Voting will take place 2/25/19 – 2/28/19.  Check your email for a ballot.


Below are bios for two individuals who are being considered for one available ‘Student Relations Director’ position on the BABAT board. Members will receive instructions on how to vote in the coming weeks.

Bios are presented in alphabetical order by the nominee’s last name.




Hello BABAT members,

My name is Dr. Ann Filer. Dr. Mariela Vargus has kindly nominated me for the position of Student Relations Director. I believe I would bring a unique set of skills to the position given my longevity in the field (30 years) and a wide range of experiences across cases, clients, responsibilities and educational settings.

Here are a few things I would like you to know about me:

First, I was a classroom teacher for 6 Year’s. Second, I believe there is at least one solution to every learning and/or behavioral problem. Third, I embrace technology as a tool for teaching and learning. Fourth, My research interests include:

1) Selectivity in food preferences

2) Effectiveness of ABA methodology among students who are gifted, yet lack appropriate study skills

3) Increasing efficiency and effectiveness when teaching ABA concepts to graduate students

4) Teaching social skills to advanced learners in small group settings

Finally, I have never stepped out of the field of applied behavior analysis. In fact my first undergraduate internship at Boston University, followed by a full time teaching position, (way back in the day) was at the LABB collaborative. This program utilized ABA methodology (commonly referred to as behavior modification). The program would now be considered “old-school” as terms such as clickers (not to be confused with clicker training), aprons, “treat” bags and a 1:3 ratio as a standard ratio was our normal. Most importantly though, our presence in the public school environment was novel; we were pioneers.

Our field has changed tremendously for the better and the impact ABA has had on improving the lives of individuals with learning and behavioral challenges has been monumental. This is especially true for those with autism, as the diagnosis at one point was considered hopeless in terms of prognosis. However we still have much to improve upon; increasing acceptance among non ABA professionals and embedding ABA methodology to the fullest extent possible into the curricula of other higher ed. disciplines, as examples.

Let’s work on this together.


Ann F. Filer Ed.D., BCBA., LABA





Dr. Alice Shillingsburg serves as Sr. Vice President of Applied Verbal Behavior at May Institute providing clinical leadership for the May Center Schools for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Shillingsburg received her PhD in clinical psychology from Auburn University and completed her predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Marcus Autism Center. She previously served as the Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center and was Associate Professor at Emory University in the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Shillingsburg is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Her clinical expertise includes the developmental of language and behavioral programming to address a variety of behavioral difficulties and social communication deficits associated with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has published over 50 empirical papers and book chapters on interventions for children with autism and related developmental disabilities. She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Operants, editorial board member of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and is past associate editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.


For the past year I have served as the Assistant Director of Student Relations for BABAT, which has allowed me to assist in efforts to increase student involvement in our organization. Through recognition programs such as the student poster award and student paper award, the Director of Student Relations has a unique role in encouraging students’ active engagement with a professional organization. I am excited for the opportunity to continue to serve this important function if elected Director of Student Relations. My experience as the Coordinator of the Student Paper Competition for the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group for ABAI has prepared me well for this new role if elected. In my time as the Student Paper Competition Coordinator for the VB-SIG, I worked to increase awareness of and submissions to the student competition. I also worked with the council in a variety of other ways, most notably, in developing additional awards, promoting our student group participation, and innovating ways to increase student membership. Many of these responsibilities translate well to the BABAT Board of Directors and specifically the Director of Student Relations position. As a member of the board I will continue to promote interest in our professional organization, work to establish new and innovative ways to engage students, and to devote attention and resources to ensuring that the student awards continue to provide an outlet to recognize the stellar work of up-and-coming students within our filed. I have sincerely enjoyed the opportunity this past year as Assistant Director and look forward to promoting the work of the next generation of professionals in the field of behavior analysis.

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