Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Established in 2015 this award honors an individual that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of behavior analytic activities or programs. The individual's contributions may take the form of advocacy, publicity, legislation, financial support, or a similar action that fosters behavior analytic work or raises public awareness of the importance of the science of behavior analysis or applied behavior analysis.



Nominees may work directly, indirectly, or outside the profession of behavior analysis. 

Nomination Requirements:

A completed nomination form from any current LaBAA member which includes 1) contact information of the nominee, 2) contact information of the person submitting the nomination, and 3) a 300 word or less description of the nominee’s advocacy activities.  Nominations must be submitted via email to by the stated deadline in the Call for Nominations. 


A plaque.


First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The current governing LaBAA Board serves as the Selection Committee.  The Selection Committee determines the number of and recipients of the LaBAA Award for Distinguished Advocacy by simple majority vote.



2016 - Vondra Etienne-Steib  


The LaBAA Board of Directors presented Mrs. Vondra Etienne-Steib with the first LaBAA Award for Distinguished ABA Advocacy at the 2016 Gulf Coast ABA Conference in New Orleans on October 7, 2016.  Mrs. Steib is the director of Special Education in St. James Parish and a long time advocate for ABA.  Beginning in 2010 with a single teacher, she has grown her ABA services to now include eight ABA modeled self-contained classrooms in St. James Parish.  She is currently advocating for additional sites to be opened. By growing the ABA model program, Mrs. Steib provides students, parents, and ABA practitioners with unique learning opportunities and advantages.  Mrs. Steib's commitment, dedication, and advocacy for  ABA services has enabled students that may not have otherwise accessed ABA  to benefit from high quality ABA services.  Congratulations and thank you to  Mrs. Vondra Etienne-Steib for her tireless advocacy of ABA!   Pictured with Mrs. Steib is Derek Shanman, LaBAA President.

2017 - Dr. Joanne Robbins


Dr. Joanne Robbins was the recipient of the 2017 LaBAA Award for Distinguished ABA advocacy. Dr. Robbins is  a founding member of PEER (Partners for Educational Excellence and Research) and the Principal and Associate Director of Morningside Academy in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Robbins has over thirty years of experience in program development, curriculum design, and teaching and supervision of programs for children, youth and adults. Her experience has been in both educational and mental health settings. She has developed programs for Pre-K through college level.Her work at Morningside assists students who are up to three years behind academically through the application of behavior analytic teaching strategies.She also mentors teachers and behavior analysts all over the world. Her work through PEER has brought behavior analytic work to impoverished schools in South Africa to train teachers and improve the educational experience for young children in South Africa.    Dr. Robbins has also volunteered her time to present and conduct workshops at past Gulf Coast ABA Conferences. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Robbins for her  support of our conference and her efforts around the world. Pictured with Dr. Robbins is 2017 LaBAA president, Dr. Derek Shanman.

2018 - Rhonda Boe

Rhonda Boe was the recipient of the 2018 LaBAA Award for Distinguished Advocacy.  She is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board. Rhonda is a tireless advocate for the practice of behavior analysis in Louisiana. Along with ensuring that board activities  run smoothly, she  stays abreast of legislative issue that may impact practitioners or consumers and often volunteers her time to  meet with legislators and watch or attend legislative hearings so that she may inform board members of developments.  She has a passion for and commitment to the field of behavior analysis  and her tireless dedication to the science and regulation of behavior analysis in Louisiana is immensely appreciated.  Rhonda is pictured below with Dr. Derek Shanman, LaBAA past president.

2019- Dr. Grant Gautreaux and Janice Huber