Shahla Alai received her B.S. from Southern Illinois University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Shahla and her students collaborate with community partners to serve people who are under resourced and marginalized within current societal structures.
Shahla is a member of an interdisciplinary lab that includes faculty and students from Woman’s and Gender Studies, Applied Anthropology and Behavior Analysis. Shahla teaches courses on technology transfer, ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, and assessment. Shahla has served on several boards and disciplinary committees, most notably the ABAI Practice Board and the ABAI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board. She has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, change agent training, supervision and the relationship between love and science in the treatment of autism.
She co-authored a book on supervision and mentoring and another on love and science in the treatment of autism. Shahla has over four decades of experience working with families and has trained hundreds of behavior analysts. She was awarded an Onassis Foundation Fellowship for her work with families, was the recipient of UNT’s prestigious “’Fessor Graham” teaching award, received the 2019 Texas Association for Behavior Analysis Career Contributions award, and the UNT 2020 Community Engagement award.
Primary Research Interests:
Autism early intervention, cultural responsiveness in interventions, parent support and training, staff training, telehealth interventions, interdisciplinary collaborations, ethics
Other areas of expertise:
Rudimentary Spanish, community volunteer