UNCW Psychology Department, Professor Carol Pilgrim to Be Honored for Contributions in the Field of Behavior Analysis

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

UNCW’s Department of Psychology and professor Carol Pilgrim will receive prestigious awards for their work from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA). The department has been named the 2017 recipient of the Award for Enduring Contributions to Behavioral Analysis, and Pilgrim will receive the 2017 Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis.

“Excellent teaching and commitment to research are at the core of UNCW’s mission, and we are thrilled that our psychology department and professor Carol Pilgrim are being recognized for their ongoing contributions,” said UNCW Provost Marilyn Sheerer. “To be honored with two awards from the same professional organization is a testament to the outstanding quality of our psychology program and faculty.”

The SABA board commended the UNCW psychology program for the broad array of research opportunities available to students and for its “decades-long influence on graduate and undergraduate education in behavior analysis.”

“It’s a tremendous honor for our program,” said department Chair Julian Keith. “It builds on our position as a premier program in behavior analysis.”

In announcing the Distinguished Service award, the board cited Pilgrim’s commitment to teaching, research and service and for “helping bridge the gap between basic and applied research.”

“She really deserves this recognition,” Keith said. “She is a stellar teacher and mentor. Her research has broad impacts on topics ranging from cancer prevention to the development of complex symbolic behavior, such as language, in children.”

Pilgrim was a 2003 recipient of the University North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and was a 2011 Fellow of the Association for Behavioral Analysis International, the professional organization that provides administrative and office support for SABA. She has served as president of major professional organizations and as editor and co-editor of the two flagship scholarly journals of behavior analysis.

Both awards will be presented at a ceremony next May sponsored by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), an affiliated professional organization that provides administrative and office support for SABA.

ABAI was founded in 1974 and is the primary membership organization for professionals interested in the philosophy, science, application and teaching of behavior analysis. SABA, a 501(c)(3) organization, raises and administers private funds in support of teaching and research in the field of behavior analysis.

-- Tricia Vance