Associate Professor at the University of North Texas

Dr. Shahla Alai, Ph.D., BCBA-D


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 under resourced populations through caring and science-based interventions. Shahla is a member of an interdisciplinary social justice collective that includes faculty and students from Woman’s and Gender Studies, Applied Anthropology and Behavior Analysis. Shahla teaches technology transfer, ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, and assessment courses. Shahla served on the governing board of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) and as a subject matter expert on supervision and ethics.

She also served on the ABAI Practice Board, the ABAI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board, and the Experience Standards Committee and is currently on the PBAAC and the OAR scientific council. She has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, and change agent training. She is co-author of two books, one on supervision and the other on love and science in the treatment of autism. Shahla has over four decades of experience working with families and has trained hundreds of master’s level behavior analysts who have gone on to serve families and communities with honor. 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.