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Nirvana Pistoljevic

Professional Background

Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy: Applied Behavior Analysis, May 2008
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York

Master of Philosophy: Applied Behavior Analysis/Behaviorism, May 2008
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York

Master of Education: Special Education/Instructional Practice, December 2007
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York

Master of Arts: Special Education/General Education/Applied Behavior Analysis, May 2005
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York

Bachelor of Arts: Psychology- Highest Honors, January 2002
Rutgers University, New Jersey

Scholarly Interests

Selected Publications

active professional organizations

• Senior Behavior Analyst - CABAS
• Assistant Research Scientist - CABAS
• Regular Education Teacher, New York State
• Special Education Teacher, New York State
• International Association of Applied Behavior Analysis
• European Association for Behavior Analysis
• Invited Peer Reviewer for Journal of Behavioral Assessment and Intervention in Children
• Fred S. Keller Institutional Review Board Member
• Council for Exceptional Children
• Invited Peer Reviewer for Journal of Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention
• Director – “Riders of Hope” Non-for-Profit organization helping children in Bosnia and Herzegovina

biographical information

Nirvana Pistoljevic received her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Columbia University Teachers College and is currently the Assistant Director of The Fred S. Keller School, a private research based preschool (non-profit organization), training site for Columbia University graduate students. The Fred S. Keller School serves students ages 18 months through 5 years old with and without developmental delays and implements the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model of education. The CABAS® model employs behavioral tactics and principles to the measurement and analysis of student learning. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology in the programs for Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College. Dr. Pistoljevic has achieved the ranks of Senior Behavior Analyst and Assistant Research Scientist through the CABAS® system and she is a published researcher in the field of education, behavior science, and language development. Her current research interests include early verbal development, such as: Naming (incidental language acquisition capability), increasing spontaneous speech in children with Autism and related developmental delays, acquisition of listener behavior, observational learning and success in inclusion. Also, Dr. Pistoljevic is committed in helping children with Autism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She continually visits, lectures and contributes to changing educational practices and outcomes for children and their families by helping parents and educators learn and implement newest evidence based practices in Sarajevo schools.

Contact Information:
Nirvana Pistoljevic, PhD, SBA, AsstRS
The Fred S. Keller School
680 Oak Tree rd.
PO. BOX 716
Palisades, NY 10964
(845) 359- 8846


Pistoljevic, N. (2010). Analyzing the effectiveness of increasing instruction to decrease     inappropriate behavior. Journal of Applied Radical Behavior Analysis, 4/10 (in press).

Greer, R. D., Pistoljevic, N., Cahill, C., & Du, L. (2010). Conditioning voices as reinforcers for         listener responses in preschoolers with autism. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior             (manuscript submitted for publication)

Pistoljevic, N., Cahill, C., & Casarini, F. (2010). Effects of the speaker immersion procedure on     the production of verbal operants. Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Applied        Behavior Analysis, 5(2), 192-207.

Pistoljevic, N. (2008). The effects of multiple exemplar and intensive tact instruction on the     acquisition of Naming in preschoolers diagnosed with autism and other language delays.     Columbia University, New York. (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University). Abstract     from: UMI Proquest Digital Dissertations [on-line].     Dissertations Abstract Item: AAT     3317598.

Greer, R. D., Stolfi, L., & Pistoljevic, N. (2007). Emergence of Naming in preschoolers: A         comparison of multiple and single exemplar instruction. European Journal of Behavior        Analysis, 8, 119-131.

Pistoljevic, N., & Greer, R. D. (2006). The effects of daily intensive tact instruction on
    preschool students’ emission of pure tacts and mands in non-instructional settings. Journal    of Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention, 3(1), 103-119.


Pistoljevic, N. & Greer, R. D.  The Effects of Intensive Tact Instruction on the Emergence of     Naming and Frequency of Emission of Independent Vocal Verbal Operants.

Pistoljevic, N. & Greer, R. D. Acquisition of Naming for 2 and 3-Dimensional Contrived Stimuli          in Preschoolers with Autism and other Developmental Delays: A Comparison of Multiple     and Single Exemplar Instruction.

Pistoljevic, N. & Oblak, M. The Effects of a Peer-Yoked Contingency Game on the Acquisition of         Observational Learning, Naming, and Emission of Vocal Verbal Operants by Preschool         Students in Integrated Setting.

Greer, R. D., Pistoljevic, N., Cahill, C, & Casarini, F. The Effect of the Presence and Absence of     Naming on How Children with ASD Diagnoses Can Learn in New Ways.

Pistoljevic, N., Cahill, C. & Moreno, J. The Effects of Intensive Targeted Tact Instruction on the        Articulation and Language Development.

Pistoljevic, N. & Oblak, M. The Effects of a Peer-Yoked Group Contingency Game on the             Acquisition of    Observational Learning of Sight Words by Preschool Students. 

HBSE 4000: Introduction to special education

Offered all terms. Enrollment limited to 25 students. Emphasis is placed on the identification of characteristics of individuals with disabilities and the impact of the characteristics on the learner and family members of the learner. The course is a study of the nature, psychosocial, and educational needs of individuals across the lifespan with physical, mental, emotional, or sensory impairments. Particular attention is placed on the way these special education programs fit, or should fit, into ongoing work in schools. Totally online versions of this course are available for non- HBSE majors in spring and summer A and B terms. Special fee: $25.

HBSE 4001: Teaching students with disabilities in the general education classroom

Problems of educational assessment, curriculum and teaching, organization, and guidance of students with physical, cognitive, affective, and sensory disabilities. Materials fee: $15

HBSE 4015: Applied behavior analysis I

Basic applications for learners without reading or writing repertoires. Strategic applications of the science of behavior to instruction, management, curriculum-based assessment, isolation of locus of learning/behavior problems, and measurably effective instructional practices.