Dr. Linda LeBlanc Talks Career Mentors and Influences

September 16, 2015

The Association for Behavior Analysis International recently launched a special section of ‘The Behavior Analyst’ on women who have had a substantial impact on the field of behavior analysis.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc, BCBA-D, Executive Director of Research and Clinical Services, is one individual recognized in the September 2015 issue.

Below are excerpts from Dr. LeBlanc’s live interview, which overview her history and background, academic influencers, advice/guidance, and more.

To read the full interview, click here

Interview Excepts

Q: Can you tell us a little about how you were introduced to behavior analysis and what motivated you at the time to pursue it as a career?

A: My interest in behavior analysis was really as a tool for improving the lives of those with disabilities and the world view seemed to fit very well with my interests and scientific viewpoint. My view of my career has always been that of a clinical psychologist who specialized in disabilities across the lifespan.

Q: Within your history you have spent many years training behavior analysts in academic roles and currently in a clinical role training strong scientist/practitioners. Can you tell us the story of that path through your career?

A: I gave teaching a try and really liked enjoyed the experience as long as I could simultaneously oversee clinical services. In all of my positions, I have created opportunities to directly provide and manage clinical services– sometimes as a training experience for my students, sometimes as a community outreach contract. That allowed me to have the best of both worlds while I was in academia.

Q: What advice did your mentor give that still influences you today?

A: Cathleen Piazza used to tell me that clinical work and research, for those of us that are applied researchers, should be fully integrated efforts. You should always be thinking about experimental design in your clinical work because we always want to make sure our interventions are working and worth the effort that is being devoted to them. I have tried to share both of these pieces of good advice with my students over the years. Now they will know the original sources of the
wisdom!

Q: What advice can you offer to people considering becoming a student in a behavior analysis program on choosing training programs and advisors?

A: It is important to work with someone that you like and who clearly has your best interests at heart. It doesn’t really matter if it is a male or female mentor or boss, but that person has to care as much or more about what they can do to help you meet your goals than about what you are going to do to help them meet theirs.

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