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Meet Griffin Rooker, Director of Graduate Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis

Matthew Fraley
Graduate Assistant, School of Natural Science and Mathematics

The School of Natural Science and Mathematics continues to expand with new programs. The newest is the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) graduate program, a collaboration between the School of Natural Science and Mathematics and the School of Education.

rooker-in-text.jpgBehavior analysis is the science of human behavior, and applied behavior analysis is the application of science of human behavior to problems of social significance.

Griffin Rooker, Ph.D., has been tapped to lead this program as director of graduate studies in applied behavior analysis and an assistant professor. We caught up with Rooker to learn about him and the future of the ABA program.

Rooker has about 20 years' experience working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disability, such as autism, particularly focused on severe behavior disorders, such as aggression and self-injury. He has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in applied behavior Analysis from Northeastern University. 

Prior to coming to the Mount, Rooker was an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a research scientist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the holder of teaching appointments at Pepperdine University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is also an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Rooker is a respected leader in the ABA field through his work developing coursework, mentoring students and scientists, authoring numerous peer-reviewed publications, and securing funding for research.

“My long-term career goals are to better understand severe behavior disorders in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in order to advance treatment of these disorders, improve the lives of these individuals, and pass my knowledge onto the next generation of clinicians and researchers, enabling those individuals to address problems of social significance,” Rooker said.

Rooker described two ABA programs: a Master of Science and a post-master's certificate.

According to Rooker, the Master of Science program is an “approximate two-year program that provides a rigorous and comprehensive education in the principles and application of behavior analysis. This program will include seven core courses and “additional courses designed to better prepare individuals for a career in behavior analysis, including courses related to self-care, technology facilitation, quantitative systems and community intervention,” Rooker noted. The post-master’s certificate will be “a 15-month post-degree certificate that provides the foundational knowledge in ABA,” Rooker explained.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified that the courses for this program will meet the coursework requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examinations.

When asked how this program will benefit the Mount, Rooker answered that it would benefit the community through its programs, as it “produces professionals who are empowered to care for underserved individuals in the local community” and it “embodies the idea of servant leadership, in that it matches individuals with their goals and guides them to career paths that benefit themselves and the community.”

To learn more about ABA research, the ABA program at the Mount, or meet Rooker, consider attending the School of Natural Science and Mathematics Dean’s Speaker Series event on Wednesday, March 31 from 5 to 6 p.m. via Zoom.

To join the event, click on or bookmark this link.

Matthew Fraley
Graduate Assistant, School of Natural Science and Mathematics