January ‘Out of the Blue’ spotlights MTSU’s Applie...

January ‘Out of the Blue’ spotlights MTSU’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program [+VIDEO]

Annie Galizio and Jay Hinnenkamp, both assistant professors in the Department of Psychology at MTSU, were featured on the January 2024 episode of MTSU’s “Out of the Blue” television show to talk with host Andrew Oppmann about the Applied Behavior Analysis Program. (MTSU graphic illustration by Rachel Byrnes)

The Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Middle Tennessee State University was spotlighted on January’s “Out of the Blue” television magazine program.

Annie Galizio and Jay Hinnenkamp, both assistant professors in the Department of Psychology within the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, explained the program and what careers are available for graduates of this master’s level track in the experimental psychology concentration.

“Behavior analysis is the science of learning and behavior,” Hinnenkamp said. “Applied behavior analysts take that understanding of learning principles and concepts and apply it to socially significant behaviors to help people in our program.”

You can view the segment below:

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, practitioners use evidence-based neurodiversity-affirming practices to help clients of all ages with life skills and promote independence. But the focus is not on curing or treating conditions, Galizio explained to “Out of the Blue” program host Andrew Oppmann, vice president for marketing and communications.

“It’s more on prioritizing the client’s well-being,” Galizio said.

Although ABA therapists are often associated with helping clients on the autism spectrum or those with developmental challenges, the program prepares graduates to have careers that go beyond traditional clinical modalities — even in the animal science industry and substance dependence recovery.

“There’s a whole bunch of things applied behavior analysts can do,” Hinnenkamp said.

MTSU’s program allows students to tailor their degree pathway to their own interests as well, he said.

“So a lot of our students, also in addition to the core behavior analysis courses, they’ll take courses in behavioral neuroscience and child development,” Hinnenkamp said.

The varied coursework as well as research training gives MTSU students an edge in the job market, Galizio said. And there is a huge demand for board-certified ABA therapists, with over 1,000 job postings in Tennessee alone and an excess of 57,000 available spots across the country.

MTSU offers an undergraduate-level registered behavior technician certification that is in high demand as well, Galizio said.

Learn more about MTSU’s ABA Program by visiting the Department of Psychology, Experimental Psychology website.

“Out of the Blue” is available anytime on the university’s YouTube channel, the True Blue TV channel, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It also airs on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; NewsChannel5+ at 3:30 p.m. Sundays and on other cable outlets in Middle Tennessee, so check local listings. 

It is also available as a podcast on iTunes and Google Play and as individual interview segments on Spotify at

Watch previous episodes of “Out of the Blue” at 

— Nancy DeGennaro (