2024 RFT Steering Committee - Candidate Information

2024 RFT Steering Committee - Candidate Information

Ballot closes 1 May 2024. 

Please vote here.

You will be able to vote for 1 candidate.

Sebastian Garcia sebastiangarciaz@gmail.com

Bio: My name is Sebastian Garcia-Zambrano, I am a Colombian researcher living in the U.S. My academic training includes a Ph.D. degree in psychology in 2022, an M.S. degree in behavior analysis and therapy in 2018, both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a B.S. degree in psychology in 2011 from Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz (Colombia). As a professor, I taught undergraduate and graduate courses of behavior analysis at Southern Illinois University, and undergraduate courses of child development at Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz. My research has centered on three key areas: the development of the self and PT skills, the adaptation of behavioral services with cultural sensitivity, and the implementation of interventions in underserved communities. In addition, I have been regularly invited to conduct peer review for journals, organizations, and conferences in the field, including “The Psychological Record,” “Behavior Analysis in Practice,” and the “American Psychological Association”. Currently, I am one of the Guest Editors for the special issue “Impactful Leaders - Latin American Women in Behavior Analysis” in Behavior Analysis in Practice”, in which we highlight women’s contributions and encourage cross-national and cross-cultural collaboration among behavior analysts.

Statement: As the Resource Development and Research Dissemination Lead, my candidacy is dedicated to creating the Consortium for Open Science in Contextual Behavioral Science (COS-CBS), aligning with the Task-force's recommendations for open science practices in CBS (Hayes et al., 2021). By creating a collaborative platform, COS-CBS will facilitate the dissemination of research resources and foster international collaboration to advance the understanding of behavior change.

In this role, I will promote the development of COS-CBS, ensuring it serves as a comprehensive resource hub for researchers and practitioners in contextual behavioral science. I will leverage my expertise in behavior analysis to curate a list of key papers spanning foundational and cutting-edge research, oriented to both novice and advanced consumers. These resources will provide essential guidance and support to members seeking to deepen their understanding of behavior change principles and methodologies.

Additionally, I will support the creation of research information and protocols within COS-CBS, providing members with practical tools and frameworks for conducting rigorous CBS research. By fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, we will uphold the principles of open science and ensure the reproducibility and reliability of research findings.

Furthermore, I will facilitate connections between COS-CBS members and researchers in the field, promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange. Through virtual meetings, online platforms, and targeted outreach efforts, we will create opportunities for members to engage with leading experts in CBS research, fostering innovation and advancing the field.

By establishing COS-CBS and serving as the Resource Development and Research Dissemination Lead, I am committed to empowering members with the resources and support they need to contribute to the collective growth and impact of CBS research worldwide. Together, we will advance our understanding of behavior change and address pressing societal challenges through rigorous research and collaboration.

Lynn Farrell lynn.t.farrell@gmail.com

Bio: I graduated with a BA in Psychology from Maynooth University where I was introduced to Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and discovered new ways to explore social psychological phenomena such as stereotypes and bias. I went on to complete my PhD as an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholar at University College Dublin (UCD) where I explored the nature and malleability of implicit bias towards women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through the lens of RFT as part of the UCD Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS) lab. I received the ACBS Student Spotlight award for my work on gender bias and previously served as a student representative on the Women in ACBS SIG during its establishment. After completing my doctoral research, I took up a Research Fellow position at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) where I continued to empirically explore how to improve gender equality efforts in STEM as part of the EPSRC funded Inclusion Matters project. I was awarded the QUB Engineering and Physical Sciences Faculty Postdoctoral Outstanding Engagement award for my work on that project. I am currently an Assistant Professor in Psychology at National College of Ireland where I am establishing a CBS research lab with my colleagues. My research interests and publications to date have focused mainly on understanding and influencing stereotypes and bias particularly related to gender, improving gender equality initiatives, and applying RFT to address social issues.

Statement: It’s an honour to be included on this ballot. If elected, I would build on the work completed by the committee to further develop a resource-rich space for SIG members to explore and discuss RFT-based work and to brainstorm and pursue further important work. My interest in RFT stems from its implications for social justice issues and so I would additionally aim to spotlight work that has grappled with such issues, expanding engagement with work across levels of behavioural scientific research. Relatedly, I would aim to develop a supportive platform/space with the SIG committee where members could come together to collaborate on projects and contribute to the work and materials promoted by the SIG. This collaborative space could present opportunities for those new to RFT-based research as well as those with experience seeking to further develop and diversify their research teams/networks. These opportunities would align with and expand on existing SIG networking events and could provide the basis for regular research spotlights/newsletters. I would seek to establish an RFT research toolkit to complement and expand on the existing resources where relevant resources such as data collection tools, and guides could be made freely available. These actions aim to create opportunities for community members to engage with, collaborate on, and contribute to the consumption, dissemination, and production of RFT research. 

Finally, I would seek to diversify the knowledge shared and the researchers highlighted by the SIG to represent the global ACBS and RFT community. I would work to promote this SIG as an inclusive space for all, aligning with the SIG’s mission and my own values. I am committed to listening to and trying to honour the needs of the membership, drawing from the innovation and skills within our community to foster a collaborative and inclusive environment. 

Stu Law stulaw34@gmail.com

Bio: As a PhD student at the University of Nevada, Reno, my roughly 15-year journey in human services began with supporting adults with disabilities with a wide breadth of service needs, progressing to diverse clinical roles in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Notably in my early work I soon began to utilize Precision Teaching and free operant approaches to RFT-informed curricula and was inspired by the impact on children's cognitive skills that I observed with regularity at Fit Learning.

For the past eight years, I've been instrumental in developing the genArete assessment, aimed at revolutionizing behavioral assessment by emphasizing individual goals over comparisons to conventional norms and averages. Our ambition extends to broadening functional analysis, moving beyond the four widely applied classes of broad functions (attention, automatic, escape, and tangible) by leveraging our knowledge or relational networks in terms of putative reinforcement systems which could provide more precision for learners with relational repertoires. Said another way, I see issues of dignity-of-risk, assent-informed teaching practices, sensitivity to the needs of neurodiverse populations, and person-centered planning, as issues which could be informed by how relational classes alter reinforcing functions.

This journey has also led me to champion idionomic approaches within the ACBS community. These approaches could give voice to the time series designs which have been held dear by behavior analytic research, but which have not yet found appreciation with broader audiences. My diverse experience uniquely equips me to contribute meaningfully as behavior science evolves, potentially shifting paradigmatically in response to modern technology, modern statistical models, and modern sensibilities which may seek to serve individual learners with greater precision, and in service of their unique skills and abilities and with respect to the stated goals and values of the person and their support network.

Statement:  I am committed to utilizing my expertise and resources to enhance the engagement of SIG members with the latest research trends in the RFT community, and potential applications. My experiences in my lab have highlighted the significance of staying up with ongoing research activities, rather than solely relying on published literature, which often trails the forefront of discoveries in language and cognition. To foster a culture of transparency and collaboration, I plan to establish platforms that enable SIG members to exchange insights about their ongoing projects.

My objective extends to cultivating a framework where SIG members can form synergistic partnerships, capitalizing on each other's strengths to address the pressing challenges in our field. By promoting focused collaboration that offers mutual benefits, we can create an environment of continuous growth and innovation. This collaborative ethos aims to steer our SIG toward a path of open intellectual engagement, moving away from the necessarily slow and restrictive practices that have hindered progress in related disciplines like psychology and applied behavior analysis.

In embracing this role, I aspire to not only advance professionally but also to contribute to the professional growth of others, guiding our collective efforts to probe the intricacies of human language and cognition. By doing so, we can collectively push the boundaries of our understanding and make significant contributions to our field and continue to advance the skillsets of professionals afield.