Interdisciplinary Behavioral Consultation
Interdisciplinary Behavioral Consultation
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) received a $1,250,000 grant over five years from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). From this grant, the Interdisciplinary Behavioral Consultation (IBC) Scholars program was created.
The IBC Scholars program is designed to fund graduate students in Applied Behavior Analysis and School Psychology (UNO College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology) and Special Education (UNO College of Education). In addition to training students receive in their respective programs, IBC Scholars are provided with additional training and supervised experience in interdisciplinary behavioral consultation and delivery of services for school-age students presenting with high-intensity behavioral and emotional needs in the classroom, including students with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD), families and school teams. Currently, IBC scholars are working in the Westside and Omaha Public Schools districts. In addition, the IBC scholars participate in a weekly seminar on topics related to inter-disciplinary collaboration, implementation science, evidence-based practice, and leadership in educational systems.
The primary aims of the IBC Scholars program are to:
- Establish an interdisciplinary training program focused on systemic behavioral intervention in school settings for children and adolescents with behavioral issues.
- Recruit and retain high quality graduate students in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), School Psychology, and Special Education to complete an interdisciplinary program focused on systemic behavioral intervention in school settings for youth with significant behavioral and emotional issues.
- Train scholars to high levels of competence in evidence-based behavioral intervention and leadership skills needed for systemic implementation.
Six inaugural students were awarded scholarship funding for year one.
|Meet Our Scholars|
|Lindsey Aberle - Applied Behavioral Analysis|
|My name is Lindsey Aberle and I am currently a graduate student in the applied behavioral analysis master’s program at the University of Nebraska Omaha. I completed my undergraduate coursework at the University of Kansas in applied behavioral science with an emphasis in autism. I spent the previous year working in Massachusetts at the New England Center for Children. My passion for research and clinical experience in the field of children with autism stems from seeing the significant impact that applied behavioral analysis has made in the lives of those with autism. In high school, I was given the opportunity to work as a peer mentor for a girl with autism. I witnessed positive behavior changes which led me to an aide position at a special need’s preschool. I worked with children with autism, developmental delays, and down-syndrome. It was then I realized the people I work with influence my life as much as I influence theirs. These experiences inspired me to pursue an education in ABA and brought me to the University of Nebraska Omaha. I came to the University of Nebraska Omaha because of the various opportunities the university had to offer such as work with pediatric feeding, severe behavior units, early intervention programs, school-based sites, and behavioral health. The University of Nebraska Omaha offered various opportunities both in and out of the classroom. I have loved my time here and I look forward to seeing all the progress that is made.|
|Mari Bappe - School Psychology|
|My name is Mari Bappe and I am a graduate student in the School Psychology program. I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa in 2018. When I was 19, I decided to take a year off from college and worked in a self-contained behavior classroom. I fell in love with that student population. After graduation, I was employed at Umo n hon n Nation Public Schools on the Omaha Indian Reservation in Macy, Nebraska. I worked under two Board Certified Behavior Analysts and found myself to be torn between pursuing a graduate degree in School Psychology or Applied Behavior Analysis. When I heard about the IBC scholarship at UNO, I knew that I had to apply. Because of this scholarship I am able to obtain an Ed.S. degree in School Psychology and pursue my BCBA credential. This will allow me to create a wonderful interdisciplinary career for myself.|
|Brianna Jensen - School Psychology|
|My name is Bri Jensen and I am a first year student in the School Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Human Rights Studies and Women & Gender Studies at UNO. I have always had a great passion for accessibility to education and I always knew that I wanted to work with children. Throughout high school and college I worked at a daycare and gained experience working with a variety of behaviors and age groups. After four years of working at a daycare, I knew that I needed to gain experience working in a field related to what I was getting my degree in, which led me to work at the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) as a Registered Behavior Technician in the Early Intervention unit. At MMI I gained a passion for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and behavior analysis. During my last year of undergrad I took a course in Educational Psychology, where I learned a lot about schools and school psychology. When I reflected on my experiences at the daycare, MMI, and this course in Educational Psychology, it instantly clicked and I knew that School Psychology was the field for me. The School Psychology graduate program at UNO was especially appealing to me because I found UNO to be an empowering environment for me to thrive and be successful during my undergraduate years which made me even more excited about experiencing UNO as a graduate student. The faculty in the Psychology department go above and beyond to ensure that students have all of the tools and supports needed for success.|
|Anne Keith - Special Education|
|I didn’t seek out behavior, it seemed to find me. My name is Anne Keith I am a scholar in the Interdisciplinary Behavior Consultation at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. As an educator, I have been a Music Teacher, Administrative Intern, Reading Interventionist, and High Ability Facilitator, all most recently for Millard Public Schools. I love all kids, but my passion is for kids that struggle; struggle with behaviors, academics, or basic communication. I prioritize time to listen, problem solve with and support the adults that work with kids as well. We all have a story to share, I want to empower all kids to feel that their story has value.
I have a Bachelor of Music from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN and still cheer for the Irish. I earned my Administrative Credentials through Concordia University, in Seward, NE. When I am not learning new things, I am on the soccer fields or Taekwondo mats supporting my own kids.
|Kelsey McKernan - Special Education|
|My name is Kelsey McKernan and children of special populations are my passion. After switching my undergraduate major many times between nursing, education and psychology, I graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. As an Omaha native, I moved back home and took the first job I could find working with children in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders clinic at the UNMC Munroe Meyer Institute. This is how I stumbled upon ABA, which happens to be the perfect combination of all of my interests. Since then, I have worked as an Registered Behavior Technician in many clinics with children with autism including Early Intervention and Severe Behavior and have loved every minute of teaching clients and watching them grow. It has been a dream of mine to eventually take my knowledge of ABA and apply it to a classroom setting which is why I am currently a graduate student in the Special Education program with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. I am more than excited to put everything I love together into one interdisciplinary career and help students of special populations for the rest of my life.|
|Madison Stivers - School Psychology|
|Being a School Psychologist is a dream I have been pursuing since I was a Junior in high school. My journey started when I enrolled in my first psychology class. My teacher, Mr. Edmundson, gave a lesson on the occupation of school psychology and that was it for me. In my senior year of high school, I was given the opportunity to either engage in community service or shadow a professional for the day – I chose to shadow a school psychologist of an elementary school. My mentor for the day discussed the process of classroom observations and the application of behavioral interventions – I loved every minute of it.
Why I came to UNO: While researching my options for graduate study programs in the field of school psychology, the University of Nebraska at Omaha School Psychology Program rose to the top of my list of graduate schools for several reasons. One of the most important reasons has been my positive experiences with the graduate program — the faculty, students, and the climate of the program. This positive environment permeates through all the academic experiences including the mentoring relationships to the wellness committee, each has an impact on not only the program and its students, but on the surrounding metropolitan community. Another important reason is the 100% placement of graduates in the field, which supports the rigor and success of the program. The location of the program is also of importance. I am an Omaha resident caring for a child and require the assistance of my extended family to support my academic pursuits – they are a lifeline to my success.
|Zachary Wielgos - Applied Behavioral Analysis|
|My name is Zachary Wielgos and I am currently enrolled in the Applied Behavior Analysis master's program at UNO/UNMC. I completed my undergraduate degree at Michigan State University with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. During my senior year I found a flyer advertising a position at a local ABA clinic, this curiosity turned into a passion. I spent three years working for this company. I began as a Crisis Technician and then later transitioned to a Behavioral Technician position, working with children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder developing functional skills and reducing maladaptive behaviors. Watching the functional skills of young minds progress was tremendously rewarding during my time at Residential Options Inc.
I chose the University of Nebraska Omaha’s ABA program due to opportunities like the IBC Scholars program. Providing consultation and behavioral strategies within the classroom allows for a more natural progression for individuals that would require these services. The personal exposure to research through this program allows me to contribute to the ever developing field of Behavioral Analysis. I am looking forward to my time with the university and all the experiences it may bring.
|Brianna Zey - Applied Behavior Analysis|
|My name is Brianna Zey and I am in the Applied Behavior Analysis masters program at UNO/UNMC. I got my bachelors degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I started my career in Applied Behavior Analysis as an animal trainer freshman year in an internship, since I wanted to become a service dog trainer. However, Junior year when I took more advanced level courses in the field, I realized I loved working with kids as well and that I wanted to do this line of work for the rest of my life, yet I still trained dogs on the side! So, I started working at the Campus Autism Program (an internship on campus) and the same year started doing in-home services for children with autism spectrum disorder. When it came time to choose a graduate school, I decided to come to UNO for the wide array of practicum experiences I could work in, it was the only university that allowed me to work more directly in schools, the amount of research possibilities, and the leadership roles I could take. This program has been a really great fit for me and my goals and aspirations and I can't wait to see what is to come!|