Number of Years in Current Role:
Less than one year
Number of Years with HMEA:
Number of years as BCBA:
Majored in Psychology with a focus on Elementary Education
Staying active, hitting gym, running
Being outdoors, going to the beach, and having campfires.
Baking and making sweet treats for others
HMEA PROGRAM: Children’s Services
TITLE: Senior Behavior Analyst of Quality Services
What led you to want to earn your BCBA?
“Having worked my way up from a behavior therapist to a clinical coordinator, it was clear that I wanted to remain in a position where I could continue to teach others. Having limited exposure to children with autism, prior to HMEA, I also knew that I wanted to further my own knowledge around the field of autism. When I learned about the Simmons College program, I immediately did more research as I felt it was the perfect opportunity to combine my love of teaching with my psychology background. As soon as HMEA decided to partner with Simmons College, I didn’t hesitate for the chance to get my masters and pursue my BCBA certification while continuing my career in the field of Autism.”
What has been your career path to date from your first job to your current position?
“I started off my career as an elementary school teacher living and working on the Navajo Reservation in St. Michaels, Arizona. After moving back to Massachusetts, I began working at HMEA as a behavior therapist and within a short period of time moved into the role of clinical coordinator. I then moved into the role of the very first head classroom teacher at the Darnell School. Following my time at Darnell, I worked as a BCBA in two different public school systems. Realizing that wasn’t the right path for me, I found my way back to HMEA, where I became the Regional Director for the Central Massachusetts area. I have recently transitioned into a new role at HMEA as Senior Behavior Analyst of Quality Services.”
What is a typical day like in your current role?
“I have a caseload of my own that I maintain which means that I am in houses working with families and overseeing behavior therapists. Part of that role entails reviewing data to make appropriate clinical decisions regarding each case. In addition, I also review all of our insurance treatment plans.
What are the things you like most about your current role? What excites you and motivates you professionally?
“It is exciting to know that I play an important role in ensuring that HMEA Children’s Services is providing the best quality of services we can. Professionally, I enjoy the opportunity to attend local as well as national conferences to continue to learn and grow in the field.”
How did HMEA help you earn your masters degree?
“I was part of the first cohort where HMEA and Simmons College partnered together for employees to earn their BCBA certification.”
What do you like about working as a BCBA for HMEA?
“HMEA is a place that recognizes you for your individual strengths and abilities and works to ensure that you are in a position to share those skills with others. It is an excellent place to work as they are always willing to work with you to ensure that you are able to balance your work life and the rest of your life. In addition, HMEA is a place where you can grow and move into new and challenging positions. HMEA offers many free opportunities to earn CEU’s as well as reimbursement for conferences.”
What kinds of support does HMEA provide to BCBAs that help you focus on being successful in your role?
“HMEA will identify the region that is closest to your home to ensure that you are not traveling all over the state. They will work with you to overcome any barriers you might have that could prevent you from performing your job at the highest level and meeting your billable hours. HMEA provides everyone with “layered” support meaning BCBA’s all have a regional director and a regional supervisor as well as access to me and the director for ongoing support and guidance.”
Is there a professional accomplishment or success story of which you are especially proud?
“As the very first teacher at Darnell, our first few students were students who had a long history of previously unsuccessful school placements. My first student engaged in significantly challenging behaviors requiring the support of multiple adults all throughout his first two years at Darnell. These behaviors impacted his ability to learn new skills and to access the community. By year three, this all changed. His behaviors significantly decreased; he was learning new skills and enjoying community outings. The time, energy, and hard work I invested in him during those first three years really paid off. As a result, I had the pleasure of watching him graduate from Darnell and become a successfully employed adult.
What advice would you give to Behavioral Therapists who are considering earning a masters and becoming a BCBA?
“I would let them know that it will be a lot of work but the hard work pays off in the end. The knowledge and experience they gain while being employed allows them to immediately apply the skills they are learning.”