University Series 001 | Eastern Michigan University

Join Operant Innovations as they speak with Eastern Michigan University's Dr. Adam Briggs and Dr. Marilyn Bonem.

Contact Information:

Dr. Adam Briggs at Dr. Marilyn Bonem at

Additional Information and Links:

EMU Psychology homepage and faculty index. EMU's Clinical Behavioral Master of Science in Psychology homepage and white sheet. EMU's PhD in Clinical Psychology homepage and white sheet. EMU's on-campus practicum locations (Autism Collaborative Center and the Psychology Clinic) and a list of other off-campus practicum placements.


Shauna Costello (00:00:04):

Welcome to operant innovations, a podcast by ABA technologies. This week, we are excited to bring you the first of our university series today, we're talking with Eastern Michigan university and I had the pleasure and opportunity to sit down with Adam Briggs and Marilyn Bonem to speak about their very unique program that offers much more than just behavior analysis. So let's jump in. We are here at Eastern Michigan university in Ypsilanti. I'm going to let these two introduce themselves.

Adam Briggs (00:00:37):

Thanks, Shauna. And thanks so much for having us on your program so that we get a chance to talk about our program. Really appreciate that. So, uh, my name's Adam Briggs. Um, I'm a first year assistant professor of psychology here at Eastern Michigan university. Um, I've got my degrees most recently at a university of Kansas where I got my PhD degree under the mentorship of dr. Claudia Doescher. Uh, prior to that, I got a master's degree at Auburn university with, uh, doctors out of Jim Carr and Jim Johnston. And prior to that, I got my undergraduate at Western Michigan university and that's where I discovered behavior analysis. And then actually after I got my PhD at, uh, did a two year post doctoral research fellowship at the Monroe Meyer Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Fisher. And so my primary focus here as a faculty member is, um, working with the, uh, undergraduate, uh, BC little ABA focus or concentration on the coursework and also in the master's program, I'm teaching a lot of the behavior analytic, uh, courses, um, and, uh, for both the undergraduate and graduate programs, um, sort of overseeing the, uh, application for them becoming verified core sequences through ABAI. So we're in the process of that right now, and also with our PhD program, which we'll get into a little bit more later, but, um, I'm a faculty that's part of the doctoral training committee and, um, we'll be taking doctoral students, uh, uh, in the coming years. Um, and although it's a clinical psychology program, I'll be providing an applied behavior analysis, uh, focus. Um, so I'll be looking for students wanting to get their degrees research degrees in behavior analysis, but also have opportunity to earn their, uh, licensed in psychology.

Marilyn Bonem (00:02:16):

I'm Marilyn bono. I have got my PhD in behavior analysis from Utah state in 1988. Prior to that, I got my master's in applied behavior analysis from Drake university. I've been on the faculty for 32 years and I was instrumental in helping develop the curriculum in the, in the beginning of the program. And much of that still kind of remains part of the curriculum today. Although lots of changes and improvements have been made. I also was the coauthor of the proposal for the doctoral program. And the doctoral program is linked, was designed to be linked to both our general clinical program here and our general masters clinical program here, as well as the clinical behavioral masters. I do some private practice work. I've done private practice work with autistic kids with a variety of populations, head injury, I do behavior therapy stuff with adults. Um, so that's about it.

Shauna Costello (00:03:13):

I've had the pleasure of speaking with these two for about an hour before we actually started talking and really gotten to dive into the qualities that Eastern Michigan university's program, what they have to offer and what it is. And I know you heard Maryland kind of say this clinical behavior program. And so can you to explain just an overall, an overarching umbrella description of what Eastern's program is and you know, why it might be called this clinical behavior program versus if they're looking at, you know, other schools or it might just be ABA or behavior analysis.

Marilyn Bonem (00:03:56):

I think that the program, the master's program was designed originally to incorporate both the, um, behavior therapy tradition, as well as the behavior analytic tradition. And we've always had some of both faculty, um, and we've always collaborated and seeing the connections between the two, um, the two kinds of approaches to behavioral clinical work. And, um, so we've always kind of felt like we incorporated the best of both. And, um, originally we were designed to, uh, put people into a master's, uh, license level license. Um, so they're licensed clinical psychologists at the master's level. That's always been true from the get go. And then now more recently with the certification, the BCBA certification we've incorporated that too. So that's one really unique, so several really unique things about our program when that, that they get both of those directions, that they can be both licensed and get eventually get the BCBA certification pretty seamlessly. And, um, I think another unique thing is that they can go directly from our program into the doc program if they so desire to continue with research and things like that.

Adam Briggs (00:05:12):

Yeah. And I really want to emphasize the points that, uh, Dr. Bonen made with respect to how you meet that, of that type of arrangement or structure of a masters level training program is so I'm familiar with masters training programs for folks to earn their, uh, BCBA for it being a very focused, you're going to work with individuals diagnosed with autism here, the core classes that you need. Um, you sit for the exam, you get your certification, and then that's what you do for the rest of your career. With respect to this program, it's part of it, but really the emphasis, although we, you get the necessary coursework and training, it's taught with a little slight twist or actually more of a broader application. And, um, as we were talking earlier mentioned that probably about only 25% of each of our cohorts are, uh, have a focus on working with individuals with that have a diagnosis of autism and providing behavioral therapy, the other 75%, or you are interested in gaining that behavioral training, um, uh, experience and background, but to then go and apply it with a variety of populations or in a variety of other behavioral problems.

Adam Briggs (00:06:25):

So for instance, working with the gerontological population, the elderly, the aging with dementia, working with individuals that have, um, anxiety disorders or depression. And again, they're taking the, this understanding of, uh, our behavioral sciences and learning other types of behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, um, uh, DBT, uh, a, uh, ACT, um, and using that to go work with those populations again, having a very behavioral training, very behavioral background, but being able to go work with this variety of populations, um, and, uh, again, to highlight the fact that, um, this is the ours is the only program that I'm familiar with, that you can go through and yes, go sit for your certification to become a board certified behavior analyst, but also to also practice as a limited license psychologist in the state of Michigan. And I think that's a real strength of our program.

Shauna Costello (00:07:17):

And to just interrupt you really quick, um, this is something that is a little bit different from some of the other schools that we've talked about that have maybe a clinical side to it. Um, whereas I want, I just want to reiterate it that you guys have said you have a terminal master's clinical program that still is focused in behavior analysis. Whereas some of the other programs that we've talked about, if you're coming in for a more clinical behavior analysis program, you're staying for a PhD, they, don't not all programs have this terminal masters limited licensed practitioner program. So I think that, I just want to make sure I reiterate that, that that is an option.

Marilyn Bonem (00:08:00):

And I really like that for PhD, I really liked getting the masters first because there were many tough, as we all know, many tough days when I thought I couldn't make it through my doc program. And so just knowing that you could kick back and get that master's and leave and practice. And if all you really wanted to do was go out and help kids function better, you could do that.

Adam Briggs (00:08:24):

And we've had a lot of students that have done that, but then we've also had students who've gotten the master's and then segue right into the PhD. Then we've also had students who have gotten their masters taken a year or so off done some clinical work and then realize, no, I really do want to make a commitment to pursuing a PhD. And they were able to, you know, transition right back in.

Marilyn Bonem (00:08:40):

And you might not know that when you start the masters program that you're in, you know, you might get really hooked into research and things.

Shauna Costello (00:08:47):

And I know that you talked about, you know, that 75% of the students actually go on to work outside of, you know, the traditional autism route that we see a lot of our students going into. So what does the faculty look like here and what are some of their research interests and now what are they kind of focusing on?

Adam Briggs (00:09:08):

Yeah, so the faculty as a whole, in our psychology department is one they're amazing individuals. Uh, two they're very fun to interact with and work with. I feel like we have a very collegial department, at least that's my perspective. After one year

Marilyn Bonem (00:09:21):

Adam's going to be up for tenure and a couple of years.

Shauna Costello (00:09:23):

He's gotta speak highly of it right now.

Adam Briggs (00:09:28):

But, but really, and I think the students can see that and feel that too and that's important. We have a great our website, our psychology website has awesome links and bios for all of our faculty members and what their backgrounds are, what their interests are, contact information. So we'll definitely direct you to check that out. Um,

Marilyn Bonem (00:09:48):

Should we list our faculty or,

Adam Briggs (00:09:50):

Yeah, sure.

Marilyn Bonem (00:09:52):

So let's make sure we remember everyone. Michelle Bird works with kids. Ellen cook works with anxiety disorders and mostly behavior therapies. Um, Adam and I've already said what we did. We've got Jim Todd who is, um, does basic research and, um, who else do we have? We have and he also puts on BAAM and then we have Claudia, uh, Drossel who specializes in, um, aging populations, Alzheimer's dementia and, um, the new wave behavior therapies such as FAP. We have, um, Tom, um, waltz who does, um, a variety of things. Some things with kids, I don't know exactly everything that he does, but he's also like a behavior therapy person. So he does some work with kids and some work with adults. Um, we have, um, Tamra Loverage who, um, does eating disorder stuff she's worked with, um, I don't know, sexual predators and stuff, and the prison population, um, a variety of, kind of again, new wave therapies and, and who,

Adam Briggs (00:11:05):

Alex Maragakis.

Marilyn Bonem (00:11:08):

Alex, our other new faculty Alex Maragakis who, um, is in health, um, behavioral health kinds of things, as well as Michelle Bird is in behavioral health kinds of things as well. And, and does behavior therapy stuff with kids? Who am I missing?

Adam Briggs (00:11:22):

Those are, I think our primary behavioral faculty.

Marilyn Bonem (00:11:25):

Elliott Bonem, who does experimental analysis and, um, history and systems of behaviorism. Um, yeah, at one time related to me.

Adam Briggs (00:11:37):

With the specifically within our, um, our, our training program or clinical behavior training program, um, the behavior analysts that we have, uh, primarily got their, um, graduate or advanced training at the university of Nevada Reno or UNR. And so they worked with like Steve Hayes, uh, uh, dr. Donahoe, um, and getting, being able to bring that aspect here. And so a lot of their interests are applying that type of, um, behavioral therapy to, uh, individuals that aging individuals, again, individuals with, um, other anxiety disorders. And I think like recently I know that a group of them just, uh, are working on a grant that is, uh, I think in Maryland, you may be more familiar with it than I am given. I'm still kind of learning the landscape here, but I knew though that they've got a grant through the state of Michigan, um, and they're working with, uh, setting up training systems, uh, for going in and, uh, working with, uh, elderly, um, uh, individuals that are maybe showing signs of depression, showing signs of aging and how to go in and train staff to effectively work with these individuals. And so I know that, uh, several of them are primarily working on that and therefore their students are helping them work on that as well. Um, so that's just an example of one area that's outside of autism that our program helps facilitate.

Marilyn Bonem (00:12:56):

It's a service, it's a service grant. And, um, many of those faculty that come from, um, from Reno, um, have this kind of underpinning of even though they're behavior therapists, they're oftentimes doing this sort of hybrid. I don't know what percentage of your audience knows about things like FAP. Um, but you know, it's a hybrid of behavioral therapy and behavior analysis. And I really, really think that the strength is really that it kind of works both ways. I think that one of the things that having those two tracks, if you will, or not really tracks, but two different emphases of which people can be equally equipped to do both, or they can concentrate on one or the other. But one of the things that I think that the behavior analytics students learn is it's almost like translational, not in the true sense of what we're talking, what we're usually talking about within behavior analysis of translational between the experimental literature and the applied literature, but they have to respect each other's perspectives and they have to learn to talk and translate their language into language, and they both learn both languages to an extent, but some people speak more behavioral analytic language, and I'm, I'm sorry, but that's the way I think that's the way I think about things is that behavior analytic and behavior therapy are languages and they have terminologies and they have concepts in terms of that signify those concepts. Um, and, um, those concepts are pretty deep kind of conceptual understandings that some, some levels. But anyway, I do think that that informs that, that, that informs those behavior analytics. Cause they can have a tendency to just become so steeped in that behavior and to not ever think outside of that. And then they go and make stupid mistakes when they go out on practicum and they start throwing around the jargon, you know, as if everybody knows that and parents don't know it, if they end up in an interdisciplinary setting those other people, aren't going to know it.

Marilyn Bonem (00:15:03):

If they're being interviewed by social worker that person's not gonna know. And so I think that that informs, but I think that the behavior analytics side informs the behavior therapy. I think, I think that, um, especially particularly function is an important concept. That's not really fully incorporated into behavior therapy because the treatments are so standardized and they're so group oriented and they're so tight to diagnosis. And really when we start to look at diagnosis, we start to see, Oh, there's like five or six different contingencies that operate within depression or, you know, they're not homogenous groups. And so there may be more operant components. And even if they're classical conditioning components that are part of the disorder, a functional analysis of classical conditioning, which in my opinion, we don't do enough of anywhere, but that, that technology can, I think really the technology and the concept of function can really,

Adam Briggs (00:16:05):

Yes. I think those are really great points, Marilyn and a sort of piggyback off of the function aspect. Um, I think that's one of the great things that folks come through our program really get a lot of background in training in and understanding and to be able to apply that to their cases. And then the other one I think is to be able to, uh, define the behavior that they're wanting to, uh, place contingencies on and to, uh, something that's observable measurable, um, is I think also not unique, but I think there's more of an emphasis in behavior analysis and therefore that's what translates well to their clinical work. Um, and then to go back to another point that you made that I thought was a really great point, is that the students in here, because the there's diverse languages of the technology that we're using and our backgrounds, I think it exposed them very early on to, there's more out there than just what you're studying. And so there's more out there than just behavior analysis. There's more out there than just a cognitive behavioral therapy and that therefore that makes them more aware so that when they do go into their other settings, they are less likely to make those mistakes that Marilyn brought up that I think in my experience, um, coming up through programs that were primarily, um, uh, ABA, this is what we're, you're going to eat, sleep and breathe that. And then we're going to put you out in the real world, um, where folks were likely to, you know, throw jargon around and kind of get looked at cross side and maybe get, uh, uh, get turned off by their caregivers or other faculty and make those mistakes early on that maybe hindered some of their progress as a professional. I think that early on here, they get introduced to there's a lot more out there. You need to learn to speak, talk the talk, you need to think like a behavior analyst, you also need to speak like a clinician like a professional. Um, and so I think that that's a real strength to that. I think that we offer that and I think Marilyn hit the nail on the head when she brought that up.

Shauna Costello (00:17:59):

And it's really great to hear that you guys are saying you are Eastern is bridging the gap between behavior analysis and disseminating behavior analysis and making it applicable to outside fields, not just this jargon written field, that's going out there and being like, no, we're the best. This is how it's going to be, really teaching your students how to be practical in the real world and what they should actually expect when they go out there. Um, because, um, we can, sometimes as students get caught up in our campus life and we're surrounded by behavior analysts, so it's very easy, like you said, to live, breathe, eat behavior analysis, but you guys are bridging that gap.

Marilyn Bonem (00:18:48):

Sometimes, sometimes I don't understand the language that students come in with because I'm old school behavior analyst and they come in with language that they get when they're working in ABA, you know, settings. And there's like new terminology. That's like, I dunno, it's old ideas, but it's different terms and I'm just not familiar with it. And then they think I've had it happen where they think, I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't use their language and it can happen. You know? I mean it can, but I think,

Adam Briggs (00:19:24):

But then it's a good opportunity for them to understand that, oh no, she knows what you're talking about, but it was called this way back when. And so therefore that's where science comes from or some of these experimental practices and early studies. And, and although we, you know, coin it as, um, I can't even think of an example of that, but like, uh, or pivot praise. Um, that's an example.

Shauna Costello (00:19:49):

What is pivot praise?

Marilyn Bonem (00:19:51):

There you go.

Adam Briggs (00:19:51):

That's a term that I've heard. That's kind of, uh, created maybe at a, it's a cultural term at a site or a practice center. And, but really it's just differential reinforcement. You pivot away from somebody who's engaging in problematic behavior, and then you pivot or you praise the more appropriate alternative response, that's differential reinforcement. And so there's a lot of times where there's names kind of thrown out for procedures, but really they're links to these, uh, uh, conceptual, uh, practices that we are very familiar with.

Marilyn Bonem (00:20:23):

And that may be old school, but I like Skinner's terminology.

Adam Briggs (00:20:26):

Yeah. I mean, it's pretty concise. It's pretty parsimonious.

Marilyn Bonem (00:20:29):

And sometimes it gets misused. I mean, sometimes the concepts are sometimes they'll use an old term.

Shauna Costello (00:20:37):

What about practicum sites? Um, because you know, on campus university program, where are you guys sending your students? Where are they getting their experience?

Adam Briggs (00:20:45):

Since we just talked about it, I'll give a little more information about the autism collaborative center. It's actually a center that's literally, I kinda point over here cause it's right outside my window, but it's a, you know, more than a Stone's throw away maybe

Shauna Costello (00:21:01):

As Marilyn just kindly pointed out, it's the opposite direction, that Adam's pointing.

Marilyn Bonem (00:21:06):

Sorry, sorry.

Adam Briggs (00:21:07):

Yeah. So again, I'm new here, so I'm still learning the landscape, but it's close. I know it's less than a minute drive away. Um, it's technically on campus and, um, we're actually currently it over this past year, I've been working with the folks over there to set up a practicum for undergraduate students to come in, um, to get their practical training experience there, they, through their undergraduate course, they have to take practicum credits. And so this is their opportunity to do that and supervise by myself and the other BCBAs that work there. And then we're also setting up a training center for the graduate students to come in and, um, be able to get case lead experience, be able to conceptualize the case that they're working on and more of an opportunity to do the program writing, do the graphing, data analysis, um, and those sorts of opportunities that frontline or that behavior analysts, uh, case leads will need to have. And so that's, uh, in the process of being set up will be, we have some graduate and undergraduate students over there currently, but we'll be full on this fall 2019, um, with, uh, our kind of capacity for now. Um, but really looking forward to that opportunity. And then, um, Marilyn, do you want to speak a little bit about our caps, the, uh, kind of onsite clinical experience that the master's and graduate students?

Marilyn Bonem (00:22:26):

Um, yeah, we have a, we also have a clinic on campus that's more traditional. Well, can be more traditional in terms of outpatient kind of clientele. Um, so there, and then we have, and then, um, we usually have one or two people that are strictly, you know, uh, kind of getting credit for teaching the, the, um, practicum course. Um, I wanted to say something about how it's not just the practicum where they get the hands on experience, but that's another kind of, I don't know if that's unique about our program, but they do get hands on experience from the very first semester that they're here. So they start out doing a, you know, hands on, we have a system called pre-practicum, so they have a practicum, or they have a, they have a, uh, seminar type course and that's married to a pre-practicum where they do hands on skills.

Marilyn Bonem (00:23:22):

Sometimes it's simulated things. Other times it's little practice cases where they take one piece of it, uh, analyze one behavior of some kid who's in one of these, like at the autism center or something like that. So they're getting experience all along. Uh, and then that's the finale is their, their 500 hour practicum. And because they have to be licensed, it has, they have to have supervision by both someone with a, um, fully licensed PhD, clinical psychologist, as well as someone who has PhD BCBA supervision credentials. And hopefully that would be like the same person, but it could be two different people. And so it's, that's kind of unique that they can sort of kill two birds with one stone or in some cases they can do one practicum and then another one after they graduate or just do two practicum. So anyway, there are a bunch of other sites and the people who have done it all along have kept records. So we have a wide variety of like, they can do forensic stuff. They can do, Oh, you can re read off. Some of those

Adam Briggs (00:24:26):

And I was going to say, so we just kind of talked about two of our primary onsite, our on campus practicum opportunities, but I'm holding up a page, that's a front and back to page of all the, the clinics or placements in the area that we've worked with and had students continue their, um, practicum, whether it was their internship or just a practicum setting. Um, but yeah, just kind of reading a couple off of here. Um, we've got, uh, LBN college counseling services, we've got Ann Arbor rehabilitation center, neuropsychological assessment rehabilitation. Um, we've got Henry Ford behavior analysis, um, Henry Ford neuro-psychology Judson center. And so these are all just from areas or these are all clinics that are within our, um, uh, Metro Detroit, um, and Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti area that we've worked with and, um, provide a lot of, uh, psychological services, rehabilitation, um, uh, services for autism that, uh, we have already established relationships with that we have contacts with and can place folks there based on whatever level they choose.

Marilyn Bonem (00:25:29):

And we collect data on those. And so we have, um, like we basically have contact people there and then they have to, we have contracts, we have, you know, letters of, um, agreement, um, so that they, um, know what they're getting into and that they know what the expectation is so that whoever gets to supervise people at these offsite places know that there'll be a period of shadowing. And then there'll be a period where they introduce assessment. And then there'll be a period where they take on a couple of cases and get supervised and have, you know, the expectation, the expectation isn't always carried out. We don't always get the same quality of supervision out in the field that we get at our centers here, where, you know, if our faculty are supervising people over at the clinic, uh, on campus, then they're watching video tapes and they're sitting down with their students and giving them feedback on pretty much all their behavior, at least in the beginning, until they're confident that they have the competencies to function on their own.

Marilyn Bonem (00:26:33):

Uh, but we also collect data, um, surveys. We have like, um, exit surveys that are filled out by the students who go to those practicum sites. And then when new students, we have huge notebooks and when new students are choosing their site, they can look to see what's the population. What kinds of interventions who's available for supervision? Is it interdisciplinary? So all the different questions, but they can also look at the, at the kinds of experiences that other people have had at those sites so that they can see whether it's a good place. And, and sometimes it can be a good place. We do, we used to do a place called psych systems and you had to be a really good initiator. Like, you know, the guy who ran it was so busy. And so, you know, in and out, and it was like you were going to different people's homes and different out in the community. And so to get direction, but if a student had really good initiation skills, you know, they could function there, but other students couldn't.

Adam Briggs (00:27:33):

So although I think it's a strength that we have these diverse relationships in the community. Obviously one of the limitations is the kind of quality control. And, but we do actually have a faculty member that monitors these, uh, these practicum placements. And as you were mentioning, does the surveys so that we can kind of see whether or not this is a site that we want to continue to recommend to students or not. So we do have a system in place for that, right.

Marilyn Bonem (00:27:58):

And if there are issues that come up, you know, we track them and we sort of help the students negotiate through some of those problems. And if something happens too many times, then it's like, well, we just take them out of the book. But the other thing is that it's important. I think to understand that practicum is really a state monitored thing. Yes, they have to have a 500 hour supervised practicum in order. And in other words, they have to fulfill the state's criteria, but it wasn't designed for us to, we can't control everything just in the same way that we can't control what happens to them when they go out and get their first job, you know, we have to give our control over at some point. And that's, I guess then there, then we just try to prepare them with the best training. And we do have courses in ethics, of course. And, and then they get ethical training when they do their practicum course as well. So we just try to get them the best background that they can. And so that also, so that they recognize if somebody isn't doing what they should be doing, they should be coming to us and either switching practicum sites. So they know enough to know when they're getting good quality training and, you know, we can't micromanage everything outside of here.

Adam Briggs (00:29:15):

And while they're at those sites, we, like I mentioned there's a faculty member that helps support them and helps them navigate some of these more if they do come in contact with ethical dilemmas and how cause that's part of the training process, right, is experiencing some of these less than optimal, um, uh, issues while you are still in a support system and can receive that coaching.

Marilyn Bonem (00:29:35):

Or they're being exploited, you know, somebody's making them work more hours than they should or not letting them have time off and not letting them attend their classes.

Shauna Costello (00:29:44):

Well, I mean, what I'm getting from this is that you guys offer such a wide variety of practicum opportunities. So it sounds like no matter what type of experience that you would want to get, you have the opportunity. And Eastern as a program has worked up these relationships and established these bonds throughout the community, that their students can really get any type of practical experience that they want.

Adam Briggs (00:30:15):

Yeah. And that's important for us and it's important for us as behavior analysts. And although my primary training and background is in autism and assessment of treatments of your problem behavior. Um, I think it's really important to it's, it would be easy for me to take students and be like, hey, you're going to do what I'm doing and help me pursue my interests. But it's really important for us as faculty to identify one they're here because they're interested behavior analysis. Awesome. And, but lets us also identify what their other interests are in using behavior analysis and put them in contact with opportunities to, to reach those goals. And I think by having this really good, um, understanding of the landscape in the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area of the types of clinics, and then have already established relationships with these places, we're in a, we're in a great position to help place our students in working in areas and populations. And so a couple of others that I highlighted here working at the Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor veteran's administration, working with individuals post traumatic stress, substance abuse, I'm working at the Eisenhower center for traumatic brain injury rehab, um, working at Henry Ford neuro-psychology, um, and then working at the Ross helper and associates chronic pain, and then also the guidance center and substance abuse. So right there, that's just, I just pulled off five or six or I off of a list that really expands, um, uh, or spans across multiple populations. But again, we're going in with these are behaviorly trained individuals going in and, but just working with a different population, but still being able to be very effective clinicians and practitioners.

Marilyn Bonem (00:31:45):

I was just going to say kind of what Adam started to say it, I just want to expand on it and a little bit that, you know, that's, I don't, we have a strong, I think all the faculty are pretty United and that we're teaching principles. And just because you have application, just because you have experience only with one population and applying those principles doesn't mean that you don't have the skills because we're very principle oriented in teaching. And that's what I mean. We do have faculty here who, who do research on, like I did research on reinforcement magnitude and, and contingencies and playing around with different kinds of contingencies. Um, I think it prepares them to really work with any population. Now, when they get out of here, somebody's going to judge them and say, oh, you've only had experience with young children, or you've only had experience with adults with PTSD, but we, but if they could find an opportunity, I believe that they would truly be, have the competence to function with any population, you know, because the other people outside of behavior analysis, I think tend to do things as very population specific. But I think we, and even the way that we design our courses, like when I teach the clinical applied behavior analysis course, I'll go principle by principle and I'll try my best to incorporate some examples of other populations, be it kids with ADHD or autistic kids. And I mean, sometimes there's only studies with a certain population to demonstrate a certain concept, but if I can, I'll try to incorporate sampling as much possible.

Adam Briggs (00:33:33):

Well, that's a, I love that point and because it reminds me, so this semester was when I did this past semester, I taught my first graduate level course, and it was clinical behavior analysis. And, um, my primary training was in, you know, behavior analysis cause a lot of autism assessment treatment. And so it was a real challenge to me because I did like Marilyn described kind of working through principle by principle, but I really challenged myself to find readings and articles that were outside of the literature that I was comfortable with, but still is demonstrating that these are these principles or procedures having an impact with this population to be able to give our students a broad understanding and programming, I guess, for generality of where these procedures work. Um, because I think if you look at our field as a whole and be here analysis, and we were talking about this earlier, but looking at the pages of JABA or our flagship journal, it is predominantly with individuals with developmental disabilities and autism.

Adam Briggs (00:34:31):

And now there's a history there that explains why that's where that's, where we've been doing the majority of our research and work, but we really want our field to move forward. And we really want our, uh, areas of practice and folks to be trained in more diverse areas. It starts with, I think the faculty being able to introduce some of these, um, uh, diverse practice areas in their courses to these students in training so that they have an understanding. And I know that as Marilyn discussed, she does, I have, and I'm, I actually got, uh, consulted with some of the other faculty members here to inform my readings. So I know that they're actively doing that too. So I think that's something to know about the coursework that we offer as well as you got, you'll get the, the basics, the learning, the EAB, but when it comes to the applied stuff, you're going to get autism and work with development disabilities. But we also really try and make an effort to include how these principles and procedures are applicable with these other populations.

Marilyn Bonem (00:35:30):

And sometimes that, I mean, there are unique things that are true for the different populations that they may not get some of those specifics. You know, for example, you know, autistic kids, when you're doing discrimination training may be do over selectivity where they hone in on those some flaw in the flashcard or something. Um, you know, so they may not get like some of those details that are a little bit yeah, but the principles are the same. We're teaching them to discriminate. When you see this, you do this. And when you see that you do this and you know, those principles apply more broadly.

Adam Briggs (00:36:03):

And we're introducing them to the seminal articles or the seminal work such that if they were to come in contact with somebody who had discrimination, um, uh, errors, they would know where to go to further research and find out how they could, they could use that to apply to their particular problem.

Marilyn Bonem (00:36:19):

And they can do, they can get into the weeds on the specifics of the population by doing independent study, if there's enough elective credits so that they could do that and find out about those things like over selectivity. Um,

Shauna Costello (00:36:32):

We've been talking kind of about the student experience and you know, what else can your students expect when like, if they're looking at Eastern and they're like, okay, this weird town called GIP slanty, um, we'll get more into that in a minute. Um, I purposely said it wrong. Um, but like, what can they expect? Like faculty wise contact hours wise? Like what can they expect when they're in the program?

Adam Briggs (00:37:01):

Yeah. So I can speak to a couple of programs, specific, uh, areas. Um, and then I'm actually gonna hand it off to Marilyn or Dr. Bonem because she is much more familiar with the Ypsilanti Ann Arbor area given I just moved here. So, um, but I will tell you that my wife and I are loving it so far. So program specific, it's a two year master's program. Um, the, the, you can get through the, as Marilyn mentioned earlier in the podcast there, the masters coursework is, um, designed such that if you did decide to stay on and apply for the PhD program, it would transition, uh, very nicely. Um, and then therefore I think they expect like a three to four, uh, additional years if you did Stanford PhD. Um, but if you came in with, uh, no masters, um, I think they're the same as about a five, six year, uh, PhD program on average. I think obviously there's some, um, uh, there's a range there, but,

Shauna Costello (00:38:01):

And how does that work for students who like me, I only have a master's degree. How would that work if I applied to the PhD program?

Adam Briggs (00:38:10):

Yeah. So we would look at your coursework. I'm sure there'd be a lot of overlap with what we're trying to accomplish. I assume since you've already got your BCBA, we wouldn't necessarily require you to take those BCBA courses and probably could get a lot of those, um, to, uh, be waived or get credit for. But if I assume that you're coming here, there'd probably be an interesting acquiring your, uh, license in psychology so we want to make sure that you're getting all those courses, um, and then getting the hours required for that. So we, and then if you, depending on what your master's program was because our, our doc program does require you get a thesis along the way. So if you come in with, from a master's program with a thesis, we would review it as a committee and decide whether or not it meets our minimum requirements, or if you don't come in with a thesis, cause I know there's a lot of master's programs that are either like capstone or just kind of drop the thesis. Um, we would, we would probably start talking, you know, within the interview, maybe even, what would you be interested in starting on your thesis and we'd get that going right away. Um, or for whatever reason your thesis is not up to par with kind of what our standards are. We would, again, just start talking right away about what, how we could get started, um, getting that going for you. But yeah, I think it would just, there's a lot of avenues for, um, folks coming in with a master's degree from, uh, from not Eastern for us to get you transitioned in and to get credit for what you all hard work that you've already put in,

Marilyn Bonem (00:39:31):

But you are technically only allowed to transfer in nine credits. But that doesn't mean that we can't waive the courses, you know? So in terms of total number of credits, you'd still have to, you'd only be able to use nine, but you could. Why take something over again? Why not use the credits that you need now? There's lots of other ways, like you can take more than the necessary credits for a master's, you know, you can bulk up on master's thesis credits and,

Shauna Costello (00:39:57):

And you guys are really tailoring to what your prospective students needs and want, and to really try to make sure that they're getting the best experience that they need, because that's

Marilyn Bonem (00:40:10):

That's gonna be true of most universities limited to like nine credits.

Shauna Costello (00:40:13):

Right, right. But still, you know, even though you're like, we're not gonna make you retake this course. Why don't you explore a different course that, you know, you might not have gotten at your previous university or that you're interested in now,

Adam Briggs (00:40:28):

Both Marilyn and I were previous students. And so we understand, like we wouldn't want to retake a course that we already took and, you know, we would want, we want to get credit for the hard work that we already did. And so as faculty members were very, uh, sympathetic and empathetic to that and try to work with you. And then similarly, I think one of the great strengths of any program and what most faculty, I think mentors are like, is that we're going to want to you know, uh, get, make your experience tailored towards your interests. Yeah. You're coming here because you want to a behvaior analytic background, maybe in research, um, clinical work. And then you're also interested in earning your either limited license or psychology license. So that's why you're here. But otherwise the things that we get to choose, we're going to help tailor towards your interests because that's, you know, really for the benefit of you and our field, we don't just want to train somebody to go out and we're not going to force anybody or shoe horn anybody's experience just to kind of fit what our interest and needs are. We you're here to come and get your experience and we're going to make it worth your while.

Shauna Costello (00:41:30):

What is the interview process like to get into the program?

Adam Briggs (00:41:35):

So I've only experienced one thus far both for the master's program and the PhD program. And I would say that they're fairly traditional. Um, I don't, what I did like about it is that it wasn't necessarily a marathon of an interview. So it wasn't a weekend long adventure. Um, it was I think a day and a half max, um, and, uh, you know, we are,

Marilyn Bonem (00:41:58):

Just a whole day.

Adam Briggs (00:41:59):

Is it? Okay. And so for both the master's and the PhD, for some reason that.

Marilyn Bonem (00:42:04):

No, I'm sorry, you were talking about the PhD's,

Adam Briggs (00:42:05):

Well I was kind of talking about both collectively, but, um, but max and so the masters is just, yeah. A day and.

Marilyn Bonem (00:42:12):

Yeah, a day, not even a full day, after through lunch.

Adam Briggs (00:42:16):

And I think the closest thing I can compare it to is kind of like speed dating in a sense of like where you get with a faculty for 15 to 20 minutes, question time question asking, um, you get to meet with the students. Um, we do provide a general overview of what our program is like the course is taught, um, who teaches what, who has the research interests. And so you just get like a day in the life sort of snapshot. Um, and so I think that, you know, from that I know we've been able to recruit, um, really strong students. Um, we've been able to generate interest in that amount of time, um, and, uh, you know, be able to identify the students that would do well on our program.

Marilyn Bonem (00:42:52):

Right. And that's actually kind of a theme. Like I was going to back up to the interview, you know, to the actual application process and who would be competitive. They might need, they might be interested in whether they'd be competitive for the program. So if they're a strong like B plus kind of student, but I think that basically we are able to so far, maybe we'll be inundated with students and we'll have to be more selective, but, but so far, um, I think our general theme is that we get enough students so that we can most generally pick the students who will be successful in the program, the, in the most successful in the program. And sometimes we have to overlook people who probably could be successful, but not very often, most of the time, I would say that most of the time we are looking to see, can this person be successful and kind of our criteria is okay if they never got above a C in stats, maybe not, you know, um, if they have a 3.3, 3.5, they're solid, you know, they're going to get in. If they have good years, maybe if they have like really low verbal score, you know, we're going to look at them, we're going to look at all the variables and we're going to be like, yeah, they got that little score, but that's their second language. And they've taken a writing course and they've done fine,

Adam Briggs (00:44:11):

They're motivated to try to improve.

Marilyn Bonem (00:44:13):

Yeah, generally we look at grades like, you know, like the best indicator, what they can do is what they have done, not what their test score is. But sometimes the test score can tell us what their potential is and it can compensate for maybe someone's been just, you know, partying for three years and they have a 3.0 2.9, but they have these, you know, but they also showed, we also want to see that, oh, in their last year they got their act together and, you know, but sometimes the scores show us what their potential could be, but we try not to hold it against them if they've demonstrated competence.

Adam Briggs (00:44:48):

I mean, in those, looking at the scores and GPA is kind of give us an idea or at least a snapshot into what their baseline skillsets are, what their current repertoires are at. But in addition to that, and with the interview process, what we're looking for is, uh, uh, you know, fit yeah. Fit. And also, um, somebody who is shapeable right. We're behavior analysts here. And so if we're going to be training somebody, you know, we obviously adhere to the principle of shaping and we're looking for somebody who's motivated. And cause if somebody comes in as top, you know, on all the GPA and scores, but they get in here and we can tell that they're not really that motivated to put in the effort. You know, there's not much you can do with that. But if you get somebody who is at 3.3, 3.5, They've maybe did, you could tell that there's a little bit of partying in them, but towards their last year and a half, they have, we see the motivation kick in. We see an accurate representation of where their skill sets are at. Um, and we see them have a passion for working with the population or just a passion for behavior analysis in general. Um, and they seem highly motivated for, you know, coming to courses and, um, gaining the skills and being receptive to feedback. Like those are the students that we want, the students that are shapeable and the students that are want to be here and then also got to play well in the sandbox. So students that get along well and students that would be easy to work with. Yeah. Because we're also training professionals to go out and work with other, other disciplines, but other people, caregivers, children. Um, and so we want a good fit for, uh, that as well.

Marilyn Bonem (00:46:25):

The other thing that we really look for, regardless of how stellar their credentials are, is, do they know what they're getting into? Because if they don't know what behavior analysis or behavior therapy is, we don't want them coming here and going, oh my God, I don't think like that. You know, we have to have some kind of indicated that they think like a behavior analyst that they maybe they know some of the terms or they, or they at least recognize that symptoms are learned or something that sort of tells you that they're thinking along the lines of, you know, that it meshes that it's compatible with their thinking, you know? Yeah.

Shauna Costello (00:47:07):

Yeah. So, and I know that is important. And I know that, um, since, you know, we're talking about the application process, the student experience, there is something that even other schools that I've already talked to have mentioned about Eastern, um, that Eastern puts on the behavior analysis association of Michigan conference or BAAM every year. So can you tell us a little bit more about BAAM?

Adam Briggs (00:47:32):

Yeah. So, um, for those of you that are students and upcoming conference going, might not be something that you are familiar with yet. Um, but as a professional, and even in grad school, you are expected to go to a state regional national international conferences to, um, go learn more about behavior analysis, but also to share with other behavior analysts, the cool research and clinical work that you're doing. And, um, our state conference, uh, that, uh, we just kind of discussed is actually put on at our student center here. So, um, one of the things about being professional and going to conferences that you have to travel a lot, you gotta pay for hotels, you gotta book flights to go to these conferences with. So there's a lot of great things about traveling and doing that, but it also can be exhausting. So to have a conference that's held in our backyard, there's so many benefits to that, especially as a student coming in, um, you get to get experience working with the faculty that lead that conference. And so you can learn how to put on a conference, learn how to, um, uh, organize and set things up, uh, introduce speakers. But also I think as a students, you get, you know, discounted rates to attend, but you kind of get to see the conference from a unique perspective, not only a conference goer, but a conference put-er on-er. Um, but, uh, so I think that's a great strength and it's convenient. It's here. Um, and throughout, you know, like any conference, there's so many networking opportunities and it's one that you, you know, there's other conferences that you might not get a chance to go to as a student due to expenses and travel. But this is one that you, uh, get access to that is, in my opinion, just as high quality as some of the other conferences that are held throughout the country.

Marilyn Bonem (00:49:08):

I think participating in assisting of the running of the conference is a super important thing. Mainly I think it's important because it promotes the value of service and community service, service to your organization, supporting your organization, disseminating things. And so just by, you know, making typing up name tags and stuff, that's huge. And I think that that expectation is really an important one to promote.

Shauna Costello (00:49:37):

Well, and it also, I have had experience helping run the Michigan autism conference that's held in Kalamazoo. Um, it also teaches you a different set of skills. Um, those are not, you know, those are not skills that we are taught in school.

Marilyn Bonem (00:49:52):


Shauna Costello (00:49:53):

They're not.

Marilyn Bonem (00:49:53):

Right, right.

Shauna Costello (00:49:54):

And it's a different set of skills.

Adam Briggs (00:49:55):

And a very generalizable set of skills.

Marilyn Bonem (00:49:59):

And a set of skills that can seem overwhelming. If you look at a conference, you're like, how the heck would I ever run ABA, you know?

Shauna Costello (00:50:05):


Marilyn Bonem (00:50:05):

But when you see it from the grassroots and you see it evolving and you see, okay, you can start on this day, you do these, you know, I mean, it becomes something that is you think you could do. And I know that, you know, speaking from personal experience, I think I've been BAAM fiveish years when I was living in Michigan through grad school and then after, um, it's very, very affordable. Um, they always have very good presenters. It's a great, it's a great opportunity for students to come in and present their material as well on not such a national stage like ABA or something like that.

Marilyn Bonem (00:50:48):

It's lower key.

Shauna Costello (00:50:48):

It's lower key. It's, um, it's fun. Um, I know that when I was working in my clinical experience, I actually required granted, with the company paying for it, cause we required it, but we actually required, we shut down all of our services for a day and sent all of our staff to BAAM.

Adam Briggs (00:51:09):

That's great that you guys value that experience.

Shauna Costello (00:51:11):

Right. Whether or not they were a student of behavior analysis or just a staff member, you know, working, it was professional development was a big focus of ours at the time. And we shut down our entire clinic, all of our services for a day. And, you know, we expressed that to the parents and the schools and the caregiving staff that, you know, we worked with and said, this is a very big factor for us. This is how we continue to grow as a company and a field and create better practitioners. And yeah, we shut down and we sent all of our, all of our staff to BAAM for a day.

Adam Briggs (00:51:46):

That's awesome. What I love about it too, is like I have this past year was actually my first year, even though I went to Western, it was really the only year that I had a chance to get to it. But after day one, I felt so excited and so grateful being in the state of Michigan, seeing programs like at Michigan state, obviously Western, Michigan, central, Michigan, Northern Michigan Oakland university, and then all the clinical, um, uh, programs that are sending their folks there and just all the cool stuff that's going on in our state really got me excited about, uh, our state of affairs, um, quite literally, and where behavior analysis is, um, and I think it's just, we're in a really, really great state for behavior analysis. And I know we've actually recently passed licensure, um, for becoming licensed behavior analysts. And so there's a lot of really cool activity going on at the state level that you learn about at the state conferences and be able to make, uh, networks and contacts with, with everybody across all the universities. Um, I know Michigan school of psychology is actually one the universities I forgot to mention that is, has a, uh, behavior analyst training program. So there's a lot of really, really impressive programs in our state that get highlighted and featured at the conference. So whether you're a student already at one of those or a perspective student, it's a great opportunity to come and check things out and see the lay of the land in, in behavior analysis and, um, Michigan

Marilyn Bonem (00:53:06):

And it's sort of the same experience as like when you go to ABA it's like another opportunity to go and be around a whole bunch of people that speak your language. Well, I went to, I wanted to say one thing to emphasize about our grad assistant chairs that we do have two, to offer, um, for each, um, cohort of students. And we also have a really strong cohort I think, we don't do too many things, but we have that orientation. We have the interview process, they meet each other. There, they come in together. They take pretty much the same courses the first and the, usually the second semester, they split off a bit when they, some are part time and some are full and we do have a couple of social activities throughout the year, but then BAAM is another cohort activity. And it's kind of also an opportunity where the first year is on the set. The first years will be a cohort and the second years, and then you'll get that cross mixing where they'll say, Oh, well, I'm doing my practicum here. We also do a practicum fair at BAAM so that the students can, um, hear the speakers present what they have to offer at their practicum sites.

Adam Briggs (00:54:14):

One of the other strengths of our undergraduate curriculum is that we have the undergraduate research symposium every year.

Marilyn Bonem (00:54:20):

Mm, yes, good.

Adam Briggs (00:54:21):

And the, this is one of the coolest things. And I coming here as a faculty member that I'm most excited about. And so each year, um, the undergraduate's that function as research assistants or that are working closely with, um, faculty get an opportunity to present research. And, um, they, again, it's either a project that they've been working on, you know, for a year or project that they just had been working on with others, but they've been, you know, been selected to be the one to present it. And the format for doing so comes in a variety of forms. So there's, um, they can give a presentation, they can give poster presentations. They've been depending on, you know, not so much in the psychology area, but this is university wide. So you get individuals from the engineering program or students for architecture, who their presentation is an actual model or a demonstration of something that they've created.

Marilyn Bonem (00:55:11):

Or an art piece.

Adam Briggs (00:55:11):

Yeah. Art piece too, which is, again, it just highlights the diversity of training and the high quality of training that Eastern Michigan university has to offer. And I think it's just one of those unique things that our undergraduate program offers that is not a, that I've not seen at other universities.

Marilyn Bonem (00:55:28):

It feels like a real professional conference.

Adam Briggs (00:55:30):

Yeah, and then you have to remind yourself itself, these are undergrads, oh my goodness. That how well prepared they are, how articulate they are.

Marilyn Bonem (00:55:36):

And we give some awards there too. Our department give some awards for the best poster and the best presentations and stuff like that. We also have a couple of competitions at the undergraduate level for some scholarships, as well as at the master's level.

Adam Briggs (00:55:50):

So if you're an undergrad or perspective undergrad looking into our program, this is a great opportunity. If you are interested in getting more research experience or working closely with faculty member in preparation for maybe going on to grad school, or if you're a graduate student coming in it's I want to highlight it because it just demonstrates how high quality our undergraduate students are that are going to be helping you with your own research as research assistants. And that you'll be attending meetings with how serious they are and how committed they are to learning, um, at Eastern Michigan university. And I think, um, one of the secrets that I learned as a graduate student, even as a faculty is surround yourself with smart, hardworking people. And you're going to make, gets a lot of cool things done and be very productive and Eastern Michigan offers that. And so for those coming in that's I think something to be aware of, and as a faculty, I'm very proud of.

Marilyn Bonem (00:56:40):

And the faculty really do take a lot of time mentoring students too. I think so we're always willing to, to do that. And back to what the back to what they can expect when they get here in terms of things outside of academia in the Ypsilanti area.

Shauna Costello (00:56:56):

All we have left to talk about is this really, really weird town called yip suh lanty?

Adam Briggs (00:57:02):

The Y is silent.

Shauna Costello (00:57:04):

The Y is silent so yes, I have been saying it wrong on purpose. It is Ypsilanti.

Marilyn Bonem (00:57:08):

It's not silent, but it's I, it's an I instead of a Y.

Shauna Costello (00:57:14):

So if you see this really random town, just like Kalamazoo, it does actually exist. Um, and I've experienced it a little bit. I've lived in the Metro Detroit area for the last few years before I moved to Florida. Um, but yeah. Tell us a little bit more about the Ypsilanti area

Adam Briggs (00:57:30):

And so, uh, for those of you that aren't familiar, um, Ypsilanti is, would you call it like a sister, city or brother city to Ann Arbor? Is that something you would say?

Marilyn Bonem (00:57:38):

Within the shadow.

Adam Briggs (00:57:43):

So Ann Arbor is just a very diverse, um, cultural, social, uh, community, and there's so many great, uh, uh, food venues, music, venues,

Marilyn Bonem (00:57:56):

Cultural culture of all kinds,

Adam Briggs (00:57:59):

Yeah, all kinds from all over. And it's just such a lively atmosphere to go and, you know, spend weekends or evenings down there. And for both students and faculty alike, it's just a really great experience. And it's, Ypsilanti is, again, it's a little bit smaller, but I think it's just a more dense experience of that. And so it doesn't have as much, uh, broad categories, but what it does have their real treasures. And so there's a little downtown called, uh, depo town. That's really trying to create some really nice, uh, restaurants, um, and kind of bar scenes. There's really, I've been my wife and I've been paying attention to some of the community activities in Ypsilanti. So there's lots of fun, uh, parks and activities and art festivals. And, um, uh, we're, we're big fans of like farmer's markets. And so Ypsilanti has one Ann Arbor has a really wonderful,

Marilyn Bonem (00:58:51):

It's almost like it's a more down-home version of Ann Arbor, a more earthy version, you know, and it's kind of like the same and a lot of people, you know, actually talk about Ann Arbor as being kind of fufu. And, you know, there's a lot of, you know, I don't know

Shauna Costello (00:59:06):

Just incase people are like oh, I recognize the name of Ann Arbor.

Marilyn Bonem (00:59:11):

Yeah. If it's off putting that it tends to be more upscale, the restaurants or flights here. Um, they're both really liberal and both really diverse communities, but in pretty different ways I would say. Yeah.

Shauna Costello (00:59:26):

Yeah. And just so everybody, if you recognize the name Ann Arbor, um, that is where U of M is the university of Michigan. So that is also right down the road as well,

Marilyn Bonem (00:59:37):

With all the resources and libraries.

Shauna Costello (00:59:39):

All of the resources and connections. Yes, as well.

Adam Briggs (00:59:42):

And, and they have speakers, uh, faculty that we collaborate with. Um, we actually they're, uh, CS uh, medical center, um, is a site that we send our students to, to get experience in pediatric feeding disorders.

Shauna Costello (00:59:58):

They're doing some very good research in eating disorders,

Marilyn Bonem (01:00:02):

As well as with client work, which was in the neuro unit. And, um, we have connections with the anxiety clinic there and the depression clinic.

Shauna Costello (01:00:10):

And then on the other side of Ypsilanti, if you go about 30 ish minutes East, you'll be right downtown Detroit. And it's, I like to reiterate this to all my non-Michigan Detroit-ers. It's not what you think it is.

Adam Briggs (01:00:27):

It's a beautiful, yeah. It's a beautiful culture and community that people are very proud of. And my wife is not from Michigan. Um, but she picked on really early for, through my friends and family and how much we talked about Michigan and Metro Detroit and how much we loved our state and our community. And I think that when you come and experience it here, you'll take away the same types of, uh, ownership and, um, uh, just the love for the city and the community and just all the beautiful things that are, uh, uh, pure Michigan, I guess, if I could throw that tagline out there. Um, but, uh, it really is. And it's, so it's a wonderful place. There's lots of opportunities, both East and West. And, um, you know, obviously Northern Michigan is a beautiful place to go spend a weekend. Um, and then only being four or so hours from Chicago. And, um, you're pretty nicely located, um, and lots to do all over in a very cool, just down to earth community to, uh, uh, spend some time in.

Marilyn Bonem (01:01:26):

You can live in some pretty, I mean, depending students who usually like to live close and in inexpensive housing, but I mean, you can live in the country. You can live in these small little towns like Dexter or Chelsea, um, Bellville. Um, you could live on a Lake, you could live well, no mountains, but you know, yeah. Any way you can live or you can live in, you know, really close to an urban, you can live in an urban.

Shauna Costello (01:01:51):

I was gonna say you can live. I lived right in downtown Detroit new center when I lived here and.

Marilyn Bonem (01:01:56):

Fantastic restaurants,

Shauna Costello (01:01:57):

Oh my gosh, amazing. I miss it. But, and I know that not so much today when I was coming here, which is really weird, but normally getting to where Eastern is located, you're going against traffic as well. You're usually getting out of the city in the morning and going into the city at night. So

Marilyn Bonem (01:02:15):

A lot of students work during the day. And I mean, a lot of our courses are at night, that's worth mentioning too, not exclusive. Well, I mean, you do have to take some night classes, but you can take a mix, but for students who work full time and want to go part time, they can do it in the evening. So that's pretty cool.

Shauna Costello (01:02:35):

So now that we're wrapping up, is there anything else that you two would like to just mention about Eastern Michigan or the area or the pro any.

Marilyn Bonem (01:02:45):

Well, I'm going to take exception to what you said. I just have a master's degree, a master's, it's a pretty cool thing.

Shauna Costello (01:02:51):

It is a pretty cool thing to have. I enjoy it. And I like, and I know, yes, I've got lots of different experiences clinical, and now I expanded and I'm more in the training and education and OBM side of it and I love it. And now it's my job and what I'm taking on to teach everyone else how they can expand on what they might think behavior analysis is.

Adam Briggs (01:03:17):

Which I think is so needed. And I think this is such an amazing resource. Um, not only for students interested in behavior analysis and training, but as I mentioned earlier, when we first started chatting, I'm excited about, uh, directing my students to this podcast and to what you guys are doing as a resource, because, um, you guys offer a lot of things that maybe aren't as easily accessible or other mentors might not have be able to provide insight into. And so you're gonna be able to have it at the provided at the fingertips of those students that are eager and motivated and interested, and really give them that information. I think that's a real strength. And I think another thing too, is although like we're kind of directing you to the website and directing you to the profile and telling you who was out there, feel free to contact myself or dr. Bonem. And we would be more than happy to answer questions and make sure that if you are interested, just make sure that this is a good fit for you. And, um, we'll be honest and open. And, you know, because we understand making decisions about attending undergraduate graduate school is very important. And so we'll help you make the right decision.

Shauna Costello (01:04:21):

And I'll make sure that I list everyone's email and the website online and just, you know, from my personal experience, they are very responsive. And, um, they've made me feel like home, and I've only been here for a few for a few hours. Um, but wonderful. Well, thank you both for letting me come in and invade your office for a couple hours and chit chatting. And, um, I know I've had a good time.

Adam Briggs (01:04:48):

Thank you very much and good luck with everything too. And thank you again for selecting our program to highlight. Yeah. Appreciate that.

Shauna Costello (01:04:58):

Thank you for listening to the university series on operant innovations, stay tuned for more interviews coming from universities across the country, but do you have any more suggestions? Because we would love to hear them please contact us at


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