Barry C. Certner, Ph.D. was a trained psychologist and one of the nation’s leading applied behavioral scientists. Having earned his doctorate in clinical psychology and in community psychology from the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Certner worked in positions of national leadership in the applied behavioral science field. His broad range of experience includes working with groups and organizations across the private, public, and citizen sectors, and at every level of scale and significance.

First, as assistant professor, he played a leadership role in creating a network for students and faculty from colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. His effort helped those students to supplement their graduate training with real-world applied behavioral science experiences at the NTL Institute (National Training Laboratories Institute for Applied Behavioral Science).

Then, as director of NTL headquarters in Washington DC, he was responsible for the delivery of many personal and professional development programs in experiential education, human relations, management skills, organization development involving participants nationwide.

Viewing that culture-based-change methods as deeply needed to solve critical social problems of great scale and significance, Dr. Certner created a culture-based program for the prevention of various addictions causing the largest social problem in the nation. The program was piloted in the State of Delaware with great success and acclaimed by a group of national governors as a “blueprint for the future of society”.

Later, he took on the challenge of developing new Higher-Level approaches to the problems of our nation’s most educationally underserved students and chronically failing schools in the poorest inner cities, states, and regions. He worked as counselor and clinician to special-needs children and other at-risk youth in inner-city public elementary and charter middle-schools in Washington, DC; and, as consultant, sports psychologist, and eventual president and trustee of a private high school in Elizabeth, NJ.

Dr. Certner worked extensively with leading corporations, business, and industry executives over the course of his professional career and has been an integral part of many important projects which have achieved noteworthy and continuing social value. Knowing that we must be prime movers in the vital course corrections needed in society, he has lectured on the need to elevate ourselves to Higher-Levels of Corporate Social Responsibility so that we can all play a part in closing the now hugely endangering Human Progress Gap.

Dr. Certner coached our founder during the formation of Itiah Angels for Learning organization. His vision was for the non-profit to endeavor to take “Love Thy Neighbor” to the highest level by treating all children as our own. He was a strong advocate for engaging students in the execution of the mission. Dr. Certner followed a very healthy lifestyle and played basketball daily even in his retirement. But In 2020, Dr. Certner lost a well fought battle to ALS.

The Dr. Barry Certner National Legacy Scholarship is for students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism and community service. His legacy will continue to shine bright through the students who will receive a scholarship award for their contribution to the growth of Itiah Angels for Learning!

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