From an online gift to a charitable gift annuity, your contribution will have a significant impact in the lives of thousands of animals.
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 a mentor for future BCBAs, teaches 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 in dog behavior assessment and analysis tool that will help to standardize how dog trainers evaluate why problem behaviors happen.
Dr. Bright has been training dogs as a hobby and professionally for many years and previously had a private animal behavior practice for nine years that addressed all manner of behavior issues. Her own dogs, all Bull Terriers, have competed in Obedience, Agility and/or conformation, with great results. Her dog Fanny was the top Agility Bull Terrier in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007. Her rescued dog, Pepper, helped to teach Terri how to train and manage human- and dog-aggressive dogs, and Radio was a breed champion and the subject of Terri’s research on stimulus equivalence (matching-to-sample training) that garnered her a Marian Breland Bailey (MBB) Award from the Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Terri won another MBB Award from ABAI for her research on the use of errorless teaching to train a Shelter dog to sit at the sound of a bell (“Pavlov’s Shelter”) when she was not in the dog’s sight. She uses evidence-based methods of training.
Terri launched the Training Department at the MSPCA-Boston location in 2007 and, with a phalanx of crackerjack training instructors, has grown the program to over 30 classes a week. She and her team have also expanded their training program to Angell West in Waltham. She helped to evaluate homeless dogs surrendered at the MSPCA for proper placement for more than thirteen years, and designed training and enrichment programs for dogs at the MSPCA. She also designed and implemented curriculum and teaching for staff and volunteers in the Safewalk™ program, which she created in 2009. Safewalk™ is currently being implemented in other sheltering facilities with Dr. Bright’s consultative assistance.
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).
Jocelyn earned her BA from Connecticut College in 1997 where she studied environmental science and zoology. She spent several years working as a veterinary technician before joining the Angell team in 2001. She earned her veterinary technician certification in 2004 and worked in many areas of the hospital including Critical Care/Emergency and Specialty Services. Most recently, she spent several years as the full time manager of the specialty technicians as she attended grad school part time. Additionally she has been working in the behavior department assisting in behavior consults part time since 2013. In the fall of 2015, Jocelyn graduated from the American College of Applied Science with her Master’s degree in Companion Animal Behavior Analysis and Counseling. In February of 2016, Jocelyn joined the MSPCA/Angell behavior team full time and is currently seeing behavior consults, teaching obedience classes, and assisting with behavior problems in shelter animals. In addition to her formal education and training, Jocelyn has learned a lot from her everyday hands on work with her own dog-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 Bachelors 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 Masters 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.
Nicole Doherty, Behavior Assistant
Nicole got a hands-on start to her education with animals as an Animal Science major at Norfolk Country Agricultural High School. She spent many of her teenage years as a volunteer at the Holbrook Animal Shelter. In 2018, Nicole graduated from UMass Boston with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a Biology minor. Throughout high school and college, Nicole worked various positions in the fields of doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, and even aquatic physical therapy for dogs. Before joining the MSPCA-Angell Behavior team in December 2020, Nicole was employed full-time as an Animal Care Specialist in Behavior at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, where she worked in a shelter environment evaluating, training, and counseling adopters on behaviorally complex animals. Tycho, Nicole’s beloved hound mix, has taught her a lot about managing behaviors such as reactivity, resource guarding, and anxiety. Nicole also shares a home with her pet rats and a cat named Azula.
Marita Everhart, CPDT-KA, Senior Dog Training Instructor
Marita has been training dog professionally since 2009. She joined the MSPCA-Angell Behavior team in 2018, teaching both group and private instruction and earned her CPDT-KA later that year. In 2019, she also began assisting the behaviorists with behavior consults as a technician. Prior to working at Angell Marita taught group classes for many years for a privately owned retail pet store and ran her own private training business. Marita is a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She earned a BA from Saint Michael’s College. In her free time Marita enjoys competing in scent detection with her Australian Shepherd Karma and working on her Canine Freestyle skills.