In Memory of Dr. Jerry Shook


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Gerald L. "Jerry" Shook, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. on November 11, 2011.

Much of the progress related to protecting and advancing our practice within the past decade can be attributed to Jerry's vision, devotion, integrity, and expertise. His work directly improved the professional opportunities for many behavior analysts; they also helped make access to high quality behavior analytic treatment available to many, many more consumers and their families. And no individual has done more to advance the worldwide practice of applied behavior analysis than did Jerry in his role as CEO and visionary of the BACB. Our field owes an immense debt to Jerry; the positive impact of many of his contributions cannot be overstated; however, the full measure of his efforts will likely only be realized over the coming decades.

Jerry and his wife, BJ Quinn, moved to California in 2009 but he was a lifelong member and supporter of CalABA (and NCABA before that). Until he became ill last year, Jerry never missed a CalABA conference and his yearly updates and symposia helped us mark our progress as a profession. There will be special recognition of his life's work and his personal qualities at the 2012 CalABA conference in Garden Grove. We will miss his grace, wisdom, selfless devotion, and tireless efforts to protect and advance the field so that those in need of our services receive the kind of high quality treatment they deserve.

Our field has always depended upon visionaries. By standing on their shoulders we can forsee a future that would otherwise elude us. Jerry was one of those giants. While we are grateful for all he accomplished, it is up to us to continue along the path he carved out and while doing so reflect upon the choices Jerry made and the values he held.

Click here to read the special newsletter issue from the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) devoted to Jerry.

Jerry received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 1981. In addition to being the CEO of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board he was also its founder. There are now more than 10,000 certificants worldwide in 50+ countries. Prior to founding the BACB, Jerry held faculty appointments at the State University of New York College at Buffalo and Georgetown University; and adjunct appointments at Auburn, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Florida State Universities. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and was on the Executive Council of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, where he also was Coordinator of the Legislative and Public Affairs Committee and the Affiliated Chapters Board. He was President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and was on the Editorial Board of The Behavior Analyst and the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management. Dr. Shook was a Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, and a Fellow and Chairman of the Fellow Selection Committee of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

He received the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis Award for Outstanding Service; the California Association for Behavior Analysis Award for Outstanding Contributions to Behavior Analysis; The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Outreach Award and Award for Public Service; and the Outstanding Alumni Award from Western Michigan University.