Dr. Steve Sparks was born and raised in Rochester, Michigan. He received his Bachelors with honors from the Psychology Department at Western Michigan University in 2009, Masters in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University in 2012 under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Malott, and completed his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University in 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Jessica Frieder. Dr. Sparks is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with the doctoral designation and has years of experience in early childhood intervention for autism, the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, parent training, and consulting in inpatient, outpatient, school, and organizational settings. In the past Dr. Sparks served as a member of the Transition & Adult Services Subcommittee of the Michigan Autism Council. Dr. Sparks’ research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, verbal behavior, and the theoretical and conceptual analysis of behavior. Dr. Sparks began consulting on severe problem behavior for community mental health agencies in the State of Michigan in 2012 and started Sparks Behavioral Services LLC. in 2016 in order to bring these services, as well as his other areas of expertise, to areas of the state where they are not currently available.
Andrea is a behavior technician at Sparks Behavioral Services where she works with staff members in adult foster care homes to train behavior plans for residents with problem behavior. She collects all behavior data as well as treatment integrity data to assess training needs at the homes. Andrea graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the psychology department of Western Michigan University. Andrea has previously worked as a behavior technician at the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research where she worked with children and adolescents with autism to reduce severe problem behaviors, communication skills, staff training, and program maintenance. Andrea also has experience providing in-home applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism.
Rebecca Winger received her bachelor’s degree in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University in 2017 with summa cum laude honors. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Rebecca gained significant experience applying early intervention ABA therapy and conducting research at the Summit Pointe Autism Center. Immediately upon graduating, she began working for Sparks Behavioral Services as a behavior technician. Rebecca hopes to further her consulting career in behavior analysis by returning to WMU to earn her master’s degree and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Sean Regnier is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Behavior Consultant for Sparks Behavioral Services. From Ludlow, Massachusetts, he received his master’s degree at Westfield State University in Massachusetts under Dr. Jorge Reyes and Dr. Leonardo Andade, both graduates of the University of Florida. After graduating in 2016 he continued his career as a clinician/consultant for adults with various developmental disabilities at the May Institute, which he did for two years. His research focus in Massachusetts was on the functional analysis of severe problem behavior. He moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2017 to pursue his PhD in Behavior Analysis and is currently enrolled at Western Michigan University under Dr. Anthony DeFulio, who graduated from the University of Florida. His current research goals involve improving health behaviors such as substance abuse and adherence to medication using Contingency management, a behavioral intervention in which patients receive incentives contingent upon engaging in specific target behaviors.
Kendra Combs is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) who joined the team at Sparks Behavioral Services in the summer of 2018. She first came across behavior analysis by chance her freshmen year at Western Michigan University by taking Dr. Richard Malott’s Psychology 1000, which she later would go on to teach as a masters student. She graduated summa cum laude from WMU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, she received a Fulbright Fellowship grant and completed a year of research on the special education system of post-WWII Japan.
After returning to the states, Kendra joined the behavior analysis training system master’s program under Dr. Richard Malott in 2010. While in this program Kendra was a supervisor in the early intervention classroom at the Woods Edge Learning Center in Kalamazoo, MI. Here she supervised behavioral technicians working with young children with autism as well as designing programming to assist in the development of the students. Kendra also taught Psychology 1000 and the accompanying rat lab that went along with it. During this time, Kendra completed her work toward becoming a BCBA, focusing on autism as well as other developmental disabilities and organizational behavioral management.
After graduation, Kendra completed several years of work in the Washington D.C., area including work in a private school assisting in supported inclusion of special needs students, in-home autism services, and telesupervision of high risk clients in geographically under-supported areas. Upon returning to Kalamazoo in 2015, Kendra worked for the non-profit The Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research, a part of Residential Opportunities, Inc. Here Kendra worked in the intensive residential setting writing behavior plans and supervising the 24/7 care of pre-teens and teenagers with severe problem behavior. This included designing training for front-line staff, training and giving feedback, as well as writing and conducting full functional analyses and graphing and interpreting results to guide behavior plans and other interventions.
Kendra has two children and is excited to be raising them in Kalamazoo, MI. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, disseminating behavior analysis to students of all ages, and using the science of behavior to help solve issues of ecological sustainability and social justice.