Student Spotlight November 2020

Taylor Webb

 

 

 

Taylor Webb received her Bachelors of Arts in Education, concentrating in Kindergarten through Fifth grade and learning behavior disorders K-12th from Bellarmine University. Taylor is currently in her last semester of her Master's program here at the University of Louisville. Taylor is majoring in Applied Behavior Analysis and graduating in December 2020. 

 

 

Interview:

1. What brought you to the University of Louisville?
The Applied Behavior Analysis Masters program. I met with the director, Erick Dubuque, as well as members of the program before applying. The variety of practicum opportunities provided as well as the quality of the program sold me almost immediately. 

2. Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):

Most of my research is regarding individuals with autism. I chose this area to focus on because it is the main population that my practicum and job sites serve. I am also always looking to improve on evidence-based practices that can be used to teach those with autism new skills, improve their quality of life, and decrease problem behavior.

3. How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to your a friend/family member unfamiliar with your field?

A behavior analyst is someone who uses the science of applied behavior analysis to change the behavior of others. ABA can be used with all populations, but I mainly work with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. BCBAs work in a variety of settings, including clients’ homes, schools, clinics, hospitals, the community, and even businesses to change the behavior of employees. We work teach new skills, develop existing skills, and decrease problem behavior in order to help our clients increase independence, quality of life and opportunities available. 

4. What made you go into this field of study?

Before beginning this master’s program, I was a special education teacher for students with emotional behavior disorders. I loved the population that I worked with but didn’t love the academic side of teaching. Applied behavior analysis has allowed me to further my understanding of behavior and makes me feel as if I am making the biggest difference possible in my client’s lives. 

5. How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

With the knowledge I have gained through this program I feel equipped to change the lives of the individuals I work with. I have already seen some of this at my practicum sites, and it has only provided confirmation for choosing this field. While I still have a lot to learn, I am excited to begin working with clients in whatever setting I chose to work. 

6. Long term goals/ aspirations:

 After graduation I plan to continue to gain experience and understanding of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. I would love to eventually have a leadership role in the setting I work in, whether that be as a supervisor or clinical director. I may also considering continuing my education to receive a BCBA-D.

7. What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?

Completing this program has been the hardest thing academically that I have done. The coursework as well as fieldwork hours are a huge time commitment, and our professors always expect the best from our program. It has been challenging in the classroom and in the clinic applying what we learn, but it is very rewarding to see the impact our work as behavior analysts can have

8. What has been your favorite part of the graduate school experience at UofL?

The best part of my graduate experience has been the people who I have met, both the others in my cohort and the one above mine, as well as the faculty who have taught our classes. I truly would not have made it through the program without their support and guidance, and they are a huge part of what makes this program special. 

9. What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

I think time management is one of the largest hurdles with graduate school, especially when working while doing a full-time program. For me it is having a calendar (I use the one on my phone to get alerts), and ever running to do list, and my cohort to keep me on track helped make me successful. 

10. Family life:

I am currently living in Shelbyville with my mom and dad while I am finishing my masters. I have two sisters, a twin and a younger sister. My boyfriend of six years just graduated with a doctorate in Physical Therapy and works here in Louisville. 


Fun Facts 
A talent you have always wanted: To sing and dance- I am terrible at both
Favorite book: Harry Potter
Favorite quote: Everything happens for a reason
Role Model: Too many to choose from
Favorite Vacation Destination: Somewhere I've never been
If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? Teaching special education in Jefferson County.