University Series 046 | University of Houston Clear Lake
Today we are joined by Dr. Dorothea Lerman, Dr. Sarah Lechago, Dr. Jennifer Fritz as well as two third-year master's students, Mary Signorella & Aunie Abernathy. This program is JAM PACKED and I have learned so much from speaking to this group of amazing women. Form the research, coursework, and practicum opportunities, students have a wide array of options to get everything they want out of this program. You will hear the dedication and hard work that these faculty and students give off every single day!
Dr. Dorothea Lerman - Lerman@uhcl.edu
Dr. Sarah Lechago - Lechago@uhcl.edu
Dr. Jennifer Fritz - FritzJ@uhcl.edu
Shauna Costello (00:00:00):
You're listening to Operant Innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA Technologies. This week, on the University series, we are speaking with the University of Houston Clear Lake. Not only do we have three faculty members, we also have two students. Without further ado, University of Houston Clear Lake. Today we are here with a very large group, and I'm very excited to learn some more about this program. We are talking with the University of Houston Clear Lake, and because we have five, I'm going to let them introduce themselves quickly.
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (00:00:39):
Well, I guess I'll start. I'm Dorothea Lerman and I'm the director of our masters program in behavior analysis.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:00:48):
My name is Sarah Lechago and I'm an associate professor in the behavior analysis program.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (00:00:52):
I'm Jen Fritz and I'm a professor of behavior analysis.
Aunie Abernathy (00:00:56):
I'm Aunie Abernathy and I'm a third year student in the program.
Mary Signorella (00:01:01):
I'm Mary Signorella and I'm also a third year student in the program.
Shauna Costello (00:01:06):
Welcome to all of you. Thank you so much for being here and talking about the program, and I'm going to jump right into it. Let's start with a general overview of the program.
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (00:01:21):
All right. Well, thank you, Shauna. We're just delighted to be here. This is Dorothea Lerman again, and I'll give a brief overview of our program. I want to hit the highlights. One thing that we really like to emphasize is we like to train our students to be scientist practitioners, and we use a very close mentorship model. We have deliberately kept our program small over the years. Our masters program has been in existence since 2009, and the total number of students we have in the program has never changed. What is wonderful about the program is that for more than 10 years now, I've had two wonderful colleagues, Dr. Sarah Lechago and Dr. Jennifer Fritz in the program as well. We have three faculty and 35 graduate students across three cohorts. We are ABAI accredited and one big goal of our program is to produce well rounded, highly skilled behavior analysts. In terms of the nuts and bolts of the requirements, our masters degree is 42 credits and most of those are behavior analysis courses. All of them actually are, except for a single elective. As part of those 42 credits, we only require students to sign up for six total credits of practicum. You might think that seems strange, because our students actually complete 20 hours of practicum every semester, per week, for every semester they're in the program. We deliberately did this to help our students save on the tuition dollars. Our students are required to pass a comprehensive exam, complete a major research project, which they can take as a thesis option, and they also must give a presentation to the community. Our program, I would say, is considered to be pretty rigorous, and it is very research focused. One of the things I think make our program so special is the large variety of different practicum that we offer our students. Some students come and say they're almost overwhelmed with all of the options. I think that is somewhat interesting about our program. It allows you to focus in a very specialized area. If you come into graduate school and you have a specific interest and want to specialize in assessment and treatment of behavior problems, you can come in and you can pick the practicum where you will be working in that area, but maybe in a variety of different settings. We will be talking about our clinics and our practicum and research later, but you might come in and work in Dr. Jennifer Fritz's severe behavior disorders research clinic, and then the next year you might work as a consultant in one of our public school districts, because we focus on severe behavior. You might work in our connecting the dots program where we work with caregivers whose children engage in problem behavior as well. You can specialize or focus your practicum in a particular area, or if you aren't exactly sure what you would want to focus on, and maybe in your practice you want to have a broader range of clients and focus, then you can come in and you can get a variety of different practicum experiences. I think that's one thing that really stands out. In fact, we have an associated center for Autism and developmental disabilities on our campus, and we actually have more than 10 clinical programs or service areas through that that we'll be talking about. All of our students are offered graduate assistantships which come with a monthly stipend and a waiver of the out of state portion of the tuition. All of our students just pay in-state tuition, which I think is fairly reasonable. What's tied to those graduate assistantships are typically 20 hours a week practicum so they're getting their supervised experience. Finally, I do want to just say a few words about the location of our program. University of Houston Clear Lake is an independent campus within the UH system. It's located in the fourth largest city in the country and that has a lot of advantages. Houston has just about, I think, everything that you would need. The restaurants are fantastic, there are lots of things to do, and there's a lot of resources. Those I think are the highlights.
Shauna Costello (00:06:21):
Thank you so much and I'm really excited to get into some more of the nitty gritty after hearing about all of that, because there were some really amazing things that were said. I think a great place to start out with are the faculty, who we have all here, and their research interests. What's going on in their labs right now?
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (00:06:45):
Okay. My colleagues have suggested that I start us off talking about our research. This is Dorothea and one thing about my research lab is it's really driven by the interests and passions of the students. The other two faculty, all three of us, really encourage students to pursue what most interests them. I do have a variety of things that come out of my lab, however, in the last number of years, there are probably four research lines I've been most interested in, personally. I'd be happy to share a little bit about each of those. The first is in the area of teacher training. We've conducted a lot of this research within the context of an intensive summer training program we've offered to public school teachers for a number of years now. It's a five day training where we teach them a lot of the basic behavioral analytic principles and procedures. We teach them how to conduct preference assessments, how to implement discrete trial training, and how to implement incidental teaching. We teach how to promote generalization and maintenance and collect data. Data collection is a big thing the teachers are very interested in, because they're actually required by law to collect data and in their classroom, and they very much are looking for suggestions on how to do that efficiently. A lot of our studies are looking at ways to teach teachers and paraprofessionals in the most efficient way that we can, because teachers don't have a whole lot of time to participate in training, and paraprofessionals generally are not given any time. Just to give you some examples, in one of our studies, we train teachers how to best train their paraprofessionals so that they could do training in the classroom. We've looked at the effectiveness and preference of different types of feedback that you might give teachers when you're working with them. Most recently, we looked at the effects of classroom distractions on the procedural integrity of teachers. The second line of research is in the area of vocational assessment and training for adults with Autism. This is an area that has been getting a lot of attention recently in terms of the difficulties that individuals with Autism have obtaining and maintaining employment. A lot of the research that's out there right now, either isn't being conducted by behavioral analysts, which is kind of surprising, or the focus is on job specific skills or how to do certain types of jobs, rather than on job related social skills and problem solving skills, which really is sometimes a barrier for the individuals with Autism. My students and I have developed a performance based assessment to evaluate job related social skills, such as responding to feedback, asking for help when needed, responding appropriately when you're missing materials or don't have what you need. In addition to looking at the assessment, we are also looking at different interventions. In particular, we're developing a model that's similar to a response to intervention model, where we're focusing on how to identify those effective training procedures for individuals, with an eye toward looking at interventions which can be implemented by supervisors on the job site. Things that really aren't that different than what good supervisors should be using on the job with their employees. It's been a real fun area for me. A third area has been also working with adults with Autism, but in terms of not work related social skills, but more personal social skills. Primarily in the context of conversations, having successful conversations with others, because that can be really important to building relationships both personally and professionally. The final area, which everyone became an expert in over the last year and a half, we actually started working in this area about six years ago, of telehealth services. Our primary focus has been looking at the effectiveness of providing parent coaching through video conferencing. In particular, with my colleague Loukia Tsami, we've done a lot of this work with parents who live in other countries. We were very fortunate to get involved in this area through a collaboration with Dave Wacker, the University of Iowa, who many might know, is one of the pioneers of telehealth ABA services. That's an overview of my four areas of interest. Again, if you look at what's come out and what's been published, I do want to mention that all of our students have a great track record of publishing their work. We've had students who focused on training police officers on how to interact successfully with individuals with Autism they might encounter in the field. We've had students who are interested in increasing recycling on campus. It really opens up the door to a variety of different types of research areas, because we really want students to pursue what they're most passionate about. I will turn it over to my colleagues.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:13:21):
This is Dr. Sarah Lechago and I have a more narrow focus. I let the students lead, but usually students come to me because they want to do something related to my areas. My major areas are verbal behavior, which is really broad, if you think about it; Interview skills, social skills, math skills, reading skills. Verbal behavior is understood and super broad and ubiquitous. Motivating operations, I've dabbled a bit in staff and student training and caregiver training. Most recently, I've turned my research focus a little bit more to diversity, equity and inclusion, which again, is super broad. Even some research that includes people who are on the Autism spectrum or Autistic people, could be considered DEI work, right? That's what I do. Under those two broad categories, my students and I...They work so hard. We have a broad range of stuff. We're looking at things like mand training using, augmentative devices, all the way to feminist issues like experimental analysis, of gender or sexist verbal behavior. That's the stuff, if you really want to know, that gets me really, really excited. The more challenging a question is to ask, the more excited I get by that challenge. There's very little in the way of complex verbal episodes and experimental research. That interests me, because even though it's hard, we still have to ask the question. Broadly, those are the two areas we're examining. Under those two things, there is a lot of stuff we're evaluating. Mary, for example, she's one of my research advisees and I'll let her talk about her research. I don't want to take her shine away, but that's that. I don't know why, but I do have two monthly research meetings.[Laughing] One for the diversity, equity and inclusion lab and the other, we call ourselves the baddies. Behavior analysts for diversity inclusion and equity. Our logo is an old school third wave feminist DIY logo, because it's a little bit the spirit of the group. That's who we are and I also have the Verbal Behavior Research lab of which Mary is the coordinator for the upcoming year. I'll let her talk a little bit more, I'm going to let her have that. I want her to talk a little bit about the group and her role in the group. For the diversity lab, the baddie lab, we started in 2020 and that lab does a couple things. We actually do outreach, we do resource building, we do some clinical work. We'll work with families and organizations and school districts in border towns, between Texas and Mexico, like Laredo and Eagle Pass. We've done teacher training, we've done caregiver training in person via telehealth, and trying to understand the needs of the community. This helps myself and students learn and grow about what it means to come outside and be culturally responsive and sensitive. We also do research and it's really open, the kind of research, in terms of the students' interests. I have that one study that looks at problematic gender or sexist verbal behavior and that's an example of a DEI study. We're looking at training culturally responsive clinical service provision. That's another example. I had another student who was actually interested in going into the prisons and working with folks who have been released, to reintegrate. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get that off the ground at the time she wanted to do it because Covid hit. I'm not sure what it looks like right now, but those are some examples of some of the work that we do in both of the labs.
Mary Signorella (00:17:53):
I'm Mary Signorella again, for everyone, and like Dr. Lechago kindly mentioned, I am doing research with her. My main areas of interest are verbal behavior. It was a big reason I came down here, because they allow us to focus in cool areas of the field like that. Right now, my current research is looking at manding and different prerequisite skills helping individuals be successful in those manding modalities, different ways to mand. I just think it's a really needed area of our field and I was so excited when I got to come in and tell Dr. Lechago about my nerdy idea and she was just as excited as I was. It's one of my favorite things. They meet you where you're at. If I'm excited about something, they're like, "Yeah, let's do it." When I came down and wanted to study verbal behavior, it was just welcomed so much and I'm so excited. I actually just finished my first participant so, "Woot woot!" [Laughing] It's a good day [Laughing]. Along with my verbal behavior interest, I also got to be part of and now coordinate the verbal behavior research lab, which is a group that meets and we meet monthly to every other month. We just talk about verbal behavior research and different issues within the field, different ideas for verbal behavior research. It's really fun, because it's just a group of people that are all interested in the same thing. Our program has people that are interested in different things, but we all like to go and see what the different labs have to offer so we can be well rounded. I'll talk about rural behavior with Aunie and I'll also talk about problem behavior during some of our other labs more focused on that. During VBRL, I really get to be involved in my niche and the things that I really like. I really appreciate the opportunities, because not only has it given me the opportunity to research and look at cool things like that and have those open discussions I might not have been able to, but it also gives me the opportunity to be in a leadership role, which is another one of my favorite parts of our program. There are just so many opportunities to learn at the foundational level and then continue on to do a lot of those coordinating or supervision roles. Yeah, I love it. It's pretty awesome. [Laughing]
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:20:15):
Can I just pop in? This is Sarah, and Mary is underplaying the importance of her study. She's just framing it as, "We're doing a manding study looking at prerequisites," but Mary's doing a really important extension most people in this line of research have not evaluated. I'm just going to say, because we want to keep it splashy and fun, when it comes out in publication, she's considering conditional discrimination in her study, which is an important feature. I just didn't want to let her escape this without just spotlighting the super neat aspect of her research study.
Mary Signorella (00:20:57):
Thank you. Yes, that is my favorite part of it. We're looking at all those cool niches that are very important. Thank you, Dr. Lechago.
Shauna Costello (00:21:06):
It's really exciting to hear and the best thing that I can bring from this podcast is, if people listen to it, they get to hear these interactions and really see what the culture and environment is like. Jennifer, I think you are up next.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (00:21:22):
I'm Jen Fritz. My research is conducted through the Fair Lab, the functional analysis and intervention research lab, which I think pretty much sums up what we mostly look at. The assessment in treatment of problem behavior is my big area of interest with a line of precursor research woven through various studies throughout the time. Within that, there are a variety of different topics, like Dorothea and Sarah were saying, the students come to us and they usually have some great ideas for research topics. We focus on things like caregiver training, various types of problem behavior, safety training, working with different populations or just various issues within assessment and treatment of behavior disorders. When I arrived at UHCL, the students at the time had been working really hard to get the first recycling project we did on campus, off the ground. I got to work really closely with them. They did such a phenomenal job and they're down there in the basement counting trash, which is not the most glamorous of things to do for your research project for a masters program. They went and they were gungho about getting it done and doing it well and very precise. They had a huge team and we were excited about it and made some recommendations to the University, but we faced some barriers. As it happens, we followed up and did another study on recycling and sustainability at the University. It is an area of interest of mine for students who are interested to come to the University of Houston Clear Lake. We have a whole institute on sustainability here and there's a lot of people who are really excited and doing interdisciplinary work in that area. I'd be excited to expand in that area of research. As a personal project, that has really expanded more recently, we have a cat lab. I love cats and have had cats for a very long time. I tied my love of cats with my love of assessing and treating problem behavior. We have our first study coming out for the lab very soon in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. We have about three other studies lined up with our group, the homeless and orphaned pets endeavor of Houston. It's our rescue organization that we work with here and the Petsmart in Pearland, Texas has been fantastic in letting us work with the cats out there. In terms of the caregiver training research line, we do have another project coming up very soon that Aunie is spearheading and she can tell you more about that.
Aunie Abernathy (00:24:45):
Yeah, I would love to. Thank you, Dr. Fritz. This is Aunie again, by the way. I came to the University of Houston Clear Lake thinking that I wanted to go more into the problem behavior side of things, but I did explore the different realms since we do have that opportunity here. I just found myself very passionate about the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. I went to Dr. Fritz and said, "Will you be my research advisor and can I also work on something problem behavior related?" We worked through it together. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do at the time, but together we worked it through and found an area that I was passionate about and could do my research on. I'm teaching caregivers via telehealth to respond safely when their kid is becoming agitated before they engage in aggression. I'm working with all the caregivers through telehealth and I'm making sure that they can implement those strategies with their kid as well. It's been a really great journey so far. I'm on my first participant and they are very eager. It's been a great experience just working with them and working through all the different parts of research that if you're not heading a research project, you might not understand. We have to go deep into the experimental control and generalization and maintenance of it. I just think it's giving me a different side of the field to look at that's going to make me a better practitioner in the long run.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (00:26:17):
Yeah, this is exciting. The work that Aunie's doing, she's already getting her participants involved in working on it. We have done some work in this area previously, but it was not a sustainable model [Laughing]. I think that Aunie's work will really expand this to more families who need this training. It's very exciting. Houston, like Dr. Lerman was saying earlier, has a lot of opportunities. We have developed a lot of collaborative relationships with other disciplines to conduct research as well. I've worked with my colleague in the college of education, Dr. Lastrapes, on a variety of projects in the public school system. Also, we have some faculty in the clinical and school psychology programs working with us on some topics related to caregiver stress and how that can be influenced over the course of participation in our programs. It's a great place to be. The students are wonderful to work with. We're always excited to help them develop their ideas into something that is hopefully publishable at the end.
Shauna Costello (00:27:40):
That's really exciting to hear. Even the collaboration with some of the other programs as well and getting to work with some of the other professions. It's a huge thing to learn, especially before you leave school [Laughing]. It's a very important thing. Thank you all for describing the labs and the research that's going on. I know that some of the practicum sites were already talked about, but can we come back to those and explain some of the practicum opportunities the students may have as well?
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (00:28:23):
Sure. I'll start again. This is Dorothea. The one thing I think really makes our program stand out is this variety. Not only because the faculty are just really hard working and want to create a lot of great experiences for students, but it's also helpful to be here in Houston where there's just so much going on. I can just talk about the programs I supervise. First, I supervise a focused intervention program for kids with Autism or other developmental disabilities between the ages of three and fifteen. Our graduate students basically wear all the different hats you could wear when you're providing services. They conduct the assessments, they develop the goals and collaboration with the family, they write all the programs, they evaluate the interventions, and they train caregivers. They do everything and during the pandemic they shifted to telehealth very successfully and it was a caregiver coaching model. We didn't do direct services with the kids through telehealth, but we trained the caregivers to do so. It was really helpful in allowing them to continue their services. I'm also in charge of our vocational assessment and training program. This is for individuals age fourteen and up, but it's primarily adults, in collaboration with our state's vocational rehabilitation agency. They refer individuals to us for ABA services and they have asked us to focus on job related social skills as well as challenging behavior that may serve as a barrier to obtaining and maintaining employment. I also supervise our connecting to college program, which provides support to college students with Autism who are here at the University. We've had this program for about five or six years, and we not only connect those students to existing resources on campus, but we provide individualized services based on their goals. They could be academic, social, selfcare goals, advocacy goals, things like that. We work a lot on things like time management, how to interact with your professors, how to ask for help, and things like that, how to make friends. A couple of other areas involve focusing on teacher training. For many years we've had contracts with local school districts and I would like to mention that there are about 54 school districts in Houston. That's a bit shocking. I've never lived anywhere like this and I would say many of them really clamor for behavior analysis services. We work with some of the ones closest to the University. We typically have contracts with two or three school districts, who basically place our graduate students in those districts as consultants to work in classrooms with teachers. Usually it's to help them with problem behavior in the classroom and then we also have a state grant where we provide training to both teachers and paraprofessionals in how to conduct functional assessments and to develop function based interventions for students in their classroom. It's a grant that we've had for about five years now. Finally, one of our newest programs is in the area of medical compliance. We initiated this with some folks at Baylor University, their medical school. They have a transition clinic that is unique. It's specifically for adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities and it's interdisciplinary. They have different types of medical personnel. They have a sleep center, they have cardiologists and they also collaborate with some dentists who are at University of Texas medical school's dental program. We have a partnership with them where we're providing services and also doing research in helping individuals who can't tolerate dental or medical exams. What we're doing is looking at those types of interventions dentists, medical personnel could implement themselves to increase the likelihood they will get compliance during those exams.
Shauna Costello (00:33:30):
Yes. Well, I'm excited to hear what else is going on because that's already a very big variety of opportunities for students.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:33:40):
Yeah, so since I specialized in verbal behavior, I started the verbal behavior clinic because that's really when I was a grad student. It was in my brain, that was the job I wanted. I wanted to teach to research and then open a verbal behavior clinic. The thing about the clinic I wanted to focus on was really tight caregiver training. There are two things I wanted to focus on: A junior colleague model within the clinic and then caregiver training. The thing is, most people, most programs are set up where they have pretty decent exposure in doing tabletop work, like working one on one with the typical child, sometimes older person, but not very good or not very experienced with caregivers. Historically, our field could use some more work in this area. One of the things that actually helped me after grad school is I went to work as an early intervention specialist. I actually had to do caregiver training and realized this is a whole other repertoire I did not have, but it's completely critical to the success of the children we serve. This is what we focus on in the verbal behavior clinic as it pertains to assessing verbal behavior and teaching verbal behavior. Remember, verbal behavior is broad, so we too are also doing social skills training with college kids. We work on things like teaching. We taught a 23 year old how to do some mathematics as he wanted to work independently, get a job. How to pay for things and balance a checkbook and things like that. We don't have any diagnostic criteria or age restrictions. Our youngest have been younger than 2 and our oldest have been 46 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. I like it because it keeps the clinical profiles really open and vast. It keeps my chops up, it helps my students sample a variety of clinical profiles. The idea is that graduate students really typically work as therapists... Sometimes we'll have first years come in and work as therapist assistants, and then we typically recruit from undergrads also as therapist assistants as well. The therapist is the primary person on the case, right? They go in and they do the intake, then they do the formalized assessments, they develop the program, they assess how effective it is. If it is, we do the caregiver training. Caregiver training involves things like follow up of the more natural environments at home, school, wherever it's relevant. Sometimes what we'll try to do is ask parents. We'll throw a new target in there and be like, "Teach it," because we want to see that they can teach. It's the whole point of the clinic and it's a really tough clinic. I think both Aunie and Mary can attest to that. The truth is it's a lot of work and it is not easy work, but it is good and important work. They have therapist assistants and what the therapist assistants do is things we call the waiting room and the playroom assessment. When caregivers come in, they'll be doing informal, sometimes formal assessments, it just depends on the child or older person. It's the waiting room assessment and it provides us with additional information. I'll help with things like looking up literature. Maybe they'll be presenting the graphs and updates during our morning meetings. We do case management, because I want the grad students to get used to training and teaching someone else, because that's going to be the bulk of the work they have to do when they graduate and become BCBAs. They'll be responsible for RBT teams of RBT. Really the thing they have to get good at doing is then working with others and teaching them how to implement. I keep on thinking about that as I continue to evolve the clinic and then they help them with caregiver training. It's fantastic to watch. We meet every Friday, we have morning meetings, we do case management. I'll throw some stuff out there, "Define verbal behavior for me, define this operant," because I need them to know how to talk sophisticatedly and comfortably and fluently about verbal behavior. Keep those conceptual chops up as well and we'll do work. One of the things they have to do is present research articles, talk about research, and how you integrate research. It's a big part of the work too. We meet weekly, we meet with families. We usually have sessions that are two hours at a time. Again, we do so many different kinds of things with the folks we serve. The bulk of them are Autistic individuals, but again, that's not a diagnostic requirement. We've had kids who are medically frail. We had one really cool mother child duo. He was in a wheelchair and he could not speak and he had a G-tube. I think he was starting to consume orally and he couldn't do much, but he could move one of his arms a little bit. We were successful in teaching Mom how to teach him how to use a talk block. We did some discrimination training and it was really neat and very successful. The kid was eating spaghetti at the end, using his talk block to communicate and it was all really nice to see. Mary just wrapped up a really challenging case. We're doing conditional discrimination into verbal responding with an older individual via telehealth. It almost makes it a little bit harder because we don't have all the information we need and then we have to teach proxies or we have to do things via telehealth, which is a little bit harder. It was a cool case because it was so hard and there were so many ups and downs, but it was such a neat opportunity for, not just Mary, but everyone else in the clinic and I myself, to work on problem solving. Now we have a hundred percent response and it's perfect and it looks so great and it's so satisfying to be there. It's so satisfying for the family when you see that kind of success. I think where I'm turning to now, is I'm actually going to start doing some ACT training and motivational interviewing training with the students to level up our caregiver training. I think we're really good at centering our families, but I think we can level up and really bring it home. I used to have a little leg called the VBCT, so the telehealth, and then we had the pandemic and I was like, "Well, we're a telehealth program now." What we're doing now is I'm reabsorbing the VBCT and it's going to look like each therapist who has a GA through the clinic, is going to have one telehealth case, one in person case. I know the students are a little bit burned out right now on telehealth. I understand that. We still have a lot of families who are still such a good tool, because we have a lot of families we don't have access to, physically, but we can still disseminate and teach and succeed from a distance. So, why not? The other program... Jen, do you want me to just jump in and do CTD? Okay. Dr. Fritz and I were having a conversation a few years ago and we're like, "Ah, should we just get parents sometimes to understand the relationship between problem behavior and deficits and language and communication and verbal behavior?" There was this opportunity to write a grant and it was just this really nice timing. We wrote the grant and we got the grant and we call it ''Connecting the Dots", which was inspired by a colleague of ours in social work. We didn't know what to call it and we had a lot of rather boring names for the program. When we pitched it to him, he goes, "That's so cool. You're helping parents like connect the dots between language and problem behavior." That's it! We developed the "Connecting the Dots” program. It's a caregiver training program and it focuses on just that caregiver training. They have 12 weeks and participants, I think it's two to eighteen. It does require an Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis for eligibility to the program. What's neat is we're also evaluating what we can do in that time period. We usually will have some families, a subset that are just problem behavior only, a subset that are verbal behavior only and then a big swath of the families that we're serving per grant, are both. We either connect the dots in one of two main ways. We either help the caregiver understand the relationship within their child, if you will. They might be seeing problem behavior because there is a deficit with their problem behavior or sometimes that's not the case. It's just problem behaviors for other reasons, but we still help parents understand what governs behavior problems, verbal or otherwise are all the same things, if you will. These are operant, consequences typically maintain them, help them understand those concepts. We're helping them connect the dots in those two primary ways. We have graduate students who work as the primary therapists and then they are assisted by... I think they're paid, no volunteers. We like to pay our people, undergraduate or post grads, who come and assist them on the case who are phenomenal. We literally could not run this program without our program managers: Rachel Hoffman, Ally Rodonski, Amber Rhode. Am I missing anybody?
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (00:43:55):
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:43:57):
Ah, Megan Fosters. The current manager is now Rachel Hoffman. Rachel's been with us from the very beginning. She stayed the course. She's phenomenal. The program runs so smoothly because of her. She's a fantastic supervisor, fantastic behavior analyst and they're in fabulous hands with her. She is a former student of the program. She did go through our training programs and she's just amazing. That's the CTD. We have two simultaneous grants going on [Laughing]. We have to always make sure when we're organizing the grants, we're getting our quarterly reports at the right time. It's always an issue coordinating that, but we love that program and hope to continue to find ways to get it funded. Jen and I never anticipated... We always walk into things going, "I just want to help people, learn something new and get students a really good experience." The parents were so grateful, they nominated us for an award through a school district and that was really meaningful, because it was parent driven and that was super cool. It was like a major impact award and that was really nice. It's nice to know the families feel they have been served well by this program in addition to teaching our graduate students. I also supervise and I think it's one of the best experiences too. I love them all for different reasons, but working with my students through the Endeavor Behavioral Institute, which is a phenomenal, very high quality clinic here in Houston. Also established and directed by a former student of the program. What can I say? Our students are good and very effective leaders and behavior analysts, but it is a really fantastic program. I have a handful of students in there now. There are about to be four GA's in that program and what's so cool... I've never seen this before, it's super structured. She has a syllabus for them and they have to go through classes and they have to take exams and it's actually intense training. I love that they care that much about offering that kind of assistantship experience. I also consulted with this clinic and being in there was one of the best things for me, because I lived in the ivory towers and when I saw what a clinic looks like, the real life stuff they have to deal with, it really helped inform how I train my students. It is messy and different out there and fast and not clean and it's interesting. It's interesting to see and it's important for me to see and I'm glad I got to experience that. The other type of service, which is not funded, they're not GA's, but again, is through the baddie lab where students provide a variety of services. Like I said, working with families in the border towns and Laredo. We are developing a big resource repository for DEI literature, behavior analytic and non behavior analytic, and not just literature; podcasts, films, websites. We're about to offer that out now, publicly. It's open to the entire UHCL University, but we're going to offer it to the behavior analysis community and have the community start building, but we're going to control it. They'll have to go through us to put stuff in the repository, but why not? One of the things that I'm really jazzed about is this mentorship program that we want to launch in spring of 2022. Two of my brilliant graduate students in the baddie lab are the architects of this program. We are recruiting, we want to pilot it. Two high school students, BIPOC students, because we like to try and recruit more BIPOC students at the graduate level. There's an overrepresentation at the RBT level. I'm not interested in pitching, like, "Hey, you got a high school degree, you can be an RBT." No, they're going to come here and see the academic world and be like, "You can have a graduate degree." We're pretty excited. My two graduate students who wrote it are BIPOC students as well. I think that's going to be a really nice sample, model for the students and representation for BIPOC high school students to first just see behavior analysis as an option. It's a thing. I don't think they even know it and that they can be leaders and graduate students. It's a bit of the service work that we do through the baddie lab.
Shauna Costello (00:48:46):
I love hearing that too. I think one of the best experiences I got, when I was still working in a more of a clinical setting, was when I decided to go and be an independent consultant and just work with caregivers. It was probably one of the best experiences I've had. Jen, how much more are you going to add [Laughing] to this big, long list?
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (00:49:16):
[Laughing] My clinical and research training, coming out of the University of Florida, and then the Kennedy Krieger Institute NeuroBehavioral Unit, Inpatient Unit. Obviously, the problem behavior stuff is my big passion for clinical work and supervision. I really want the students to leave UHCL with a strong foundation in how to manage severe problem behavior, how to conduct functional analyses and all the various modifications to make it safe and efficient and effective. Also, to be able to treat the problem behavior in the context of a variety of things that might be happening. A lot of the students do go into comprehensive or focused early intervention programs, but that said, they're going to experience and have to deal with problem behavior. I want them to have a really solid background in that area. When I got to UHCL in 2008, CAD was just opening its doors. We were just in development and Dorothea said, "What do you want to do? Let's make a plan for this." I wanted to do the severe behavior disorders research clinic, which is the biggest mouthful of a name for a clinic there is, but I think it's an accurate capture of what I want it to be [Laughing]. I want to do research and to provide clinical services to the community and so that's what the students do. They are the direct therapists and clinic coordinator. They serve a variety of roles during their time in the clinic. I usually have two or three students in the masters program at any given time as their graduate assistantship. Aunie is the current clinical coordinator and she's just doing a phenomenal job. Aunie is running it like a tight ship. So proud of all she's doing and the families just love working with her too. Like Sarah said, we don't really have a diagnostic requirement. We do see a lot of individuals with Autism, but we also see ADHD or no diagnosis. There's a range. The ages I'd say, probably our standard is about an 8 year old, but we range from 2 to 56. I've seen a variety of clients with a lot of aggression, but also some very severe self injury, property destruction, putting holes in drywall, things like that. It is a severe behavior clinic. We also bring in some other graduate students who may not get a chance to have an actual assistantship through the clinic, but they serve as volunteers. They get to see the inner workings and how it goes with families, assist with program writing and data collection and working with the clients when we're in person. We, of course, transitioned to telehealth as well, which [Laughing] was not ideal for some of our families and that was really hard for us to try. We worked through as many of the issues as we could and we refocused when necessary to really help the families during that time. I'm just so proud of the students for how well they did that. It was a phenomenally quick transition and they handled it with grace and professionalism, so we were really proud. That's the severe behavior clinic, but we've had some other opportunities come up with that too. Being in Houston, the Texas medical center is like its own city within the city and we've been very fortunate for many, many years now to collaborate with Texas Children's Hospital, their Autism center over there. Up until this past year when the pandemic hit, we had a program over at their Autism clinic, which was really great. It was an extension of the severe behavior clinic and also connecting the dots where Dr. Megan Fosters was the program manager. I am looking forward to it and there are some opportunities coming up in the future where we will be collaborating with Texas children some more in a slightly different capacity, or maybe the same one and a slightly different capacity. We have colleagues over there who are doing phenomenal work and we just really enjoy working with them. This year, we are starting a brand new intensive outpatient program for individuals with Autism or Autistic individuals who engage in severe problem behavior. The services are funded by the Masonic Children and Family Services of Texas and completely free to the families. They will come to us and receive services for two weeks Monday through Friday, and we'll serve approximately 22 families in the year under that grant. There's a potential that we could continue that into the future. Dorothea and I have been developing this program and we're launching September 1st. It's super exciting. Aunie will be transitioning from the severe behavior clinic to the really severe behavior clinic, [Laughing] the intensive outpatient clinic. Finally, just this year as well, I have established a contract for supervision. A lot like Sarah was talking about Endeavor Behavioral Institute, but this one will be through Empower Behavioral Health, also a company founded by one of our former students. She's phenomenal. This company is really great. They have a really nice combination of quality clinical services with a strong focus on professional development and also work/life balance. They are really clear about protecting family time, personal time, giving very good paid time off and things like that. We do have one student who will be doing her third year graduate assistantship with them in San Antonio. She will be joining us in class remotely. We're all really good at Zoom now, so it'll be no problem and she will be out there. A lot of focus on problem behavior.
Shauna Costello (00:56:29):
It's so important though. That was probably one of the most unique experiences I had in grad school.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:56:36):
I think the caregiver component, the DEI component needs to come in. Historically our field, honestly, is not good. A lot of people still have a long way to go and we still are working on it. As faculty, we're conscientious of the work that we have to continue to do, which is one of the great things I think about our program. I'm going to speak, and Jen and Dorothea can be like, "No," but our faculty like each other and we're nice people. I know that sounds sort of silly almost to say, but it's not always the case in an academic setting where people want to share or express humility. It's all talent and no ego here, which is so nice, and sharing of resources, and we're very interested in being better than we are, and just improving. I think with this direction, we're creating consciousness in a sense now, for ourselves, with respect to balancing work life balance. Academics aren't awesome at this. Academia doesn't promote that. It's always a bit of work and modeling that for our students and supporting our students. DEI and caregiver training converge to teach us to be better perspective takers. You just don't walk in and say, "Science." You walk in and you say, "Well, what matters here and how do I try to understand or take your perspective and work from that?" What does your value system tell you and how do I help you? A very different approach.
Shauna Costello (00:58:22):
Yeah, and it's such an important approach too.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (00:58:25):
I think so.
Shauna Costello (00:58:27):
The reason I even thought about starting the University series, was because I was looking for a PhD program at the time, and you learn very quickly that you only learn so much from a website. Not all programs are for everybody, [Laughing] and it's really hard to find that information sometimes. We have two students here, and I know we've talked about some of your research and the stuff that you've been doing with the labs. What can potential students expect?
Aunie Abernathy (00:59:04):
We are planning to do a start from the beginning as to why we chose this program and then we'll try to wrap it up with where we stand now as going into our third year and how we're feeling about it. Choosing a program is obviously a very hard decision and moving across the country. I'm originally from Minnesota and went to school in Wisconsin and Mary is from the Chicago area.
Mary Signorella (00:59:31):
Aunie Abernathy (00:59:32):
We both chose to move down to Houston and it was a very big decision, but I think that we both agree that we did it because of the three other women who are sitting with us right now. Dr. Fritz, Dr. Lechago and Dr. Lerman. They provided us with just so much during interview weekend and I felt, personally, I have to go learn from them.
Mary Signorella (00:59:53):
Aunie Abernathy (00:59:54):
I have to have these opportunities that they provide and that's really what did it for me. I love all the different experiences that you get. I came with experience in problem behavior, but hadn't done much of the skill acquisition things that I knew I would probably contact in our field many, many times. I will contact you as a BCBA, hopefully. [Laughing] I came down, I worked in CTD or connecting the dots for a year, but I also spent time in the verbal behavior clinic working with Dr. Lechago. I learned so much, and I know that I'll use all of the information I learned during that year in every step of my life, in every career that I have going forward. From there, I decided that I wanted to focus a little bit more on problem behavior and that was my passion. Like Dr. Fritz said, I am the current clinic coordinator of the Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (01:00:50):
[Laughing] We're so proud.
Aunie Abernathy (01:00:51):
[Laughing] I also got to volunteer at the dental project with Dr. Lerman this year, which was a great experience, and I got to do a literature review for that. I've learned so much about what is out there and what is being done. I think it's even helped me with my programming for the Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic, just knowing everything that's out there for non-compliance. I'm very excited for the next year where I get to work with Dr. Fritz some more in the intensive outpatient clinic and working with that problem behavior. I just feel so lucky because I know that it's a part of our field that is very difficult. There's very little room for error. I'm so grateful that I get the training with Dr. Fritz and with Dr. Lerman and Dr. Lechago, because all of it is just so important to learn and I'll be using it every single day in my life. I can't imagine... Mary and I always talk about this. I can't imagine not having a verbal behavior program running or a problem behavior program running. I just think it's something that I'm always going to have to be juggling. Having experience in both is going to be so beneficial for my future.
Mary Signorella (01:01:54):
Yeah, so true. The benefit of not even our clinical experience, but we got to take a whole class on verbal behavior and not a lot of people get to do that. Where it's specifically about verbal behavior and how cool, because so many problem behaviors are so connected with all of that and to be able to have the foundation to then work it into something you are so passionate about is so cool.
Aunie Abernathy (01:02:21):
Mary definitely taught me so much about verbal behavior. We were reading verbal behavior by skinner and I was like, "Mary, what are they talking about?" [Laughing]? We would sit on our couch for hours preparing for class and just talk it out for ourselves. We'd come to class, and Dr. Lechago can probably attest fot this one, we'd come to class and we'd be like, "Mary and I talked about this and we have no idea what's going on, but this is what we think." We just thought that it was such a great way to learn about such deep concepts. Different concepts in our field and we took conceptual issues too. When we would do the same thing, we'd sit there and talk about all these different topics that are so complex and so difficult, but by the end of it I feel like it's really developed us into better practitioners and we have a greater understanding of behavior in general.
Mary Signorella (01:03:18):
I feel like you touched on such an important part of our program I always like to highlight. So many of our classes are discussion based and the best part about that is while they're structured and there's a topic for the day, it's so much more. It goes by what we want to talk about and what we have questions about and things that we are like, "Help! I didn't take this from the reading and I need more descriptions." It's so cool because then our classmates will say, " I understand this part, but I don't understand this." I think that's the best part. Most of our classes, we have very few classes where it's strictly just a lecture. I think that's one of my favorite parts about the program. We get to talk and when we're totally stuck, we'll just look at our professor, whoever's course it is, and they jump right in and keep it going. The other day, not even just verbal behavior stuff, but when we did the ISCA and we talked about it, we came and we were like, "We have all these questions," and Dr. Fritz and Tory Fletcher, a BCBA who works in our program, talked it out with us and we were like, "Ah, now it all makes sense." No one judges you for your comments and it's just such a welcoming and loving environment. I think that's one of my favorite parts. Those classes that you get to feel like you can just talk about things that you might feel you can't ask in more structured environments.
Aunie Abernathy (01:04:48):
Yeah. Mary and I were actually recently talking about behavior interventions I. It's our course on behavior increase and we had an article critique due every single week, which was a lot of work in hindsight and at the time it was. I feel like we are so prepared to look at the literature in the field and not even just think of it in the like, "How am I going to apply this to my programming?" mindset but also look and say, "We'll critique it," essentially and then know how to alter it to our programming and what we can do in the future. I think having that research mind, and what our professors have prepared us for, is just going to be really beneficial when we are out in the field.
Mary Signorella (01:05:34):
Yeah. When we did those article critiques, the first couple, I was like, "What do I even say? What do I critique?" As it went on I was like, "I found 12 things that I did not like and I would like to critique," or "This is a great article." It was just so cool. Now, when I do my research I'm like, "Oh, I can't do that." I critiqued that and one of the other articles. It also sets us up to have that research mindset as well and I really like that.
Aunie Abernathy (01:06:02):
I completely agree.
Shauna Costello (01:06:04):
I think the listeners can't see this, but Mary and Aunie are sitting in the same room together talking. They're the two who are actually physically together as well. It's really what I like to see and the reason I really like having a mix of students and faculty. You really get to see the interactions and not only are you two showing that, you create these interactions with the people in your class and your cohorts, you also create it with the faculty and the material. I still have my article review form, that's what we called it, from grad school. I will still bring up to some of my supervisees as well. You can see the training of the next group right here. I can see it, everyone else can hear it, but it's really great to hear. Just the fact that making that big of a move, that is a big thing for grad school and both of you did it. Both of you are from the Midwest and you both moved all the way across the country and from what I can tell, it was very worth it.
Aunie Abernathy (01:07:29):
Yes. We love Houston. This is so nerdy, but we have a "year of fun" document on our phone.
Mary Signorella (01:07:37):
Expose us! [Laughing]
Aunie Abernathy (01:07:38):
Yeah. I am going to expose us. We have a year of fun, of all the recommendations that we've gotten for things, restaurants, activities, places to go around the Houston area, because there's so much to do. It's huge.
Mary Signorella (01:07:51):
It's so long. We're going to struggle to get through it. [Laughing]
Aunie Abernathy (01:07:54):
It's things that we want to do before we graduate and just be able to see it. We invite a lot of people from our program to do it with us. We're really close with a lot of the second years too. It's just created a really great bond and it's made Houston feel a lot more like home than...
Mary Signorella (01:08:12):
... than what I thought it would at first.
Aunie Abernathy (01:08:13):
Mary Signorella (01:08:14):
I was so scared to move down and one of the reasons I wanted to come down here and our professors touched on it, but I think they didn't do it enough justice. The family feeling and how much people care about each other in this program is so unreal. It's truly a family from the students to our relationships with our faculty. We're so close with so many people. It's so fun to get to experience, not only grad school, but a whole city that's new to us together. Some of our things on our list Dr. Lechago made fun of us one week. You guys are so boring, you need to go do these things and it inspired us, because our first year we were so scared. We were like, "We have to study."
Aunie Abernathy (01:08:59):
We have to get out there.
Mary Signorella (01:09:00):
Yeah! We have to do things. We made a list and Dr. Lechago had given us some recommendations and we're just working our way through and it's just so fun to get to do school and learn so much, but also build relationships that'll last a lifetime. I know that even when Aunie and I move across the country from each other, since we both have different areas we love, we'll still be calling each other like, "You will not believe ," or, "Do you have a suggestion on this problem behavior?" You've seen this way more than I have and I think that I need to call a friend. I just think that that's one of the biggest reasons I came here and one of the best parts of our program.
Aunie Abernathy (01:09:40):
Yeah. Along with being able to call each other, I feel like I could email any one of the faculty 10 years from now and say, "I am having such difficulty with this intraverbal program that I wrote for this learner and I am not making progress. I've come across so many problems with it. Do you have any suggestions?" This is what I've tried and they would respond. Knowing that I have that in my life and for my future career is very, very meaningful.
Mary Signorella (01:10:09):
Yeah. I'll still be emailing Dr. Lerman asking to be sent brownies for her husband. I'll be like, "I'm across the country, please send a brownie." If you guys don't know, Dr. Lerman's husband makes the best brownies on the face of this earth. [Laughing]
Shauna Costello (01:10:26):
I will definitely take some of those. Thank you both so much. It's been so great to hear from all the faculty and all of the different types of experiences that are available to students, but then to have two students here to really show they're in there. You both are in your third year and you're still this excited about it. A couple of other things: We've heard it mentioned a couple of times throughout this. What is that application and interview process like?
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (01:11:06):
All right, this is Dorothea. I'll jump in with that. We accept applications one time a year to enter the masters program in the fall semester. What I haven't mentioned is we also have a certificate program for people who already have a masters degree and want the coursework and practicum they need to sit for the exam. Quite honestly, it's almost the same number of credits as a full masters degree. It's a much smaller program than our masters program. It's very highly selective. For the masters program, the application deadline is typically early January to apply for the upcoming fall semester. Applicants complete a University application online and then it creates an account for them and they can then go in and upload the program application requirements, which includes a resume or vida, a statement of purpose and goals. They also have to arrange to have two letters of recommendation emailed to our behavioral analysis email address on their behalf. Of course they have to arrange to have their transcript sent to the University. In the past we also require the GRE, but we waived that GRE last year because of the pandemic and we are also waiving it for this upcoming year. Quite frankly, we may be on the path of not requiring it any longer because we are not finding that it's very helpful in making our decisions. We look for people with strong undergraduate performance who have prior relevant ABA experience. Our program, I would say, is fairly competitive. We typically only accept 10 to 12 students a year and we get generally 60 to 80 applications. In the past, we have reviewed the applications and then invite a subset to our on campus interview weekend. We have people that come in, travel from all over the country, and we put them up. Students are very generous, and they put them up in their apartments and homes and it's two full days. During the pandemic, for the first time last year, we had our interview weekend totally virtual and it seemed to go really well. Going forward, I'm not exactly sure what our format is going to be. It's typically early March when we have our interview weekend. The students can speak to this, but I think there's something different about actually seeing it for your own eyes, being there, meeting the students, seeing our clinic spaces, seeing Houston. It just can't be replaced by a virtual interview. We have always offered a virtual interview option for people who just can't make it to Houston. Many of our applicants are from outside of Houston and certainly outside of Texas and also outside of Houston.
Shauna Costello (01:14:46):
I can speak from someone who has run an interview weekend before. It can be a stressful weekend of course because there's a lot going on, but at the same time, everyone gets really excited about it.
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (01:15:06):
I'd like to say that our interview weekend is totally planned, organized and carried out by our graduate students. It is a huge undertaking and it is just so amazing to see our students do this. I think it's a great professional experience for them because it is an undertaking.
Dr. Sarah Lechago (01:15:28):
I supervise the applied behavior analysis student organization and it was in 2000, the first class... 2013 or 12. I don't remember. I suggested, "Why don't you organize an on campus interview weekend?" It became a project for them to get their administrative chops going and then they recruit. The student organization does the bulk of it and I want to give props to Aunie, who was the president and Mary was a treasurer.
Mary Signorella (01:16:03):
Aunie Abernathy (01:16:05):
Maybe the secretary. Were you the vice president?
Mary Signorella (01:16:06):
Yeah. We're a dynamic duo.
Aunie Abernathy (01:16:08):
Dr. Sarah Lechago (01:16:11):
Okay. They do a lot of that organization. I just want to let you know, it starts there. It's central to the ABASO, the applied behavior analysis student organization and then they recruit assistance from the rest of the students in the program to house somebody. It becomes something the entire graduate or almost all the graduate students participate in, but I just want to give them their due because that's how it started. That's who motors the whole thing and it's such a great help to us.
Shauna Costello (01:16:45):
It's nice to hear that with the interview weekends, there are still options. Like I said, I really enjoyed the interview weekend from a student's perspective and from a planning perspective. We've covered a lot so far. We've covered a general overview, faculty, research, practicum student experience, location, application, interview process. Is there anything else that anyone wants to make sure listeners hear about UHCL?
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (01:17:26):
Well, I do want to return to something that Sarah Lechago said earlier. All of the faculty get along really well. It's my experience that's unusual and we've been together now for quite a number of years and the program has a lot of stability and we do get along really well. I think that creates a huge difference in the experience of the students. The other thing is I thank my lucky stars every day that I have two colleagues who are so incredibly dedicated and passionate about this program and the students are everything to us. They are wonderful [Laughing]. They are absolutely wonderful. We are truly lucky and blessed to have such excellent students. I did want to just circle back to that.
Shauna Costello (01:18:24):
One thing that I've noticed is you each have your own individual paths of study, paths of research interest, but you all complement each other very well. You all collaborate with each other very well. It seems like you try to make sure you're mixing all of your different lines of research, all of your interests together. Although you may have your own individual sets of interest in research, there was no getting away from the overlap between all three of you.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (01:19:06):
Yes. I'd say that's somewhat by design. We all definitely want to make sure that students leave the program very well rounded and we really, strongly encourage them to get a variety of experiences during their time with us so that they can go out and do jobs in various settings with different populations. They'll be set in that area. I guess the last thing I would mention, I know this is about the masters program, but we do have a verified course sequence at the undergraduate level as well. Students can come to UHCL and do studies for the BCABa exam. The classes are offered almost all online, but some are face to face and taught by the faculty. Also, our BCBAs who work with us at CAD, they are the instructors for the course. They're all fantastic and they make it better.
Shauna Costello (01:20:10):
It's been an absolute pleasure meeting all of you and talking to all of you today and learning more about UHCL. One of my favorite aspects about this series is the amount that I get to learn about what's going on in the field as well and what our new students and our new BCBAs and our new clinicians are going to be able to do. I just want to thank you all for being here today and hopefully I get to snag you for some other projects in the future.
Dr. Jennifer Fritz (01:20:49):
I just want to say thank you for doing this. I think it's a great service to everybody, so thank you.
Dr. Dorothea Lerman (01:20:55):
I have really enjoyed listening to some of them. I've learned programs that I thought I knew, listening to the podcast, I was like, "Wow, that program totally changed," [Laughing] and thank you, Mary and Aunie, you were just awesome. You were so awesome.
Mary Signorella (01:21:11):
We had so much fun.
Aunie Abernathy (01:21:13):
Yeah. Thank you guys, for the opportunity. It was so fun.
Shauna Costello (01:21:17):
Thank you for listening to this episode of Operant Innovations and as always, if you have questions, comments, feedback or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.