Meet Our Board
Dr. Kimberly Nix Berens
Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Kimberly Nix Berens, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA is a Founding Director of Fit Learning, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the doctoral level, and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of New York. Her work centers on using behavior analysis to transform the learning abilities of a wide-range of children, including those who are struggling, average, gifted, learning disabled, or on the autism spectrum. She received her doctoral degree in psychology with a specialization in behavior analysis at the University of Nevada – Reno (UNR) in 2005 under the supervision of Dr. Ogden Lindsley, Dr. Patrick Ghezzi and Dr. Thomas Boyce. Along with the other co-founders, Dr. Berens assisted in the creation of Fit Learning (originally Center for Advanced Learning) as a graduate student at UNR and, since that time, she has overseen the expansion of the organization to include locations in Reno, Nevada; Medford, Oregon; Locust Valley, New York; Manhattan; Phoenix, Arizona; and Perth, Australia. She relocated to the New York area in 2010 to focus on opening learning laboratories throughout the east coast. Through these learning labs, Dr. Berens and her team have developed a powerful system of instruction that combines precision teaching, direct instruction, curriculum-based measurement, and relational frame theory. This system consistently produces over one year’s growth in 40 hours of instruction. Her learning programs target areas such as basic classroom readiness, phonemic awareness, reading fluency, comprehension, inferential language, basic and advanced mathematics, grammar, and expressive writing. Dr. Berens is also an experienced educational researcher who has published and presented extensively on science-based approaches in education. She has been an invited speaker at many regional, national, and international conferences, including the annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Following an appointment by Governor Jim Gibbons, she served on the State of Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners from 2009 – 2010 where she assisted in the development of state licensing regulations for behavior analysts. Dr. Berens was the first behavior analyst in the country to hold such a post. She has provided clinical and research supervision to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students and she continues to serve as an affiliate faculty member in the Behavior Analysis Program at the University of Nevada – Reno.
Dr. Nicholas Miller Berens
Nicholas M. Berens, Ph.D. – Dr. Berens received his Ph.D. in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada under the supervision of Dr. Steven Hayes. He has served on several professional boards including the Standard Celeration Society, Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science’s education special interest group. Berens is an experienced applied researcher and has published and presented in the areas of core behavioral process related to language and development, the merits of the scientist practitioner model, Relational Frame Theory, Precision Teaching, and program evaluation. He has spent the last 10 years researching and developing the Fit Learning system of instruction. This system targets areas such as basic classroom readiness, core processing speed, phonemic awareness, reading fluency, reading comprehension, language-based comprehension, basic and advanced mathematics, grammar, expressive writing, logic, problem solving, and Executive Functioning. He and the Fit Learning team have implemented the system with over 1,000 children ages 3-18 years old. These children have presented with a variety of skill levels and diagnoses including children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, learning disabilities including AD/HD, Dyslexia, Dygraphia, Dyscalcula, Auditory Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and struggling learners, as well as, gifted students. The Fit Learning system has consistently been shown to produce one year’s growth in 8-weeks.
Dr. Kendra Brooks Newsome
PhD, BCBA-D, LBA
Dr. Kendra Newsome earned her PhD in 2010 from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Nevada. She has served as the President for the Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis and is a former Co-President of the Standard Celeration Society. Dr. Newsome is a Founding Director and Owner of Fit Learning, Reno – a Precision Teaching Learning Laboratory that has served over 1,400 families since 2004. Dr. Newsome is a regular contributor to scientific and professional communities on learning science and evidence-based instruction. She and her colleagues have pursued inquiries into the role of language and relational flexibility in the establishment of complex academic repertoires. Her research initiatives include applications of Relational Frame Theory to education, the incorporation of Precision Teaching into Response to Intervention frameworks, and contextual analyses in clinical settings through the use of Standard Celeration Chart. Dr. Newsome has given numerous invited presentations and lectures on science-based approaches to education and serves as a consultant to individuals practicing Precision Teaching in the academic domain. Her professional actions are guided by the commitment to transform educational practices in the world so that all students have the opportunity to develop the kinds of skills and expertise that will allow them to make a difference in their communities and beyond.
Dr. Donny Newsome
Dr. Donny Newsome earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and his PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in the State of Nevada where he is a Director at Fit Learning, a precision teaching center. Dr. Newsome is also a former Co-President of the Standard Celeration Society (SCS). As an Associate Consultant with Praxis2, he frequently provides advisement and educational services to global corporations in the energy industry. His research initiatives have focused on organizational behavior and educational technologies across various business sectors, including public utilities, universities, school districts, Fortune 100 companies and community service providers. As consultant and educator, he has been invited to share his expertise via presentations, workshops and university courses on a wide variety of socially relevant topics to a diversity of professional audiences. He has successfully developed and supervised dozens of teams of practitioners, researchers, community groups and organizational initiatives. The overarching value guiding Dr. Newsome’s work is contributing to the transformation of human well being through the science of teaching and learning.