Miranda Fogg ’18 graduated as part of the inaugural class of Applied Behavior Analysis students, enriching her skills and knowledge as a behavior therapist along the way.
“The Art of Helping People”
As a behavior therapist at Multicultural Community Services (MCS) in Springfield, MA, Miranda Fogg ’18 works closely with a handful of clients, making home visits throughout the week to provide behavior intervention services.
“I’ve always been interested in the art of helping people, as well as serving the community,” the Springfield, VT, native said. “The kids I work with are sweethearts. They have their challenges, but that’s what makes the job interesting.”
As she completed her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) and speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) at Elms, Miranda discovered that, while she was interested in speech issues, she was even more curious about human behavior. When Elms started the master of science program in applied behavior analysis (ABA) in 2016, Miranda knew that it would be right for her.
“I found myself more interested when kids were misbehaving or disrupting something,” she said. “I wanted to address that aspect of behavior. When Elms created the master’s program, I started taking classes and really enjoyed them.”
Despite simultaneously juggling work at MCS, completing her undergraduate studies, and beginning graduate classes, Miranda found time to succeed on all three fronts.
“It was tough, but the instructors here try really hard to work with you,” she said. “You do get breaks in between each client, so I would find time to get assignments done and study then.”
“It really helps being in the field and doing the classwork at the same time. It gives you both perspectives,” she added.
Conquering the Conference
In May 2018, Miranda traveled to the Association of Behavioral Analysis International conference in San Diego, CA. Along with Laura Hanratty, Ph.D., BCBA-D, director of the ABA program, and fellow students in her cohort, Miranda presented research findings titled “Evaluating Efficacy of Varied Reinforcers on Learning New Skills,” and “Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior Without Extinction.”
“We had never had students present research they are working on at a conference, so this was a very exciting time for the program,” Hanratty said. “It was amazing to see Miranda, Alyssa, and Chris present to leaders in the field in such a precise and educated manner.”
Attending an academic conference was a huge step for Miranda, who had to overcome a slight fear of public speaking. In the end, she said that having research opportunities at the graduate level benefited her career as a behavioral specialist.
“Once you start getting into it, you end up living and breathing your research,” she said. “It’s definitely the type of thing you can branch off of in the future. It also helped me network with other people.”
Now that she has her MS degree, Miranda plans on becoming a board-certified behavior analyst, and supporting MCS by designing behavior-intervention programs.
Do you share Miranda’s love of working with clients and making a positive difference in their lives? The Elms MS program in Applied Behavior Analysis can set you on the path toward becoming a certified behavior analyst. Contact us for more information.