Dr. Krystal Thurman Berry, Assistant Director for Training and Professional Development for the Mississippi Community College Board, has been appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to the Mississippi Autism Board for a four-year term ending June 30, 2022.

Dr. Thurman Berry will serve as the parent/family member representative of the Autism Board, which licenses Applied Behavior Analysts and Assistant Behavior Analysts in the State. 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a process involving the systematic application of interventions, such as positive reinforcement, based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors among individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders.  Studies have demonstrated many children with autism experience significant improvements in learning, reasoning, communication, and adaptability when they participate in high-quality ABA programs.

“This Board has a narrow but important purpose geared toward helping some of our most vulnerable Mississippians receive the services they need.  I’m looking forward to offering my perspective as a parent and scholar practitioner to further the Board’s mission,” Dr. Thurman Berry said. 

In 2001 and 2003, respectively, Dr. Thurman Berry earned her baccalaureate degree in Marketing and Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business from Arkansas State University.  She received a Doctor of Education in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi in 2018.  Dr. Thurman Berry’s dissertation topic was titled “Experiences of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mississippi Community Colleges.”

Dr. Thurman Berry has spent 15 years serving in various roles in higher education, 10 of these years in Finland with guest lecture positions in the Netherlands and Russia.  She held teaching positions at Arkansas State University, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and Lapland University of Applied Sciences.  Prior to her current role, Dr. Thurman Berry served as a Curriculum Specialist and Training and Processional Development Specialist at the Mississippi Community College Board.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release

9/13/2018