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Multicultural Special Interest Group (SIG)

Florida Association of Behavior Analysis

The FABA Multicultural Special Interest Group (SIG) holds diversity, inclusion and dignity for all as its core values. Discriminatory, harassing or demeaning behavior of any kind will not be accepted. Members are expected to uphold these values and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code, while promoting a culture where individuals can interact, benefit and contribute to the collective experience.


eBoard and Committee Members


Maricel Cigales, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Maricel Cigales earned a Ph.D. in Psychology with specializations in Developmental Psychology and Behavior Analysis from Florida International University (FIU) in 1995. Dr. Cigales is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with more than 30 years of experience as a practitioner and professor of applied behavior analysis. Dr. Cigales is faculty in the Department of Psychology at FIU, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education and the Director of the Behavior Analysis Master of Science program.

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Paloma Pedraza Rodriguez, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Dr. Paloma Pedraza Rodriguez is a Miami native that has been in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2002.  She received her B.S. in Psychology at Florida State University while studying under Dr. Jon Bailey.  She earned her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology under Dr. Martinez-Diaz, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University under Drs. Jack Gewirtz and Anibal Gutierrez.  During her time as a doctoral student she earned a research grant from the Organization for Autism Research and went on to publish her research in the Development and Behavior Bulletin. She has been teaching behavior analysis courses at FIU since 2008 and is now the assistant director of the Behavior Analysis Masters Program.  Dr. Rodriguez has a tremendous passion for disseminating and advocating for the ethical and effective application of behavior analysis procedures.  Dr. Rodriguez serves as the vice-chair of the Multicultural Special Interest Group at the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and promotes the dissemination of ABA to Latin American and other cultures that are represented in South Florida by providing translated materials and trainings in different languages. Her clinical and research interests involve early intervention for children with autism, in particular the importance of social interaction during the early stages of learning.  She is also the clinical director for a local ABA agency and provides clinical supervision to BCaBA and BCBA candidates. 


Melanie Korner, M.A., BCBA


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Rosemary San Nicolas, M.S.,


Rosemary San Nicolas earned her B.A. and M.S. in Psychology from Florida International University (FIU). Ms. San Nicolas has been involved with the University, as a student, staff, adjunct and full-time faculty for over 20 years. She earned her license as a mental health counselor in the State of Florida in 2006 and her certification as behavior analyst in 2015. Since then, Ms. San Nicolas has been providing behavior analytic services to clients and training and supervision to BCaBA and BCBA candidates alongside her work as a psychotherapist and qualified supervisor to registered mental health counselor interns, domestically and abroad. She uses her diverse training experience in both mental health and behavior analysis to create a comprehensive learning experience for her practicum and internship students. She is passionate about providing training and supervision in the areas of cultural humility, behavioral artistry, neuro-diversity-affirming practice, collaborative work with interdisciplinary professionals, assent-based intervention, and other emerging supervision and clinical practices.  


Jacqueline Korner, M.S., BCBA, LBA, IBA


Jacqueline started to study Experimental Analysis of Behavior in 1982 at Universidad Central of Venezuela.(.UCV). She participated in several research projects in ABA and EAB (Creativity, group contingencies, Altruism, aggression, and Behavioral Medicine.) In 1987, graduated Magna Cum Laude as a Psychologist with Specialization in Clinical Behavioral, she graduated first in her class. Her thesis was about Classical conditioning  of heart rate and blood pressure and received the highest distinction of being published.
In 1988 she was appointed with a faculty position at the UCV and  taught many classes including Behavioral Medicine as well as completed many research projects being one of the most important "Stress psychosocial and occupational in oil refinery workers' '.While working as a faculty, pursued her post graduate studies in Experimental  and Applied Analysis of Behavior and continued her research in Behavioral Medicine with her Master thesis in Biofeedback and operant conditioning of different physiological responses. Due to the sociopolitical situation in Venezuela, Jacqueline decided to resign her tenure position and moved to Florida. She was a visiting Faculty at the University of Miami  in the Behavioral medicine Dept. and an Adjunct Faculty at Florida International University teaching EAB among other classes..
Jacqueline became a Multidisciplinary Team leader in a ICF State Institution with more than a 1000 clients diagnosed with Developmental disabilities, provided consultation in foster care and group homes, as well as out of state Institutions (Indiana and NJ)She became a Florida CBA with expanded privileges in 1998, a BCBA in 2001, LBA in Texas 2020 and IBA  Jacqueline provides supervision to RBT, BCaBA and future BCBA/BCaBA as well as an ACE provider. In 2004 

Jacqueline  founded Positive Behavior Treatment (PBT), became a Medicaid and Medicaid provider  and provides services remotely/person in  Spanish and English  in our office, homes, schools, preschool, etc. Currently She provides ABA mostly to children with ASD of multicultural families. PBT had provided services to American clients from: Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Canada, San Salvador, Philippines, Israel, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia, among others.

She is the proud mother of 2  Master level Behavior Analysts (BCBA, BCaBA) and the Membership chair of the SIG.

She has completed multiple webinars and presented at FABA and other conferences in Spanish and English.

 She is the FABA Multicultural SIG membership chair.

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Christian Mendez, M.S., BCBA


Christian Mendez is a board certified behavior analyst. She entered the field of applied behavior analysis while pursuing her B.A. in Psychology at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. She also earned her M.S. in Psychology, with emphasis in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. In 2015, she entered as part of the first online Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis online program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she is currently completing her dissertation on cultural competence and parent stress. Her research interests include verbal behavior, parent stress, buy-in for ABA services, Acceptance and Commitment Training, bilingual service delivery, and cultural competence/cultural humility.


Christian also is the founder and clinical director of InnerConnections Developmental Specialists—a pediatric therapy company in Miami, Florida offering services to children from 18 months to 21 years of age. ICDS prides itself in offering ABA services in both English and Spanish, as well as prioritizing naturalistic teaching, the development of appropriate verbal behavior repertoires, and parent training/involvement. ICDS is currently expanding beyond Applied Behavior Analytic services to offer educational services primarily based in behavior analytic procedures and technologies, as well as pediatric mental health services to help address the need for more ASD-competent educators and service providers in these essential service areas.


Christian also is one of the founding board members of the South Florida chapter of the Florida Association of Behavior Analysis (SoFABA), and currently serves as the President of this organization.

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Sarah Gonzalez, M.S., BCBA


Sarah Gonzalez graduated with an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2018, and a B.S. in Psychology from Florida International University (FIU) in 2015, where I also completed the undergraduate ABA course sequence. During my 10 years in the field of ABA, I have practiced as an RBT, BCaBA, and BCBA. I have dedicated much of my time in the field to providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities and training and supervision to students and staff. I have experience working with international clients and companies to improve their clinical practices and provide supervision to their staff. Among my greatest passions is disseminating and promoting ethical, compassionate, and high-quality ABA practices. My love for ethical and quality service delivery has led me to my most recent endeavor of working as an adjunct lecturer at Florida International University to impact incoming ABA professionals directly.

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