Joined USJ: 2015
While earning her bachelor’s degree, Nicole C. Groskreutz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, assistant professor of Counseling & Applied Behavioral Studies, took a class on Learning and Behavior and discovered something that changed her life: She had always thought like a behavior analyst. “Understanding human behavior is understanding the world around me – making sense of why people make the choices they make, and helping people to make better choices,” Groskreutz explained. By implementing this knowledge in her career, she helps individuals with disabilities live happier, healthier, and more independent lives.
Beneath her love for the science of human behavior lies a motivation to help others live the best life possible. Whether it is teaching a mother how to help her five-year-old with Autism vocalize his needs instead of screaming and biting, or helping a teenage boy stop hitting himself and start smiling and learning in school again, Groskreutz’s passion for the field stems from the desire to help those around her. By teaching master’s students the skills she has learned and utilized in her own career, she ensures innumerable other lives will benefit as well. “I am proud to teach others how to use the principles of behavior analysis to improve their own lives and the lives of others,” she stated.
To best help others, Groskreutz dedicates time outside the classroom to research projects that come from clinical or educational needs she has observed. Her work as a scientist-practitioner proves beneficial for her thesis students at USJ, who complete their degree with a two-semester course in which they design a research project and carry it to completion. “I have the opportunity to work with my students as a mentor and a collaborator, teaching them how to engage with the literature, form relationships with other professionals, and carry out research in schools or in homes,” Groskreutz remarked. “Through this process, the students learn to be scientist-practitioners too – carrying out projects that both change people’s lives and improve the knowledge in our field.”
Ph.D., Utah State University
BCBA, Northeastern University
M.S.Ed., Simmons College
B.A., Fairfield University
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