Joined USJ: 2008
As USJ's reputation in the field of autism and behavior analysis grows, John Molteni is a driving force. Molteni, a licensed psychologist and doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), is director of the Institute for Autism and Behavioral Studies, which offers a highly regarded and well-attended graduate certificate program and a comprehensive M.S. degree in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. If ever there was a textbook example of responding to a societal need, this is it.
Molteni, who also serves as chair of the department of Special Education, stresses that developing critical thinking skills is at the core of the academic program. The field needs "good critical thinkers," rather than individuals who act simply because they read something in a textbook. His teaching emphasizes inquiry into "what is the science behind the intervention, and how do we critically evaluate it?" Even as efforts continue to find the cause of autism spectrum disorders, Molteni says the educational focus must remain on working with people already diagnosed – and those numbers are growing.
The coursework and supervised field experience that defines the USJ program details the latest intervention strategies in the rapidly-evolving field, and prepares those seeking national certification as a behavior analyst. Molteni – whose career includes both clinical and consulting work in a range of professional settings - has established a relationship with the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain for the delivery of clinical services. USJ is perfectly situated, he says, to continue expanding academic offerings, preparing students to work effectively with families, schools, organizations and – most of all – young people challenged by autism spectrum disorders.
Ph.D., Clinical Child Psychology, Saint John's University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, Saint John's University
B.A., Psychology, Loyola University Maryland