University Series 021 | Elms College

Join Operant Innovations as we talk with Dr. Laura Hanratty about the unique program and practical opportunities at Elms College.

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Shauna Costello (00:00:01):

You're listening to operant innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA technologies this week on the university series we're speaking with Dr. Laura Hanratty from Elms college. Dr. Hanratty is a board certified behavior analyst and a licensed applied behavior analyst in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor's from Western new England college. Her master's from university of South Florida and her PhD from Western new England university. Her research background is in teaching children's safety skills, assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior and reinforcement parameters. Dr. Hanratty has presented her research at local and international conferences, as well as published and served as a guest reviewer for peer reviewed journals. Dr. Hanratty has experience working with children and adults with and without developmental disabilities in schools, group homes, and the foster care system. She teaches courses and applied behavior analysis, assessment and treatment of behavior concerns and research. So without further ado, Dr. Laura Hanratty. We're here with Dr. Laura Hanratty to talk about Elms college. And I'm going to, I'm going to hand it over to her just to give a general overview before we jump into the nitty gritty.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:01:20):

Alrighty, thank you so much for having me. So Elms college has a master's program in applied behavior analysis, and we also have a master's degree in autism spectrum disorders, as well as a certificate of advanced graduate studies. So we do have some students who come in, um, just for the course sequence or a second masters stuff like that too. We are an on campus program located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. So that's in the Western mass side, but close enough to Boston and New York that we can go and uh see some cool things. And the program is five semesters on campus. Our students work full time in the community, and then they come to classes in the afternoon and evening. Um, we have great adjuncts who are doing awesome things and coming to teach our students. And it's just a really fantastic program where set up for the fifth course, uh, fifth edition task list. So we are hitting the ground rolling for that and getting ready for testing once they are available.

Shauna Costello (00:02:23):

Yes, I know in this time is a little bit weird for all of us. Um, but I know that you mentioned beforehand, um, to me, and just now that you have some amazing faculty and adjuncts that are coming in and even some of the projects that they've been working on. Um, so who are they and you know, what are they doing?

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:02:43):

Yeah, so we, it's an interesting program. I am the full time faculty member and I coordinate the program from campus, but most of our courses are taught by adjuncts who are in the field. So they are working at public schools, doing consulting. They're working at private specialized schools. Some of our adjuncts are doing in home work where they're, um, you know, kind of in the community. And so what I love about it is they're able to be out in the field, making these meaningful differences, putting actually what they talk about into practice and then coming and sharing that experience. Uh, we have a very applied degree going on. So all of our courses, most of the courses, end with a culmination of a community based project. So for assessments, our students are out there, they're doing a functional analysis with somebody for a treatment, they are out there. They're putting an evidence based treatment in and coming and reporting on that. So everything is really designed to help our students become the practitioners that we really want them to be. So they can go out into the local community and really make a differences for kids with autism.

Shauna Costello (00:03:54):

Well, and I mean, I think that really speaks to the applied research aspect of it as well, because a lot of times, you know, when we're in grad pro, when we're in graduate programs, we get, you know, a lot of experience with research and running research through the university, but we don't always get that applied research experience. And often when, you know, I mean, even like when I went out into, I was in clinical before I changed over to more OBM business, but I was like, I don't know how I'm going to run research out here. I was like this, I don't know how you do it. So I can imagine that your students are really learning some of the best applied skills being able to, you know what I mean, physically take what they're learning and going out into an actual applied setting.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:04:45):

Yes, it's very interesting. So we do not require a dissertation, so the courses are, you know, the course sequence. And then we have a couple of electives, um, just to meet, you know, licensure requirements or those hours. And then we, but we do have an optional, uh, thesis set up. So some students do take some courses, advanced research courses, where they actually design a research project, um, all community based, and then they run the project and we actually have an undergrad section that goes along with it. So then we get some undergrads who are jumping in as data collectors, seeing the projects, um, working with students, uh, we are linked up, um, historically we've been in the communication sciences and disorders division, which was very unique for an ABA program. So we are with the speech pathologists and it's a really interesting combination, um, because of some restructuring at the school, now we're in social sciences, but our ABA hub is still what the speech pathologist and audiologist. So it's very interesting background. So we actually get a lot of students coming in from the undergrad program who are also SLPAs. Um, so they are coming in with such an interesting experience. They've done speech practicum now, they're behavior techs. So it's, you know, they're leaving actually a lot of them dual certified or the potential to be. And, but, so that's kind of the interesting setup we have with the undergrads, helping out with research and then our grad students are working on projects. The college has, um, so it's a Catholic college, which, um, can be an interesting fit for an ABA program, but it's really, I find it works so well because one of the main missions of the college is community integration, helping community, helping your neighbors and a big push for the college is for getting students involved with experiential learning that also gives back to the community.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:06:57):

So one of the things we're able to do is what the applied research we're actually helping families that are on wait lists or are not eligible for services. So we're able to help them with our projects that target either severe problem behavior or skill deficit. So it's our way of, you know, not all only teaching, getting undergrads to come into the ABA world, giving an experience to our grad students. It's also a way to help our local community in Western mass because it's, it can be a little bit of a service desert out here weirdly enough. Um, it's a Springfield is a city that we're right next to, but there's not a ton of agencies. Waitlists are still really long, like it is in most areas. So this is a nice way for us to help give back to that local community. So we kind of try to check a lot of boxes with those experiences.

Shauna Costello (00:07:50):

So even having the students with the SLP backgrounds, I know sometimes when, you know, when behavior analysts go out, they get certified go into the real world. Then they're now working with these SLPs and these OTs. And it's really trying to figure out that, um, you know, how to work with all of these other professionals and all of their lingo, and a lot of times it's butting heads. And so along with the applied research, there's also this you're basically have this opportunity to learn, or you already have learned from your undergrad almost a whole nother field.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:08:32):

Yeah. So what I really like is, and I've always been of the philosophy that being a behavior analyst is great. If you are an undergrad and you take an ABA course and you think behavior analysis is awesome and you want to devote your life to that. That's fantastic. However, ABA can be used in so many other fields as well. So we have undergrad sections of intro to ABA and intro to ASD that are open to all majors too. So we get a lot of communication sciences students take it, but also social work students. And so it's a, you know, more child behavior management type of stuff, but it helps give them tools that they can go out and use. So I try to, you know, sprinkle a little bit of ABA into like any student I get, um, even like intro to psychology. They're probably so sick of me being like, and remember Skinner said, and they're like, we get it. But it's one of those things where I've worked with accounting students and I'm like, here's some, you know, tips, you know, I'm not strong in OBM like I haven't had, you know, a lot of training I dabble, but reinforcement works.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:09:41):

So here's how you can use reinforcement there too. So it's been really great to have such an integrated smaller college. Um, the other master's program we have in our division is a social work masters. And so anytime we can team up with those students is I love working with them. We also work really close with the education students. So in Massachusetts, you can be a licensed in, you know, special ed or moderate disabilities. Um, and there's even an autism certificate also. So we're able to get some of the education students have over for the core sequence or at least a couple of them. So they have some tools that they can go into their classroom with. And, you know, I recognize that if teaching is your passion, I don't want you to switch to become a behavior analyst, but I can show you some cool tricks so that your classroom is, you know, organized really well. You're, you know, tackling some problem behaviors. So you can be an effective teacher too. So we have a really great interdisciplinary approach across the college.

Shauna Costello (00:10:53):

Well and I mean, you see that so often too now, I mean, one of my practicum students currently is an ex educator and she used to be a teacher and she decided to go back for her masters in behavior analysis because she's like, I need some like real behavior management and classroom management skills and tools. And so now she's an ABA OBM student and she's like, I want to go back into the schools, but work with the administration to then change how they're running their schools in general. And it's like, yes, good for you. Yeah. Some people might be like, Oh, it's a small school. It's not very big. Yeah. But you're getting all of these different interactions with people who are going into different professions. You have all these other different opportunities for research and you're getting prepared to work in, or with all these different professionals and like to provide that type of well rounded experience is really, really cool to hear.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:11:58):

One of the coolest things that most recently happened is, um, we have a center for equity and urban education that started up and they are offering these classes and you know, how to make successful urban education classrooms working, um, you know, with urban students. And it's one of those things where, um, you know, trauma informed advocacy stuff like that. And it's one of those things where we have a couple of electives and I'm sending, you know, our students over because yeah, they're a lot of our students want to work with kids with autism, either in school or in home, but we have so many urban areas in, um, around the Springfield area, but also by Boston and Hartford is close by too. So we're going to be, you know, crossing paths with these urban educators, we're going to be crossing paths with their students. So it's one of those things where our students really do leave with a great interdisciplinary approach. So I, I also like it because I can focus on our core courses, making sure they're strong and making sure they're awesome and then tap into other experts for these great extra experiences.

Shauna Costello (00:13:09):

Yeah. And that's really, really exciting and really cool to hear. And that's something that a bigger school might not, might just not be able to do because some of the other schools that we've heard from that, you know, are larger, if the students are interested in taking those other courses, a lot of times they have to get on a wait list to get into courses that are not in their program. Yes. And so that's really cool to hear that, you know, because it is smaller, they have these options to really figure out exactly what kind of path they want to take. Um, so what are some of the projects that your students and adjuncts are working on?

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:13:47):

Yeah, so I am a big fan of the ISCA and skill based treatment afterwards. Um, so a lot of our students are working on that, um, working on, you know, different variations of that. So most recently we did a couple of presentations and we're working on getting it ready for publication, where we did the ISCA and the skill based treatment and functional communication training, but we actually did it without extinction, um, in the home. And so these were families that came to us through our practicum students who were really struggling, um, with really severe behavior, um, you know, aggression, self-injury, but there were reasons we couldn't use extinction, um, whether or not it was treatment integrity by parents. We also had, um, one family who couldn't do extinction because the mom was pregnant. Um, it's hard to implement escape extinction, um, you know, with a new born or are pregnant and whatnot.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:14:52):

So we actually did the whole skill-based treatment without extinction. So we had a number of students across cohorts working with families, and we had fantastic results with that. So we were able to present on that. Um, one of our students actually won a award, um, down at the Connecticut association for behavior analysis for empirical design for it. So we were able to kind of bring that back to Elms. Um, it was fantastic. I'm so proud of them. So we're working on writing that up. We're also working on some parent training research. Um, so this is one of the things I love about applied research is I would never dabble into parent training research. Um, it's just not an area that I have, you know, really given a lot of time and effort into. And one of the students was just having a really, a tough time with, you know, how to get parents on board with it. And I said, well, we can make a project out of it and following her lead. So she came up with a research design, she came up with the proposal. So we are launching that right now. It's on hold because of a Corona virus. Although adding tele-health to parent training would be a whole new, independent variable.

Shauna Costello (00:16:08):

The first thing I thought of, I was like, that's especially important right now. How are they putting that on hold? Like yeah.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:16:15):

Yes. Well, it's also getting it through the IRB process and everything like that right now. So that's one. And then also looking at, um, differential reinforcement, I'm a big fan right now of looking at ways to avoid extinction, um, both with severe problem behavior, but also in prompt, dependent children as well. So we have a couple of students who are working on projects, looking at choice compared to no choice of reinforcers for academic tasks as well. And looking at how can we manipulate, uh, parameters of reinforcement to favor independent, correct responses over prompt dependency. So those are some of the interesting projects as well. And then we have adjuncts who are working with students and getting them involved in, in-home work. Um, some of them are in schools, which is fantastic. So they are learning these great experiences. And we've even seen some of these projects, the class projects come out where our students are implementing single subject designs with their treatment courses, where they are implementing a treatment. They're writing up these amazing, like consultation models to work with families. Um, so our adjuncts are just so fantastic with helping with those applied, uh, single subject projects.

Shauna Costello (00:17:41):

And that's really exciting, especially hearing that your students are publishing, but then also they're getting awards from the regional conferences as well. And I mean, that also speaks to like where your students are being placed as well. So like their practicum sites. So you kind of mentioned them a little bit, the schools in home, but what are some of the practicum sites that like that your students are working at? Are they also, and I'm assuming this is an assumption, so you can clarify this, but that your adjuncts are also might be getting some help in their agencies from your students as well.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:18:21):

Some of them are, some of them are, but some of them are independent too. So Massachusetts has, you know, weird laws around insurance and whatnot. That makes it a little bit hard, but then we do have adjuncts that are more involved with the students. So we have a couple, um, placed through PBS, which is a bigger company originally from Florida. Um, it's funny. Cause actually the first time I heard of PBS is when I was at the university of South Florida and then I saw them up here and I'm like, oh my goodness. Um, so they are out there. Um, they're at the new England association for behavior analysis. Um, they are doing work at the may center, so they're kind of in these, um, great organizations. Another one that's been fantastic is, uh, behavioral services of Western mass. They're a local organization, but they have just this amazing model where they're so open to bringing in trainers, um, experts in the field come in, they really work really hard on these training opportunities and they open them up for, uh, the practicum students also. So they're getting to see some of these excellent training opportunities. And actually one of our alumni is a training coordinator there too.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:19:40):

I'm not sure of her specific title, but she goes in and works with RBTs on making sure, um, you know, more one-on-one training to get them caught up to behavior plans and procedures and whatnot. Um, and so she actually, um, is one of my favorite favorite alumns of the program. She rocked it while she was in the program. She did a great job, um, as an in-home technician while she was in her practicum hours and they had this position ready for her after graduation. And she's been there ever since. And I'm like, this is great, cause now I can send you more students. So, um, even if our students aren't working with adjuncts directly, a lot of them are working with alumni of the program as well. So it's um, and our alumni have been fantastic about taking on students to supervise for practicum too.

Shauna Costello (00:20:32):

That's really exciting and really good to hear because you know, it really, it really just shows that the program really instilled in them that giving back that, you know, not just giving back to the community, that's your, that your excuseme, the community that you're living in, but also back to your educational community, the ones who raised you and taught you, and they want to help create the next generation of practitioners and they want to continue to give that type of good supervision and experience. So that's really cool to hear.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:21:12):

I, you know, I based that off of my experience at USF. So when I was down there, it was just such a strong cohort model. You were, um, it's funny cause actually my, uh, you know, my best friend and uh, one of my closest colleagues is somebody who was in my master's program at university of South Florida, but we're both from Massachusetts. So now I'm like I have her come, she teaches some classes. I do some trainings for her company. We were working on a, um, we're actually in the infant stages of working on a project about some social validity around telehealth right now. Um, and that is my, you know, closest one of my closest colleagues right now, which is a relationship that I formed in my master's program, thousands of miles away in Florida. So I, you know, try to instill that like the first day of classes, I always tell them, like, you may not, you know, believe me when I tell you that these are gonna be your peers. Like these are gonna be your coworkers. They're going to be the ones that when you're stuck on a case, you're going to call them. You're not going to call me, you're going to call that and you're going to troubleshoot with them. So we follow a cohort model. So the students are in classes together for the whole five semesters the whole two years.

Shauna Costello (00:22:31):

Yeah. And I like that a lot because I mean, we had the same type of cohort model and I, I still know who was in my cohort, that's who we move through the program with. Um, along with my cohort, I know I can reach out to them if I need anything now, but also my lab mates, and so it's really cool seeing that, that type of comradery, because trust me it's sticks around.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:22:57):

Yes. They, I think they're a little skeptical, like the first day, but then when you look at them at the end, I'm like, Hey, you guys are emailing me less. It must mean you guys are talking to each other more.

Shauna Costello (00:23:08):

Yes. And, um, I know I still, I mean, I still reach out to my faculty mentor and also to my cohort and my lab mates as well. So,

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:23:19):

One of our best, uh, relationships we have is with an alum who, um, worked with research with me. Um, he is on his, uh, author on several of the projects coming out and he's actually a special ed coordinator at a school in the area. And he's taken on undergrad students to come out and do research projects. Um, we've gone there for research. Um, so, and it's one of those things where we would have never had a relationship with that school. It's a public school, but it's a really interesting regional school. And since it's so spread out in Western mass, they have dentists come, they have doctors come. So, and they're always looking for help because they're in the middle of nowhere and I've driven there and it's been snowing there and fine you know, when I leave, it really is, you know, such a rural area. Um, and they're starved, you know, they're so open to help from us and we're like, you're gonna let us, you know, kind of come in and try these things and work with kids. So, um, that's been an amazing relationship and it's all through, you know, an alumni who was, you know, wrapping up the program when I came in.

Shauna Costello (00:24:31):

Yeah, and that's really, really cool because I know I've worked in a regional school before and, um, it's yeah, just the types of opportunities that show up there and the fact that they're like, no, please, yes, come in. And I can completely understand how, if that alum wasn't there that that opportunity might not exist. It's really hard to get into some of those types of programs.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:24:59):

Yes. And, um, and also just that giving back, we had, um, you know, an undergrad student who wanted to do an experience, um, doing it. So she is, you know, going out there to do it. So it's, you know, we have kind of formed this and I've only been at Elms for four years and I'm kind of impressed with how much the community has grown. I think part of it is just because we are a small school and a smaller program at this school, so we have to get creative and we have to, you know, work together to get, you know, some of these bigger projects to come to fruition. And so it's also kind of, I think, taught the students how to be creative in getting things done, um, and getting out there. So in four years, um, one of the things I'm most happy about what I've been able to do, it's getting that community built up.

Shauna Costello (00:25:53):

And I mean, and that really from what I've heard so far, that really sticks to what the entire college is about in general, as well.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:26:01):


Shauna Costello (00:26:01):

And so you're just continuing to build the Elms community, whether it's you know, the region or the alum and the students and the incoming students. So it's really, really cool to hear. And so that, oh go ahead.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:26:18):

Oh, no, I was just gonna say that's what, uh, um, you know, even our current students have been so helpful with actually our grad admission events. We have students come in and meet students. So right from the beginning, they know students. Um, one of my favorite things to do when we have students that are interested is have him come and sit in on a class. And I bring them over to the classroom, like 15 minutes early, they can chat with one of the students, um, beforehand. And then they get to sit in on one of the classes so they can see, what is it like, what, what am I coming into? But I also like it because it kind of gives you a buddy, right from the beginning to have somebody who's a little bit more seasoned in the program to ask any questions, to reach out to, even just a friendly face to see on your way to classes. I'm trying to build that right from the beginning. And our current students and our alumni are so open to it that when I'm like, hey, can you talk to this student? They jump on it. So I'm like, thank goodness.

Shauna Costello (00:27:19):

No, and that's really exciting. And that makes me, you know, when you told me you listened to some of the episodes before now, I really believe you because you went right into my next question, which was the application process and the interview process and, you know, just getting into the grad program there. What does that look like?

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:27:39):

So we do have some exciting things on the horizon with our program. We are actually opening up online sections of classes as well. Um, so it follows the same, uh, 15 week semester, five semesters to get everything done. It's not a condensed, uh, alumni, um, sorry, online program, but it does give more flexibility, um, for students, because like I said, if you drive an hour, it's the Berkshires to the West, um, we're Western mass, but there's even Western Western mass.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:28:14):

And so giving some of those options for more flexibility. So we are actually having online sections starting in the fall, which I am nervous about and super excited about. It was one of those things that's been on the horizons and thanks to this push to move remote for the spring. And we're also going to be remote for the summer. I'm like, okay, we can actually do this. Let's, you know, do a launch, get it going just while we're doing online, let's just keep it rolling. So we are kind of opening that door up right now, which is terrifying, but also super exciting. Um, our adjuncts are fantastic, um, and ready to do it. And, um, the college has been really supportive of that. So one of the other things that the college has been really supportive of is we have a grad admissions office, um, with recruiters and, um, people that will help you through the application process. And they're phenomenal. Um, they do so much outreach, so much followup. I can't thank them enough. Um, they are fantastic and I'll be like, hey, this conference may be good to recruit at. And next thing you know, they're there with a table and cool flag and everything like that. So I'm like, I don't know how you guys do it. Um, so they're super helpful. So the grad process, the admissions process, we don't require a GRE.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:29:38):

The application is a pretty simple form, two letters of recommendation. Um, usually I meet with students, um, and we actually have open houses where we have instant acceptance after a short interview with myself. And we also ask for a curriculum vitae and a goal statement. Um, I want to know not only what you've done on your vitae, but what our, you know, faculty, what we are interested in is why you want to be a BCBA and what you're going to do with it. Um, so we've gotten some personal statements in the past, which were like, oh, you know, I've done this and this and this and this. And I was like, that's great, but what are you going to do after? So I love reading the goal statements cause I love knowing right from the beginning with our students, what they're going to be looking at doing with it. Um, and a lot of them, we have a lot of students, um, previously we only had a master's in ASD, which had the ABA courses, but our students even still, they do really want to work in the autism community. And so we have some great classes that kind of help with that as well that are ABA, but also other things you might see working with kids with ASD, what are some of the other treatments that are there? Um, what does the diagnosing process actually look like outside of us before they come here? Things like that. So, but I love knowing, right from the beginning, the goal statement, what they're going to be doing with it, how are they going to go out and, you know, make the world a better place, with their BCBA degree? And we have a couple of different options for programs. So some of the students come in and they're the traditional masters in ABA.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:31:25):

That's our most common one. We also have students who come in for that certificate of advanced graduate studies if they already have a master's degree, but they want to do the course sequence to be BCBA and a CABS degree, in Massachusetts is really awesome in terms of getting you more opportunities, especially in the public schools. And then we also have students who just come in for the course sequence. So they may have a master's in education. They just want to become a BCBA, so they are just doing the core sequence and practicum, and then they're on their way out. So those are kind of the three popular options for students to come in. And then we have students, um, we have, I mean, we've had students who are biomed majors who want to be pediatricians and are doing the BCBA course sequence, um, because of some flexibility within that degree. And then they want to work with kids with disabilities and that's a great resource to have. So we've been, and then students who are in the education world and then they're doing the course sequence as well concurrently. Um, so those are, we, you know, steal some, uh, other students from other programs to get their electives as the course sequence.

Shauna Costello (00:32:40):

I mean, that's so cool though, because a lot of times you don't, you know, you see some, you can kind of guess right now, the types of other majors that are coming back because they have to be somewhat related right now, and soon it's going to open up. So I'm kind of hoping that you start seeing more and more and more of those other of those other majors are already have those graduate degrees coming back to, you know, see how behavior analysis can actually work well in their field. So that's really, really cool to see or hear.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:33:17):

And I love it. I love it when we get students from other majors, cause they're coming in with a whole different perspective. They're coming in with their own tool box and they're sharing, um, you know, I'm teaching them about behavior analysis, but they're also teaching our students about the other disciplines. And they're teaching me about other disciplines. Um, we've had students who are, you know, doing the course sequence before they go off to be doctors. And I'm like, hey, you know, take this science, run with it, share it with the world and you know, your circle and your circle. And, um, it's, it's such a great experience for everyone. I wish I could have a non ABA student in every one of my classes, at least.

Shauna Costello (00:34:02):

Yes. And I know that, I mean, just being out of the clinical realm, I've learned so much from working with people who are SLPs, but then also who are strictly business, people who are strictly instructional designers that aren't necessarily behavioral analytic instructional designers. There is a difference. And I wouldn't have known that, you know, because I come from this behavior analytic background and, you know, there's, there's the behavior analytic instructional design, but then there's also the just general instructional design path as well. So you learn a lot when you work with other fields. And I, I say it all the time. I that's, all I want to do is just keep learning and disseminating. Um, so it's really cool to hear about that.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:34:53):

I'm lucky that my office is right next to the business office.

Shauna Costello (00:34:56):

Oh yeah.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:34:57):

So I can pick their brains all the time. They can, um, you know, give me tips to, and we have just, you know, amazing conversations about like, um, you know, the most ridiculous things about how ABA and business work together. Talk about like the free market and Keller control and all of that. And it's like one of those things where I'm like, this is, you know, where else does this happen? Like weird, you know, college hallways, you know?

Shauna Costello (00:35:26):

Yes. Um, yeah. And unless you're in a company that has this mixture, you're not going to get that. So take it while you can, because you learn as much as you can because it's really cool. I know I have friends that work for the big three in Michigan, the, you know, the auto industry and, um, they're in, they do a lot of with process management and managing the people in those processes. So we'll get into a ton of conversations about like managing processes and I've gotten more into just project management in general and lean in lean Sigma and those so it's really, it's been, it's been really fun, just learning from them.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:36:11):

I'm, I'm just like, yeah, I, I, you know, it's, I want to learn as much as possible. And some of, you know, sometimes it's, you know, the weirdest conversation that happens, the problem that all of a sudden, like you're, you're running and like buying this book to read it. I'm I consider myself like a forever learner. And I, so I love having, you know, great colleagues that will entertain, my millions of questions, as long as I do the same for them.

Shauna Costello (00:36:39):

Yup. And I mean, I I'm right there with you because yeah. I've been out of my master's program for about five years now and I'm like, Nope, I'm ready to go back for my PhD. Like, all right, let's start looking at it. I know. So that's my next step. But, um, but what about the area? So we've had, um, we've had, you know, we've actually had a school not released yet by this time it will be released that's in the Berkshires. So we kind of heard about that. Um, but what about the, not the West Western part of Massachusetts, but just Western, Massachusetts? What is that area like?

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:37:20):

So, you know, the college is in Chickopee, which is really just like a suburb of Springfield mass, um, and they may get upset if I call it a suburb of Springfield, but we are just about an hour West of Boston. We're close to this city. So the area is actually a really nice area. There's everything to do. Um, I actually came to Western mass to go to a different school, um, then Elms and loved the area so much and wanted to stay here. Um, and I was so, you know, lucky I count my lucky stars and I never thought I'd be superstitious, but the fact that I was able to find this awesome job exactly where I wanted to be in Western mass, I consider, you know, maybe luck is a real thing out there. Um, so the area is a really nice area. There's hiking, there's skiing, um, we're right on the Connecticut river, so there's boating. Um, Springfield is a interesting city. It's kind of, uh, up and coming a little bit. Uh, the area was hit pretty hard, um, years ago when factories kind of fell apart, but now have, um, more, um, the areas kind of building up a little bit more. So we have some great, you know, local businesses popping up and everything like that. Um, with the current events, with the pandemic, um, it's interesting to see how much support there is for local businesses. And we've been doing a food tour of the area and trying to support local restaurants that maybe we hadn't tried before. Um, so there's that, and then we're also really close to North Hampton, which is a fantastic town. Um, they're really well known for their pride events and everything like that. Um, it's a cute, super local, small, um, area. So we have just great, um, areas, a lot of great craft beer, a lot of great food. Um, there's breweries and wineries everywhere. The summer is amazing. Cause there's so many fantastic places to go that have a beautiful view and great food and beer. So I love the area. It's nice. It's, you know, close enough where it's not a super long drive to get to anything everything's convenient, but it's also spread out and there's nature and whatnot.

Shauna Costello (00:39:50):

Well, I actually had to pull up a map cause, um, like I know the general area, but you know, I wanted to see, so I have a friend who from college who moved to Rhode Island and a couple of years ago I went out to visit her. Um, and we actually decided to go to a concert, but the concert was in North Hampton. And so we actually took a trip. We took, we took a trip and I was looking at, I was just looking at the map and I'm like, that has to be really close to North Hampton.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:40:19):


Shauna Costello (00:40:20):

And so when you said that, I was like, it was right after I looked at the map, I'm like I had to have driven either right by it or really close because, um, because I mean, they were, you know, they were right outside, um, right in between Providence and Newport in North Kingston, Rhode Island. But we, you know, we, we made a three-state drive that day, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and then Massachusetts. And it sounds like a lot, but it's not.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:40:49):

It's not, everything's very close together.

Shauna Costello (00:40:52):

So I mean, we made it from Rhode Island to North Hampton, which is just North of Elms and then back in the same night and it was beautiful car ride. There's so many historical landmarks in that area as well that we could just stop and get out. And like you said, that area, I was in love with the area around North Hampton because the food that we had was phenomenal. So yeah, we, we, you know, we had a few meals along the way. Yeah. And it was a really cool, it's just a really cool area.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:41:30):

A lot of our students live close North Hampton or in North Hampton. Um, actually Elms has a diversity, um, office. And so last year we marched at the North Hampton pride parade in May. Um, it was kind of like the last week of classes and um, they got a bus and brought students up there. We had the banner, um, my dog actually marched in it. Um, she thought the parade was for her, which I didn't tell her no that it's not, um, we had, you know, faculty, staff, everything up there. And then, um, it's funny that you mentioned, uh, Rhode Island. Cause I think one of my, like first times being up here for the PhD program, one of the first like invitations, I got to like hang out with the PhD students where I was like, Oh my God, it was actually to go to one of the beaches in Rhode Island. So everything's so close together. So you really can get to just about anything.

Shauna Costello (00:42:30):

I know when she told me she was like, you have to come back because we'll go up to Maine. Oh, okay. Like that's just a thing that they do. They just go up to Maine for the weekend.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:42:40):


Shauna Costello (00:42:41):

Because it is so close. Um, and yeah, and I love the area and I know that that's something that, you know, one thing that people might have, you know, maybe wondered about when you mentioned it earlier, was that it is a Catholic college people might be like, eh, but like you just heard just because it's a Catholic college doesn't mean that they don't support everybody and want inclusion, especially with taking their students and going to a pride parade and festival to make sure that everybody is feeling included as well. So hopefully that, I want to just make sure to reiterate that just because it says it's a Catholic college, that doesn't mean that inclusion does not exist.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:43:26):

Yes, uh the big thing. So it's from the sisters of Saint Joseph is kind of our founders and their whole thing is, you know, love thy neighbor without distinction. And they are really big on that. Um, so we have, we have students from all walks of life. Um, a lot of our undergraduates are first generation students. They have, um, you know, they come from all over. There's something about the Elms community that I just, I can't describe unless you're like in, in there. Um, but they come to campus, they love it. They feel like that's their place. And it's one of those things where all of the faculty, all of the staff really do support because we do have areas, um, you know, talk about, you know, these beautiful areas. There are also areas where there's pockets of just, um, you know, families that are struggling, um, in the urban settings in the cities. Um, and we do a lot of help. There's mission trips that go all over the place, but also just so much community involvement to help build up the community around Elms. And it's something that the faculty, the staff, the students they do, it doesn't matter, you know why this is happening, we're going to, we're going to help out. So,

Shauna Costello (00:44:46):

Yeah, and my sister, she had a similar experience with the college she chose to go to, it was a smaller college and they come, um, I actually had to look it up cause I wanted to get it right. It is a Catholic, it was a Catholic university as well. It's the Adrian Dominican sisters, but they are it's has that same premise that they are so inclusive. They throw all of these festivals. They want to make sure that everybody feels and knows that they are loved and they are accepted. And so it's really like, it's really, really cool because a lot of times you hear so much on the news and it's not all I like that.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:45:30):

No. I mean, I think, um, you know, Elms has, you know, it's an interesting balance because they are really dedicated to the Catholic heritage. They, um, you know, we have the sisters of st. Joseph on campus, uh, quite a bit for events and for lunches. Um, we actually have a really great event for faculty, a stupid substance where, um, faculty members share their stories, um, not just, um, you know, religious stories, but also just kind of, you know, meaningful life experiences. And so it's great because you get to learn kind of about your faculty members, what's going on with, um, you know, how, how they came to Elms, how they came to be the people they are. And it's one of those things where it is such a balance of that dedication to the tradition, but also that openness to include everyone and bring everyone, um, up with them. Um, not, not in a religious sense, like not like converting, but you know, helping everyone, um, without distinction, like that's the part they really, you know, stick to.

Shauna Costello (00:46:38):

Yeah. And that also brings up something as well that, you know, inclusion is a big thing in our field right now, but also cultural competences as well. And in this is me overgeneralizing, but Boston and that area is known to be heavily Catholic. Like I said, I fully admit this is me overgeneralizing, but it is known to be Catholic. And if you are not familiar with Catholic heritage or the Catholic traditions, that it can be a very good learning experience for you as well. I was baptized Catholic. I wasn't raised Catholic. I can tell you that much. So I'm just, I mean, even though, you know, me just being like, yeah, I'm baptized Catholic. It, it might mean something to the church, but I still, me personally, I know I still have a lot to learn about the Catholic traditions and religion and things like that because it is very different from how I was actually raised. So,

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:47:43):

There's so many little, um, melting pots in, um, Massachusetts. Um, it's also, it's been a hub for a lot of immigration, so, and that's really one of the reasons why, um, Irish Catholic is so prevalent here is because, uh, years ago the port to get to Boston was just slightly cheaper than New York. And so there's this.

Shauna Costello (00:48:07):

Did not know that.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:48:09):

Um, so there's this huge amount, but also we have an amazing, um, you know, Greek, uh, pocket around here. Um, Puerto Rican, um, is everything. Um, actually we are Elms is affiliated with the Polish, um, the Polish society. Um, I'm going to forget their name, um, but the Polish heritage society. So we actually team up for like, um, you know, Polish film festivals and stuff like that. Um, we, but we also have a black issue summit, um, that is a really great event. So it's one of those things where in Western mass there is everything. Um, and so one of the classes we have, um, that I'm really proud of, I designed and handed it off to, uh, one of the adjuncts I trust the most because I can't teach every class. I thought, you know, like there's some classes I just love and, um, whatnot, but it's a behavior consultation class. And we actually develop that even before the fifth edition came out, that kind of mandated that supervision. And it was just, um, and I always told the students, the subtitle could be like learn from Laura's mistakes. Um, from when I was a brand new BCBA and I went out there, you know, guns blazing and, um, you know, ready to go and data's important and you have to do this and, you know, here's the Cooper book.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:49:41):

Um, I'm going to do everything that it says. Um, and it's now it's kinda morphed into, um, it's one of the last courses in the sequence, but it's taking everything, you know, and how do you actually put it into practice? And one of the big things we talk about is in the area of Western mass, you could go out and have no idea what kind of family you're walking into.

Shauna Costello (00:50:04):


Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:50:04):

There's so many, you know, every family has its own, you know, heritage, their own traditions, their own house rules. We have, you know, uh, many pockets of, you know, different, um, ethnic groups, different backgrounds. We also have, you know, areas that, um, you know, the LGBTQIA community is super prevalent around the area, um, so you're not walking into any, you know, quote unquote traditional family. Um, you may be walking into a poly family, you may be walking in to same sex, a trans family, all of that. And so now you, you know, it's, how do we work with everyone? You know, kind of taking, you know, from that mission of the college, working with everyone without distinction, and how do you do this going in? Because you know, working in homes, I once had a mother tell me it really stuck to me. She's like, you're part of the family now, which goes totally against the ethics rules. And I'm so sorry, I don't teach ethics in the program, but, you know, so it's, you know, talking about dual relationships, but you can't get us past the fact that you are in a family's house so much as students. So how do we work with all of these different, you know, backgrounds and diversity and, you know, not just look past it, but celebrate every family's differences.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:51:29):

Um, what, what is meaningful to them and running with it? So, you know, we've had to have, you know, talks with our students about, you know, maybe you're not teaching traditional pronouns to this family because of their, you know, parents and you know, what they want and just cause Ables, you know, says to look at it and that's the next program, you know, looking at what's meaningful to the family. I've been really proud with our students and how they work with such diverse backgrounds because in a day in Western mass, you can be working. Every family is completely different.

Shauna Costello (00:52:09):

Well and I think that, honestly, I'm so happy you brought that up in that class because behavior analysis in general is in this very good spot. It's our goal to individualize everything. So yes, we have these, we have these assessments that we run when they have these pro, but they have these, you know, programs in there that they want us to test. But that doesn't mean we can't be individualizing. All of those to our specific clients, our specific families are specific caregivers, no matter what the situation is, there's always a way to individualize it. And just the fact that you guys are teaching that to specifically is it's so good to hear because I mean, you know, I, I grew up in a very small town, very small, very white, very, um, Dutch, Christian, reformed town. Um, and first thing I did after in the college I went to is an hour away. It's not very far, but the first thing I did is I'm going to Detroit. Honestly, the best experience of my life, Detroit is one of the Detriot and Metro Detroit is one of my favorite, the favorite places I'll ever be in my life. Um, my favorite place,

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:53:26):

I have the intention of going, I've only flown through.

Shauna Costello (00:53:27):

Yep. And you know, people, even to this day, they have these misconceptions about Detroit and what it is. And I'm like, you know what, if you're not going to go visit it, you can keep those misconceptions and you can stay away because everybody who's in Detroit has this Detroit pride. They love Detroit. It is, it is, it's a special thing, but you don't really like, you know, with your students and with me, you don't really learn that stuff until you're in it. Yes. So the fact that your students are getting to have these experiences and these mess ups, cause we all mess up, we all mess up, we do. I admit it, I'm not perfect, but we get to have them in school where they're still learning.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:54:13):

I mean, you know, the behavior consultation learned from all of Laura's mistakes didn't fit on the transcripts. Um, but it that's. Um, one of my favorite assignments I have students do in that class is, um, the first day. So this is after they've had most of their courses. And the first day I give them all of those really hard questions we get from parents and staff, why do I have to collect data? Why am I doing this? Why don't you just do it? Kind of, all of those, you know, basically any question I had trouble answering and I pulled adjuncts and they have added their questions and whatnot. And I ask the students and I have a flashcard and I ask the students and I write down their answer and their answers are like, well, we need data to make decisions or, you know, Oh, we need to do parent training. And they're very, you know, they're textbook correct answers. And then we have the consultation where we're working on, you know, let's really draw on your experiences. Let's, you know, figure out, you know, better ways to answer these questions. And then at the end of the semester, I pull out the flashcards and I ask them the same questions and their answers are so much better. And I'm also able to share with them, this is what you said a couple of weeks ago. You said, you know, 15 weeks ago, you said you have to collect data because it's your job. And now look at your answer. And then, you know, it's one of those things where it's one of those, you know, quick, easy class assignments, but seeing their growth is so impactful for myself and for them.

Shauna Costello (00:55:54):

And I know that that is something, I mean, you only get that with experience. You do, you really do. So. I mean, I know you're like it's just having the diverse population and the adjuncts coming in and having those real life experiences where it's not just academics and there's nothing wrong with that. But there's something to say with having practitioners who are in the field, a hundred percent of the, like a hundred percent of the time, also teaching classes too, because.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:56:29):

They add so much.

Shauna Costello (00:56:31):

They do.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:56:31):

I would not be, I would not be able, um, you know, I do a lot of the bookwork now, the program and I, you know, I'm the coordinator with ABAI and BACB, but what makes our program really stand out and be awesome is all of the work the adjuncts do. And it would not the program wouldn't be where it is. Um, without those adjuncts, without them being open to bringing in their experiences. Cause they're also bringing in times, you know, they're bringing in their successes, but also their struggles that they've seen and they're able to give such clinical advice. Um, you know, I am, um, the most research oriented of them. So I still am like, you know, sometimes I catch myself a little bit too, like, you know, looking for that internal validity in a crazy world and the adjuncts are so fantastic. And so, you know, we have a core group of adjuncts that teach the classes. So it's not like a adjunct that comes in once you even, um, the adjuncts are, you know, teaching multiple courses to the students as well. So they are also faculty mentors for the students as well.

Shauna Costello (00:57:46):

And I will say I was an adjunct at one time while I was working as a full time clinical practitioner. I was the ABA program coordinator for my company. And, you know, after working, I wish I could say 40 hours a week after working, you know, 60 or more hours a week and going in, and then teaching college students too, it's a lot of work is a lot of work, but it's really cool because depending on what I'm, which class I was teaching, I taught, I taught a few different ones in the core sequence, like between concepts, um, research methods and ethics, and just depending on what it was, assessment, um, just depending on what it was like, something that was really cool though, was even if something happened like that day or that week, I could be like, guys, okay, here, here, this happened this week. Let's see what you would do. Yeah. This fits in perfectly with what we're talking about.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:58:44):

That's one of the reasons I love applied research so much is because I'm out there and I find, you know, the same story from when I was a practicum student is kind of like losing its player. Like I, you know, I can't be like I, then he grabbed the phone off the wall and my students are like phones on walls. Like I'm like, okay, my stories are getting old. I need, you know, better experiences. So I love being in the field, um, and working with, um, you know, kids through the research because it does keep me on top of it to those clinical things. I try to foray into some translational research last semester and I was like, huh, this is I like, I like the kids. I like the messiness. I love the applied research and getting in there and getting my hands dirty and hanging out with kids. So I, you know, and, and one of the things is I learned that from the adjuncts. So I see them and I see them, you know, really making great, meaningful differences. And I'm like, okay, I want to be doing that too. Um, I want to, you know, keep that skillset sharp.

Shauna Costello (00:59:49):

Well, I mean, and we need more of that too. You know, we need more of the practitioners coming into the field who know how to do applied research.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (00:59:57):


Shauna Costello (00:59:58):

We do. Um, translational research is finally coming back and we need more of that too, but we all, it's not just this all or nothing. You know what I mean? It's not all applied. It's not all translational. It's not, you know, we, we need a good mixture of both we do because without the applied, I mean, where's the translational gonna go? I mean, but without the translational, where's the applied gonna go. Because they both feed each other. And so we need both more applied researchers, but also more translational researchers. So we've heard about these translational programs and they're phenomenal, but it's really cool to hear about these actual applied research programs.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:00:42):

And, you know, I will say I was lucky enough to work with our, you know, computer programming majors and they created a computer program and we looked at some cool, um, effects of reliable and unreliable reinforcement.

Shauna Costello (01:00:57):

That's so cool.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:00:58):

Yeah, going back to old, like studies from the eighties. Um, and, um, it was such a cool experience, um, to do, but it's, um, and the students were open to it and they thought it was really cool. The data didn't really yield anything useful for us. Um, so we're like, okay, but it was such a cool experience. Um, so even though, you know, it may not go anywhere. The students got to see some translational research too, so I'm like, it's a win, um, in that sense, but yeah, no, I love the applied research aspect of it. Um, um, one of the things that was always instilled in me from my mentors was being a scientist practitioner too. So most of our students coming in are looking for that professional degree. They're not looking to be researchers, but I always tell 'em, you know, why are you going to, you know, carry out maybe a really, you know, complicated, uh, treatment program for a kiddo without knowing that it actually works. Like you have to build in some sort of replication of facts to make sure what you're doing is actually meaningful. Um, and when you break down the steps that we are asking parents to do, we asking teachers to do, and we're like, Hey, here's this, you know, I mean, I recommend a lot of the times, you know, my training is in the skill based treatment, you know, functional communication training, response training, all of this.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:02:31):

And I'm like, I want to make sure that, um, you know, when I'm asking parents to go through all of these steps to fin schedules of reinforcement, that what I am telling them to do is actually necessary. And it's actually what's causing the behavior change. And so really instilling in them how to do good, um, you know, case studies, how to be actually a scientist practitioner is more than just reading an article and trying it with your client, but it's also keeping those tenants of science in your cases. So you're looking for a replication of facts. You're looking for generalization, you're looking, you know, maybe to do a probe without your treatment and to make sure that, you know, all of this time and energy you're putting in, um, that treatment that you're telling insurance companies you really need is something you actually really need to be working on. So that's something that our research methods class is a really interesting experience because it's really focused on being a scientist practitioner and what that looks like.

Shauna Costello (01:03:38):

Yeah. And I completely agree, especially with, I mean, when you were talking about that, I was, I was just transported back to remembering my independent contracting work because independent contracting work is even different from like insurance work. Um, and so independent contracting work and a lot of what we're seeing now with telehealth and things like that, it's even more important that the steps you're telling caregivers to do are actually important because you don't always have an RBT there or, you know, or somebody else there running it for you, it's the caregivers. And so you have to make it as easy as possible for them to implement these programs, to see the biggest effects that they can.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:04:23):

Absolutely, and, you know, troubleshooting your resources. You know, I did, um, one of my, um, you know, way back when I actually consulted to special ed classrooms around Western mass. And so I would go into a district, I was an outside consultant for them, an independent contractor. And they want the proof that what you're doing is actually, you know, something they should pay you for. Um, but also you're trying to put into, um, you know, these school districts that are already stressed for resources, you know, these treatments. So you want to make sure if you're asking for, you know, extra time, so, you know, a paraprofessional can be doing something that it's actually necessary. And so I think that's something we do a great job instilling with our students, the kind of go in with that scientific mind, looking at those, you know, each case as a case study and how to do it, um, meaningfully to make sure that what they're doing is necessary and important and you know, the best use of their resources too.

Shauna Costello (01:05:33):

Yes, and I fully agree cause yes, I worked in school districts before as well. And so that's a whole, another whole different relationship that you have to learn once you're in it. Um, cause I, in grad school I was used to working with schools who are like, please come in, please come in and help us. What do I do? That's not what the real world is like, well, unfortunately not all, not always, sometimes yes.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:06:02):

But in schools where it's like, hey, can you get this kid's SIB down to zero with 15 minutes a week on the grid. And you're like, okay, I'll try. Yeah.

Shauna Costello (01:06:13):

Give it a shot. I know, I know it was really sad. Like I went into one school one time and they handed me a behavior plan and they're like, okay, what's wrong with it? Like, Oh, you're, you're expecting me to oh, I was like, actually nothing's wrong with it. I was like, it's great. They're like, wait, what? Yeah, it's great. So, you know what I mean? I'm like, Oh, what kind of experiences have you had with the behavior analyst in the past? Or you think I'm just going to come in and just tell you, like, everything you're doing is wrong.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:06:46):

I know, and we have some students and alumni it's hard to get, you know, practicum placements in schools, IEP grid rules, but we've had alumni go into it and they've been gracious enough to come back and talk to the students about, you know, that's a whole different beast. Um, and we've actually had some great courses previously looking at, um, writing IEP goals and how to effectively navigate IEP and mediation and still keeping, you know, your integrity of your treatments. So those have been great, uh, courses and workshops we've given for students too.

Shauna Costello (01:07:28):

Yeah. And I know that you guys are probably the same where I was in some mediation before with some of my school students and when the school district heard one, one name they're like, oh, that advocate. Um, so I know that that's probably the same thing that happens everywhere, but, um, yeah, and that's a whole nother thing. So it's really cool to hear, you know, all of these different types of experiences that the students are able to get from the adjuncts from the alum, but not only that, but also working and learning to become the science practitioners in these very diverse schools, homes, clinics, everything. So it's really cool to hear all of that. And I know we've covered a lot, but I mean, what else, is there anything else that you want to make sure to cover about Elms?

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:08:19):

Oh man. Um, you know, it's one of those things, um, like I said, this is my fourth year and it's been a weird fourth year with the way we're ending the year. Um, but I, you know, I'm just honestly continuously impressed by the Elms community. Um, other faculty who have, you know, given their, you know, time and energy into building up the ABA program. Um, I was at Elms for maybe a couple of weeks before they approached me about starting the masters in ABA, um, and moving away from that, not moving away, but adding to that more traditional ASD model and I couldn't have done it without the amazing faculty. And now I'm bugging them again for, you know, letting my students into these fantastic courses they've developed and everything's really open. And then also, you know, I know we talked about it, but just going back to that community, like when you are an Elms student and you leave from Elms, we are such, uh, you know, the continuing ed programs are so integrated into the community with putting out so many professionals.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:09:36):

So even if you leave as a BCBA, um, you're probably gonna see other BCBA Elms alumni, but also SLPs who have been through Elms, social workers who have been through Elms. Your accountant is probably an Elms alumni as well. So it's really just such a community and it's this little gem that's just tucked away and Chickopee and I, you know, kind of stumbled upon it. And when I was looking for a job and I've been so lucky that they've been able, that they've allowed me to make this program kind of what I think is, you know, a strong program taking that small college, how do I build on these, uh, you know, different areas, these strengths, how do I compensate for things that we may not have that a big university does? And, you know, we're just so integrated. We have our community, uh, work, our community workers, our relationships with them.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:10:37):

So it is something where even though it's a small school, it's such a big community and we really do try to instill that while we're really making sure, you know, that the sequence courses, you know, we are just like any other school where we're pounding away that knowledge and you can, you know, read the Cooper book at any, any grad program. Um, but really what makes Elms different? Is that getting ready to be a professional in that community that we've built?

Shauna Costello (01:11:12):

Yeah. And, um, I mean, I can't say anything that I've heard today is like, I'm so excited about everything I heard today, because like I said before, and you and I talked about this before a website can only say so much. Um, and sometimes the faculty would like more control over that website, but that doesn't always happen. So no. So I'm very happy. Thank you so much for talking about Elms.

Dr. Laura Hanratty (01:11:37):

Thank you so much for this opportunity. It's been such a pleasure to, you know, brag about the program. Cause I am missing it a little bit, uh, while we're in social isolation. So it's been really great to just kind of, you know, also a great reminder for me that, you know, we have this great, you know, thing that's gonna survive and it's still, you know, I mean, we actually have a piece coming out that marketing is working on right now with one of our students who's been doing tele-health, uh, and that's something Massachusetts hasn't allowed, um, their insurance and they did a temporary allowance to see, um, because of everything going on and our students are on the front line as some of the first people implementing telehealth and what that looks like and how they're doing it. And with very little, you know, talk about being a scientist practitioner, everything is almost a new IEB, right. Um, they're, you know, testing and being awesome. So this has been a great opportunity for me to brag about the program because I'm so happy with it, but also a reminder that, you know, we're still doing great things, even with all this craziness going on.

Shauna Costello (01:12:46):

Yes. And there's a lot to brag about. So yes, and I loved hearing about it. Thank you for listening to this episode of the university series. And as always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions, or feedback, please feel free to email us at


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