Brenda Bassingthwaite, PhD, BCBA

PsychologyBrenda Bassingthwaite, PhD, BCBA
Munroe-Meyer Institute
985450 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5450

Phone: 402-559-6408

Professional Summary

Brenda Bassingthwaite, PhD, BCBA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is a Co-Coordinator of the Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health internship track and leads a team of trainees who provide behavior consultation for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities engaging in severe behavior through a contract with Omaha Public Schools. Dr. Bassingthwaite began her career as a school psychologist for Heartland Area Education Agency in Iowa in 1997. In 2007, she received her PhD in school psychology from University of Iowa where she developed clinical expertise in ABA with severe behavior (e.g., self-injury, aggression, property destruction). She subsequently directed outpatient behavioral clinics at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. In 2009, Dr. Bassingthwaite and her colleagues obtained a contract with the Iowa Department of Education to provide apprenticeships in functional behavior assessment to school-based teams throughout the state. This training initiative continued for 10 years, providing training to 19 different behavior teams and changed practices of school-based professionals across Iowa. Through this work, she gained a national reputation for creating systems change for managing severe behavior in school settings and has consulted across the country on the development of similar programs. Dr. Bassingthwaite was recruited in 2019 to MMI to continue her innovative practices in Nebraska. 

Dr. Bassingthwaite is committed to growth in leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She participated in Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity and the Association of University Centers in Disabilities Leadership Academy: Shaping the Future of Disability. She is a Co-Facilitator of the MMI Psychology Diversity Committee that explores professional and personal practice related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She enjoys teaching trainees (e.g., master’s level, pre-doctoral interns, post-doctoral fellows) behavior analytic skills while building their awareness of their own professional leadership strengths. Her current clinical and research interests include functional behavioral assessment and intervention for students who engage in severe behaviors; evaluating training methods in functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention; and methods of improving school-based behavior consultation that yield better outcomes for students.


PhD, University of Iowa, 2007
Specialist, Iowa State University, 1999
MS, Iowa State University, 1998
BS & BA, North Dakota State University, 1995

Research Interests and Projects

Professional Affiliations