Faculty & Staff
Bryon Miller, PhD
Assistant Professor of Instruction and Program Coordinator for the ABA Minor
Physical activity; school-based intervention; nutrition related behavior
Bryon Miller is a California native having grown up in a small town between San Jose and Santa Cruz about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. He lived in the Bay Area until college where he attended a small liberal arts college in Stockton, the University of the Pacific, which is in the heart of the Central Valley about 45 minutes south of Sacramento. He originally sought a pre-med degree, but switched to psychology his sophomore year. As part of his pre-med curriculum, he was required to take a major course in psychology, which was his first exposure to B.F. Skinner, behaviorism, and applied behavior analysis. This course, Psychology of Learning, was an introductory course in operant and respondent conditioning, which piqued a curiosity that he was not getting from biology and organic chemistry. The notion that there could be a science of behavior that sits within the natural sciences and that behavior as natural phenomena could be predicted and controlled with such precision was eye opening to him and he has not looked back.
He received his undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in philosophy and entered the psychology department’s master’s program the following fall to pursue the coursework and clinical requirements to acquire my board certification. His mentor at Pacific was Dr. Matthew Normand, who was the instructor he had taken Psychology of Learning from previously. Dr. Normand’s research interests focused on obesity as a problem of social significance to which he felt behavior analysis was well suited to address, given that obesity is typically the result of behavioral excesses and deficits. In the time he was in the Master’s program, he served as a research assistant in several physical activity studies, which included validation studies of direct observation systems for assessing physical activity, validation of mechanical devices (e.g., pedometers), intervention studies aiming to increase an individual’s overall activity levels, and several functional analyses of physical activity.
Bryon had the opportunity to continue this research at USF under the guidance of Dr. Ray Miltenberger. At USF he has conducted several school-based intervention studies, where we had elementary school students wear pedometers every day (some even when at home) in order to evaluate several intervention components (e.g., peer competition, goal setting, public posting, feedback) for their effect on overall activity levels. These four research studies eventually developed into his dissertation, which was successfully defended in June of 2020. Following graduation, he has remained within CFS as an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the ABA program.