Florida Tech community: Please view the Florida Tech Safe website for important COVID-19 information and "Return to Learn" plan details.
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. Anita Li received her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, M.S. from Florida Institute of Technology, and B.S. from the University of Florida. She has worked professionally in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2010, in the areas of severe problem behaviors with clients diagnosed with autism, emotional-behavioral disorders, and/or other developmental disabilities in a variety of settings. In addition, she has also held instructional design consulting roles and teaching appointments at several universities. Dr. Li has presented more than 30 papers and workshops, including invited addresses, at both national and international conferences in behavior analysis. In 2018, she was named the All University Graduate Research and Creative Scholar award recipient for her research contributions, and in 2020, she was named the All University Teaching Effectiveness award recipient for her instructional achievements. Dr. Li has published her research in several journals, including Behavior Analysis in Practice, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and have served as guest editor on two special sections of Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice devoted to the experimental analysis of behavior. Her other interests include behaviorally-oriented instructional design, behavior pharmacology, and cultural and diversity issues in the field of behavior analysis.
Dr. Mozzoni received his Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida State University and a M.A. in experimental psychology from Harvard University. He is a board certified, doctorate level licensed behavior analyst (MA) and certified brain injury specialist clinical trainer who has worked with people with brain injuries since 1985. He has been a reviewer for the NIH Center for Scientific Review panel, a member of the National Advisory Board for the Sarah Jane Brain Project, board member of the Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists, a founding board member of the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and served on the Behavior Analysis Certification Board examination committee and diversity think tank. He has served on several TBI advisory boards (Arkansas, Colorado and Maine) and treasurer of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine BI-ISIG. He has served as a member of the editorial boards of Behavioral Interventions, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (ad hoc), Brain Injury (ad hoc). Mike has several publications in the area of ABA applied to children and adults with acquired brain injuries. As a teacher, he has served as an ABA graduate instructor at Florida State University, adjunct professor in ABA at the Chicago School for Professional Psychology and an adjunct professor University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His areas of interest include: Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Outcome Measurement, Employee Turnover, Environmental Hardening and supporting students working towards certification.
Jesslyn N Farros, PhD, BCBA-D has had the privilege of working in the field of behavior analysis for more than 10 years. She earned her Doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Endicott College.
As an undergraduate, she conducted research in the area of Behavioral Momentum Theory (BMT) under the direction of Dr. Matthew Bell at Santa Clara University. Dr. Farros soon realized her passion for the science and with a long-standing motivation to improve others’ lives, she was led to pursue a Master's of Science in ABA at CSULA under the mentorship of Dr. Henry Schlinger. During her master's program, Dr. Farros began working as a Lead Skills Trainer with children diagnosed with autism. Additionally, she completed her thesis, “The Effects of Response Effort on Self-Control: A Comparison of Hypothetical and Real Rewards,” and is currently working on a third replication.
Dr. Farros has continued to work with families affected by an autism diagnosis; developing, implementing, and supervising ABA programs in various environments. She completed her dissertation, “Online Learning: The Effect of Synchronous Discussion Sessions in Asynchronous Courses,” under the advisement of Dr. Michael Dorsey and Dr. Mary Jane Weiss. She currently supervises programs for adults with severe challenging behaviors at the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis, consults in the area of performance management at Building Connections Behavioral Health, is Adjunct Faculty in the ABA Master’s program at Pepperdine University, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Behavior Analysis at Florida Institute of Technology. Her favorite course to teach is Verbal Behavior, which she developed for the Endicott College Master’s program.
Dr. Farros is an active participant at both ABAI and CalABA conferences, which is demonstrated by her recent paper presentations, “Clear Expectations as the Steps to Success,” “Training Staff to Work with Adults with Severe Problem Behaviors in Community-Based Programs,” and “Online Learning: The Effect of Synchronous Discussion Sessions in Asynchronous Courses.” Her research interests focus on evidence-based learning and verbal behavior.
Andrew graduated with his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Marshall University. Andrew has been working with individuals in the autism spectrum since he was sixteen years old. Certified as a behavior analyst since 1999, he is current President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. Andrew has worked in residential treatment centers for children and adults in the autism spectrum and worked for almost eighteen years as a behavior analyst in the public school system. A longtime co-instructor for FIT/ABA Technologies online applied behavior analysis (ABA) program, his interests in ABA include the assessment of severe problem behavior; applications of ABA to health, fitness and sports; the dissemination of ABA; teaching and supervising prospective behavior analyst certificants; behavioral skills training; and ethics in helping professions. While spending most of his career as a practitioner, he has published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, has supervised over forty individuals certified as BCBA/BCaBA’s, was featured in a documentary The Science of Teaching and is a renowned public speaker, invited to speak both domestically and internationally.
Dr. Lugo earned her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from The University of Nebraska Medical Center and her B.A. in Forensic Psychology and M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Lugo held previous faculty appointments at Saint Louis University and Southeast Missouri State University. Her behavior analytic interests include improving the efficiency and effectiveness of skill acquisition interventions, parent and staff training, and the assessment and treatment of treatment nonadherence. Her primary line of research includes the development of systematic methods to establish rapport and examining how rapport affects behavior during therapeutic sessions. Dr. Lugo has over ten years of clinical experience in the implementation of behavioral interventions in the pediatric population. Her experience includes early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI) and the assessment and treatment of children diagnosed with pediatric behavior disorders.
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).
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. 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.
Tara Loughrey was introduced to early intensive behavioral intervention while completing her B. Sc. at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. During her doctoral studies at Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Loughrey was active in conducting and disseminating ABA research. Several of her research projects were presented at regional and national conferences, published in peer-review journals and received research awards. Dr. Loughrey received additional training as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center in treating pediatric feeding disorders and sleep disturbances in children with autism. Following completion of a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Loughrey directed an ABA school program in South Florida for over 6 years. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the overall growth of the program in terms evidence-based service delivery, training and mentoring practitioners, and research activity. Currently, Dr. Loughrey teaches behavior analytic coursework and mentors supervisees worldwide on their path to BACB certification often using a telehealth model. Dr. Loughrey considers her qualifications to be a fundamental opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise to advance the science of behavior analysis and its clinical outcomes. Her specializations and research interests are teaching verbal behavior, parent training, video-based instruction and more recently, telehealth as a modality for effective delivery of ABA treatment.
Loughrey, T. O., Coxon, G., Bellizzi, A., & Wilder, D. (2013). The use of video modeling, prompting, and feedback to increase credit card promotion in a retail setting. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 33, 200-208.
Loughrey, T.O., Betz, A., Majdalany, L., & Nicholson, K. (2014). Effects of instructive feedback on the emergence of derived categorical relations. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47, 425-430.
Loughrey, T. O., Contreras, B., Majdalany, L., Rudy, N., Sinn, S., Teague, P., & Coxon, G., Harvey, A. C. (2014). Caregivers as interventionists and trainers: Teaching mands to children with developmental disabilities. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 30, 128-140.
Bennett, K., Gutierrez, A., & Loughrey, T. (2016). A Comparison of Screen Sizes when Using Video Prompting to Teach Adolescents with Autism. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51, 379-390.
Bennett, K. D., Crocco, C., Loughrey, T. O., & McDowell, L. (2017). Effects of video prompting without voice-over narration among students with autism spectrum disorder. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 22, 147-158.
Dr. Kaitlynn Gokey graduated with a PhD in behavior analysis from Florida Institute of Technology, MS in ABA and OBM from Florida Institute of Technology, and BS in psychology and criminal justice from Western Michigan University. She has a decade of clinical experience across a variety of populations, including autism, traumatic brain injury, ADHD, and dementia, and has provided OBM consultation to a variety of local businesses, including restaurants and hospitals. Dr. Gokey has a passion for teaching, with over 8 years of experience teaching behavior analysis at the graduate level. Dr. Gokey’s primary research interests are delay discounting and self-control training, science literacy, and domestic cat behavior.
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. Claudia Campos Fleitas earned her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of South Florida and M.S. in Psychology at Florida International University. Dr. Campos Fleitas is currently a visiting assistant professor at Florida Institute of Technology. Her research interests include assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, skill acquisition, parent and caregiver training, and cultural diversity in behavior analysis.
Currently Dr. Jim Moore is the Director of Autism Solutions for Canopy Children’s Solutions. Prior to his appointment at Canopy, Dr. Moore was the Director of Training for the Master’s Training Program in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Moore holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. He completed a pre-doctoral internship in Pediatric Psychology from the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and the Marcus Behavior Center through Emory University. He was the Director of School Consultation and Applied Research at the May Institute in Atlanta, GA before returning home to work as both an academic counselor and Assistant Dean of Students at Pearl River College. He has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2002 and became Mississippi’s first Licensed Behavior Analyst in 2015. His research has been published in such journals as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavior Modification, Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, Child and Family Behavior Therapy, Journal of Behavioral Education, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, Proven Practice, Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities, School Psychology Review, and School Psychology Quarterly. His research interests include teaching matching and discrimination skills to children with Autism, integrating Relational Frame Theory into Autism services, Behavioral Economics, Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention, Functional Analysis Methodology, Behaviors Maintained by Negative Reinforcement, Teacher/Staff training, integration of service delivery across home and school settings, the PEAK Relational Training System for children with autism, Parent Training in Behavior Analysis, and health, fitness, and coaching using behavior analysis. In 2015, he was appointed as the first chair of the Mississippi Autism Board; the licensure and regulatory board for behavior analysis in the state of Mississippi. In August 2019, Dr. Moore became a member of the Board of Directors for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, after being elected to Seat B by his peers.