In January of 2011, Steve was honored with the Ogden R. Lindsley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Standard Celeration Society, an organization he presided over for two years. As the keynote speaker at the 1988 International Precision Teaching Conference in Orlando, Florida he delivered Hi Yo Precision Teacher. He followed that talk several years later with a presentation at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming IPTC titled The Lone Ranger Rides Again. This presentation included a summary of frequency and celeration measures on Lone Ranger stories in various media demonstrating that one could analyze fictitious behavior with standard celeration charts. He also was presented with the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education 2004 Award for Teaching Excellence and the Standard Celeration Society Recognition Award in 1997.
Steve was active in several professional organizations including the Association for Behavioral Analysis, The Standard Celeration Society, The Monroe Institute Professional Division, and The Buckminster Fuller Institute. He also served as editor of the Association for Behavioral Analysis newsletter for nine years.
Zero Brothers Software
In the early 1980s Steve and colleagues Ogden Lindsley and Jack Auman formed Zero Brothers Software, a company that developed mostly educational software. Among their products were Typing Coach, PracticeSheeter, Graphics PracticeSheeter, and SAFMEDS producer. In addition to these educational items, the Zero Brothers developed a sports statistical product, ComboCoach (later renamed Sit-n-Play by Steve). This program helped basketball coaches see how various combinations of players and individuals performed during games.
Steve developed a wide range of interests during his lifetime. In the 1980s he heard about the The Monroe Institute. Founded by Robert Monroe in the early 1970s in Faber, Virginia, the institute developed and researched a sound technology called Hemi-Sync that enhanced and expanded human consciousness. At the1993 Monroe Institute Professional seminar Steve made a presentation called “A Minute a Day for Hemi-Sync Play” followed by his 1994 seminar presentation entitled Re-creating Recreation: Hemi-Sync in Competitive and Cooperative Situations. The institute's 1993 spring volume of The Hemi-Sync Journal published his article Measuring Inner and Outer Effects of Hemi-Sync. This article is included on the Articles by Steve page in this site. Steve was honored with The Monroe Institute 15 Year Dedication and Support Award in March of 2004.
Bucky Fuller was another person whose ideas fascinated Steve. A visitor to Steve’s basement would see a variety of models of geodesic domes, buckyballs, tensegrity towers, and other Fuller designs. His library housed a near-complete set of Bucky’s books and manuals and he had most of Fuller's audio and video tapes. The Articles by Steve page of this website includes Steve's paper named Bucky Fuller, Behavior Analysis in Education and Things We Think We Know Which Aren't So.
One of Steve’s heroes was The Lone Ranger. Over the years he accumulated a wealth of Lone Ranger materials. In the mid 1980s he took a sabbatical leave from Youngstown State University to extensively research audio clips, video clips, comic books and comic strips of The Lone Ranger. Steve made detailed counts of behaviors occurring in these various media, then carefully charted this data on standard celeration charts. “Tonto fires shots” and “Lone Ranger hits target” are samples of behaviors he counted. The project resulted in hundreds of charts. The Articles by Steve page of this site includes a sampler of eight of these charts. This page also includes his daughter's transcription of a dictation called Monitoring, Charting, and Modeling the Lone Ranger and Tonto that he made in 2011.
The extraterrestrial phenomenon also intrigued Steve. He studied the topic extensively for over 40 years accumulating hundreds of books, videos, magazines and audiotapes on the subject. Steve participated in many CSETI (Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence) ambassador to the universe trainings. As mentioned before, he taught a course for several years at YSU on the subject and used the CSETI principles as the basis for the class. The page on this site called "Articles about Steve" contains a 2007 YSU newspaper (Jambar) article titled Broadening Horizons: Students ponder life beyond Earth that discussed this course. Steve also charted data on a yearly per year standard celeration chart of UFO reports per year gathering his data from NUFORC (National Unidentified Flying Object Reporting Center).
Steve loved data and statistics. He kept stats for basketball, baseball, softball, and volleyball teams at every level, and also volunteered countless hours coaching. In 2005 he received the Dr. Port Bulldog Spirit Award for his dedication to Poland (Ohio) High School sports.
Steve competed in hardball baseball for over 50 years, including AA Baseball, the Youngstown Old-Timers, and Poland FOG, and he was proud of his uncanny ability to be hit by pitches. He was inducted into the East Side Civics Baseball Hall of Fame and the Youngstown Old-Timers Hall of Fame. He played competitive morning basketball with people half his age and would often be seen practicing on his unique driveway hoop. He was the founder, architect, head groundskeeper, and self-appointed golf pro of his backyard ‘Big Foot Country Club.’
Born in Montreal, Canada, on November 5, 1943, Steve was the son of Arthur Albert Graf, Jr. and Joyce Ellison Graf. Steve spent his early years in Seven Mile, a small town in southwestern Ohio before moving to the Washington D.C. area in 1953.
His family includes his brother Doug Graf, wife Carol, three daughters and one granddaughter.
Steve lived his life with great enthusiasm and constantly strove to improve himself and those around him. He was never afraid to take risks and chances that could lead to positive change. Many of those close to him felt he was The Lone Ranger of the 21st century.
Steve died from cancer at his home on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
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Shawn Steve Og John Sara Andy Rick
Steve's education began near Seven Mile, a small town in southwestern Ohio and continued in 1953 in the Washington, D.C. area. After graduating from Western High School D.C. in 1961, he went to Miami (OH) University graduating with a B.A. in 1965. He continued at Ohio State University earning his masters and doctorate, then becoming a psychology professor at Youngstown State University.
While teaching at YSU, Steve was also an assistant baseball coach with Dom Rosselli for several years. Honored as a distinguished professor, and featured in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, ‘The Graffer’ influenced the lives of many of his students. Many of his students achieved "Graf All Stars" status and some of them continued in the field of education and precision teaching: John Eshleman, Guy Bedient, Rick Kubina, and Shawn Datchuk.
Steve had the admirable trait of constantly searching for improvement in his teaching. He was a fearless innovator who authored many of his own textbooks and designed his courses to try to maximize student success. Several syllabi of courses Steve taught at YSU are included on a separate page of this site.
An advocate of precision teaching largely due to his mentor and colleague, Dr. Ogden Lindsley, Steve used sets of SAFMEDS and standard celeration charting with his students. He retired from YSU in 2005, but he and his brother-in-law, Jack Auman, continued to teach a course about extraterrestrials through 2010.