May Institute President Named ABA Fellow; Joins Elite International Group


May Institute President and CEO Walter P. Christian, Ph.D., ABPP, has been named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). One of only 47 ABA Fellows worldwide, he was honored at the most recent 34th annual ABAI convention in San Diego.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International is a nonprofit professional membership organization that promotes the field of behavior analysis. Fellows are selected based on their outstanding contributions in the areas of research/scholarship, professional practice, or teaching/administration service. They are nominated by their peers, who must provide a documented record of their contributions to the field.


Todd R. Risley, Ph.D., one of the founding fathers of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and May Institute Professional Advisory Board member until his recent passing, actively supported Christian’s nomination. Risley was Christian’s longtime colleague and supporter, and he emphasized Dr. Christian’s unparalleled commitment to developing the next generation of talented practitioners in a strong endorsement to ABAI.


“Under Christian’s leadership, for 30 years the May Institute has been a place of exceptional behavioral talent,” wrote Risley. “It has provided the work and intellectual environment for a large number of the best applied behavioral scientists and practitioners

of our field.”


“As it has grown,” Risley continued, “the May achieved and maintained a level of excellence in all its programs through adherence to behavioral management principles. That this was no accident is shown by the book, Effective Management in Human Services, written by Dr. Christian in 1983. That book — efficient, practical and thoroughly behavioral — is arguably the best organizational behavior book in existence.”


According to Maria E. Malott, Ph.D., Executive Director of ABAI, Dr. Christian’s appointment was based on his sustained and excellent contributions to the field of behavior analysis. “Your work in and commitment to the field provided clear evidence of your fulfillment of the requirements of an ABA Fellow,” she wrote in notifying Dr. Christian of his appointment.


“I am very grateful to receive this honor and pleased that it came in the same year that May Institute received the Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for behavior analysis,” said Dr. Christian.


[ABA is a methodology, or framework, that applies scientific interventions to address behavioral needs. It is universally recognized as critical for teaching children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities.]