The TxABA Executive Council (EC) is the governing body of TxABA. The EC consists of voting officers and non-voting representatives; all officers are required to be voting members of TxABA. The voting officers include the President-Elect, President, Past-President, at least three At-Large Representatives, and the Senior Student Representative. Non-voting representatives include the Executive Director, the Secretary-Treasurer, and the Junior Student Representative.
|Position Term Lengths||President||Council Member||Student Representative|
|4 Years||3 years||2 years|
|*Year 1: President-Elect||*Year 1: Junior Student Representative|
|*Years 2-3: President||*Year 2: Senior Student Representative|
|*Years 4: Past-President|
|Position Requirements||President||Council Member||Student Representative|
|Be a Texas resident||Be a Texas resident||Be a Texas resident|
|Be a voting member of TxABA||Be a voting member of TxABA||Be a voting member of TxABA|
|Fulfill all of the following requirements:||Fulfill one of the following requirements:||Have at least one year remaining in their program at the time of joining council|
|*Be a full member of ABAI||*Be a full member of ABAI|
|*Qualify via one of the following criteria:||*Held BCBA or Masters degree for a minimum of three years|
|*Held BCBA of Masters degree for a minimum of three years||*Held a BCBA-D or PhD for a minimum of one year|
|*Held a BCBA-D or PhD for a minimum of one year|
Two positions open May 1, 2024.
Junior Student Representative position opens May 1, 2024
Summer Gainey Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
In 2013, Dr. Summer Gainey, BCBA-D, received her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in Education (with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis and Autism and Developmental Disabilities). Dr. Gainey has worked with individuals with autism and other disabilities since 1998 in capacities ranging from direct support to business development and ownership. Her clinical expertise is in procedures for increasing appropriate skills (e.g., social skills, educational skills, language and communication skills, self-help skills) and the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior (e.g. self-injurious behavior, physical aggression, interfering stereotypic behavior, pica behavior, and elopement). She has expertise across the life span and has served in various positions to support clients in settings ranging from in home, community, and academic. Her professional expertise includes serving as an adjunct professor, ABA clinic owner, Advocacy Ambassador for Autism Speaks, and scale organizational management. In her advocacy role, she has had the opportunity to provide state and federal testimony regarding Medicaid coverage for autism and The Autism CARES Act. Her clinical and professional goals align by being committed to ensuring access to services and providing quality, ethically grounded services to individuals with autism and other disabilities.
Jeffrey Dillen MS, BCBA, LBA
Jeffrey Dillen is currently a Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Manager of Texana Center’s Behavior Stabilization Team, which provides behavior analytic services across settings via the HHSC Children’s Autism Program. Jeffrey has 16 years of experience working with individuals (children, adolescents, and adults) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with 6 of those years also working with individuals with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychobiology from Long Island University under Dr. Paul Forestell and Masters of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University under Dr. Mark Dixon. After graduate school, Jeffrey worked at the Marcus Institute (now Marcus Autism Center) in Atlanta, GA under Dr. Henry Roane and Dr. Michael Kelley before moving to Kentucky where he spent four years as a Behavior Analyst at an inpatient psychiatric hospital creating meaningful change for individuals whose problem behaviors were both severe and previously treatment resistant. Jeffrey moved to Texas almost ten years ago where he has continued to assist families and citizens of Texas create and maintain socially significant changes as a BCBA (and then as a LBA!!!) and across different roles within outpatient behavior analytic programs. Mr. Dillen has further been a private consultant for over 12 years where he’s provided Applied Behavior Analysis services to families and private providers serving both neurotypical and individuals with IDD/ABI. Jeffrey additionally is an active member in numerous organizations including LoneStar ABA and TxABA Public Policy Group where he has served as both the Communications Chair (2018-2019) and currently has the pleasure of being the President (2019-present). During this time, he has taken an active role in numerous priorities of the PPG including obtaining and protecting licensure, properly funding ECI services, maintaining 1115 waiver services, transition support teams, crisis services, and Medicaid funding of ABA. Jeffrey has been published in The European Journal of Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Interventions, The Psychological Record, and Analysis of Gambling Behavior. He and the love of his life (aka wife), Holly, live in Houston, Texas with their dog.
Berenice de la Cruz PhD., BCBA-D, LBA
Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA has been a BCBA since 2006 and has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities since 2001 in school, home, clinic, and community settings as a teacher, therapists, supervisor, director, and professor. She received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in Special Education, specializing in Autism and Developmental Disabilities and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from The University of Texas at El Paso. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor and inaugural Program Coordinator for the Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Dr. de la Cruz has served as the Treasurer of TxABA Public Policy Group since 2019 and was an advisory board member since 2016. Her research and practice focus primarily on evaluating the application of ABA when used by parents, teachers, and other professionals to support individuals with developmental disabilities in the home, school, and community. Dr. de la Cruz has published several peer-reviewed research articles and co-authored several book chapters in fields of developmental disabilities, addictive behaviors, and social cognition. She regularly presents in English and Spanish at local, state, and national/international conferences. Dr. de la Cruz resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and their two children.
Joseph Dracobly PhD., BCBA-D, LBA
Joseph Dracobly received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Italian Studies from Gonzaga University in 2005. In 2009, he received his M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas under the supervision of Dr. Richard Smith. In 2014, his received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Kansas under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Dozier. After graduating from the University of Kansas, from 2014-2018, he was an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at Eastern Connecticut State University. In August 2018, Dr. Dracobly joined the faculty in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas as an Assistant Professor. He is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analysis in the state of Texas. Dr. Dracobly supervises the Behavior Analysis Resource Center (BARC), a clinical and research project at the Denton State Supported Living Center. BARC provides students the opportunity to develop clinical skills within the context of interdisciplinary service delivery and conduct research on severe behavior disorders and trauma. Dr. Dracobly is also the faculty supervisor of the Creativity and Problem Solving (CaPS) lab. The CaPS lab conducts translational and applied research focused on response variability and its relation to more complex behavioral repertoires. Dr. Dracobly's work has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and Learning and Motivation. He is currently on the editorial board of The Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and he regularly serves as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the Education and Treatment of Children.
Leslie Neely PhD., BCBA-D, LBA
Dr. Leslie Neely is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the Coordinator for the Department's Behavior Analysis Program and a doctoral-level BCBA. She is the Director of the UTSA Child and Adolescent Policy and Research Institute and the San Antonio Applied Behavior Analysis Research Consortium. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from UT-Austin, a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (emphasis in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis) from Texas A&M University. Dr. Neely’s research originated in the application of ABA to the treatment of problem behaviors (e.g., self-injury). Recently, Dr. Neely has partnered with colleagues in computer science, engineering, cyber security, education, health, and kinesiology, to establish an innovative lab focused on integrating advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, into the therapy and education of children with autism and developmental disabilities. She is also passionate about disseminating ABA to the community and is currently PI on a state-funded grant focused on training teachers to become BCBAs.
Janet Enriquez MS, BCBA
Janet Enriquez is a Bilingual Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Special Education Ph.D. student at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has a Master's degree in Special Education with a specialization in Autism Interventions and Applied Behavior Analysis. Janet has over 15 years of experience working and supporting families and professionals in a variety of settings in the school districts and within various community organizations.
Marcus Strum MS, BCBA
Marcus D. Strum, M.S. is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Health Services Research with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Originally from San Diego, CA, Marcus began working as a behavior technician after earning his bachelor's degree in psychology in 2016. He earned his master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University, Northridge in 2020. Marcus’ primary area of interest is in the development of efficacious skill acquisition interventions to address the needs of individuals diagnosed with developmental disorders and typically developing individuals. He has evaluated interventions in a number of areas that include teaching conversation skills to children and adults, teaching efficient studying techniques to undergraduate students, comparing treatment integrity measures in behavior analytic treatment centers, programming for generalization with matrix training, and teaching audio-visual conditional discriminations to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His dissertation interest is focused on developing methods to facilitate completion of behavioral audiometric screening procedures for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Outside of school, Marcus is an avid musician and can often be found performing or listening to live music at open mic nights around town.
Michelle Castillo MS
Michelle Castillo is a doctoral student at the University of North Texas where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Sciences with a concentration in Behavior Analysis. She originally entered ABA during her undergraduate career, working with young children with autism. She can now be found working with neurodivergent college students teaching independent living and social skills. Michelle’s research interests are related to verbal behavior, specifically the assessment and intervention of complex social skills and problem solving. Passionate about collaboration and dissemination, Michelle is an active member of collaborations within and outside of behavior analysis.
TxABA has 4 part-time employees who organize the annual conference & other events, support committees & special interest groups, manage the website, respond to emails, and various other tasks.
Rachel Kramer MS, BCBA
Rachel Kramer started her career in behavior analysis at the University of Nevada (UNR) working in the Early Childhood Autism Program as an undergrad. She went on to the University of North Texas to earn her MS in Behavior Analysis in 2009. Rachel worked at the Child Study Center in Forth Worth, TX for 11 years; first as an intern then as a Behavior Analyst in the Applied Behavior Analysis program. Her focus has been working with children with developmental disabilities and their families, primarily autism spectrum disorders. She has experience working in-home, center, and school settings. She is published in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and has presented at both ABAI and TxABA. Rachel started volunteering at the TxABA annual conference while in graduate school and later served in the roles of volunteer coordinator, staffing director, and ACE provider. Rachel was elected to the TxABA Executive Council as the Secretary in 2015 where she was later appointed Secretary-Treasurer in 2018. Rachel has served as the TxABA Executive Director since November 2021. She enjoys working at TxABA because she is passionate about the science of behavior analysis and wants to support the field as it grows.
Jennifer Hines M
Jennifer Hines, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, has worked in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders for over 25 years within social service agencies, school districts, government, and private practice. She has worked as a social worker, special education teacher, school behavior specialist, clinical therapist, founder, and director. She received her bachelor’s in social work from the University of Texas at Austin, her master’s in Special Education with a cognate in Autism and Emotional Disturbance from Texas State University, and a current doctoral student in Organizational Leadership at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. For 11 years, Jennifer was the State Neurodevelopmental Disorders Specialist for The Texas Workforce Commission, Division of Rehabilitation Services. Jennifer published the first Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) state policy on Applied Behavior Analysis. Any person served by VR with a neurodevelopmental disorder who is in need can receive ABA services in Texas. She published four additional state policies that created the first-ever Autism Endorsement for Employment Specialists, an Autism Premium, and a Vocational Assessment for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Jennifer is a previous Assistant Clinical Professor in the ABA department at St. Edward’s University. Promoting and supporting the field of ABA is at the heart of professional devotion. She does this as an Executive Council member of TxABA, Chair of the TxABA Professional Issues Committee, and Vice President of the TxABA OBM SIG. Jennifer has served as Secretary-Treasurer since August 2023.
Latonya Cabiness M.Ed.
Latonya received her master’s degree in special education with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis where she graduated with distinction from Arizona State University. Latonya has worked in the field of ABA for several years as a Registered Behavior Technician. Latonya currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis and has been in this position for the last several years. She is interested in pursuing a doctorate in Family Studies at Texas Women’s University and continues to do good in her community and environment.