DEI Celebrates International Women’s Day


On March 8th, International Women’s Day recognizes achievements of women around the globe. This year we honor those who laid the foundation for the critical work we do at May Institute.

We thank Mary Whiton Calkins, who in 1905 became the first president of the American Psychological Association after completing her doctorate requirements at Harvard University. She was never awarded a degree, however, because of her gender.

We thank Mamie Phipps Clark, who in 1943 became the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia University and whose research in child psychology became instrumental in Brown v. Board of Education.

We thank Beth Sulzer-Azaroff, who in 1966 earned her Ph.D., and became one of the first to apply behavior analytic methods to classroom settings.

We thank Nancy Neef, who in 1993 became the first woman editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25 years after the publication originated.

We thank Devon Sundberg, who in 2017 founded Women in Behavior Analysis, a conference that centralizes and celebrates the work of women in the field.


Despite facing lack of access to universities, research, and professional appointments, these trailblazing women—among countless others—made lasting contributions to the fields of psychology and behavior analysis. Over the past two decades, women have become increasingly prominent in the field of behavior analysis and now make up over 85% of all Board Certified Behavior Analysts.