The Applied Behavior Analysis Collective is a behavioral science research group at Michigan State University.  We conduct applied behavior analysis research with two primary foci:

- to develop strategies to improve social and academic outcomes of individuals with autism;

- to create and evaluate strategies that improve professional and ethical behavior of practicing behavior analysts.


Matthew T. Brodhead, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Professional Bio: Matthew T. Brodhead is an assistant professor at Michigan State University and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. His research examines behavioral determinants of response variability, choice, and independent social skills in children with autism. He also writes about conceptual issues relating to the ethical and professional behavior of practicing behavior analysts. He is on the editorial board of multiple journals, including Behavior Analysis in Practice, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Behavior and Philosophy. Through workshops and consultation, he has established multiple school-based programs for children with autism, and he has provided training to teachers, related service providers, and behavior analysts both nationally and internationally. Finally, he specializes in program evaluation for both applied behavior analysis and public school placements for individuals with autism.

Matt recieved both his B.S. in Psychology in 2008 and his M.A. in Behavior Analysis in 2010 from Western Michigan University. His M.A. advisor was Dr. Richard Malott. In summer of 2010, Matt moved to Logan, Utah and attended Utah State University, where he received his Ph.D. in Disability Disciplines in 2014 under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Tom Higbee.

Random Personal Facts: Matt enjoys spending time in the Great Outdoors, especially skiing (There are only two seasons: winter, and waiting for winter). When he can't get outside, he enjoys listening to music, and he is always on the lookout for rare/original Parliament-Funkadelic records (or related side projects). He also enjoys playing banjo and drums, and in a previous life, he used to tour with a funk band.

Matt and his wife, Hannah, backpacking on Isle Royale.

Matt and his brother, Drew, on Moonlight Buttress in Zion Canyon.

Matt and his brother, Drew, on Moonlight Buttress in Zion Canyon.

Click the above image to visit Matt's Google Scholar page

Click the above image to visit Matt's Google Scholar page


Emma Seliina Sipila, MA, BCBA

Emma and her fiancé, Terrance, skiing at Boyne Mountain.

Emma and her fiancé, Terrance, skiing at Boyne Mountain.

The lake view at Emma’s family cottage in Finland.

The lake view at Emma’s family cottage in Finland.

Professional Bio: Emma is a first-year doctoral student in the Special Education program at Michigan State University under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Brodhead. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working with individuals with autism for 11 years. Currently, she is a research assistant at MSU and works at various levels at the Early Learning Institute. Prior to coming to MSU, Emma received her Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis under Dr. Richard Malott from Western Michigan University in 2017 and her Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 2013. She is currently conducting research on preference assessments and the interaction between edible and leisure items.

Random Personal Facts: Emma was born in Finland and all of her relatives (i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) still live there. She loves visiting as often as she can and would highly recommend others to visit as well!  In her free time, she enjoys visiting her three nieces (ages 6, 4, & 2), volunteering at a variety of events, skiing, and more recently, cooking (though she has not quite mastered this skill yet)!


Emma Mitchell, BA

Emma scoping out some nice glaciers on the side of Mount Hood in Oregon

Emma scoping out some nice glaciers on the side of Mount Hood in Oregon

Professional Bio: Emma Mitchell is a first-year master’s student in the ABA program at Michigan State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a licensed special education teacher for grades 9-12th in Mississippi and taught 9th grade for a year before moving to Michigan. She is completing her practicum and BCBA supervision at the Early Learning Institute. Her current research interest includes the matching law and its application to the clinical setting. 

Random Personal Facts: Emma is originally from Mississippi and she has a deep love for being out on the boat with family and sitting on the beach enjoying fresh shrimp and crawfish. She also enjoys being outdoors in a tent and so far, Michigan has proved to be the perfect camping state for her! She is excited to spend these next few years as a Spartan!