Wafa is a second-year fellow at the Academy. She received her bachelors in Special Education with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from Dar AlHekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She then moved to the United States and received her Master of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College in 2016. Wafa is currently in her third year of Ph.D in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott’s College under the supervision of APF’s Director of Research and Training, Dr. Justin B. Leaf. She hopes to be part of disseminating high quality behavioral services to underserved populations.
Anna graduated from University of Notre Dame in 2017 with a major in Neuroscience and completed her fellowship at the Academy in 2019. As part of her fellowship at APF, Anna worked twice a week at a school, shadowed supervisors, and assisted the Research Team collect data and assisted with research projects. In 2019, Anna presented an APF research study regarding data collection methods when implementing discrete trial teaching at the 45th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. “At the Academy, I was always learning,” Anna said, “and sometimes it was uncomfortable, which meant I was continuously challenging myself. The children were so much fun, and there was lots of laughter.” Anna remained within the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and autism spectrum disorders. She is pursuing a master’s degree in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas and works at Easterseals North Texas, a nonprofit organization that provides behavior analytic services for children with autism. Anna’s goals include serving as a supervisor at an ABA therapy center and perhaps pursuing her Ph.D.
Yiyi is a second-year fellow at the Academy. She came to the U.S. in 2014 from China and attended U.C. Irvine, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. She currently is pursuing her Master’s degree and conducting her thesis on instructive feedback, such as teaching children new labels to embed in feedback and help them remember. Prior to her fellowship, Yiyi worked for a year in Atlanta. She wants to receive her BCBA certification and pursue a doctoral degree. Passionate about progressive ABA and her fellowship at APF, Yiyi says “everyone is supportive, and I like being able to adjust the therapy to fit the child. The focus at APF is on therapy vs. data collection, because someone else is assigned to collect the data, enabling fellows to focus on the therapy and training. My favorite thing about the Academy is it’s like a family. Even though the fellowship is challenging, it also is friendly.”