospital, community, home).
Chris received his BA in psychology from West Virginia University, his Master’s and PhD in psychology from Utah State University, and gained postdoctoral research experience in behavioral pharmacology at The University of Michigan. He was a faculty member at The University of Auckland in New Zealand and still holds a position of Honorary Academic there. His research interests mainly involve understanding the role of fundamental learning processes in behavioral persistence and relapse, with an emphasis on translational research. His clinical research interests are in understanding the behavioral processes involved in the maintenance and treatment of severe problem behavior. Chris is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He also is program chair and president-elect of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, board member of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and received both the 2011 B.F. Skinner Early Career Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association and the 2016 Federation of Associations in Behavior and Brain Sciences Early Career Impact Award for the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Dr. Tom Szabo is an internationally recognized ACT trainer, a practicing Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he studied under Steven C. Hayes and W. Larry Williams. Over the last 12 years, Tom has focused his practice on teaching people ways to ignite behavioral flexibility in their personal lives and with others in clinical practice, schools, board rooms, shop floors, and community centers. He is particularly interested in teaching applied behavior analysts ways to use the “psychological flexibility model” (ACT) to support individuals with high functioning autism, their families, and staff. With the Commit & Act Foundation, Tom has trained therapists in Sierra Leone working with individuals who’ve committed acts of gender-based violence. He has conducted funded research on ways to improve partnership skills and reduce intra-familial violence, has published empirical and conceptual papers, several book chapters, and is currently writing an instructional manual for BCBAs learning to use ACTraining methods. With his students, Tom investigates behavioral flexibility training (aka ACT or ACTraining) and clinical RFT. He was the founding faculty member in the SOBA program for Professional Behavior Analysts.
Dr. Nicholas Weatherly is an Associate Professor in the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he also serves as chair of the Master of Arts program in Professional Behavior Analysis. He received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, studying performance management, instructional design, and systems analysis. His expertise is in developing and providing efficient training and leadership solutions designed to maximize performance and create sustainable impact. He has been invited to speak on these topics locally and internationally for over 15 years, giving or contributing to nearly 100 scholarly presentations and workshops.
Prior to joining Florida Tech, Dr. Weatherly was a consultant with Aubrey Daniels International where he led their instructional systems projects and consulted in a variety of areas of business and industry including manufacturing, energy, banking, health insurance, and clinical services. He has held advisory roles and served on the board of directors for a number of state, regional, and international professional associations, advocacy groups, and service facilities, most recently serving as Past-President of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and on various ethics committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Dr. Weatherly is on the editorial board for the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and has published numerous articles on areas related to leadership, ethics, coaching, training, and safety. He is the co-author of Deliberate Coaching: A Toolbox for Accelerating Teacher Performance.
Frank Webbe earned his Ph.D. in psychology/behavior analysis at the University of Florida and was on the faculty of the University of Mississippi before joining the Florida Institute of Technology, where he is professor of psychology and behavior analysis. The Research Director at the East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic, Dr. Webbe has studied standard and computerized methods of early assessment of Alzheimer's disease, and also Applied Behavior Analysis interventions with family caregivers and Alzheimer patients. Through the Florida Tech Sport-Related Concussion Project he has studied the risk factors for concussion in sport, as well as best practices for assessing and managing concussion, including the advantages of baseline testing. Dr. Webbe teaches courses in Physiological Psychology and Neuropsychology.
He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and the Sports Neuropsychology Society. He is past chair of the State of Florida's Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Committee, and also of the Technology Professional Interest Area of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment. He is a former president of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Webbe is the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative at Florida Tech, and is the past president of the national Faculty Athletics Representatives Association.
Dr. Wilder received his Ph.D. in Psychology (Behavior Analysis) from the University of Nevada and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Kennedy Krieger Institute. His research interests include the assessment and treatment of behavior problems, skill acquisition, and organizational behavior management. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters, currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and is a former Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He also serves on the editorial boards of Behavioral Interventions, Behavior Modification, Behavioral Development, and Education and Treatment of Children. He is a former President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and is a recipient of the “Outstanding Scientific Contributions to Behavior Analysis” award from that organization. Dr. Wilder has worked and consulted in hospitals, schools, clinics, business, and home settings. He teaches graduate courses in applied behavior analysis and organizational behavior management.
Dr. Byron Wine is the Vice President of Operations at the Faison Center in Richmond Virginia and the Executive Director of the OBMNetwork. Byron also holds appointments as an assistant professor at the Florida Institute of Technology and visiting assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Byron received his doctorate in educational psychology from Temple University, and completed both his master’s and bachelor's degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a Virginia-licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and has published over 20 research articles and four book chapters. Byron currently sits on the editorial boards of Behavior Analysis in Practice and the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.
Dr. Tilka has consulted in a variety of industries and settings including the home improvement industry, automotive industry, and education. She has experience and expertise in functional assessment and designing, developing, and implementing performance improvement solutions. Her specific interests are concentrated on utilizing comprehensive behavioral systems analysis to develop solutions that are tailored to meet the needs of the organization as a whole, and streamline organizational processes. Rachael has delivered several presentations at international conferences and is more recently doing work to attempt to validate assessment tools commonly used in the field of Organizational Behavior Management. Dr. Tilka received her M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management. Both were completed at Western Michigan University.