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NSU Mourns the Passing of CPS Professor Emeritus Nathan Azrin, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Nathan (Nate) Azrin, Ph.D., and NSU Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Frank DePiano, Ph.D.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Frank DePiano, Ph.D., informed the university family of the passing over the weekend of Professor Emeritus Nathan (Nate) Azrin, Ph.D., ABPP, after a lengthy illness.

Azrin had been affiliated with NSU and the Center for Psychological Studies for 30 years, beginning his service with the university in 1980, retiring in 2010. A highly regarded scientist, clinician, and academician, Professor Azrin dedicated his career to advancing science – producing seminal research that ultimately led to improvements in the quality of life for those with challenging behaviors.

Trained at Harvard University by the famous behavioral scientist B. F. Skinner, Professor Azrin began his career as a research psychologist in the United States Army, after which he became Director of Treatment Development at the Ana Mental Health and Developmental Center. He was the founder and editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and editor of 15 other leading journals. Over his distinguished career, he published more than 100 studies in the field of learning and psychological treatment. Professor Azrin received numerous awards and honors. His hundreds of research publications have been cited by other researchers at an unprecedented rate. Professor Azrin has 31 “citation classics” (defined in psychology as 100 plus citations) that place him among the most cited psychologists in the world.

Azrin also published both academic books and books for parents. The public knows Professor Azrin as the author of Toilet Training in Less Than a Day. This practical guide has sold millions of copies and has been reproduced in many languages. Today’s parents can also thank Azrin for inventing “time-out,” the popular alternative to spanking. But it is his work with the severely mentally-handicapped, the so-called “untrainables,” upon which a large part of his legacy rests. The techniques he pioneered nearly half a century ago remain in widespread use today.

Professor Azrin’s countless achievements have marked him as one of the greatest thought-leaders of our time, his work led to the development and experimental evaluation of applied interventions; and in 2011,  Azrin was presented with NSU’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award for Research Contributions That Have Bettered Humanity.

Azrin’s wife, Victoria Besalel Azrin, their children Rachel Azrin, Michael Azrin (Michelle), David Azrin (Judy), and Rick Azrin (Cheryl), were joined by a host of colleagues and friends during memorial services on Sunday morning, March 31, 2013.