Annual Early Head Start and Infant/Toddler Conference - Presenters
16th Annual Early Head Start and Infant Toddler Conference Presenters
Nefertiti Bruce, MEd – Keynote Speaker
Nefertiti is an early childhood specialist and trainer for the Devereux Foundation. In her lectures and trainings, she stresses and emphasizes the importance of social and emotional health and development in children. She is dedicated to educating parents, teachers and administrators on the importance of paying attention to not only what children are learning and can do, but also how they feel on the inside.
David Allen, PhD
David is a co-principal investigator for the Parent-Infant Interaction Project. He teaches courses in early intervention/early childhood special education. In addition, he is Project Director for the BEES Project that is adapting the Early Intervention/Special Education program to an online format for rural students. His interests include the use of technology to develop materials and inclusive settings for younger and older adults.
Tim Andrews, MS
Tim is the Positive Behavior Support Specialist for the Multnomah Early Childhood Program where he works with children and families with persistent and severe challenging behaviors. In that role, he trains child care providers, works to maintain children in their community placements, such as Early Head Start and Head Start, and works in the homes, consulting to parents of children with challenging behaviors. Previous to that, he taught the therapeutic preschool for children with challenging behaviors where he partnered with families, specialists, and therapists to support outcomes for children and families. Tim is also adjunct at Portland State University and the owner of Tim Andrews Consulting, where he provides consultation, coaching, and trainings to agencies that serve young children. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin: Madison, and his MS in Early Childhood Special Education from Portland State University.
Catherine Ayoub, MN, EdD
Catherine is co-principal investigator of the OHS National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. She is Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, faculty at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, and Director of the Family Connections Project at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research interests center on the impact of childhood trauma across the life span, and the development and implementation of prevention and intervention systems to combat risk and promote resilience with emphasis on young children and their families across cultures and communities. As a psychologist and a nurse practitioner, she has a forensic practice at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.
Melissa Bandy, MEd
Melissa has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, and has over 16 years of working experience in the early childhood field with children, families, staff and administration. She has strong knowledge and experience in infant and toddler development, mental health and professional development systems. Melissa is an ECE Specialist for ICF International providing Training and Technical Assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start Programs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Alison Beanblossom, LCSW
Alison is a Mental Health Consultant with Morrison Child and Family Services, and works as a consultant with Mt. Hood Head Start providing support to teachers, staff and families. Alison started her social work career as a home visitor for an Early Head Start program in Chicago, then worked as a Social Worker Chicago Public Schools for 8 years. She moved to Portland in 2011 and started working for Morrison.
Heather Baeckel, MSW
Heather has been supporting young parents and their children through her work at Insights Teen Parent Services in Portland, Oregon for 10 years. Heather has worked as a home visiting Family Advocate, Group Facilitator, coordinator of Insights’ Youth Advisory Council, supervised Portland State University MSW students and is currently supervising staff working in Insights’ Homeless and Foster Care programming. Heather aligns closely with Insights’ Strengths’ Based services approach and believes that teen parents can be great parents when given respect, support and opportunity.
Emily Berry, MA
Emily is the Healthy Start~Healthy Families Supervisor at Insights Teen Parent Services in Portland Oregon where she has worked with young parents and their children for ten years. Emily received her undergraduate degree at Whitman College where she studied studio art and education. She spent 8 years working with children 0-5 in kindergartens, preschools, and child development centers. In 2003 Emily earned her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College with an emphasis in child and family studies. Crediting her training in art, Emily appreciates the importance of seeing the complete picture as it relates to relationships, roles, family and social systems.
Sheryl Billey, MEd
Sheryl has been in the early childhood field for more than 30 years. She has taught preschool in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Washington. Sheryl has worked for The Spokane County Head Start/ Early Head Start program for over 16 years; Ten years as the Lead teacher in an infant-toddler classroom at the lab school at the local community college. The past 7 years have been in the Home visiting Early Head Start program as the facilitator for the socializations. She has a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix. On several occasions throughout her career Sheryl has left the classroom for administrator positions, but always returns to the classroom to work directly with the children and families.
Kathy A. Bobula, PhD
Kathy Bobula is a Professor of Early Childhood Education and Psychology at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and began teaching there in 1982. From 1982 to 2006, Kathy coordinated the Department of Early Childhood Education. In addition to teaching at Clark, Kathy is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate Certificate Program in Infant/Toddler Mental Health at Portland State University, teaching Dynamic Theories of Infant/Toddler Development. She has been teaching about child development and working with young children and parents for over 40 years.
Kathy began studying about brain development in the mid-1980s, and has been teaching and conducting workshops about brain development ever since. Kathy received the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Family and Child Development from Ohio State University in 1967 and 1969, respectively. She earned a PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 1996, with two field concentrations: Human Development and Policy Analysis.
Kathy’s work experience, in addition to college teaching and program administration, includes being a teacher-caregiver in both full and part-day early childhood programs with children from birth through six years of age. She has been a teacher of young children in Head Start, Early Head Start, two campus based programs, two parent cooperatives, and a Native American tribal preschool.
Most currently, Kathy has been developing and teaching Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology classes online for both Clark College and Portland State University.
Karina Bravo, PhD, LMFT
Karina is the Director of Early Intervention for Project Cuidar at California State University San Bernardino's Institute of Child Development and Family Relations. Project CUIDAR offers Parenting Education classes throughout the East Valley Region of San Bernardino County. It promotes healthy parent-child relationships and optimal child development through culturally and developmentally-appropriate early intervention services for children 0-5 and their caregivers. Dr. Bravo trains parent education facilitators in attachment, bonding, early brain development, and guidance strategies. She fosters staff's ability to build rapport with parents, helps them reach both Spanish and English speaking community members, and supports their ability to maintain professional and ethical boundaries in their work with families.
Donna Britt, EdD
Donna is a Senior Training Specialist for the Early Head Start National Resource Center . She has served as the Project Manager for the ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) Mentor Infant Toddler Teachers (MITT) project, an Office of Head Start Innovation and Improvement Grant and for the Work/Family Directions IBM Nationwide Infant and Toddler Program developing online coursework early care professionals. Donna has 30+ years of experience in early childhood and adult education working in various areas of early care and education including domestic violence, child abuse, Head Start, Department of the Army Child Development Services, and higher education. Dr. Britt received a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University, Child and Youth Studies Program and a Masters in Child Development/Family Life from Indiana State University.
Jana Brooks, CDA
Jana spent 13 very busy years as a classroom teacher with infants and toddlers where she played hard, worked hard, and learned tons. For the past eight year she has held many challenging and rewarding roles in Early Head Start: Family Consultant, Toddler Time Teacher, Playgroup Coordinator. Jana is currently the Outreach and Engagement Specialist at Mountain States Early Head Start in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Sharon Brown, MA
Sharon is the director of a licensed child development center in Bakersfield, California. She has been in the early care and education profession for over 25 years. Starting out as a classroom teacher, Sharon soon discovered her passion in connecting children with nature. Currently in her center Sharon has a multitude of animals ranging from small furry creatures to insects and reptiles which she uses to help educate the children about respect for nature and the care of our planet.
Sharon earned her Master’s Degree in Human Growth and Development with a specialty in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. She presents workshops in her county and surrounding areas to other early childhood educators on many subjects and is adjunct faculty at Bakersfield Community College, Taft College and California State University, Bakersfield. She is very active in her community on many boards including the Association for the Education of Young Children. Sharon is also a mentor director for the California Mentor Program and sits on the mentor teacher selection committee for her county.
Sharon’s hobbies include hiking, fishing and photography. She raises and trains guide dogs for the blind with her daughter and enjoys kicking back with her dog Clancy watching animal planet.
Lilli Carrillo, MA
Lilli is the State Manager for TTA, Head Start Region X Oregon. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in day-to-day planning and teaching, dual language development, program management, training and development, and service coordination. She has worked with Head Start since 2000, beginning as an Education Manager and progressively increasing her oversight and management responsibilities for one of the Nation’s largest Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs. Lilli holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development with specializations in Early Childhood Education, Leadership in Education and Bicultural Development.
Ruth Falco, PhD
Ruth is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Parent Infant Interaction Project. She is also Director of the Research Center on Inclusive and Effective Educational Practices. She developed the Early Intervention/Special Education Program at Portland State University. Her interests include children with autism, self-determination for parents with learning difficulties, and inclusion.
Mary is a consultant for The Early Childhood Training Center, Portland State University. Mary has a strong interest in systems which promote the well-being of children, families, and staff. She teaches a course called "The Secrets of Effective Supervision" and is a frequent presenter on "Promoting Reflective Practices". Mary has helped many programs implement systems of reflective/supportive supervision and coaching. She has had the honor of coaching and providing supervision to Early Childhood Care and Education professionals continuously since 1977.
Jan is a Sr. Writer/Training Specialist with the Early Head Start National Resource Center (EHS NRC). She develops print and media resources to support EHS and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs, conducts training at state, regional, and national conferences, and serves as content specialist lead for MSHS-specific issues. Jan’s past work includes training manager and product developer at Teaching Strategies, Inc., early childhood training coordinator and product developer at Reading Is Fundamental, and resource development and training/technical assistance roles at East Coast Migrant Head Start Project. Jan has taught in early childhood programs serving children who are typically developing and children with disabilities, and holds a B.S. in special education/elementary education from the University of Maryland.
Mark Innocenti, PhD
Mark is associate director of the Early Intervention Research Institute at Utah State University. Dr. Innocenti has over 30 years of experience working with infants and young children at risk, as well as with disabilities, and their families through multiple research and model demonstration projects. He has been active in Head Start research for much of his career, and he co-authored Developmental Parenting, which provides a model for home visiting services.
Peggy D. King, BSN, MFA
Peggy is a Public Health Nurse Consultant and Early Childhood Specialist, and has 30 years of nursing experience, including Level 1 Trauma Center, HIV/AIDS Research, Maternal and Child Health and Public Health, both in the US and internationally. She has worked with Head Start and Early Head Start for the last 15 years, both as a health coordinator and as a consultant. She has had the privilege of helping to establish new EHS programs, supporting programs that were deficient, and assisting programs with ongoing quality improvement. Peggy has worked with programs, large and small, across the US.
Julie Larrieu, PhD
Julie, a developmental and clinical psychologist, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Larrieu is a senior trainer at the Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and the Associate Director of the Tulane Infant Team, a multidisciplinary team that provides intensive intervention to maltreated infants in foster care and their families. She is an infant mental health consultant for the Louisiana Office of Public Health, where she trains pediatricians, nurses, mental health and other allied health service providers about the mental health needs of infants and young children. She is the site director for the Tulane component of the Early Trauma Treatment Network within the Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. Dr. Larrieu is a co-developer and trainer of the Infant Team model of intervention, an evidence-based intervention that results in significant reduction in subsequent maltreatment by mothers who have children in foster care due to substantiated neglect or abuse. Her ongoing research interests include developmental psychopathology, child abuse and neglect, symptoms arising from early trauma, and protective factors and resiliency in the face of maltreatment.
Jeff works at Mt. Hood Head Start providing support to teachers, staff, and families.
Leslie Munson, PhD
Leslie is the Project Director for the Parent Infant Interaction Project to develop a curriculum that focuses on parent-infant interaction for parents with learning difficulties and their young children. Dr. Munson and her colleagues are developing additional materials for service providers who work with parents with learning difficulties and their young children. In addition, she is the Coordinator of the Early Intervention/Special Education program and teaches courses in the program. Her interests include parent-infant interaction, parents with learning difficulties, and grief related to the death of a student.
Lorraine Olsen, MEd
Lorraine is the director of Early Learning Services at the Olympic Educational Service District 114 in Bremerton, WA. She is part of the Kitsap County Head Start Partnership working with the Pt. Gamble/S’Klallam, Suquamish, and Kitsap Community Resources Head Start, Early Head Start & ECEAP programs. Lorraine has worked in preschool and child care for the past 30 years as a teacher, care giver, and director. She also worked for DSHS for 4 years in the Office of Child Care Policy. She has master’s degrees in both Early Childhood Education and Public Administration from the University of Oregon. Lorraine was born and raised in Seattle and currently lives in Port Orchard, WA.
Keith is a National Early Childhood Specialist for Kaplan Early Learning Company, and has been in the field of education for more than 30 years. Keith began his career by working in childcare with infants and toddlers, taught elementary students as well as Kindergarten, and then taught PreKindergarten. Following his experiences in the classroom, Keith moved on to teach at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, and he also was an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, before beginning his career as a consultant.
Victoria Prieto, MEd
Victoria is a Sr. Bilingual Writer/Training Specialist for the Early Head Start National Resource Center (EHS NRC) where she chaired the Birth To Three Institute (BTT) for several years. In her current position, she develops written materials for early care professionals in Spanish and English. Ms. Prieto entered the Infant Family field as a Home Visitor for Healthy Families America working with at-risk young Latino parents in the rural areas of the Shenandoah Valley, VA and later as a Parent Educator at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital, VA. She holds a Master’s degree and an Education Specialist degree in Teacher Training/Bilingual Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. As a Fulbright scholar, her work encompassed language teacher training and the development of sound practices for the teaching of English as a second language to children whose home language was other than English. -- Additionally, Ms. Prieto is a trained medical interpreter Spanish/English with experience in consecutive interpretation in the Infant/Family field.
Nathan Roberts graduated from the University of Utah with a masters in speech language pathology in 2000. He worked for 5 years in a preschool program in Palmdale, California. In 2005 he moved to Oregon and took a position as a coordinator for special programs with Clackamas ESD, working with school age children who have severe and profound disabilities. Since 2010 he has worked for Northwest Regional ESD as a speech language pathologist consultant to Head Start and community preschools. Areas of special interest to Nathan are early language development, autism and social communication, and consultation/training for parents and teachers.
Jamie Rodrick, MS
Jamie brings over twenty years of experiences educating children, parents and early childhood professionals. Her experiences include: educating children infancy through preschool; Early Head Start Director; Early Intervention Program Director and most recently, as a Supervisor at a large corporate child development program. She is a certified Parent Educator through the Talaris Institute, and an International Dunstan Baby Language Instructor. Jamie provides education and consulting to child development organizations and parenting groups. Her passion is helping parents and educators learn about child development and strategies to best support and nurture young children.
Lori Roggman, PhD
Lori is a professor of human development at Utah State University, and studies parenting and early intervention in relation to children’s early social, cognitive, and language development. Dr. Roggman’s career began as a Head Start home visitor and continued as a trainer and consultant for practitioners in infant/toddler and early childhood programs. She has conducted research on home visiting in Early Head Start and similar programs, and she co-authored Developmental Parenting: A Guide for Early Childhood Practitioners.
Sarah Semlak, PhD
Sarah has worked in the field of Child and Family Development as a university professor, program administrator, and direct service provider in a range of Federally, State, and privately funded programs. As a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Sarah worked on an Inter-programmatic Assignment (IPA) in the Office of Head Start; the focus of her work was supporting Federal Staff’s capacity related to Early Head Start. Since then she has provided technical assistance and training to Early Head Start (EHS)/Head Start, Military Child Development Centers, and Early Intervention programs around the Country and in Canada. Recently she was the Director of the EHS Start-Up Planner project at ZERO TO THREE. Additional projects she completed within the year include the development of materials on school readiness for teachers and administrators serving culturally diverse children along with Early Learning Standards for the District of Columbia. Currently, Sarah is the Director of Leadership and Integrated Efforts at the Early Head Start National Resource Center.
Caitlin Seifert is currently a Research Assistant for the Parent Infant Interaction (PII) Project. As a Research Assistant, she is involved in all aspects of the project from developing materials to coordinating with home visitors and coding behaviors that occur during parent infant interaction. She is also involved in several projects with the Graduate School of Social Work, including examining kindergarten readiness in a high poverty local school. She completed her Master’s in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education at PSU in June 2013.
Charles Smith, MSW
Charles is the father of three children ages 23, 21, and 11. He is employed at the Early Childhood Training Center (ECTC) at Portland State University as a development consultant and trainer in the areas of social services, fatherhood, men’s health, and management; working with both early childhood programs and community service agencies. He is the coordinator of the Social Services Competency Based Training Program, the Men’s Health Project, and has specialized training in the areas of Motivational Interviewing, family literacy, and fatherhood services. He has worked with families of children and teenagers for the past 30 years.
Diane Smith, RDN, MA
Diane is a pediatric dietitian working with Head Start Families to help meet nutrition needs to promote optimal growth. She has presented to child care providers, teachers and Head Start Staff to provide best practice in feeding infants with a focus on the feeding relationship. Her hands-on interactive presentation style engages audiences in the learning process with an opportunity for discussion and practice.
JoAnne Solchany PhD, ARNP, RN, BC
JoAnne has worked with infants, children, adolescents and families in the mental health field for over 25 years. She is currently practicing in the Seattle area, and is Affiliate Faculty at the UW, a Nurse Practitioner in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, and an Infant Mental Health Specialist, specializing in family issues. Dr. Solchany is a regular presenter and author, both nationally and internationally, on a variety of issues related to infants, young children, and families. She is author of the award winning book, Promoting Maternal Mental Health During Pregnancy: Theory, Practice, and Intervention (2001).
Debbie has been a speech and language pathologist for the last 35 years at Northwest Regional ESD. For the last 20 years she has been working in the Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention Program. Currently she provides services to birth to three, mostly through parent coaching and training, and parent toddler groups. Diane has extensive experience with autism spectrum disorder, provides parent trainings, and also does private practice with school age children with ASD. For the past 5 years, during the summer term, Diane has taught a graduate class at PSU, titled Communication - Birth to Age Five.
Jay is currently the Alcohol and Drug Services Coordinator for Oregon’s Department of Human Services Office of Child Welfare Programs. He’s been an addictions counselor for over 30 years, an adjunct Professor for the University of Oregon’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program for 20 years and has held jobs of counselor, clinical supervisor and Prevention Manager at various programs in his career.
Paula Zaninovich, MSW
Paula is a Mental Health Consultant with Multnomah County Department of County Human Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services Division, on the Early Childhood Team. She is currently working with Mt Hood Child Development and Family Support Programs providing training, consultation, and direct mental health services to Early Head Start, Head Start, and Child Care Resource and Referral. Ms. Zaninovich has 23 years experience working with young children, and their families.