College of Arts & Sciences

UNCW Department of Psychology Earns International Recognition for Enduring Contributions to Behavior Analysis

The UNCW Department of Psychology was recently recognized at the annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, earning the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis. The award recognizes the impact of the behavior-analytic faculty in research and in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which includes the Master’s concentration in applied behavior analysis.

The applied behavior analysis concentration trains students to treat patients with developmental disabilities such as autism. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Licensed Psychological Associate and the Behavior Analysis Certification Board examinations. While master's programs in applied behavior analysis are increasing nationally, UNCW's psychology master's program in applied behavior analysis is unique to North Carolina.

“This award was a major honor for our behavior analysis program, faculty, and students. We have long known that our behavior analysis program at UNCW is one of the best in the world,” said Julian Keith, chair of the department. “This prestigious award from a major, international organization is an acknowledgement of the enduring contributions that our behavior analysis colleagues are making to their field. As we launch our Ph.D. program and new psychology clinic in the community this fall, we will expand these contributions even further.”

In addition to the department’s recognition, psychology professor Carol Pilgrim received an award for Enduring Service to the Field. Pilgrim’s research focuses on experimental and applied behavior analysis, and her current project involves young children as participants, including typically developing children as well as those diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Pilgrim earned her B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. 

“Carol delivered an inspiring address on the importance of service and the future of the field,” said Keith. “Everyone who knows Carol appreciates her unwavering commitment to advancing the science and practice of behavior analysis. She clearly deserves this great honor."

--Gena Guthrie