Awards & Achievements

Over the years, excellence in service, training, and research at May Institute has led to both national and international recognition.

We have been the proud recipients of many honors and awards. What is most important about these awards is not the recognition they bring, but what they represent. Being selected as outstanding contributors in our field means that we are meeting our goal of provide the best possible services to the children and adults we serve.


  • May Institute was named to The Commonwealth Institute's 2018 list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. [View press release.]

  • Dr. Robert F. Putnam was elected President of the Massachusetts Association of Applied Behavior Analysis. [View press release.]


  • May Institute was named number 17 on The Commonwealth Institute's 2017 list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. [View press release.]


  • The National Autism Center at May Institute was selected by the U.S. State Department for the International Speaker Program. [View press release.]

  • May Institute was named number 26 on The Commonwealth Institute’s 2016 list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. [View press release.]

  • May Institute received a bequest of nearly $900,000 from the estate of the late Janet Wright Charlton O’Connor, and established its first endowment fund. [View press release.]


  • In 2015, Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D., ABPP, President and Chief Executive Officer of May Institute, was one of 23 women from the Boston business community honored as a "Woman of Influence" by the Boston Business Journal. [View press release.]

Additional Recognition

  • May Institute is the first nonprofit human services organization in the country to receive top national honors from both the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). May Institute received the Outstanding Training Program Award from ABCT and the Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis from SABA.

  • The organization continuously seeks and receives the highest level of program accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). All of May Institute’s programs that have been through the CARF accreditation process have earned three-year accreditation. This constitutes one of the largest and most comprehensive accreditations CARF has ever awarded to a network of behavioral programs.

  • Since 1978, the organization’s professional staff have published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. May Institute professionals are active in the dissemination of best practices, and have conducted thousands of invited presentations to international, national, and regional audiences.

  • The organization is guided by a Professional Advisory Board that includes leading authorities in the fields of education, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health. It maintains active affiliations with more than 50 universities, teaching hospitals, and human service organizations.

  • Over the past decade, May Institute has received nearly 50 awards for excellence in communications, public relations, and marketing from prominent New England organizations. The awards recognize initiatives that reinforce the Institute's goals of increasing awareness about significant public health issues, such as the rising incidence rates of autism, and creating opportunities for individuals to access critical information and services.

  • May Institute has provided behavior analysis training to hundreds of students and professionals from countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and West Africa.

  • In 2005, May Institute sponsored the initial development of the National Autism Center, May Institute's Center for the Promotion of Evidence-based Practice. The Center is dedicated to supporting effective, evidence-based treatment approaches for autism.

  • Through its APA-accredited internship program, the organization has trained and supervised more than 100 pre-doctoral clinical psychology interns and post-doctoral fellows since 1998.

  • Over 740 graduate students have received their master’s degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis through May Institute’s MABA program, one of the earliest and now largest programs in the country.

  • May Institute has provided behavioral training to more than 10,000 public school teachers over the past 15 years.

  • In 2011, May Institute received a Peer Provider Award from the Providers' Council (Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers). Peer Provider Awards recognize agencies that have “gone the extra mile to serve their clients and consumers and are worthy of recognition by their peers.”

  • May Institute is the first nonprofit human services organization in the country with two experts counted among only 56 Fellows of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) worldwide. The designation recognizes the most outstanding contributors to the field of behavior analysis. Walter P. Christian, Ph.D., ABPP, former President and CEO, was named a Fellow in 2007 and Dennis C. Russo, ABPP, former Chief Clinical Officer, was named a Fellow in 2008.

  • Retired President and CEO Walter P. Christian, Ph.D., ABPP, was recognized in 2008 with the “Champions in Health Care” Lifetime Achievement Award by the Boston Business Journal.

  • May Institute was recognized as one of America’s best nonprofits (Jossey-Bass, 1997).

  • The May Center for Child Development in Chatham, Mass., was honored by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation’s “Schools of Excellence.”

  • May Institute has been identified as one of the largest nonprofit providers in Massachusetts (Boston Business Journal, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011).  

  • May Institute was honored in 2010 by the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition for offering employment opportunities to individuals with mental illness.