Dr. John Borrero
Dr. Borrero is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Track at UMBC. He joined the faculty in 2007 after serving on the faculty of the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California for three years. Dr. Borrero conducts applied and translational research on the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior exhibited by persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, choice, and a variety of common behavioral interventions. Dr. Borrero was the 2008 recipient of the B. F. Skinner New Researcher Award and the 2021 recipient of the Don Hake Translational Research Award, both presented by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Borrero served as Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of JABA.
Dr. Mirela Cengher
Dr. Cengher joined the faculty at UMBC in the Fall of 2019, and supervises masters students and doctoral students in Applied Developmental Psychology. The overarching theme of Dr. Cengher’s research is the development of effective procedures for individuals with developmental disabilities. Her main research interests include verbal behavior, stimulus control (e.g., concept formation), as well as functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior. Dr. Cengher is on the editorial board and serves as a (guest) Associate Editor for several journals (e.g., Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice). In her free time, Dr. Cengher enjoys traveling, hiking or running, and playing with her dog, Zoe.
Dr. Matthew Novak
Dr. Novak will be joining the faculty at UMBC in the Fall of 2023 and will supervise master’s students and doctoral students in Applied Developmental Psychology. His research interests broadly cover applications of behavior analysis to improve employee performance in the workplace and to promote health behaviors. These interests include translational and applied examinations of methods for improving staff training and incentive delivery as well as randomized clinical trials examining the use of incentives for promoting drug abstinence and employment among people living with substance use disorders.
Joy received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Towson University in 2018. She received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychological Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020. Joy's current research is geared towards understanding curiosity (i.e., mands for information) in children with and without disabilities. She aspires to open her own ABA clinic one day. She wants to provide a wide range of services (e.g., skill acquisition, assessment and treatment of challenging behavior, and parental support/therapy) to create meaningful change in the lives of my clients. In her free time, Joy In enjoys weightlifting, playing with her dogs, or relaxing on the couch.
Tianjiao started her journey in behavior analysis as an undergraduate student at Furman University, by serving as an intern at a clinic in South Carolina. She worked in a school as an RBT before completing her Master's in education at the University of Virginia. It has been Tianjiao's passion to implement behavior analytic intervention to help children maximize their learning potential. This passion drives her to work with her advisor, Dr. Cengher, on research focused on the identification of the optimal procedures to help individuals to acquire a second language. In her free time, Tianjiao enjoys walking her dog, photographing, and eating good food.
Xuehua "Shirley" Zhao
Shirley received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from UMBC. Currently, she is working on a study investigating the optimal procedures (e.g., simultaneous vs. sequential) to teach children with Autism their heritage language. After completing her Ph.D., Shirley plans to go back to the applied setting and work in a BCBA and supervisory role to serve and help families in need of services. She hopes her future job encompasses working with clients and families, supervising enthusiastic therapists, and potentially continuing to conduct research of interest. In her free time, Shirley enjoys hiking, sleeping, and eating delicious food.
Undergraduate and High School Students
Iman aspires to study medicine and specialize in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She enjoys painting and reading, especially when it's raining outside! She also likes to bake and play soccer in her free time.
Amaka wants to pursue higher education in Applied Biopsychology. She enjoys reading, cooking, and swimming.
Ally I would like to go to graduate school to get a Ph.D in psychology, specifically in the field of Neuropsychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing soccer.
Rachel will attend Vanderbilt in the fall to get my master's degree. She wants to become a BCBA and work in home settings. Rachel is the music director of the UMBC Stilettos, one of the acapella groups on campus! Before college, she received training for classical/opera music so she is a classically trained vocalist. She also enjoys building legos in her free time.
Olivia plans to attend graduate school, though she is still deciding on the specifics of those plans. In her free time, I enjoys hiking and spending time with her loved ones (especially her cat)!
Riya is our lab manager. She plans to go to graduate school and would like to study how gender socialization influences differences in trauma behaviors and coping skills. In their free time, Riya enjoys learning how to cook new vegan dishes and lounging outside in the warm weather!
Edwin is a high school student who plans to apply to college and eventually graduate school. He enjoys traveling, exploring different cultures, and trying new foods.