University Series 006 | Rollins College

Join Operant Innovations for their interview with Rollins College. This week we will be speaking with Dr. Stephanie Kincaid about Rollins College on the historic campus in Winter Park, FL.

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Shauna Costello (00:00:03):

You're listening to operant innovations, a podcast from ABA technologies. We are officially back from FABA and done playing catch up. So this week on the university series, we will be talking to Dr. Stephanie Kincaid, an assistant professor at Rollins college in winter park, Florida. Dr. Kincaid is a BCBAD and her primary area of research is response recurrence with behavioral processes that cause the return of previously eliminated behavior and has also conducted research in reinforcement schedule thinning, functional assessment and treatment of elopement, and progressive ratio schedules. Her graduate training included, basic behavioral research with nonhuman animals, as well as applications of behavior analysis in schools. After finishing her PhD, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in severe behavior at the Marcus center. And now she teaches law ethics and behaviorism, organizational behavior, culture, and leadership and principles of applied behavior analysis at Rollins.

Shauna Costello (00:01:08):

We are here on the beautiful campus of Rollins college that I've got to walk around and we are here with Dr. Stephanie Kincaid to talk about their behavior analysis program, and it is in Winter Park, Florida. And if you're not a hundred percent sure where Winter Park, Florida is, it might sound like an outlier because of the name, but it is a Northern suburb of Orlando. And I know from living in the area for a while now that it is a gorgeous area, but I'm going to turn it before we get into the area. I'm gonna turn it over to Dr. Kincaid to tell us a little bit more about Rollins college and the program here.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:01:54):

Uh, thanks so much. Uh, first of all, for having me on, uh, Shauna, I'm so excited to share about our program. So, um, one of the defining characteristics of our program is that it is a master of arts in applied behavior analysis and clinical science. That's the official name of the program and it's a fully seated program. And so what that means is that actually Rollins doesn't offer any fully online programs. Uh, they really believe in the power of, uh, in-person education. Um, and so the technical term, I guess, is a seated program. Um, but we absolutely still offer some aspects that you would get in an online program. And we utilize technology in our classrooms all the time, and we do have classes that are blended. So those are classes in which there's a big online component. And in fact, some weeks that are more like an online class, um, but we don't have any classes that are fully online.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:02:56):

Um, and so that's, I think one kind of distinguishing characteristic of our program, uh, which I really love as a faculty member because I love, um, being in the classroom with my students. Um, and some students prefer to be, um, sitting in class, like they really like that for maybe their undergrad education. Um, and so they're looking for that in a master's program. That's one thing that we offer. Um, and we have three core, um, behavior analysis faculty in our program. And then we actually have two, uh, psychology faculty that are affiliated with our program as well. Um, and so the core curriculum is the behavior analysis, uh, curriculum, but then we do offer some clinical science classes that are geared toward behavior analysts, um, to help our students, you know, be well rounded and practice communicating with those outside of behavior analysis specifically. Um, so that's just kind of a general overview of, uh, what we have.

Shauna Costello (00:03:51):

It sounds like they are really able to, Rollins has really been able to make the program exactly what they want it to be. They're blending all of the best aspects of in seat and online to give their students the best experience that they can get.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:04:07):

Absolutely, and I think that we really, um, are what I would call some hardcore behavior analyst faculty, um, that make up the three core faculties. So myself, um, our program chair, Michele Williams, and then, um, our third faculty member, Kara Wunderlich, um, we all think very functionally, right? So when we are going to plan, um, for a class, we always think about the material first, the educational experiences, and then we, what tools do we have to meet those functions? So, um, yeah, we try, we try to blend, um, all aspects of what you would think of as a traditional, you know, lecture in person course with, um, online instruction with practicum experiences to really offer a diverse experience to the students.

Shauna Costello (00:04:55):

And I noticed that when we were talking before that you said that a lot of, or most of the Rollins courses are held at night.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:05:06):


Shauna Costello (00:05:06):

So what can some students expect when they're coming into the program and taking classes?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:05:12):

Sure, absolutely. So first of all, um, the way that we structure our classes is that we have one class meeting per class, per week. So basically for example, I teach our principles of applied behavior analysis, which is like our intro principles course. Um, and that's on Monday nights in the fall. And so we meet Monday night from six 45 to nine 15. Um, and so some classes they'll say like, this is an evening class, but like, this is truly like, it starts at six 45. So, um, it's, it's reasonable. A lot of our students will, you know, work during the day and then come to campus even with a little bit of a cushion time to maybe do some last minute cramming on their reading right before they come to class. Um, and, uh, yeah, we have class for that, for that, uh, chunk of time for that one class. So we'll talk about principles until nine 15 and then the next time that we'll meet will be the next Monday. So you might have like the principles class on Monday and then, um, single subject design on Wednesday and then, uh, our ethics course on Thursday. Uh, so it's kind of nice for students that are working and going to school because they have the ability to focus on that one class that one night, and, um, we'll get feedback from our students that that's helpful in terms of organizing. And then, um, for our blended classes, some weeks will just be an online or a blended week. So you might not meet in person for, for example, the, uh, single subject design class or something like that. Instead you'll complete some projects or some homework outside of class time and then come back to meet in person the next week. So, uh, yeah, that's kind of how the schedule works.

Shauna Costello (00:06:51):

Okay, and when you're talking about projects and things of that sort, I know that every course, every course that they're in is probably going to have a project or, you know, of course the assignments that they're working on, but when they are coming to your program, um, should they expect a thesis or a project track or some have both options, some only have one option, what can they expect from Rollins?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:07:16):

So we offer a thesis or a capstone, um, thesis is kind of the default. Um, if there is a question that a student is particularly interested in that maybe we can't do, like the way that we define a thesis is that it's an experiment, right? So you're manipulating an independent variable measuring the effects on a DV and trying to demonstrate experimental control. Um, so if you might have a question that maybe is with the population that we don't have access to or something like that, that might be a reason to do a capstone, which is a critical literature review. Um, if you aren't able to actually implement a study in that area, but most of our students do a thesis project and that takes place during their last year in the program. Um, and so that is the culminating project research experience, kind of the last thing that you do, um, uh, like the, the, the very tip top of your, of your experience.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:08:11):

Uh, but leading up to that, I think were very, um, kind of hands on, of course, active learning again, we're behavior analyst. So we know that BST is important. We know that, um, getting the opportunity to practice and get feedback on your performance is crucial part of learning. Um, and so there's tons of projects leading up to that. I'm actually in my principles class, which is the first class that students, you know, new students come into our program with, uh, take, um, I actually do like a small scale behavior change project where basically they implement, most of them do some kind of self management project. Like I want to increase my steps per day or something like that. And that's in the very first class. Um, but the other thing that we do is we try, um, we think of it as like fading of instructional support.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:08:59):

So we start off with a project like that, that's very small scale, that we get a lot of resources for and a lot of assistance. And then throughout our program, we kind of pull back gradually, um, such that, for example, in our organizational behavior, culture and leadership class, which is really like our OBM, uh, class offering in that class, which is one of the last classes students take, uh, they do a project where they actually, um, do a small scale OBM study usually to help out with some OBM related problem at their practicum site. And at that point, the students are really, you know, operating as independent researchers with, you know, the, uh, instructor serving as more of a collaborator advisor on the project. So, um, we try to build up to that independence over the course of our curriculum.

Shauna Costello (00:09:50):

Yeah. And it, that's, that's a really good point to make because it you're actually working in the principles of behavior analysis and working in the independence of your students. And it's not just, it doesn't, it just sounds like it's not just students coming in and potentially working with a faculty member and doing that research on, it's really trying to make your students as independent as possible.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:10:15):

Absolutely. And I think one thing that's, uh, actually nice about the format of a master's program is that, um, because of the way that our teaching model, especially at Rollins, Rollins is so fantastic that it's so focused on teaching and that we have the luxury as faculty of being able to follow our students' interests on a lot of projects, as opposed to what you might see, um, at other universities where, um, maybe potentially in a doctoral program where you're given a piece of a larger line of research or something like that. And the faculty member has high publication requirements that they, you know, are required to meet as a function of their job. Um, and they might have less flexibility to kind of pursue these ad hoc, like at the student's whims interests. Whereas we have a good deal of flexibility to do that.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:11:07):

So for example, um, one of the first thesis projects that was conducted in our program was a student who was really interested in applied animal behavior. And, um, so she actually ended up doing a thesis where she treated the SIB, uh, self-injurious behavior of a vulture, um, that was in captivity. And that was not any particular faculty's main research interest. We had to, you know, seek some consultation from folks that were, um, you know, uh, more experienced in applied animal behavior to actually get her thesis off the ground. But we were able to follow her interest to doing that.

Shauna Costello (00:11:42):

Well, and I know just from being in the area now, I did not know this, you know, before I moved down to Florida in this area that with having a lot of like the bigger corporations here for tourism, we actually have some pretty good behavior analysts working with the applied animal sciences here.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:12:03):

Right, absolutey.

Shauna Costello (00:12:05):

So, um, and speaking of that, kind of like the practicum sites, you brought up practicum sites a lot, and now we brought up these projects. So what are some of the practicum sites that the students are at and what are some of the unique experiences that your students are getting?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:12:21):

Absolutely. So for practicum, uh, we currently are partnered with about 10 local organizations for practicum. And, um, I would say that, uh, our practicum sites were chosen very strategically to cover a breadth of different experiences. Um, and some sites are, for example, exclusively providing in home services, um, for, you know, individuals with intellectual, developmental disabilities, ASD, et cetera. Um, and some of our sites have, you know, kind of on the other side of the spectrum, um, include a, like they have a, um, clinic and they do provide in home services and then they might have an onsite, uh, school. So for example, interventions unlimited Alpine Academy is one of those sites where, um, there's a breadth kind of within that site of experiences that you can have. Um, another one of our practicum sites is quest, um, which is one of the oldest in the area, um, uh, providers of ABA services. Um, and they really have a really wide range of experiences that they can provide a student. Um, but I'll say too, one thing that, uh, students that are entering an ABA program should keep in mind, maybe if you're interested in working with, um, populations that are not quote unquote, like typical ABA populations. I hesitate even to use that because we know that, um, behavior analysis is broad. Like, is there an organism behaving? Okay. Like, we're on, it

Shauna Costello (00:13:54):

We had that removing the blinders talk.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:13:56):

Right. Okay, fantastic, I'll try the area. Um, but even if you're interested, for example, in, um, OBM or applied animal behavior or something like that, um, I think for our students, um, one thing to keep in mind is that you might not just because you don't, aren't able to do a practicum placement in that area does not mean that you can't pursue it or get training in that area. So, um, we've encouraged students in the past that are in that situation to make sure that their practicum experience is going to cover, you know, the task list, right? Like you're trying to get coverage on all the areas that you need, um, to then be successful in whatever area you choose to apply behavior analysis. And, um, and so, uh, we have chosen practicum sites that allow you to cover, cover everything and all the experiences that you need to cover. And then I think we use thesis and research projects as a way to supplement those other experiences that you might not be able to do in practicum. I mean, honestly, a big function of that is that the students would like to be paid. So currently all of our practicum sites are paying students during practicum. And that's something that maybe students from other areas of psychology or education, you know, might not have known. Um, so basically our students, if they aren't already working in the field, by the time they go into practicum, then they basically are hired by our practicum sites. And that's, that's not a requirement, but currently all of our sites are choosing to pay students because they need them. Right. Um, but it's really a partnership between the organization and our students that we try to give them some really well trained students, um, when they enter practicum. And so you might not be able to be paid for all of those experiences that you want to get, right. So maybe you want to work with older adults, but the funding situation is very different, um, for older adult populations. Um, and so you might need to do some extra volunteer hours or do a research project and that allows you to get, get that coverage.

Shauna Costello (00:15:57):

Yeah. And I mean, even I know from my experience, just within my courses that I took, um, depending on the course there's projects within the course.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:16:07):


Shauna Costello (00:16:07):

So even between your courses, you could be getting different experiences depending on which project you're working on in that course at the time. And Rollins is so centrally located that. I mean, I'll throw out some names like SeaWorld is right here. Um, I know that I've worked with students before, actually down here in Florida, that they've had jobs at a zoo as well to get those kinds of experiences or even volunteering at a zoo. Um, I know that there's some very, very high quality zoos around this area and close to this area where they can get different types of experiences.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:16:48):

And honestly too, um, one thing about our program is that we're still quite small, like we're growing, but we're a relatively new program. And, um, right now it's, it's great because we're very tight knit community. And so if we have a student coming in, like we pretty much learn, we do interviews with all of our students that, um, uh, apply to the program, um, as part of the admission process. And of course we offer, you know, online and phone versions of that. If you can't physically get to our campus, like that's absolutely fine, but we do try to get to know you very early on. And then we will continually be strategizing with the student. Like we know that, you know, this student is interested in OBM okay, we're going to be talking to them for each, you know, project along the way. How could you leverage this class project, um, to meet your goals, whether that be research related, experience related, to get the training that you need, um, throughout the program and in many ways, and we as faculty try to think creatively about how we can, you know, meet the student's goals with them.

Shauna Costello (00:17:53):

Awesome. No, that's perfect. And really tailoring and individualizing the program to the student, which is, which is great. And I know you brought up the admissions process. So what does that look like? Um, we've heard from a couple different programs and some more programs to come up that sometimes it's, you're just applying to the program. Sometimes you're applying to work with a specific faculty member.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:18:19):

Oh, great question.

Shauna Costello (00:18:20):

So what does, what does that look like at Rollins?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:18:23):

So, for Rollins, we, you apply to our program generally. And, um, like I said, we have three core faculty and when you're admitted to our program, you work with all of us kind of, you know, together, you might gravitate toward one faculty a little bit more than others or something like that, but we really see ourselves as like an interlocking team that we're all supporting you when you first get into the program. Um, and you can kind of try out different, you know, supervisory styles with the three different faculty, for example, in your first semester you have a class there's three. I mentioned how we have one class per night. Um, and you take, um, on our most popular track, our three year track, um, you take one class with each of the core faculty. And so like in that first semester, you've sampled, you know, the, each of us and each of our styles, which is pretty nice.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:19:14):

And then, um, when you get to the semester before you enter thesis, um, so that's like the semester before the last year in the program. Uh that's when we match the students with a faculty member to serve as their mentor and advisor through the end of the programs, you know, with thesis through, through graduation. So, um, that is a process where we basically take into account the students' preferences, like first and foremost, but then we also, you know, have to manage the fact that there's three of us and we need to kind of balance our workload and stuff like that. So, um, we try to have a match either between research interests. So like sometimes the students will say like, I really like this project, Stephanie does that. I want to work with her. I really, you know, really wanna treat stereotypy, okay, Carolyn like is going to be your person. Um, but then sometimes they're like, I I'm open to lots of different projects and I really like Michelle's supervisory styles. So like I want to work with her. Um, and so we try to, you know, come up with a fit it's, you know, it's always worked so far. Um, and, uh, and then you have that specific mentorship advisor relationship kind of at the end of the program.

Shauna Costello (00:20:26):

Okay. And so, while they're learning about the program, they're going to learn about your research interests and things like that.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:20:32):


Shauna Costello (00:20:33):

Can you kind of give a little summary of the general overview of the reasearch interests of the faculty?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:20:40):

I would love to. So, and it gives me an opportunity to highlight another thing that I think is, um, kind of unique or interesting about program, um, which is that, uh, both I, and, um, our program term, uh, Michelle Williams have a background in basic research. So we both, um, both of our PhDs were, um, more in the experimental analysis of behavior. And then through various different kind of training experiences, we, you know, made a transition to doing some applied work and addition or some kind of blend. And what that resulted in is that we kind of have this spectrum of behavior analysis, um, at play in our faculty. So, um, we have Kara Wunderlich who, um, focuses, I would say, like on the spectrum, she's probably like the most applied person. Um, and she does some really cool work on, uh, assessment and treatment or problem behavior, um, specializing in some work with a stereotypy specifically.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:21:41):

And so, you know, if you, yeah, she was trained at university of Florida. So she has that really great experience from that side of things. And then Michelle Williams, um, has done some work and she's had, she's had a variety of student research projects, like for example, she's interested in tag teach. Um, so she's done some work on tag teach in sports applications and stuff like that, but she's also, I would say, like she leans more basic in that she does some work with the relationship between auto shaping and like classical conditioning in terms of learner, learner localization. So stimulus, stimulus pairing. And so, and she also has some, uh, interest kind of theoretically, as far as radical behaviorism and applications like the theoretical implications, she teaches ours a seminar in radical behaviorism. And for me, I started out doing, um, basic research and then I did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Marcus autism center in Atlanta. And so, um, I have kind of both the basic and applied side of things, so I can kind of bring our other two faculty together. I'm like squarely in the middle as a translational person. So of course, you know, Kara has some interests that are amenable to some basic research interests, but primarily, uh, she does work that I would say, quote, unquote, very applied. Um, and then Michelle is more basic. And then I'm in the middle of working on, uh, translating between the two areas of our field.

Shauna Costello (00:23:09):

Yeah. It sounds like you guys all compliment each other very, very well.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:23:11):

Yes, yes.

Shauna Costello (00:23:15):

And if you need help, it's a very, very good relationship between everyone and you can get somebody needs something. They'll just go to one of the other two.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:23:24):

Yes, definitely. And I think that like the students can tell if it's a very functional, well-working like if the program is jelling and if it's going together well, and, um, the three of us as core faculty colleagues, like, I mean, I think on one hand, our behavioral histories have just shaped up patterns are very amenable to working together. Um, but on the other hand, like we are just, like I said, really hardcore behavior analysts. So when there's a problem that arises in our program, we're sitting there and being like, okay, what are the antecedents that are evoking the student's behavior? How could this have been reinforced? Like what, how do we do? And we're troubleshooting within the, you know, conceptually somatic behavior analysis framework. And I think that allows us to kind of work well together because when faced with a problem, we usually come up with like maybe the same suite of solution, like a couple of different solutions that might work. We might disagree about like what the best one is in that given situation. But like at least we all agree that like this is an extinction burst or something like that.

Shauna Costello (00:24:29):

Yes, no it sounds like it's a really great relationship and especially, I know that's needed when a program is building and growing and,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:24:39):

Yeah, and I'll say this too. We also like, we really like to, um, have our junior colleague model that's becoming very popular for graduate programs. And, um, we really take that seriously. So for example, um, we've added student representation at our faculty meetings. So we have a student representative, um, that is elected by their peers. And, um, they attend all of our faculty meetings and can kind of serve as a liaison, um, and really advocate for student issues. And then we also honestly like to get together socially too. So there's, um, several, you know, program get togethers and social functions where we can all hang out and get to know each other. And the relationship is very, uh, collegial and it's, you know, it's not, it's not like undergrad where there's this, you know, huge power differential. There's still, you know, plenty of work on what it means to be professional as a student and a faculty member and those interactions, but at the same time, like the students really do, I think, appreciate the opportunity to, um, relate to the faculty on that, uh, you know, as our future colleagues really.

Shauna Costello (00:25:45):

At the more personal level, because you're right in a couple years they're, they're going to be colleagues.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:25:51):

Exactly. Yeah. One thing I'm really looking forward to is this year is our first year we're doing a, um, faculty, well actually student faculty, basically everybody who's been in the program or incoming, we're doing a big picnic, um, for everybody to kind of get to know each other.

Shauna Costello (00:26:06):

That's exciting.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:26:07):

Cause we think too, you know, as our program grows, our alumni network grows. We want you to be tapping into a network of people who have shared experiences and can support you as you enter the field.

Shauna Costello (00:26:18):

No, that's yeah, that's wonderful. And I know that I still tap into my network that I, I have created from when I was in grad school as well. So, and I'm very lucky that lab mates, I should say, and even outside of my, like my specific grad lab, I know that I can reach out to anybody in, from Western and be like, hey, I'm going to be doing such and such. I know that you've had experience with it. Can you tell me a little bit about what your experience was with it? Or can you give me some advice or I need help with this and they're always willing to help. So really building that network is it's something that I know I've taken advantage of. So I know that it is really, really helpful.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:27:02):

Yeah, absolutely.

Shauna Costello (00:27:03):

We kind of talked about the, how you apply to the program, but what does that interview process look like?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:27:10):

So one thing that I think is pretty phenomenal about Rollins, that surprised me when I started here as a faculty is, um, the, they have this service excellence pledge for all of the Rollins staff and, oh my goodness. Do they take it seriously? So you have your hand held throughout the entire application process when you apply to Rollins. So from the moment that you like reach out, like maybe submit, um, a little, like if you, if you search our program it'll probably take you to this landing page, or it'll be like, you want to find out more? Fill out this little form that will go to Andrea, who is our, um, staff member that helps us handle all of our admissions and our applications. And there's just because Rollins is so small and tight knit. There's, there's one person there's Andrea, you're going to get to know her. She will talk to you. She will, you know, ask you, um, if you've submitted your transcripts, she will, um, keep, keep tabs on your file to make sure that you're getting things submitted on time. And like, that was not my experience. When I applied to grad school, it was like, get all of your items in on time or sorry, see you. Like there goes your file, you know, um, versus for Rollins, what they do is they actually open up an admissions folder and then as you get things you send them in.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:28:28):

So like, as you get a recommendation, they send them in and they, they keep that file for you when it's complete like that all happens behind the scenes before I ever hear about it as a faculty, when your admissions file is complete, then it gets sent over to the faculty. At that point, we get in touch with you to schedule an interview because most of our students are in the central Florida area. At least our prospective applicants at this point, you know, it's, it's relatively easy for them to come to winter park, especially when we talk about how beautiful the area is. Like you should want to come to winter park.

Shauna Costello (00:28:59):

We all talk about how beautiful Winter Park is.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:29:01):

Everybody come visit us and just like walk around because you will, it will immediately decrease your stress. Maybe not if you're interviewing, but usually students wanted to make the trip to campus. But if that's inaccessible to you, we don't want that to be a barrier. So we'll interview you, uh, with a video chat or with, um, a phone call, um, whatever the student needs. And then after that interview, um, you'll hear back very soon, usually within the next 24 to 48 hours with an admissions decision.

Shauna Costello (00:29:29):

Very quick.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:29:30):

Yes. So, and I think that's a function of, you know, the small, tight knit, like a supportive environment that you get at a, at a small school like Rollins. Um, and I think it's enhanced at the graduate level too. Nobody is falling off our radar. Um, and, uh, yeah, it allows us to really, you know, support you from, you know, really the moment that you reach out to submit an application like through when you're admitted.

Shauna Costello (00:29:54):

So when are, when is your guys' typical application process? Like when is it, when are the applications do when you're like the interviews happen?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:30:03):

Yeah, so I'm a little bit, it's a little bit hard for me to answer that. Um, because, uh, we typically have had a stated application deadline, um, but have continued to consider qualified applications after that point.

Shauna Costello (00:30:19):


Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:30:19):

So, um, if you go on our website, you will see, you will find a date, you'll see the date that applications are due by, but I wouldn't say that anybody that should discourage them from reaching out and contacting, um, uh, somebody from our admissions program, um, to see, you know, are we at capacity? Are we not at capacity? Um, because again, we, right now, I'm not saying that this will be the same forever, you know, into the future, but right now we're able to kind of consider on a case by case basis, if there are qualified applicants really on kind of a rolling basis.

Shauna Costello (00:30:51):

No, that's great. So really just what she's saying is even if you still have questions, reach out and ask, yes. Contact information will be in the description like it always is. Um, but yeah, if you have any questions about the application process or just learning more, even if you think it's a kind of an awkward time to be asking, just reach out and ask.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:31:14):

Yeah. And one of my favorite things, I mean, part of the reason why I volunteered to come on this podcast is cause I do, I really do love talking about our program. I love talking about behavior analysis. I could do it all day. Um, and so anybody that reaches out like you can absolutely talk to one of us faculty members and get to know that we are real people that are not scary. And, um, we love what we do. Um, so yeah, we were all about, you know, if you want to discuss, if this program is a good fit for you or you just want to get more information, maybe you're new to behavior analysis and you just want to be like, is this the right fit for a field for me? Like, we'll be very honest and direct with you and you're not bothering us. Like when students are like, I'm sorry to take any bit of time or something like that. But for us, like, it's, you know, it's, it's really meaningful because for us, we really want fantastic students, fantastic passionate students. I love our students. So, you know, we will, we will meet you where you are. Um, and we also like, we just like doing it. It's fun for us.

Shauna Costello (00:32:16):

And so what are just because we've heard some of we've heard from some larger, we've heard from a large program or a couple large programs, some smaller newer program, like Rollins is, some online programs. What are typically like the cohort sizes?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:32:33):


Shauna Costello (00:32:33):

You guys might be. I know we said that it's flexible, it's on a case by case basis.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:32:37):


Shauna Costello (00:32:38):

But the general number.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:32:40):

Now we're in like the 15, 15 to 20 range. So,

Shauna Costello (00:32:43):

That's still a very, very good number.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:32:46):

Right, right. Um, and we would like to keep it that way. We'll see. As, as you know, the program kind of continues to grow, we're about five years old. So, um, but we, we really like that, like the term boutique program has been, has been used like that for the, I trying to capture the, um, you know, personal attention and the tight knit community that we have. And what's nice too. I mentioned, if you go on our website, you'll see that we have a two year and a three year track.

Shauna Costello (00:33:17):

That was my next question.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:33:17):

Oh, fantastic. Just moving right into it. Um, so by and large, our three year track is the default.

Shauna Costello (00:33:24):


Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:33:24):

And the reason for that is not based on any preconceived notion that is based on data, specifically the students' experiences and what they have reported to us, and then also how students have been successful in the program. Um, so it just so happens that currently most students that, um, are entering our program, the three are track is the best fit for them. The two year track, we really it's, it's on a case by case basis as part of the admissions decision. It's something we would talk with an applicant one-on-one about whether or not two year track eligible, if they're eligible for the two year track, typically you need a behavior analysis background to be eligible for the two year track. And the main reason for that is because in our two year track, one of the first classes that you take, like with principles of ABA ethics, and then single subject design, which are pretty standard entry level, you know, classes, um, is our assessment class, which is very FA heavy.

Shauna Costello (00:34:24):


Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:34:24):

And so you are interpreting FA articles, functional analysis, you know, articles for weaknesses and internal, external validity. And, um, how do you arrange test conditions to, um, demonstrate experimental control with different functions? And so if I just said a bunch of words that were like, totally woo over your head, um, that's probably how you'd feel in assessment.

Shauna Costello (00:34:46):

That's what you don't want.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:34:46):

Um, so exactly. And so for most students that don't, well for all students that don't have a behavior analysis background and then, you know, students that maybe do, but want to have the time to the free time, really, to dabble on some research projects or, you know, just like have a life. Um, the three year track is just the better option because it's more reasonable pacing. Um, because if you start looking at the, the, um, two year track, then you're taking four classes a week in that first semester, which is a lot, I mean, that's only the only day you would not be taking classes Friday. And that's, that's a lot for a new student to handle that being said, we've had several students that are very successful on the two year track. We just, um, that's part of the admissions decision, um, to make sure that if you enter that track, you're going to be successful on it. So I like to kind of keep that in mind because sometimes students are just like, I want to do the two year track 'cause I want to get done as quick as possible. Um, but we try really try to work with them to see like, okay, you, you can, but should you? Just because you can doesn't mean you should. And then also, um, what experiences could you potentially be missing out on when really, um, in the grand scheme of life, like a year seems like a long time when you're applying to grad school, but in the grand scheme of like your career as a behavior analyst. Yeah. Really not that huge of a difference. So yeah. It's something that we talk with students individually about for sure.

Shauna Costello (00:36:10):

Yeah. And I mean the amount of different types of experiences that you could even get in that one extra year with having that supervised training could excel you into your career into a path that you might not have realized. I mean, I went through a two year track, but like you said, I came from a behavior analysis undergrad. I was at Western Michigan university for my undergrad, and I went straight into a very behavior analytic Western Michigan university graduate program. My experiences might be different than some other people who are, you know, coming into the field of behavior analysis with maybe not as much experience with our terminology and our, our conceptual and theoretical and philosophical background, and really having that ability to cater to your students and to cater to what their needs are to make sure that you're producing the best behavior analyst possible is really, is really neat to hear, because I don't think we've heard from a program that has that option yet, that has that option of doing it, of completing it over three years where you're still able to have a very good job outside of your courses, take courses, and then really be able to tailor the program to exactly, you know, exactly to get the experiences that you're interested in.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:37:36):

Right. And I think that that's so that's so important and so good to mention that like, because you're coming from outside the field, like that's not a limiting factor and.

Shauna Costello (00:37:46):

That should not deter anybody.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:37:47):

Right. It makes like, no, not that many people are going to be like us and happen to go to like awesome behavior analysis undergrads. Right, right. Like, so I was at West Virginia university as an undergrad, right?

Shauna Costello (00:38:00):

And I've said it before I fell into my undergrad at Western Michigan. I was, I was premed when I was at Western and I decided I had time to double major. I'm like, oh, I've always liked psychology. Not realizing that Western Michigan's psychology program is behavior analysis.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:38:20):

Right. Right. And that totally parallels my experience as well. But of course, you know, not everybody's going to have that. And also at the same time, even people like us that were that lucky, it's not like when we were elementary school, we were like, oh, I want to grow up and be a behavior analyst like we all come from outside at some point, right? And some of like the most rich wonderful class discussions that we've had are with students that just didn't know the field, that field existed. Um, you know, educators, um, we had a guardian ad litem for, um, uh, in one, in one of our classes like the first year, like students just that come from a variety of different backgrounds that adds so much, um, to our classes. And then also I think are going to turn around and contribute to the field because of that unique experience that they have coming in.

Shauna Costello (00:39:08):

Well and they also might even have a network where they can start disseminating behavior analysis back to these other fields in showing them how behavior, how they're already using and can even use behavior analysis better.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:39:21):

Right, so for example, that student that I just mentioned, uh, the, his very first semester, we did a presentation to his coworkers about like ABA 101, what is applied behavior analysis. And he actually did that as a class project, but it was also a great opportunity to disseminate, to, you know, a group of individuals that like, I didn't have, I wouldn't have tapped into that network independently. Um, it was him really bringing us in and forging that link that, that made it so, so meaningful. Um, and the other thing I'll mention too, just because it's actually amazing. I think that we haven't, I haven't gotten to talk about this yet, but one thing I'm so excited about is that we have, um, several research assistantships that we offer as part of our program. And so, uh, we, for the past year had two, we've actually been able to increase that number to three. So we have three research assistantships, um, and these are, um, positions in which we, you're hired as an employee through Rollins and we provide a stipend, um, over the course of fall and spring semester for students working about 10 hours a week on research projects. And, um, that is, so that has been so phenomenal because, um, it's, it's kind of a unique thing that we offer or at least, um, you know, it might be a little bit more rare at the master's program level, um, to really get that kind of hands on research experience and to, you know, be paid for doing it. Um, and if you are, you know, new to the field, it's helpful to really get that experience of what does research look like because research and practice, of course, in ABA, like they, um, they go well together, but at the same time, there are things that you would do from a research perspective that are not what you would do for a practice and vice versa.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:41:11):

Um, and hands on research experience can be really meaningful, especially for example, for our students that want to go onto a PhD program after. Um, and so those, these assistantships are really helpful for them. And then also for students that are very research oriented, but they don't know what they want to do for a thesis. It's very helpful to get some experience. Like you might think that you really love, you know, uh, running FA sessions or something like that, but then when you actually get down to it, you're like, you know, I really want to do more of a skill acquisition project for my thesis or something like that. And you don't know until you try it. Um, and currently our research assistantships, um, we, you have kind of one main faculty member, so there's three assistantships, three core faculties. You're kind of partnered with one person primarily, but then we also, you know, share research assistance to, um, to where you'll work on projects with all three of us and get, and get experience across a variety of different projects. So you might be running like a human operant study with me one day, and then you might be out at one of our practicum sites doing a preference assessment with Cara for one of her studies the next day or something like that.

Shauna Costello (00:42:21):

That's really exciting. And I know that we've talked about, you know, even as the program grows, that those opportunities will just continue to flourish and grow with the program. So what else about Rollins makes it stand out before we start getting into the area in winter park?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:42:42):

Sure, so one thing that we've gotten feedback, um, from kind of people outside the program that just happens to be one of our defining characteristics is that we work really hard on shaping the verbal behavior of our students and on technical terminology. Um, and I think that's because all three of us faculty feel very strongly that if you can't talk behavior analytically, then you're not going to interpret the world with that, you know, behavior analysis goggles, right? Like you're going to have difficulty, um, seeing the world functionally, um, instead of structurally and our everyday language, we know this just sets you up to look at the world differently than a behavior analyst. So we think that, that, you know, language is the foundation of, um, success in the field really generally in any area, like regardless of what area of application, like knowing this technical terminology, right? And so we have devised like several different one, one thing that we really commit to as a program is shaping the verbal behavior. And that starts very early on in class with like, you know, no, no stop you right there. Say that behaviorally, right? And then, um, for our more senior students, like as you progress through the program, um, one thing that we're doing now is what we're calling a fluency check, and it's very similar to an online interview where you like log on and you answer questions on the spot, but we actually have our questions in the way that we have this, uh, assignment set up are things like, you know, describe the difference between an FI and an FT schedule or, um, describe response generalization or give an example of, you know, a positional prompt and students have to answer these questions on the fly, on the spot and we phrased it, you know, first of all, I think that that's helpful because that video interviewing strategy is becoming more and more popular as a way to interview people.

Shauna Costello (00:44:40):

That's how I got my job at ABA tech. Yeah.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:44:43):

Yeah. So we think it's like a helpful like job preparedness skill, but then also like, you know, if you have a supervisee come up to you and be like, wait, I don't understand why is this a DRO to be able to explain it when you're put on the spot like that I think demonstrates that, that fluency with the behavioral terms that's really important. Um, so like that's just one example. And then of course, when you progress later on in the program, you've gotta be able to translate it back when you go to disseminate, um, which I know you and I are both very passionate about being good disseminators of the science. And so making sure that you can not only flip it into behavioral terms, but then flip it back in a way that a normal person talks, um, is very important. Um, but then at the same time, we try to balance that with, um, you know, that's a tall order to do that off the spot, right? Like get your foundational behavioral terms really, really solid, and then work on, you know, disseminating and consulting.

Shauna Costello (00:45:41):

Storytelling, and I know that, you know, to go off of what you were saying, they're kind of just like, if other people have heard like comps, they're kind of like comps. And I know that for my master's program, um, we didn't have specific comps like for the whole program, but my faculty advisor, Dr. Jessica Frieder, uh, she put our own comps together for our master's students, with the PhD students, along with her where it's exactly what you said. We would be given, I mean, we were doing this in our lab meetings throughout the year, so this wasn't just something new and no, we had exactly, we had been working on this and, but we were, we would be given, we had a written verbal and like, we had different types of how you're applying these skills. And it's very different writing about words and talking about words and terms and definitions and describing them. And one version was, was actually speaking comps. It was, you had to give a technical definition, a lay definition, and a lay example of you had that white book in front of you. It could be any word in that white book.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:46:58):

Yeah. So it's really intimidating at first, but then you start thinking about like, if I don't have this down now, right. When are you ever going to get it down? You know? So,

Shauna Costello (00:47:09):

And I mean, I completely, the same thing that some of your students are probably seeing that I, I didn't, as much as I, I didn't hate it at the time, but like on top of everything that was going on with classes and research and practicum to have to do that for our lab on top of it, you know, it be stressful, tt can. But then again, I passed my test the very first time. So I mean, it's something that I really say it is because of the training that I had. And so I can see the exact same training going on in that fluency building. Well, really being able to apply it on top of the fluency as well. That's, what's really gonna help.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:47:55):

That's probably the other, like, I mean, one of the main distinguishing characteristics, I mentioned that like we have two faculty members that have basic research experience. All three faculty are highly committed to the idea that like the behavioral principles or laws of behavior that underlie the behavior of all organisms. And therefore, you know, if you are solid in your principles, then your application setting is just, you know, the sky's the limit. So we really commit to focusing first and foremost on students being solid on those principles. And there have been times where students have asked for things, um, like for example, more class time be devoted to like talking about like billing, for example. And we completely understand on one hand that that is like the logistical day to day life of a lot of our students when they enter the field, like that is going to be a huge time suck and stuff like that. But at the same time we as faculty know that that stuff is going to change, right.

Shauna Costello (00:48:57):

It's always, always changing.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:48:59):

Right, and, um, so we, like, if we're given like, okay, I can spend a couple, you know, 20 minutes in class going over that, or I can spend 20 minutes in class, really making sure we're we're firm on the basic principles. Like there's a clear priority for us as faculty, making sure that our students are solid in the basic principles. Um, first and foremost, cause we think that those are gonna stand the test of time, regardless of what changes there are in the field generally.

Shauna Costello (00:49:27):

Right, and there's always extra courses that people can take, like when new billing codes and procedures come out, there's always extra supplemental courses that people can take.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:49:37):

Right, and I don't mean to minimize the importance of that. Um, but then just to kind of clarify our priorities as faculty and one thing that's interesting. So some listeners might not know about like liberal arts education and like the difference between a liberal arts school and like a big public university or something like that. Um, and so what's really cool about how our program interfaces with Rollins generally is that Rollins is very committed to the value of a liberal education. And one of the key tenants of that is that you get a well rounded education that you can apply regardless of what job is going to be out there. So instead of job training, right, it's educational experience because the jobs that are available are going to change. And I think a society we're in this moment where like, we don't know what jobs are going to exist. And I think as a field, we need to be considering that, you know, the status quo might not be the status quo and that things might change, um, in terms of the day to day life of what most behavior analysts are doing. And so we, as a member of Rollins like this fantastic liberal arts school, how that translates into our behavior analysis masters program is that we really want to provide an education that's going to prepare behavior analysts to work in whatever setting that then they go on to work instead of job training for one specific area like strong foundation in the behavioral principles.

Shauna Costello (00:51:06):

Well, I mean, and yeah even think about, if you even listen to the news, you see all of the social issues that are coming up. And what is the biggest thing about applied behavior analysis is that it's, it's socially valid. And one, I mean, just as for one example, sustainability, that is a huge, that is a huge field and it is a huge field that behavior analysts can get into just,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:51:29):

For sure, actually one of my thesis students is doing recycling as her thesis.

Shauna Costello (00:51:33):

Yeah, that's great.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:51:35):

Plug, plug her research.

Shauna Costello (00:51:36):

Yes, no plug away. It's, there's so many other fields that behavior analysts can be jumping into that aren't these as what we've, we've been calling like these blinders of what the field is. And it's, it's, it's great to hear that you guys really want to make sure that no matter where your students are going, they're going to be successful.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:52:00):

And that they see, you know, the value of the basic research science. Right. So I understand that like, it is scary to pick up an issue of JAAB like,

Shauna Costello (00:52:12):

I love it, but that's, that's me. I like dipping my fingers on all of these pots.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:52:18):

Right, and, and I understand that, but from the same kind of perspective, I feel like if you're not going to pick up a JAAB in my experimental analysis of behavior class, like you're not going to, once you leave our program, like you go out into the world, right. So I'm really committed to making sure that the students see that it's not like, oh, these Skinner boxes back in the sixties. And that was then, and this is now, but that they, um, feel comfortable, um, accessing the basic research literature, as well as the applied research literature and that they understand the importance of basic science as foundational to our applications.

Shauna Costello (00:52:57):

Yeah, right, and because how we are applying behavior analysis comes from the basic research. So if we don't have the basic research, our field is not going to continue to progress. It's going to be stuck in this stagnant plateau. And, but we need that basic research to really be pushing. There's a lot of really good basic research going on right now, talking about even how we're talking about our basic principles and how they should be applied and how they, maybe it should be different, are antecedents actually antecedents, or could they be something different? So there's some really great basic research going on. So,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:53:40):

And I think importantly too, there, uh, the process of translation is not as simple as like cracking open a JAAB and be like, this is relevant to my everyday life. Here's how I'm going to go do that. Um, there, there is such a spectrum of what it takes to get something from a controlled laboratory study into an actionable therapeutic suggestion or clinical recommendation. Right. And I think that we as a field, um, are growing I'm so, I'm so heartened by when I go to ABA, um, even FABA to see the, the translational work that's going on, um, you know, uh, and, and to understand the nuances and the importance of how much it actually takes to translate something into application, um, Kaka and Subramaniam recently published this like really interested five tier spectrum of behavior analytic research. So if we're used to thinking about like three buckets of like basic translational applied, like it's so much more nuanced than that. So, um, yeah, this is also digression into, uh, Stephanie and Cade's plug for translational research and the importance of that. But I think like as, um, as people being trained as practitioners to, with that solid basic research foundation appreciating, um, the really awesome researchers that are doing the work of translating and bridging the gap between basic and applied research, like that's, you know, cutting edge innovations in our field is really important.

Shauna Costello (00:55:06):

Yeah. And a lot of the times what you see now with programs is that that's not always the focus and to really hear that, you know, Rollins is a program where they're focusing on really creating this really good relationship between the basic to translational to apply, to really show that and really training their students on how to do that is something that makes Rollins very unique as well. Um, because I know that I sat in on a Tim Shahan presentation. I love Tim Shahan he's great. Um, but just to see the amount of effort that goes into a translational study from making it, his basic research into how they can actually apply it into like, apply, like the applied world is crazy.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:56:02):

Right. And also that translation is, you know, like a multi-directional process. Like I see all the time, um, at research talks like applied folks and just like, you know, might be consider themselves applied folks, but they're asking questions that are fundamentally basic research questions. Right? And so get taking inspiration from too and bringing it back into controlled settings, I'm thinking very, you know, not having the cart, uh, pull the horse and thinking functionally about what is, what are the best methods to answer these questions? Like, that's what makes like a really good scientist practitioner.

Shauna Costello (00:56:40):

Yeah, and so you guys are creating those well-rounded practitioners.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:56:44):

I really, really hope so. Yes.

Shauna Costello (00:56:47):

Well, it sounds like it. That's the goal, right? No, that sounds great. So now we've talked a lot about Rollins and the types of students that they're producing and trying to produce and really what their goals are. Now I want to hear more about, because just, I, I just found this out this morning, but both of us are Michigan girls. We're both Michiganders and now we are Florida transplants. Um, so tell me more about your opinion of the surrounding area, what what's going on, because I know you talked about Rollins being a tight knit community.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:57:24):

What about the larger Florida community?

Shauna Costello (00:57:26):

I mean, just from my experience in the winter park community, because winter park is kind of its own entity.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:57:33):

Yes, true.

Shauna Costello (00:57:35):

But from my little experience coming out here for trader Joe's, because it's the closest one to me, um, it seems like a very great tight knit, small community.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:57:47):

So yeah, one thing that's really, that's really interesting. And I learned to as, as a Florida transplant, as you mentioned, is that winter park, um, is actually older than Orlando. And that Rollins is the oldest college in Florida. So Rollins has been around forever. Um, and I think when you come to campus, you can see why people like from the Northeast came down and said, this is beautiful. I'm going to stay here. Um, so it's, it's a absolutely gorgeous area. And if you think about, um, winter park is like so close to downtown Orlando, but it's a separate, it's a separate area, right.

Shauna Costello (00:58:30):

It really is its own small, like metropolitan when I say, I mean, it's a small metropolitan area.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:58:37):

Right, right.

Shauna Costello (00:58:38):

But it's a gorgeous small.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:58:39):

Independent city of winter park. Yeah. And, um, the a lot of our students, I would say, um, the great majority of our students are from central Florida generally. So we have students that are in, you know, closer to downtown Orlando in the general surrounding area, um, up til, you know, Longwood, um, Altima, um, and then, uh, farther South to, um, we did have one student commuting from Kissimmee. Um, and so we really,

Shauna Costello (00:59:12):

That's still not that far away, let me point that out. In the Metro Orlando,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:59:19):

Right, area. Exactly. Um, and so I think sometimes too, when people come to winter park, like winter park has this connotation of being like, I don't want to say snobby, but like maybe snobby, um, very nice.

Shauna Costello (00:59:31):

It's very, very nice.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (00:59:33):

And yeah, and potentially like an affluent or even inaccessible area. And I wouldn't say that, you know, we have a lot of students that live in winter park, like, um, just demographics wise. We do have some Rollins undergrads that then come on, um, that, that stay on for grad school, of course. But I would say most people kind of live in the surrounding area and not winter park. And one thing that if people have heard of Rollins, they might associate it with being like very fancy, very expensive and potentially inaccessible to them. Um, but our graduate, I just a plug for Rollins graduate programs in general. Cause sometimes people don't even think about a small liberal arts school having graduate programs, but the graduate programs are very affordable. Um, just because the campus is these beautiful Spanish Mediterranean buildings and like looks quite fancy, um, does not mean that it's out of your reach. Um, and you might end the undergrad versus graduate school tuition. Like you just want to do some research because you might, it might be more affordable than, than you think, um, to attend one of the evening programs or one of the masters programs, um, here at Rollins. Um, and yeah, and you get to benefit from like, as a graduate student, you get to benefit from how beautiful campuses and all of the, um, you know, nice aspects of, um, what the college offers in general, but, you know, at the graduate student level.

Shauna Costello (01:00:55):

And I mean, I will say I lived downtown Detroit for years and just a plug for Detroit, Detroit is not what you think it is. It is an amazing place. Um, but to live in even like a bigger city, like Detroit or Metro Detroit, if you're in Royal Oak or Ferndale, or like some of these, what would be considered a kind of like a winter park, but of up there.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:01:20):

Yes, yes.

Shauna Costello (01:01:20):

The, even the cost of living when, cause I actually considered, even though it's about an hour drive to my office, I actually considered moving to winter park when I was looking for places to live. Um, and the cost of living is relatively the same as it was if I was still living back where I moved from, um, so it's not, it's not insane, right. Especially if you are still working.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:01:48):

And I like to also to like plug here our peer mentorship program. Um, so we actually, um, when students come in, we, um, our, our, um, our advisors, uh, for, uh, the Rollins, like student support side of things, pairs together, our students with other students from our program that are their student mentors and they can, you know, that can be, that relationship can be as, um, you know, uh, consuming as you want it to be. You guys can go get tea or coffee, like once a week or some people just reach out when there's like an issue that they want to talk to. But one thing that's helpful is that, um, with that student community, I think that the peer mentors are in a much better place to recommend to our students where to live. Um, current students are going to have a much better idea of like, what areas are affordable, what neighborhoods are students living in? Uh, so we try to connect students with peers, you know, really from the application. And then once you're in the program, you have a peer mentor that can help you with some of those questions. Um, because I think honestly, like students are in the best place to help each other out with that rather than me as a faculty member coming in and being like, this is where you should live because, uh, you know, I, I was not a student here, so they have a better idea than I do for sure.

Shauna Costello (01:03:09):

And I know that I asked some of, you know, my new coworkers when I moved down here, it's like, where do I live? And I'm like, I don't know the area. And I didn't even discover winter park until I was looking for a Costco or trader Joe's because they are the closest ones to where I live. Um, but I mean, even from where I'm sitting right now, we are within walking distance to a gorgeous downtown area. And from my understanding, they're very, very dog friendly.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:03:40):

You will always see the cutest pups walking around for sure,

Shauna Costello (01:03:43):

Very very dog friendly around here. And for me, that's something that's important because I like to take my dog everywhere. Um, but gorgeous shops, gorgeous restaurants, um, you're close, you're close enough to Orlando where you can, you can actually Uber or Lyft to a concert and then Uber or Lyft back because you are so close to right. Where a lot of the concert venues, I know that I was just at, it was a few months ago, but I was at a concert venue that was just South of here. Yeah. And super, super close.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:04:15):

For sure, and I think we, and in our program too, we try to like encourage students, whether they live here or not to like explore the local area. Um, and we'll actually, so for example, for one of my classes I did as blended weeks, um, I'm always trying to think of things for online weeks that aren't just post on a discussion board because that can get boring. Um, so one of the things that I did is I had a book club, um, during blended weeks. So students could, um, they would go and meet and they would actually just record their book club with like their voice recorder on their phone or whatever, and then upload the recording for me to grade. But I encourage them to go, you know, elsewhere, like you're not chained to campus. Um, so some students actually went to restaurants on park Avenue, which is the street that's within, you know, I even within walking distance, it's silly, it's like right outside campus. Right. Um, to go and hang out and just like, you know, grab some food and talk about, you know, um, whatever Aubrey Daniel's book that we, that they were for book club or something like that.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:05:19):

So, um, and then I've also had student meetings just if it needs to be like a more relaxed mentor meeting where we meet over coffee or something like that, Park Avenue is right there. Um, we also, I will mention that Michelle Williams, our program chair has done an awesome job with our interventions two class. Um, so interventions one is pretty much what you would expect for interventions, DRA DRO, NCR, you know, et cetera, um, interventions two is all the other applications. So we have a whole class for like just broad applications and, you know, different areas that you might not think of for ABA. And so she's been bringing in guest speakers with different specialties from really like all over. So we've had feeding specialists. We've had people who work in the prison system. We've had, um, individuals that specialize in applied animal behavior, um, like come and be guest speakers in that class. And as part of that, Michelle has arranged like a dinner with the guest speaker to kind of network before they even come to class. So they grabbed dinner at park Avenue and then come to class. That's exciting. Um, so it's really, yeah. It's just like a really nice option to have that.

Shauna Costello (01:06:25):

That's, yeah, no, that's great to hear because I know that the surrounding area is great. Um, it does get hot. It is Florida. It's very humid. Um,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:06:35):

Yes, and I'll say too, like, honestly, one thing to keep in mind as a Michigan, as somebody who grew up in Michigan and moved to Florida, like Florida coping skills, et cetera, um, is that the, um, winter in winter park is gorgeous. And I will try to have like walking meetings with students whenever possible just to go outside and appreciate campus. Um, because there are days that I'm, you know, I love my job so, so much, but there are still days when I'm like, I don't do I really want to go into work today, but then I come to campus and I'm like, Ugh. Okay, I guess I can't really complain. I guess this is pretty nice. Um, and it's, it's nice to be able to enjoy like the beauty of the outdoors and kind of quintessentially Florida surrounding.

Shauna Costello (01:07:27):

Yep. And I don't know if we've set it on this podcast yet or not, probably not yet, but in Florida, it's kind of like opposite of, if you have snow where you're at in the winter is when you go outside and explore and do all of these activities and then in the summer is kind of like a northerners winters kind of when you hide, because there's a lot of bugs and it's hot. And I think you put it great earlier, even if it looks beautiful outside,

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:07:58):

It does not mean that it's a nice, it's nice outside.

Shauna Costello (01:08:00):


Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:08:01):

Like just cause it looks nice, does not mean it is nice. It might actually be awful outside and you just need to stay inside and enjoy the AC.

Shauna Costello (01:08:09):

I know. And I know that for me, I have, I've bought a lot more sun dresses since I've lived here.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:08:14):

I think when I moved here, I just went and bought like five dresses.

Shauna Costello (01:08:18):

They're so much easier too. And they're so cool.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:08:20):

But also acclimation like acclimating to the climate is very much a real, a real thing. I've had family members that have come down and visited and I'll notice we're just, you know, standing outside and I'm just like less impacted by the heat than they are. Um, just as I think a function of living here. So it does get better.

Shauna Costello (01:08:39):

I have not gotten there yet, but I'm working on it, I'm working on it. Um, but yes. Do you have anything, is there anything that I missed asking you about Rollins or the area or student life, anything like that?

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:08:56):

You know, I really would just like to emphasize that I'm, I'm, I'm so proud of this program and so happy to be a part of it. Um, and we talked before about how, um, there are new programs that exist, ours of them being one of them that even if you looked, uh, you know, a handful of years ago didn't exist, right. But are still, um, very committed to the kind of high quality training experiences that you get at schools that have such a profound, wonderful history of doing behavior analysis. Um, and so here, you know, even though, um, you might not have heard of Rollins if you've been looking, shopping around for behavior analysis schools and you've heard of West Virginia university and university of Florida, like that's where our faculty have been trained, right? And so we're very committed to the kind of providing for our students, the kind of high quality education that we received when we were graduate students.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:09:55):

Um, and so I think that that's one thing to keep in mind that to keep your options open when you, when you're looking for the best program, that's a good fit for you. And then also know too that we, um, love talking about what we do. And so if you, the best way maybe to get to know what program is a good fit for you is to really talk to the faculty and, and current students to like, don't be afraid to talk to students that are currently enrolled in a program because grad students will be very honest about their experience in a way that can be super helpful if you're trying to decide like, if this is really the best step for you.

Shauna Costello (01:10:32):

Yeah. And I think that that was a really good reminder that just because a program is newer, you have to really look at the students that they are putting out. You have to look at their history. I mean, just like you said, you guys have WVU and UF, those are two amazing behavior analytic programs. And I know that even from my experience, some of my lab mates who graduate their PhDs, they went to, they went to work at colleges or universities that I've never heard of. Um, but I know the type of quality that they produce because they were the ones supervising me. It's really do your research. Um, the big schools are absolutely phenomenal. I mean, you and I we're biased. We went to them.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:11:16):

Of course.

Shauna Costello (01:11:17):

They're amazing. But there are those alumni who are creating just as good a program. So really do your research, um, out there. And that's what I'm hoping that this podcast can do is really show you guys what is out there and to just reach out and ask questions.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:11:35):

I also think it's so important to just to, um, now see the kind of dissemination responsibilities that people that are up and coming in our field are taking on, um, stuff like podcasts, stuff like internet outreach, um, you know, Facebook managing Facebook groups that have cropped up, um, and.

Shauna Costello (01:11:58):

A lot of Facebook groups.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:11:59):

Yeah. And I think that, um, there's kind of a new generation of people being trained in the field that are taking our dissemination obligations really seriously. Um, and I'm so happy to be a part of that. Like when Shauna first reached out to me, I responded and said, I'm the resident podcast nerd in our program.

Shauna Costello (01:12:18):

That might actually be the quote that you sent me in your email.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:12:22):

Yes. Um, and so it's really exciting to me to see people taking this on. Um, and I just want to say like how happy I am to be a part of it and, um, how proud I am of our field and people like you that are better taking that on.

Shauna Costello (01:12:35):

Well, thank you. And thank you so much for sitting down with me taking time. I know you said that you love doing it, but sitting down and taking time out of your day, out of your summer, um, to talk about Rollins and really show the passion that you have for the program and the students.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:12:51):

Yeah. It was absolutely my pleasure. And, um, I hopefully look forward to hearing from some listeners that are interested. I'd love to love to chat.

Shauna Costello (01:12:58):

And just a reminder that contact information and email are and websites will be in the podcast description of this episode. But if you have any questions, you guys just reach out, but thank you again for sitting down. I've enjoyed talking with you.

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid (01:13:15):

Oh, me too. Thank you so much.

Shauna Costello (01:13:21):

Thank you for listening to operant innovations. Join us next week, where we'll be traveling to Denver to talk to the university of Colorado. And as always, if you have feedback, questions or suggestions, please feel free to email us at


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