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Program Committee

Program Committee Chairs

Rhonda Merwin, Ph.D.

Rhonda Merwin is an Associate Professor at Duke University Medical Center and the Founder and Director of ACT at Duke (a clinical, research and training program in ACT). She is a Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer and lead author of ACT for Anorexia Nervosa (available through Guilford Press). She serves on the ACBS Publications Committee. Dr. Merwin completed her PhD at the University of Mississippi under the mentorship of Kelly Wilson, and has been on faculty at Duke for 11 years. Dr. Merwin teaches in the Department of Psychiatry, supervises an ACT practicum, conducts several workshops on ACT every year, and consults locally and nationally. She is also highly active in research. Her current research is funded by the National Institute for Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (among other sources), and takes a CBS approach to understanding and treating maladaptive eating and weight control among individuals with type 1 diabetes.

Maria Karekla, Ph.D.

Maria is a licensed clinical psychologist, Assistant Professor, chairing the Clinical Psychology Doctorate program and the “ACThealthy” laboratory at the University of Cyprus. She completed her doctorate from the University at Albany, SUNY and her residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Her research focuses on health promotion and the investigation of individual difference factors as they relate to the development and maintenance of behavioural difficulties. She examines the treatment of these difficulties utilizing CBS interventions and innovative delivery methods (e.g., digitalized interventions, virtual reality). Her research received awards from: European Council and Pompidou’s group, ABCT, and Society of Behavioral Medicine; and grants from national and EU funds. She is chairing the Cyprus Bioethics Committee, is a member of the Psychologist Licensing Board, and the European Federation of Psychology Associations’ Psychology and Health and e-health task forces. In the past few years she has served as a secretary-treasurer of ACBS.

If you have questions about your submission(s), please contact Rhonda and Maria.

Welcome to the ACBS Virtual World Conference 2021! As program co-chairs, we are thrilled to have you here and honored to have the opportunity to serve the ACBS community.

This year has challenged all of us. And it has strengthened our commitment to caring for ourselves and each other and using contextual behavioral science to improve the human condition. While we will miss seeing everyone in person, a virtual conference provides greater opportunity for participation from our friends across the globe, and for that we are deeply grateful.

The strength of our organization is in both our diverse perspectives and our shared values. In designing the program, we worked to balance research and clinical practice and to reflect the international nature of our organization with excellent speakers from around the world. We also aimed for content that built upon ACBS’s Strategic Centering Science Pillar, the ACBS Task Force Report on the Strategies and Tactics of Contextual Behavioral Science, and our desire to create a more just and sustainable world.

However imperfect, we hope that you can see these influences in the program, and that the presentations and discussions inspire you and inspire new initiatives, advancements and collaborations in research, supervision, training, clinical practice and public good.
We can move the needle toward a science more adequate to the human condition with more voices in the conversation. So please let your voice be heard and lift the voices of those around you in words and actions.

Warmest regards,
Rhonda M. Merwin and Maria Karekla


Committee Members:

Niloofar Afari
Priscilla Almada
John Armando
Patricia Bach
Suzanne Bates
Christopher Berghoff
Ellen Bluett
Matthew Boone
Jessica Borushok
Luisa Canon
Connie Chong
Joanna Dudek
Nuno Ferreira
Claudette Foley
Brandon Gaudiano
Sandra Georgescu
David Gillanders
Andrew Gloster
Jennifer Gregg
Louise Hayes
Nic Hooper
Margaret Hughes
Todd Kashdan
Karen Kate Kellum
Valerie Kiel
Raimo Lappalainen
Andreas Larsson
Lou Lasprugato
Jenna LeJeune
Michael Levin
Stuart Libman
Jim Lucas
Louise McHugh
Siri Ming
DJ Moran
Eric Morris
Kate Morrissey Stahl
Ashley Moskovich
Manuela O´Connell
Fabián Olaz
Margot Osorio
Ray Owen
Nikolai Pavlov
Nanni Presti
Hank Robb
Patti Robinson

Francisco J. Ruiz
Emily Sandoz
Stavroula Sanida
Benjamin Schoendorff
Thomas Sease
Eugen Secara
Laura Silberstein-Tirch
R. Sonia Singh
Wanda Smith
Debbie Sorensen
Joanne Steinwachs
Jill Stoddard
Thomas Szabo
Christeine Terry
Niklas Törneke
Sanna Turakka
Sheri Turrell
Vasilis Vasiliou
Brooks Witter
Joann Wright
Sean Wright



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