News and Events

2024 News

(Scroll below for news archives.)

CFS Associate Professor Bruce Lubotsky Levin Co-edits new text on women's behavioral health

CFS Associate Professor Bruce Lubotsky Levin, DrPH, MPH, along with Ardis Hanson, Assistant Director, Research & Education at the USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library, have co-edited a new textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in many academic disciplines, including the social and behavioral sciences, public health, women’s studies, medical anthropology, and medical sociology.

Marriage and Family Therapy program earns accreditation

The program was established at USF in fall 2020 to meet a growing demand for marriage and family therapists in the state of Florida.

CFS research administrators contribute to SRA International meeting

The Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International provides education and professional development to professionals from over 40 countries.

National Training Institute on Effective Practices draws over 1,000 attendees

The annual conference has doubled in size over the last decade and sold out in a record four days this year.

ABA doctoral candidate featured on Behavioral Observations podcast

Amalix Flores, MS, BCBA, discussed the history of behavior analysis in Venezuela, paying tribute to the legacy of Venezuelans in the science of behavior analysis.

Kevin Kent’s mission is to make a difference through behavior analysis

Realizing that the professionals who aided in his childhood transformation were behavior analysts, Kent felt a deep desire to pay it forward.

CFS administrative specialist receives Staff Senate Quiet Quality Award

The award was presented to Telisha McKenzie, administrative specialist in the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS).

CARD at USF unites community with annual Fiesta by the Bay fundraiser

Master Sgt. Jeff Massaro was honored for his pivotal role in enhancing the SafetyNet Tracking program at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

ABA students participate in graduate and undergraduate poster sessions

Students of the minor in applied behavior analysis program and the master's program recently showcased their research.

How chewing food helped a psychology grad find her passion for applied behavior analysis

After landing a chance job teaching children how to eat and expand their diets, Faith Raulerson discovered a passion for applied behavior analysis.

USF Registered Behavior Technician training program achieves second-highest pass rate in the US

The RBT program has consistently been in the top five training providers in the nation.

Rightpath researchers present at TESOL convention

Researchers from the USF Rightpath Research and Innovation Center were among presenters at the TESOL International Convention & Expo.

Students explore field experience opportunities at CRMHC fair

The fair provides an opportunity for students in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (CRMHC) program to learn about placement partnerships.

CFS associate professor to meet Ambassador of France to the U.S.

Tammy Jorgensen Smith is  in the Department of Child and Family Studies' Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program.

CFS faculty give recommendations to reduce disparities among marginalized groups

The research team presented findings and recommendations from an evaluation of statewide equity initiatives.

CABH program celebrates largest graduating class

The Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (CABH) Master of Science program had its largest graduating class to date in fall 2023.

CFS leadership serve as keynote speakers at conference on positive behavior support

George and Gaunt shared research and resources regarding positive behavior supports.

In the News/TampaBay.Com: With student behavior improving, Florida school district seeks greater gains

This article profiles the work of the Florida's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Project at USF, which provides training and technical assistance to schools that help improve student outcomes and school climate.

CFS faculty recognized with USF Gold Quality Online designation

A USF High-Quality Gold designation means an online course has met rigorous, research-based standards of course design.

CFS faculty and staff recognized for reaching milestones in their careers at USF

Among those recognized were: CFS Chair Lise Fox, PhD; Ruby Joseph, MPA; and Selecia Watson for 30 years of service; Sonya Jones for 25 years; and Bob Lutz for 20 years. Others were also recognized for 15, 10 and 5 years. See full list.

News Archives

2023 News

BCOTB awards fellowship to ABA student

Applied Behavior Analysis student Kalysta Gregory was awarded a $10,000 fellowship from Behavior Consulting of Tampa Bay.

CFS professor awarded $3.3 million grant to build positive school culture

Heather George, PhD, will continue to co-direct the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

CABH program celebrates largest graduating class

The fully online, non-clinical program prepares professionals to serve in public and nonprofit agencies and schools that work to positively impact the lives of children, adolescents, and emerging adults.

CFS staff member recognized for outstanding contributions to USF

Maricel Hernandez, assistant director in the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS), recently received a 2023 USF Outstanding Staff Award.

Rightpath professors awarded $1.8 million to enhance early education programs in Florida

The project, led by Jason Anthony, PhD, EdS, and Jeffrey Williams, PhD, will support the creation of a quality rating system for programs that accept VPK vouchers.

Brian Gaunt and Heather George keynote presenters at Georgia APBS conference

The Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support (GAPBS) hosts a conference annually to bring together educators, interventionists, family members, clinicians and community partners to share research, information and resources regarding positive behavior supports and the lasting impact they have in homes, schools and community.

Congratulations 2023 CRMHC graduates!

CRMHC graduates completed a 2-and-half-year 60-credit hour master’s program with a 900-hours field work in the community!

Congratulations to the community partners, individuals, and teams who contributed to the success of CFS in 2023

Each year, our program directors recognize community partners, university partners, individuals, and teams they feel have contributed significantly to their programs and our vision.

Behavior Consulting of Tampa Bay continues support of USF's ABA students through annual scholarship offerings

In its commitment to nurturing future professionals in the field, BCOTB has consistently supported students from the University of South Florida’s (USF) ABA programs. This support is exemplified through their annual scholarship offerings, which help aspiring students achieve their academic and professional goals.

CFS faculty & staff among presenters at National PBIS Forum in Chicago

The Forum is a technical assistance activity of the Center on PBIS and has been designed to support state, regional, and local educational leaders, together with community and family partners, to increase the effectiveness of school environments through the evidence based PBIS framework. 

CFS professor recognized for scholarly contributions to Latinx communities

Marilyn Stern recently received a Status of Latinos (SoL) Award for her numerous scholarly contributions to the Latinx community.

Ride for a Cause: Cycling for Autism October 21, 2023

Over the past 11 years the Tampa Midtown Rotary Club has raised over $200,000 with their annual Cycling for Autism event to benefit the Applied Behavior Analysis Program, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF, and the Tampa Midtown Rotary Foundation.

BCS PhD student presents at National Symposium on Juvenile Services

Allahon Bailey completed her work through a directed research course with Roxann Taormina, PhD.

CFS Faculty Receive $2 Million Research Grant From Institute of Education Sciences

The primary goal of the study is to train school-based professionals to become behavioral coaches, equipping them with the necessary skills to guide individualized behavior support teams through the PTR process.

CARD-USF  Receives Donation from Tampa Bay Sports Commission's Campaign

Georgia Tech players selected the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) as their local charity to receive $500.

CARD Consultants Share Expertise on Behaviors of Children with Autism

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) consultants Liz Burke, MS and Christine Maughan, MEd, presented at the Florida Children & Families Summit.

ABA Researchers Share Findings at Leadership Conference

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) faculty Catia Cividini-Motta, PhD, BCBA-D, Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, PhD, BCBA-D, and Tracy-Ann Gilbert Smith, MS presented their research findings at the 2023 Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Leadership and Project Directors' Conference.

CARD Consultant Recognized as a Top Latino Leader

Yazmin Castellano will receive the Top Latino Leader Award at the 2023 National Latino Leadership Conference.

CRMHC Associate Professor to Serve as Journal's Associate Editor

Tammy Jorgensen Smith, PhD, CRC has been invited to serve as an associate editor for Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences.

USF'S ABA Program and School of Social Work Faculty Awarded $3.9 Million Training Grant to Fund Project MABAS

The project is aimed at enhancing the promotion of mental health wellbeing of children and youth with or at risk for behavioral and mental health challenges by preparing 40 high-quality school-based behavior analysts and social workers from diverse backgrounds.

The Learning Academy at USF Announces Rebrand to LAUNCH USF

The customized transition program assists in preparing young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder for employment and/or college. In operation since 2009, LAUNCH Academy was the first program of its kind in the state.

ABA Program Director Raymond Miltenberger Publishes Seventh Edition of Popular Textbook

Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures is a commonly assigned textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses in applied behavior analysis or behavior modification.

CFS Clinical Associate Professor Advises High Schoolers on Healthy Decision Making

Rick Weinberg, PhD, ABPP was invited to speak to Wharton High School students on their Club Day.

CFS Associate Professor Attends Bilingual Conference in Israel

The conference brought together scholars who shared their knowledge on intervention, narrative studies, bilingualism, and language development.

FCIC Names New Associate Director

Beth Boone, PhD, BCBA has dedicated her career to working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

CFS Professor to Serve as Member of NHLBI Single-Site and Pilot Clinical Trials Study Section

Marilyn Stern, PhD, CRC, professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS), will begin her term in July.

Tampa Midtown Rotary Club gifts $22,000 to USF-CARD and ABA program

The Tampa Midtown Rotary Club presented $22,000 to support USF programs that help individuals with autism and their families.

Associate Research Professor Receives Service to the Association Award from AAIDD

Elizabeth Perkins, PhD has been a highly active member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) for more than 20 years.

CFS Professor Presents Research on Teaching Safety Skills to Children

Raymond Miltenberger, PhD, BCBA-D presented his research as part of the Pints of Science Quarterly Lecture Series.

Former Instructor Creates a Lasting Legacy with Endowed Scholarship in CRMHC

After 15 years as an instructor in the University of South Florida (USF) Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (CRMHC) program, Dae Sheridan’s name will continue to be recognized by faculty, students, and staff in CRMHC forever.

CFS Research Assistant Professor Elected to Global Alliance Board of Directors

Linda Callejas, PhD, will serve as a member-at-large to the board of directors for the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice for two years.

Celebrating 50 years of CRMHC: Meet one of the Program’s First Graduates

When the very first cohort of rehabilitation counseling students at the University of South Florida graduated, among them was Erio Alvarez, a recent veteran whose degree would advance his trailblazing career in corrections.

2022 News

Past Executive Director gives $100K to Program that Supports Young Adults with Autism

Dr. Karen A. Berkman’s gift will benefit students in The Learning Academy.

CBCS Students Participate in IPE Day 2022

Seven CBCS students participated in the 5th annual Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation last month.

Congratulations to 2022 CFS Fall Luncheon Awardees

Congratulations to the individuals, teams and community partners who contributed to the success of CFS in 2022!

Florida Rep. Traci Koster Visits the Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Koster received recognition for her sponsorship of Florida House Bill 343/Mental Health Professional Licensure.

CFS Associate Research Professor Recognized for Disability Advocacy

Elizabeth Perkins, PhD is the 2022 recipient of the George S. Jesien Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

CFS Clinical Associate Professor Recognized for Exemplary Teaching

Richard Weinberg, PhD, ABPP, was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and was commended for his effective teaching, innovation, and commitment to students and their success.

CFS Researchers Share Expertise at ACRM 2022 Annual Conference

The team presented on multicultural and ethical considerations of behavioral health at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Conference.

ABA Graduate Student Receives Scholarship from Butterfly Effects

The scholarship is awarded to a student dedicated to making meaningful change in the lives of children and families affected by ASD.

CBCS Announces Recipients of Undergraduate Research Assistantships

Thirteen CBCS undergraduate students have been awarded undergraduate research assistantships to work with faculty on research projects in spring 2023.

USF Newsroom: Professor Lise Fox Receives Grant to Help Improve Pandemic-induced Child Behavioral Problems

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the $5.5 million dollar grant to advance her training and research activities on child behavior – a critical focal point, especially as children and parents navigate post-pandemic repercussions.

Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling Celebrates 50 Years

When USF began offering courses in rehabilitation counseling in 1972 just 10 students filled the seats. Fifty years later, the number of students has grown to nearly 150, supported by a dozen faculty members.

15th Annual Fiesta by the Bay for Autism Oct. 7, 2022

The funds raised at Fiesta by the Bay help CARD-USF provide free programs and projects throughout the year across 14 counties.

CFS Professor Marilyn Stern Recognized Among USF Outstanding Research Award Achievements

This year’s awards recognize 26 faculty members—the largest group to date—for their important achievements.

CFS Research Professor, Heather Peshak George, Ph.D., speaker at Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) Conference in Australia

The conference provided an opportunity for schools to hear the latest research on multi-tiered systems of support, to learn from researchers and practitioners about implementation of positive behaviour supports in schools and to network and share effective practice with others.

CFS Associate Inspires Students and University Leaders in Chile

Trina D. Spencer, PhD, BCBA-D, shared her research findings and provided consultation to university leaders in Chile.

Tampa Midtown Rotary Club to Host 11th Annual Cycling for Autism

On Saturday, October 22, 2022, the Tampa Midtown Rotary Club will host its 11th Annual Cycling for Autism to support programs at the University of South Florida focused on helping individuals with autism and their families.

Get to know the New Chair of CFS: Q&A with Lise Fox

Lise Fox, PhD became chair of the Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS) in August. She has served in several roles within CFS over the past 27 years.

CFS Begins Fall 2022 with New Department Chair as Mario Hernandez Plans for Retirement

A "Passing of the Gavel" event was held July 29th for faculty, staff, family members and guests to recognize and thank Dr. Hernandez for his years of service to the department, and welcome Dr. Fox into her new leadership role.

CFS Assistant Professor of Instruction, Jillian Heilman, PHD, CRC Receives the Thomas "Tom" Ulvenes - Outstanding Community Service Award

The award recognizes individuals for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the community through courageous advocacy, education and diligent persistence in pursuing goals that improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Program Celebrates First Graduating Class

The MFT Program prepares students in both theoretical and clinical work with individuals, families, and couples in the community.

CFS Research Faculty Linda Callejas, PhD Receives Grant from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

She and her team will evaluate behavioral health services for culturally diverse populations.

CFS Research Assistant Professor Amy Vargo and Program Director Pamela Menedez Receive $1.6 Million Grant from Florida Department of Children & Families

The new grant, Evaluation of Implementation to Fidelity of Evidence-Based Services, will Involve Conducting a Statewide Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Florida's Child Welfare System

Sarah Sheffield Receives Inaugural Bob Friedman Endowed Scholarship Award

An award established in honor of Dr. Friedman, long-time Professor and Chair in Child & Family Studies, is given to a graduate student in the last year of their study.

CARD-USF Autism Friendly Team Recognized by Tampa City Council

Since 2017, CARD-USF and the Autism Friendly Tampa committee have worked together to make Tampa a welcoming and safe community for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

CRMHC and MFT Host Virtual Career and Licensure Panel

USF Assistant Professor of Instruction/MFT Field Placement Coordinator Lauren Baxley, PhD, LMFT was the moderator and 8 panelists shared their expertise, wisdom and tips with students in both CRMHC & MFT programs.

CFS Research Associate Stephanie Martinez Selected for 3-Year Term on Board of Association for Positive Behavior Support

APBS is a multidisciplinary organization made up of over 1400 professionals (teachers, researchers, university professors, and administrators), family members, and consumers who are committed to the application of positive behavior support within the context of the school, family, and community.

RMHC Students Receive People’s Choice Award from the USF Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium

Congratulations to RMHC students Callie Hill, Jessica Klein and Kevin Spath who won in the Social & Behavioral Sciences (including Education) category.

FCIC Releases COVID-19 and Vaccination Information Videos for People with Disabilities

The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) UCEDD, in partnership with Diane Wilkins Productions, and funded by a grant from the Administration for Community Living/CDC, is pleased to announce the release of a new series of free educational videos.

Fully Online Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Sciences Begins Fall 2022

Beginning Fall 2022, a new fully online Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Sciences (RCDS) will be offered at USF to meet the increasing demand for Certified Rehabilitation Counselors to work with persons with physical, mental, emotional, and chemical disabilities.

Instructor Jill Heilman Profiled as USF Boundless Bull

She is a driving force behind the creation of the new Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Sciences online master’s program, which prepares students for careers as rehabilitation counselors and professional disability specialists. She plans to share the stories of her children and invite other guest speakers with disabilities to speak with classes in the program to help end the stigma and stereotypes that those with disabilities face.

CFS Associate Professor Trina Spencer, PhD Shares Fulbright Experience in South Africa

After several starts and stops and a year and a half delay, CFS Associate Professor Dr. Trina Spencer finally made it to South Africa. She won a Fulbright award in 2020, but due to COVID-19, she was unable to begin her experience until 2022.

Haley Moss visits CARD and The Learning Academy to Share Journey through College and Career as Someone with Autism

As a lawyer, neurodiversity expert and author, she is a consultant to top corporations and nonprofits that seek her guidance in creating a diverse workplace, and a sought-after commentator on disability rights issues.

CFS Chair and Professor Mario Hernandez, PhD Featured in La Gaceta

The story explores Dr. Hernandez's childhood growing up in Ybor City to a Cuban father and Spanish and Sicilian mother and his experiences with racism against the Latin community.

CFS/RMHC Professor Marilyn Stern Honored as AAAS Fellow

Dr. Stern is recognized for her distinguished contributions to the field of psychology, particularly for development of parent-involved interventions for obese children and adolescents, pediatric cancer survivors, and at-risk youth.

CFS Associate Professor/ RMHC Program Director Contributes to Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

The committee is organized by the Institute of International Education and encompass the diversity of U.S. academia.

CFS Study Team is Conducting a National Online Survey of Former Youth Residents of Residential Treatment Facilities and their Parents and Caregivers

The survey is to help understand their experiences and perspective of the care received by the facilities. The types of facilities include programs such as therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness camps, residential treatment centers, and boot camps. 

RMHC Hosts Coffee Hour with Fulbright Scholar

Fulbright Scholar Dr. Ming Hung Wang, CRC shared the history of disability rights movement in Taiwan along with the evolution of the special education and vocational rehabilitation systems, both modeled after systems in the United States.

2021 News

2020 News

2018 News

2017 News