2021 Presenters

Check back often, new speakers are added weekly.

Futrell, Dr. Bernadine

Director

Office of Head start

Confirmed Sessions:

Baker, Ennis C.

Project Director

Building Capacity for Trauma-Informed Infant & Toddler Care: A Professional Development Framework

Ennis C. Baker, MSW, LCSW is the project director for the ITTI Care Project: Building Capacity for Infant & Toddler Trauma-Informed Care: A Professional Development Framework, providing leadership for this collaborative project focused on trauma-informed practice in infant/toddler child care. From 1999-2018, Ennis served as a manager and mental health specialist for Orange County Head Start/Early Head Start in Chapel Hill, NC. In this role, she provided leadership and early childhood mental health consultation to program staff and families. She is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in early childhood mental health and has served in a variety of roles serving vulnerable children ages birth to 5 and their families. She began her career as a toddler teacher in 1988 and since 1990 has lived and worked in various counties in North Carolina, focusing on children under age 5 as a child care provider, home visitor, program director and on a multidisciplinary developmental evaluation team.  She is a mom of 3 and proud to be the wife of a public school Kindergarten teacher.

Confirmed Sessions:

Barnes, Lorie

Executive Director

NCaeyc

Lorie Barnes is in her thirtieth year in the field of early childhood education.  Her professional experiences include ten years teaching young children in a reverse inclusion setting; completing her M.Ed in Early Intervention and Family Support at UNC Chapel Hill; teaching adults in the Department of Early Childhood at Wake Tech Community College; serving as Director of Education at Marbles Kids Museum; and now celebrating her sixth year as Executive Director of NCaeyc.

Confirmed Sessions:

Bennett, Denise

Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist

Denise J. Bennett is a Technical Assistance Specialist with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center within the Trohanis Technical Assistance Projects at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She provides technical assistance to states around the content areas of racial equity and communications. Denise also is editor of the monthly newsletter, eNotes, that shares resources and news items from ECTA, and other agencies or organizations related to early intervention and early childhood special education. Her career in communication, public relations and cultural diversity has spanned more than 35 years in the non-profit, private, public and governmental sectors.  She previously worked with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Public Health’s Early Intervention Branch for 17 years. Denise served 2 ½ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin West Africa as a rural community health worker.  While in West Africa, she also created and delivered cultural diversity training workshops for Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Corps staff in Benin and Ghana, West Africa.

Confirmed Sessions:

Betancourt, Jeannette

Senior Vice President

U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop

Dr. Betancourt is the Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.  She directs the development and implementation of community and family engagement initiatives making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. These research-based initiatives are designed to impact children’s early learning, health and well-being, and provide strategies and resources to counteract the effects of trauma while fostering the critical connections that adults have on children’s lives. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Dr. Betancourt created programs in adult learning and early childhood education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is a licensed bilingual speech and language pathologist and educational therapist. She participates on several national and local boards and has contributed to the start of charter schools. Dr. Betancourt has a BA and MA in Speech and Language Pathology; an MS in Bilingual Reading/Special Education, and an Ed.D. in Special Education.

 

Confirmed Sessions:

Brooks, Cassandra

Owner/Operator

Little Believer’s Academy Inc. (LBA)

Cassandra Brooks is the owner and operator of Little Believer’s Academy Inc. (LBA). She operates two five-star childcare centers dedicated to quality childcare.   Mrs. Brooks is married with four children including a set of twins! She is a member of Upper Room Church of God in Christ and helps in many areas. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and serves the community through various volunteer opportunities. She currently serves on the advisory committee for Wake County Smart Start. She currently serves on the board for the Partnership for Children of Johnston County. She is also an Inaugural Member Mentor for the NCAEYC. She currently serves on the board for the North Carolina Partnership for Children. In the past she served in management at International Business Machines (IBM).   Mrs. Brooks has M.Ed. from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She also holds a B.S. in Business Management from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Confirmed Sessions:

Bryans, Amanda

Director Research Analysis and Communication

Office of Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Amanda Bryans has worked in the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services since 1999.  During that time, she has led efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of program services through regulations, research, program monitoring and training and technical assistance.  She currently is the Director Research Analysis and Communication, Office of Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Amanda has a BS from Cornell University in Human Development and Family Studies and an MS from the State University of New York at Albany in Educational Psychology, Measurement and Statistics.  She has worked for Head Start for 25 years including five years as a Disabilities Services and Education Coordinator, and five years as the Director of the Head Start program in Albany, NY. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Burkhart , Chris

Owner, Building Connections Elementary, Middle, High School Social Skills Teacher

I am a small town girl from Ridgeway, VA who is passionate about 5 things: Jesus, my family, people, farms, and soccer! I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University and for the past 24 years, I have been serving families and children with ALL abilities in the state of NC through many roles from assistant teacher to supervisor. In all my years of teaching neurotypical and atypical children, I found a common denominator – connections. We all want to connect–be apart–feel loved. So after the past 7 years of being a special educator with Wake County Public Schools, I quit my job to start a business that not only helped kids, but brought families and communities together in the ways we interact and love one another despite our challenges. Building Connections, LLC is now 2.5 years old and serving more than 150 families through advocacy, social skill groups, and summer camps. I work collaboratively with numerous professional providers in Triangle to maximize the support families receive. Kids are succeeding and growing and most of all…feeling connected and valued for who they are! I want to inspire children to love themselves for who they are and help them to ignite connections and relationships with others that are lasting. Each child deserves to feel loved no matter what and be given tools to help them navigate their emotions, friendships, and learning in any environment! Each deserves to feel success, even in the hard stuff! My experiences as an educator and business leader are priceless, but my experience as a mom of a child who learns differently certainly gives me a perspective like no other. So I get it. My sweet husband Chris and I live in Raleigh and have 2 children, Jack (17) and Julia (15). I love to travel, thrift shop, make up songs to anything, love on people, and you can hear me clearly at my kids soccer or cheer/dance events. My dream is to have Building Connections Farm where we provide developmentally appropriate and natural, social learning experiences through structure and curiosity in social groups, equine therapy, PT/OT/Speech, Psychological Services, Nutritional services, Job Coaching, and employ people with disabilities! It’s coming, y’all!

 

Confirmed Sessions:

Calderon, Mariam

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Early Learning

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)

Miriam CalderonDeputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)

Confirmed Sessions:

Carberry, Stephen

Speech Pathologist

Stephen Carberry has been a speech pathologist for nearly 20 years and worked in early childhood intervention for most of that time.  Stephen’s current role is as a Practice Coach at Noah’s Ark Australia, supporting early childhood intervention practitioners to maintain their fidelity to the Noah’s Ark Model™. He is a Routines-Based Interview Certified Trainer and ancillary member of Robin McWilliam’s RAM group.

Confirmed Sessions:

Catlett, Camille

Senior Technical Assistance Specialist

FPG Child Development Institute

Camille Catlett is a Senior Technical Assistance Specialist and consultant based in Carrboro NC. As part of system change projects at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, she led efforts to incorporate explicit emphasis on children and families of diverse cultures, languages, abilities, and life circumstances in professional development efforts in over 30 states. Her work with talented partners on the Crosswalks project yielded a flexible and evidence-based model for enhancing higher education courses and programs. She supports early intervention and early childhood colleagues through technical assistance, research, presentations, writing, resources, and position statements. Her current projects and research efforts focus on incorporating an explicit and intentional emphasis on diversity and equity in professional development and inclusive early childhood quality systems.

Confirmed Sessions:

Choo, Sylvia

Pediatrician

Department of Child Development, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Singapore

Dr Sylvia Choo is a paediatrician practising at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Singapore. Prior to this, she worked at the Department of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at the Singapore General Hospital. She trained at the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne in 2003. She was a member of a team that was awarded a Ministry of Health Team Fellowship in 2016, looking at integration and continuity of care for children presenting with developmental and behavioural issues, at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Confirmed Sessions:

Friedman, Dr. Ruth

Director

Office of Child Care (OCC)

Confirmed Sessions:

García , Pau

Associate Professor

Catholic University of Valencia

Pau García is an associate professor in the Catholic University of Valencia and a member of Campus Capacitas, where he conducts research in the field of early intervention. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities at The University of Alabama and has conducted research in early intervention for eight years. The areas of his interest are family quality of life, assessment of service quality, tool validation and implementation science, among others. He is a member of the Routines‐Based Model international implementation team and has served as a headquarter in Spain. He received two Bachelor degrees in Education and Physical Education, as well as two Master degrees related to research methodology (University of Valencia) and intervention for people with intellectual disabilities and their families (Catholic University of Valencia). His doctoral dissertation from the Catholic University of Valencia analyzed family quality of life and quality of professional early intervention practices in 777 Spanish families. He has presented in multiple national and international conferences the results of his research and implementation activities.

Confirmed Sessions:

Garcia, Dayana

Disabilities and Inclusion Specialist

Office of Head Start (OHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

Dayana Garcia is the Disabilities and Inclusion Specialist at the Office of Head Start (OHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF). She holds an M.Ed in Special Education. She is a former Special Education Teacher, Head Start Disabilities Coordinator, Head Start Content Specialist, and was the Director of the Head Start Information and Communication Center. Dayana has over 25 years’ experience working with children with disabilities and their families in the U.S. and her home country of Venezuela.

Confirmed Sessions:

Gillis, Margaret

Researcher

SRI International

Margaret C. Gillis, Ph.D., is a Senior Education Researcher at SRI International and provides technical assistance for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) and the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), working with states to increase their capacity to collect and use data to answer key policy and programmatic questions. She has over 15 years of experience in inclusive early childhood education, early intervention, and workforce development. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Grisham, Jennifer

Professor and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School

University of Kentucky

Jennifer Grisham, Ed.D. received her doctorate in Education with an emphasis in early childhood special education. She is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School. Grisham is part of a team of professionals that lead development and research on the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System (AEPS) (3rd edition). As well, she led the field study research for AEPS-3.

Confirmed Sessions:

Hebbeler, Kathleen

Senior Principal Researcher

SRI International

Kathleen Hebbeler, Ph.D., is a Senior Principal Researcher at SRI International. She has over 30 years of experience in research and evaluation of education, health, and social programs for young children and their families. Dr. Hebbeler co-directs the DaSy Center and previously directed the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Center, a 10-year effort to build states’ capacity to report high-quality data on outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Juárez, Pablo

Co-Director

TRIAD

Pablo Juárez is co-director of TRIAD, the autism institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. He was worked with disabled individuals since high school, and through his training at University of North Texas and Vanderbilt University. In his current role, he focuses on autism and working within state systems to ensure autistic children, students, and adults are able to access what they need to be successful in their life goals.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kozlowski , Jani

Technical Assistance Specialist

Early Childhood TA (ECTA) Center

Jani Kozlowski, MA, is a Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist for the Early Childhood TA Center within the Trohanis TA Projects at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She provides TA for state Early Intervention/Part C and Early Childhood Special Education/619 Coordinators around topics such as early childhood inclusion, staff professional development, and collaborative partnerships. Previously, Jani served as the Inclusion Lead for the Office of Head Start-funded National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning at Zero to Three. She also provided TA to support Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships and State Professional Development Systems as part of her work with two other national TA centers. During her time working at the state level in North Carolina, Jani was the Program & Policy Resources Section Chief at the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) and also served as the Early Education Specialist for Smart Start. Over the years, Jani provided TA for Head Start programs at the regional level, served as the Education and Disability Services Coordinator for a large Migrant Head Start program, and taught a group of spirited preschoolers in an inclusive child care classroom. Jani is the author of the book, Every Child Can Fly: An Early Childhood Educator’s Guide to Inclusion that will be released in Spring, 2022.

Confirmed Sessions:

Lim, Chih-Ing

TA Specialist

FPG Child Development Institute

Chih-Ing Lim, PhD, is a senior TA specialist at FPG Child Development Institute. Originally from Singapore, Chih-Ing started off as a math and music teacher and went on to work with early childhood practitioners to develop the national curriculum framework for Singapore. Her research and professional interests focus on personnel preparation and professional development, specifically in the content areas of equitable access and participation of children with disabilities in inclusive settings.

Confirmed Sessions:

McWilliam, Robin

Professor of Early Childhood Special Education

University of Alabama

Dr. Robin McWilliam is a professor of early childhood special education at The University of Alabama, where he founded and directs the Evidence-based International Early Intervention Office (EIEIO). He is also the founder and leader of The RAM Group, consisting of experts on the Routines-Based Model from all over the world. The Routines-Based Model disrupts the medical and traditional medical, educational, and rehabilitation approaches to early intervention 0-5, replacing them with practices designed to build the capacity of the child’s natural caregivers and to promote the child’s functioning and engagement. Dr. McWilliam has authored or co-authored 88 peer-reviewed articles and 10 books.

Confirmed Sessions:

Mead, Ebonyse

Clinical Instructor in Birth to Kindergarten program

Georgia Southern University

Dr. Ebonyse Mead is a Clinical Instructor in the Birth to Kindergarten program at Georgia Southern University. Prior to this, she worked at the state level promoting racial equity in early childhood by providing training on diversity, inclusion, and equity with a particular focus on implicit bias, racial socialization, and culturally responsive instruction to the early childhood workforce in North Carolina. Ebonyse is a Certified Family Life Educator and holds a Doctor of Education in Early Childhood from Concordia University Chicago. She earned a Master of Arts in Human Service Counseling also from Concordia and completed a second Master's of Science in Family Studies from Texas Woman's University.

Confirmed Sessions:

Miller, Tammy

Interagency Coordination and Outreach Team Lead

Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program

Tammy Miller is the Interagency Coordination and Outreach Team Lead with Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program.  She works with interagency partners to build relationships that increase knowledge and collaboration with programs that serve families with children from birth to 36 months who have developmental delays or disabilities and leads the outreach team on strategies to meet federal child find requirements.  She previously served as the Advisory Committee and Outreach Specialist for ECI where she coordinated the work of the federally-required 24 member ECI Advisory Committee and led the ECI conference exhibit/presentation planning to fulfill child find requirements. She has worked with social work/services agencies for more than 20 years, including the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the Department on Aging and Disability Services. She has experience developing and maintaining interagency relationships with early childhood programs as well as various stakeholder groups. Tammy’s experience also includes providing executive level administrative assistance to the Commissioner of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and Assistant Commissioner of the Department on Aging and Disability Services, including project management lead and oversight for division wide projects.

Confirmed Sessions:

Neas, Katherine “Katy”

Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary

Office of Special Education Programs and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Confirmed Sessions:

Neitzel, Jen

Executive Director

Educational Equity Institute

Dr. Jen Neitzel is the Executive Director of the Educational Equity Institute, a non-profit based in Charlotte, NC. Jen works with schools, advocacy groups, and educational organizations to promote systems level change. She presents frequently at state and national conferences and is widely published in peer-reviewed journals. She also is the author of the book Achieving Equity and Justice in Education through the Work of Systems Change.

Confirmed Sessions:

Nelson, Adiba

Author/Writer

Adiba Nelson is the author of the popular children's book about inclusion, Meet ClaraBelle Blue, and contributor of original essays on race, parenting, and disability to the  NPR radio show "Arizona Spotlight". She has bylines with The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Lily, Parents Magazine and others. Her memoir, Ain't That A Mother will be released May 2022.

Confirmed Sessions:

Ng, Honey

Psychologist

Dr. Honey Ng is a psychologist by training. She is passionate about Education. Her career in education includes Early Childhood Education and University setting. She spent the initial 15 years of her career in Early Childhood education and care. Her experience included operation management of kindergartens and childcare, strategic business planning, and curricula input and implementation. She provided regional support and training, for operation and programme implementation in Singapore, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. She was later appointed Asst Professor for School of Psychology and spent 4 years teaching for University of Western Australia. She was later appointed Director, Offshore Program (Singapore) for the University of Western Australia. She played key role in developing effective partnerships between UWA and stakeholders. She later integrated her passion in early intervention and early childcare education as she managed the first inclusive preschool, Kindle Garden, AWWA, in Singapore where typically developing and children with developmental needs learned and played together. She also spear-headed the implementation of Development Support and learning support programmes in North-East region of Singapore. She is now the Deputy Director of Preschool Management Division-Inclusive Education Team in PAP Community Foundation. Here, she oversees the provision of early intervention for young children in preschools and childcare setting across 360 centres in Singapore. She focuses on supporting inclusive education via training, equipment and resource application, and providing nationally funded programmes to include children with developmental needs in preschool settings.

Confirmed Sessions:

Perkins-Clause, Amy

Confirmed Sessions:

Poon, Kenneth

Associate Dean (Education Research)

entre for Research in Child Development at the Nanyang Technological University

Dr. Kenneth Poon serves as Associate Dean (Education Research) and as Co-Director at the Centre for Research in Child Development at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research focuses on the developmental trajectories of children with neurodevelopment disorders, and how their development can be supported in optimized. Kenneth also serves on the Boards of Rainbow Centre (Singapore) as President and on the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as Treasurer.

Confirmed Sessions:

Ramsey, Jenna

Senior Administrator

Office of Early Learning - Preschool Programs

Jenna Ramsey has served as a special education professional for the last 20 years. She graduated from Elon University in 2001 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Special Education and Elementary Education and worked as a special education resource teacher at the elementary level for the first 5 years of career in Alamance County and Wake County. Jenna started working as a Special Education Coordinating Teacher at the elementary and preschool levels. She received her Masters of School Administration in 2012 from Western Carolina University and started serving in her role as the Senior Administrator for Preschool Special Education Programs in Wake County Public Schools. She has received several recognitions of her work including Teacher of the Year for Brooks Musuems Magnet School (2005), Support Staff of the Year for the Autism Society of Wake County (2013), and Employee Excellence award for the Wake County Board of Education (2017). Jenna has served as co-chair of the Wake LICC since 2019.

In addition to her professional roles, Jenna has a 7-year-old daughter, A'leeah, and was blessed to have 13 amazing years as a mother to her son PJ, both of whom have special learning and medical needs. This perspective has changed her work with families, as she strives to daily display actions and words that confirm, affirm, and align with a parent's voice in their child's educational planning and life path.

Confirmed Sessions:

Rausch, Alissa

Assistant Research Faculty

Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at University of Denver

Alissa Rausch, EdD is an Assistant Research Faculty in the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver.  Previously, she has worked as clinical faculty in ECE and ECSE graduate personnel preparation. Her work in higher education blossomed from 15 years of practice as an early childhood educator working in inclusive preschool classrooms serving young children and their families. Alissa also had the privilege of serving children from diverse backgrounds and their families in their homes and in community settings. Alissa is staff on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA). Her work centers on technical assistance supporting leaders and practitioners to build their capacity for high quality early care and learning and inclusion of children with varying abilities in practice, systems and advocacy.

Confirmed Sessions:

Reedy, Patricia

Regional Coordinator

Partners Resource Network

Patricia Reedy is a Regional Coordinator for Partners Resource Network, the non-profit agency that operates the Texas statewide network of Parent Training and Information Centers.  Patricia has been with Partners Resource Network since February 2019.  Patricia serves on the Texas Governor’s Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee and on the Early Childhood Intervention Workgroup for Personnel Retention. Through her position at Partners Resource Network, she provides parents, professional and youth with disabilities with training, information, community resource referrals, and support.  Patricia is the parent of two children with Disabilities, one who is now a college student and one who is currently in middle school.  Her experience in navigating the world of disability, special healthcare needs and community service comes from being an advocate for her children.  Raising her children, one of whom was born premature and needed services from birth, has led to a passion for serving and helping others navigate through the systems.  Helping parents and professional advocate to make a better future is not just a job, it is her passion.

Confirmed Sessions:

Reilly, Katherine Gurley

Practice and Implementation Advisor for Early Intervention

The Ministry of Education Learning Support

Katherine Gurley Reilly works for The Ministry of Education Learning Support, in Auckland New Zealand, as the Practice and Implementation advisor for Early Intervention. She supports a large workforce of learning support practitioners who are on a journey of embracing a family centred, natural learning environment approach. She has a B.A in Early childhood studies from the University College of Cork In Ireland and a PgDip in Specialist teaching from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Katherine started her career as an Early childhood teacher in Ireland and New Zealand, before spending 6 years working as an early intervention teacher in Auckland. Having always had a passion for supporting families, Katherine saw the huge impact engaging all the adults around the child had on the outcomes for children she worked with. This on the ground experience has led her to strive for all families to have the experience of family centred practice when accessing early intervention services in New Zealand.

Confirmed Sessions:

Riepe, Ben

Confirmed Sessions:

Stainbrook, Dr. Alacia

Co-Director/Associate

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD)/Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Alacia Stainbrook is Co-Director at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) and an Associate in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Stainbrook completed her graduate work in Early Childhood Special Education at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University and has been working with young children with ASD, their families and service providers for over 19 years in home, school, and clinic-based settings. As Co-Director of TRIAD, Dr. Stainbrook supports collaborative programs between TRIAD and the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Collectively, these programs provide assessment, education, and support opportunities for autistic persons as well as their families and services providers engaged from early childhood through transition to adulthood. The programs and service lines supported by Dr. Stainbrook and her team are driven by TRIAD’s mission to promote meaningful inclusion of individuals with disabilities in their homes, schools and community settings.  

Confirmed Sessions:

Stevenson, Cami

Administrator

Multnomah Early Childhood Program

Cami Stevenson is an administrator in the Multnomah Early Childhood Program, an early intervention program for children birth to five years of age, in Portland, Oregon, USA. She is the associate director of the Routines-Based Model (RBM) Enterprise, which runs various training, material-development, and consultation activities to promote children’s engagement and family empowerment. She works in partnership with Robin McWilliam to advance the RBM, with specific responsibility for logistics and management of the many materials associated with the model. Ms. Stevenson has a master’s degree in early childhood special education from the University of Oregon and an educational-administration certificate from Portland State University. She has been an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University.

Confirmed Sessions:

Vinh, Megan

Co-Director

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA)

Megan Vinh, Ph.D., is an Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Vinh currently serves as the PI of the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMI2E2) Center, the Co-PI of the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA), and the evaluation lead for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy). Dr. Vinh provides leadership, technical assistance, and evaluation support around improving state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increasing the implementation of effective practices, and enhancing outcomes of these programs for young children and their families. She also works to ensure young children with disabilities participate in and benefit from high-quality STEM teaching and learning. She specializes in program evaluation and systems change around access and equity issues, including reducing early care and education suspensions and expulsions and increasing high quality inclusive opportunities. Dr. Vinh also serves as President-Elect of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Executive Board. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Virgo, Asata

Early Childhood Development, Care, and Education professional

Asata Virgo is an Early Childhood Development, Care, and Education professional with a focus on Infant Toddler Mental Health. Asata is dedicated to improving the relationships between children and their caregivers, as it is the foundation of children learning about themselves and their world.  Asata holds an Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®. Asata is dedicated to her own personal and professional growth to improve the lives of young children, their families, and the communities that support them.

Confirmed Sessions:

Williams , Catasha

Co-Principal Investigator/ Associate Director and Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist

FPG Child Development Institute

Catasha A. Williams, M.Ed. is a Co-Principal Investigator/ Associate Director and Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She provides technical assistance, professional development and data evaluation and systems supports to early childhood leadership teams around the delivery of evidence-informed practices for promoting healthy social and emotional development for young children. Ms. Williams’ current work also involves providing national TA to support Section 619 (Part B) programs in developing high-quality preschool special education service systems, with a focus on ensuring racial equity, culturally responsiveness and high-quality inclusive opportunities for children with disabilities and their families. She has 17 years of professional experience in early childhood systems serving in various roles including direct service provision, program planning and evaluation and statewide early childhood consultation. Sherri Britt-Williams Sherri Britt Williams, MPH, is a Principal Investigator/ Director and national Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist at UNC Chapel Hill Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Her current work involves designing, developing, and presenting training content and ongoing professional learning support using evidence-based adult learning and learning design principles and providing leadership coaching and TA supporting statewide and local programs to implement successful and sustainable initiatives using an implementation science framework.

Confirmed Sessions:

Williams, Sherri

Ms. Williams has lead roles on multiple teams for a national TA project providing support to state (and U.S. territory) early childhood programs in developing high-quality early intervention and preschool special education service systems; increasing implementation of evidence-based practices; and enhancing outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families, particularly in the areas of professional development, implementation, improving child and family outcomes, improving inclusion, and improving racial equity in early childhood education. She has over 26 years of professional experience in early childhood education in various roles, including classroom teacher, training and TA provider, regional early childhood consultant, and regional education program administrator/director.

Confirmed Sessions: