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Meet the Behavior Team
Terri Bright, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CAAB
Dr. Terri Bright earned her Master’s of Science and Doctoral degrees at Simmons College in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an animal specialty, and she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). She is also a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist through (CAAB) the Animal Behavior Society. She teaches Learning and Behavior Analysis at Northeastern University and lectures nationally on the subject of Applied Animal Behavior Analysis. She is the past President of the Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group in the Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and her dissertation research entailed developing a dog behavior assessment and analysis tool that helps to standardize how dog trainers evaluate why problem behaviors happen. She won multiple Marian Breland Bailey awards from ABAI for her research on applied dog behavior analysis and put many performance and conformation titles on her bull terriers. She is shown here with her MSPCA-adopted dog, Ribbon.
Dr. Bright launched the Training Department at the MSPCA-Angell’s Boston location in 2007, and it has grown to include Angell West; adding in the classes at Nevin’s Farm, the MSPCA-Angell Behavior Department has about 100 classes a week! The Department now has three clinical behaviorists and over twenty skilled dog-training instructors.
Her multi-species behavior skills are demonstrated by her research at the MSPCA-Angell, where her volunteer training program, Safewalk™, was shown to increase adoption rates and decrease injuries to volunteers. It was published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
Dr. Bright is also the founding editor of a new open-source animal behavior publication called the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in Animal Training (www.jabaat.org).
Allyson Salzer, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Allyson Salzer earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Kansas. Her master’s thesis assessed canine behavior in group settings at a local dog daycare, and her dissertation research focused on the assessment and treatment of canine problem behavior. Dr. Salzer has nearly a decade of professional experience training companion animals and offering behavior consultations across settings. She has worked in shelters, taught group classes, and provided private in-home consultations for pet guardians.
Dr. Salzer has presented data at numerous regional and national conferences and has published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She is also an assistant editor of a new open-source animal behavior publication, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in Animal Training (www.jabaat.org). In addition to research, teaching is an essential aspect of Dr. Salzer’s professional career. She developed and taught an animal behavior practicum course at the University of Kansas and provides guest lectures nationally on animal behavior and behavior analysis to university students. She is passionate about creating pathways for behavior analysts to pursue interests in animal behavior.
Jocelyn Strassel, CVT, MS, Clinical Behaviorist
Jocelyn has worked full-time as a Clinical Behaviorist at the MSPCA-Angell since 2016. Jocelyn earned her BA from Connecticut College, where she studied environmental science and zoology. She earned her Master’s degree in Companion Animal Behavior Analysis and Counseling from the American College of Applied Science. Her master’s thesis was a research study evaluating the effects of Feliway on stress behaviors in cats in a shelter environment. Jocelyn is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the IAABC. She is also a certified veterinary technician who spent nearly two decades working as a technician in different areas of veterinary medicine, including Critical Care, Emergency, and Specialty Services.
In her current role, Jocelyn primarily sees clients and their cats and dogs for behavior consults. Her additional experience includes teaching group dog & cat training classes, conducting private training sessions with owners and their dogs and cats, and assisting with behavior problems in shelter animals. She also speaks on the subject of applied animal behavior at national conferences. In addition to her formal education and training, Jocelyn has learned a lot from her everyday hands-on work with her own adopted reactive dog, Sugar.
Michalla Bishop, CPDT-KA, Training Coordinator
Michalla began her career with the MSPCA as a volunteer at the Boston Adoption Center. She mentored under Dr. Bright through the Animal Behavior College program and then joined the team full-time in 2010. Michalla coordinates our robust schedule of group training classes in Jamaica Plain and teaches a raft of classes, including Puppy Play n’ Learn, Obedience, Agility, and Nosework. The real star of her classes is her beloved companion, “Esme the Training Dog,” who has developed a large and devoted following of students. Michalla and Esme shared a fun and thrilling Agility career. After Esme suffered a knee injury, they switched gears to the lower-impact sport of Nosework, where they are currently working on Esme’s Excellent-level title.
Susan Conway, CPDT-KA, Behavior Operations Manager
Susan joined the Behavior team at MSPCA-Angell in 2013 and has since earned the Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) certification, as well as completed a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Susan assists Dr. Bright in her behavior consults, coordinates training classes, and helps to keep the office running smoothly. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Boston University in 1993, where she studied mass communication and psychology. She spent almost a decade working in marketing at Dunkin’ Brands and received a Master’s degree from Emerson College in Integrated Marketing Communication. After switching gears and earning a certificate in Professional Photography at CDIA/BU in 2006, Susan spent several years working as a wedding and portrait photographer and also began to volunteer at her local shelter photographing the dogs there who were awaiting new homes. This experience led Susan to further explore animal behavior, and she earned a certificate in Canine Behavior and Training from Mount Ida College in 2013. Susan and her husband currently share their home with two Boston Terriers and a Chihuahua mix.
Zipora Allen, Behavior Assistant
Zipora earned her B.A. in English at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. She has worked in the non-profit sector at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, The Jane Goodall Institute, South Africa Partners, and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. She has been volunteering in animal shelters and on organic farms since she was a teenager and was a dog walker in Boston’s South End. She became interested in animal behavior while volunteering with monkeys at the Israeli Primate Sanctuary in Tel Aviv. Before joining the MSPCA-Angell Behavior Team in July 2021, Zipora worked in the preschool at the JCC of Greater Boston and ran her own dog-walking and pet-sitting business.