Dr. Adam Briggs is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Doctoral Level (BCBA-D) and a licensed behavior analyst (LBA) in Michigan. Dr. Briggs earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from the Department of Applied Behavioral Science (ABS) at the University of Kansas (KU) under the mentorship of Dr. Claudia Dozier and was the recipient of the 2016 KU ABS Baer, Wolf, and Risley Outstanding Graduate Student Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service and the 2017 APA Division 25 SEAB Applied Dissertation Award. Dr. Briggs also completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Munroe-Meyer Institute’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Fisher.
Currently, Dr. Briggs is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), where he directs the Behavior Analysis Research Laboratory. His Research Lab is interested in (a) improving the safety, efficiency, and validity of functional assessment methods, (b) determining the variables that prevent relapse of challenging behavior and promote maintenance and generalization of treatment effects, and (c) developing effective training strategies for efficiently teaching caregivers and professionals to implement and adhere to behavioral interventions with high procedural fidelity. Dr. Briggs was the recipient of the 2023 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty: Research I Award, which is the highest honor EMU presents to an individual faculty member. Most recently, Dr. Briggs was the 2024 recipient of the B. F. Skinner Foundation New Researcher Award, which recognizes important and innovative work conducted by individuals within the first 10 years of receiving a doctorate.
Dr. Briggs has published over 25 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters and has been invited to present on these topics at state, regional, and international conferences. Dr. Briggs serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal ofApplied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice, and has served as a Guest AE for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and currently serves as a standing AE for Behavior Analysis in Practice and Education and Treatment of Children.
Andi Peterson is a doctoral student, beginning in 2020, studying clinical psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Briggs. Prior to coming to EMU, Andi earned her master’s in applied behavior analysis at Michigan State University and obtained her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. Her research interests include using evidence-based behavioral strategies to teach individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders functional skills to improve their safety, independence, and quality of life. In her free time, Andi enjoys playing any sport that includes a ball, traveling, finding the best coffee shops in every town, and spending time with family and friends.
Skylar DeWitt is a doctoral student, beginning in 2021, studying clinical psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Briggs. Prior to coming to EMU, Skylar earned her bachelor’s in psychology at Michigan State University and worked as a registered behavior technician at Autism Centers of Michigan (AcornHealth). Her research interests include verbal behavior and how applied behavior analysis can be used to improve treatment in children with expressive language difficulties. In her free time, Skylar enjoys watching movies and logging them on Letterboxd, traveling, and spending time with her cat, Pitou.
Samantha Zohr is a doctoral candidate, beginning in 2020, studying clinical psychology under Dr. Claudia Drossel. Prior to starting the doctoral program, Samantha earned her master’s in clinical behavioral psychology at Eastern Michigan University and obtained her limited psychologist license (LLP). Her research interests include the evaluation of evidenced-based treatment and assessment approaches used for populations with complex medical and neuropsychological presentations. Additionally, she is interested in identifying ways to improve staff training standards and procedures for persons working in behavioral health-related fields. In her free time, Samantha enjoys engaging in outdoor activities with family and friends, such as camping, hiking, kayaking, and fishing.
Sophia Sodano is a doctoral student, beginning in 2023, studying clinical psychology under Dr. Adam Briggs. Before attending Eastern, Sophia earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with a neuroscience concentration from The Pennsylvania State University. During her time at Penn State, Sophia studied the development of self-regulation in children in the Cole Emotion Regulation Lab under Drs. Pamela Cole and Nilam Ram. After graduating, Sophia joined the Adolescent Mental Health Collaborative at Brown University under the supervision of Drs. Jennifer Wolff and Katelyn Affleck, where she managed psychodiagnostic testing on an adolescent inpatient unit and studied the implementation of a positive psychology intervention for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Sophia’s current research interests lie in increasing the accessibility of interventions for individuals with severe problem behavior and identifying variables that may impact the efficacy of such treatments. In her free time, Sophia enjoys playing with her dog Hennessy, making lattes and candles, thrifting, and spending time with friends and family.
Omar Elwasli is a doctoral student, beginning in 2023, studying under Dr. Adam Briggs. Omar earned his Masters in Applied Psychology with a focus in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. During his time at Rutgers, Omar worked at The Rutgers Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (RUCARES) - Severe Behavior Program under the supervision of Drs. Brian Greer, Daniel Mitteer, and Wayne Fisher where he earned his Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) credentials. His research interests broadly include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Specifically, he is interested in developing effective strategies to train caregivers and investigating relapse, or the reemergence of undesirable behavior following successful intervention. In his free time, Omar enjoys playing sports and rooting for his hometown teams (i.e., Knicks, Yankees, and Giants).
Brittany Loder is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. She received her Master of Science in Clinical Behavioral Psychology from Eastern Michigan University under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Briggs in 2022. Brittany continues to collaborate with the Eastern Michigan Behavior Analysis Research Lab. Brittany’s clinical and research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, including function-based interventions and caregiver training. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and her dog Gavin, hiking, and exploring!
Silvia Verhofste is a first-year masters student in the clinical behavioral psychology program. Prior to attending Eastern, Silvia graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in biology. Following graduation, Silvia worked as a research assistant at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital under Dr. Lyndsay Harshman, where she studied the various psychological and cognitive effects of different diseases, with a particular focus on chronic kidney disease and hemophilia. Simultaneously, Silvia worked as a registered behavior technician, providing applied behavioral analysis services to young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), where her research interests in early intervention services for children with ASD began. She is also interested in addressing and overcoming barriers- whether these are due to waitlists, age, severe problem behavior, or other related components- in order to improve accessibility to services for individuals with ASD. In her free time, Silvia enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors (i.e., camping, hiking), and going to farmers markets!
Abi (Abigaile) Connolly is a first-year master's student studying clinical behavioral psychology. Prior to EMU, Abi earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with a minor in Psychology. She currently has her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential and is working towards her Limited License Psychologist (LLP) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certifications. Her research interests include evidence-based behavioral strategies to prevent relapse and aid individuals with severe problem behaviors in children with Autism. Abi enjoys traveling, painting, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
Alyssa Miller is a first-year student in the clinical behavioral psychology master’s program at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). In her undergraduate career, Alyssa also attended EMU where she graduated summa cum laude with university honors. Alyssa has been involved in the Behavior Analysis Research lab since the summer of 2019. During this time, she has assisted in writing manuals for the Autism Collaborative Center and has completed IOA on the study “Effectively Training Behavior Technicians to Use DTT Efficiently.”
Alyssa works as a behavior technician at ABA Insight in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Along with her work there, she is the graduate assistant of facility scheduling and supervisor scheduling for EMU's Recreational and Intramural Department. Alyssa’s research interests include using strategies to help individuals with severe problem behavior function more appropriately in their environments. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys doing yoga, meditating, going to parks with her rescue dog, and performing in theater productions.
Grace is a senior undergraduate student at EMU, studying psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and a minor in Special Education. She is currently helping with two projects in Dr. Briggs' Behavior Analysis Research Lab: the Sneaky Snackers Project and the Functional Analysis Pre-Assessment Literature Review. Grace hopes to continue gaining valuable lab experience and further her knowledge of the many applications of ABA. After graduation, Grace hopes to attend graduate school to pursue degrees in experimental psychology and neuropsychology. Grace spends most of her free time with her cats, crocheting, knitting, baking, camping, swimming, and making music.
Hannah Goike is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology with an ABA concentration with a minor in special education. Hannah is currently working with the lab on her Senior Honors Thesis. Her thesis involves using a questionnaire to assess college students’ knowledge of the field of behavior analysis and to identify the extent to which participants are likely to endorse common misconceptions. Hannah is also working with the lab on another study that looks to assess the conditions under which children are likely to consume unattended edible items to be able to better understand when and with what children will sneak treats they find.Through the lab Hannah hopes to learn more about the research process, specifically, how to analyze data and write a formal research paper. After graduation, Hannah hopes to attend graduate school in an ABA program and work towards becoming a board certified behavior analyst. In her free time, Hannah enjoys reading, going to the gym, and watching the Detroit Tigers!
Annabella Tetreau is a fourth-year psychology major. Annabella is involved in a research study that aims to study the conditions under which children consume different edible items in order to promote safety. She hopes to attend a graduate counseling program to become a licensed therapist. She enjoys reading and spending time with friends.