2022 NCABA Presentations

2022 NCABA Presentations

Adjusting Data Collection Procedures in Applied Settings to Account for Variables Influencing the Accurate Measurement of Client Mastery in Skill Acquisition Targets

The long-term goal of this team was to quantify the effect of influential variables as a means of reducing variability and increasing success of skill acquisition interventions.

Meet the Researchers

Cassidy Leovic

Born and raised in Durham, NC Cassidy Leovic has always had a passion for working with children and helping others. After finishing her undergrad at Appalachian State University, she returned to Durham and began working at KBH. Cassidy obtained her bachelor’s in Psychology with a concentration in human services. Her passion for human services remained strong, but while taking psychology classes in Johannesburg, South Africa, she observed disparities in the field. Ranging from accessibility to services, to ideas and frameworks in the field being inapplicable to people outside of western cultures, she observed a need for more accessible and client-relevant services. Cassidy discovered the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in her search for a field that met her criteria and fell in love with the client-specific data-driven interventions found within the field. 

Cassidy is currently getting her master’s in special education at Arizona State University and is working towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In the future, she hopes to broaden the application of Applied Behavior Analysis past the scope of children with disabilities to other populations. Additionally, Cassidy has a passion for finding ways to make obtaining higher education and other certifications more accessible to people with varying intersectionality. As an extreme extrovert, Cassidy enjoys doing all things people-related. You can find her discovering yummy eats in downtown Durham with friends, befriending strangers on her walks with her dog, or going on runs with her neighbors. Cassidy’s hidden talent is that she can guess any of her co-workers Taylor Swift preferences with relatively high accuracy. 

Amberlea Villafane


Amberlea was born in Connecticut but has lived all over the east coast from Maine to Florida. In 2017 she moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and has remained happily settled ever since.  Amberlea has a passion for working with children which lead her to studying psychology. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development. While obtaining her degree, she worked as a tutor for underprivileged children and volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children within the foster care system. However, after some time working as a Registered Behavior Technician at the Kind Behavioral Health, Amberlea found her dream career and decided to go back to school. She gained a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University and completed her internship with KBH. 

She is currently enjoying her new role as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. She loves working one on one with her clients to create behavior plans that are specially tailored to their individual needs and wants. Outside of ABA, Amberlea enjoys gardening, kayaking, hiking, and playing with her cats – Ozzie and Gigi. On the weekends, you will likely find her having spooky movie marathons and board game nights. 

Melissa Monti


Originally from Levittown, Pennsylvania, Melissa received her bachelor’s degree in education/special education from Mansfield University and went on to teach in various positions across the state of Pennsylvania. Melissa earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix and continued to serve children with special needs. After many years of serving in the field of education, Melissa ran into the field of behavior analysis. Since that time, she has been to China on several occasions. First, volunteering in a foster home supporting children with special needs and then with the Global Autism Project supporting teachers of children with autism. In addition, Melissa volunteered with an organization in Belize training teachers of children with special needs about applying behavior analysis in the school setting and helping lead a summer camp for special needs children between the ages of 5-18. 

Over the last 5 years, Melissa has worked for Kind Behavioral Health as an RBT and BCBA serving clients, completing an internship focusing on family training, and helping to develop the organization’s family services department. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys a variety of different things including, hiking, gardening, crochet, and hanging out with her dog Narnia.

The Utilization of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing to Establish Stimulus Control of Vocal Speech Sounds

This team sought to increase the rate of vocal speech sounds and establish stimulus control over an echoic response in a participant. This participant presented as non-vocal during the intake assessment and initial few months of treatment with reinforcement and stimulus-stimulus pairing (S-S Pairing.)

Meet the Researchers

Lauren Broadwell


Originally from Clayton, NC, Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She went on to earn her master’s degree in psychology from Florida State University. After grad school, she returned to North Carolina to help grow access to services in her home state, a tremendously underserved area. Lauren has been in the field of behavior analysis for 9 years after discovering ABA through taking a course in her first semester of undergraduate school. From there, she began assisting in a behavior analysis lab, researching stimulus equivalence. She later made the transition into the clinical application of behavior analysis and has gone through the roles of RBT, BCaBA, and now BCBA. What does Lauren love most about her job? She says, “the focus on client-centered care to ensure we are identifying meaningful skills and teaching strategies to make a difference in the lives of the individuals we work with.” Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time with her dog Riley, hiking, cooking, and traveling.

Gracie Peterson


Originally from Matthews, NC, Elizabeth (Gracie) received her bachelor’s degree in General Education and Special Education K-6. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at Arizona State University online and is set to graduate on May 9, 2022. She worked as a special education resource teacher for 2 years (2019-2021) before becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) with Kind Behavioral Health (KBH) in June 2021. Gracie is currently in the Student and Apprentice Supervision programs at KBH. After graduation, Gracie plans on continuing to work with KBH and would love to become a BCBA with Kind Behavioral Health.

Gracie loves working as an RBT and learning and applying behavior analysis, as she loves supporting clients and their families to acquire skills to make a difference in their lives in and out of the home. Outside of work, Gracie enjoys spending time with her friends and family, weight training, and spending time outside.

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