The Conference on Early Learning at the UW

June 3-5, 2010

Thursday: Late afternoon conference kick-off
Friday and Saturday: conference sessions continue
UW Tower  •  Seattle, Washington

Presenters are still being added to this list – please check this site often for updates

Innovative intervention ideas and important research advances on early learning are generated at UW through the work of individuals and centers dedicated to understanding development and learning processes and the factors that affect them. Participants in the conference will have the opportunity to get updated on latest advances from notable experts.

2010 Conference Co-Chairs

Gail E. Joseph, Ph.D., Presenter and 2010 Conference Co-Chair
Assistant Professor, Early Childhood, and Family Studies
Educational Psychology
College of Education
University of Washington

Dr. Joseph's research interests include a) teacher perceptions and practices related to young children with challenging behavior, b) social-emotional curricula and instruction, and c) leadership development in the field of early care and education. She has had extensive experience as a Head Start teacher, teacher trainer, mental health specialist, and national consultant in promoting evidence-based, social emotional practices with young children.

Liliana J. Lengua, Ph.D., Presenter and 2010 Conference Co-Chair
Associate Professor
UW Department of Psychology

Dr. Lengua's work focuses on community psychology and prevention interventions for children. Her research has examined children who experience major stressors, such as parental divorce or socioeconomic risk, with emphases in developmental psychopathology and quantitative methods.

Dr. Lengua's work has focused on individual differences in children's responses to risk and has investigated the roles of children's reactivity and self-regulation as mediators and moderators of the effects of risk on children's adjustment, with the goal of identifying children who are vulnerable to developing problems, as well as children who are resilient in the face of risk. Her most current research probes the effects of low income on the development of executive functioning in preschool children, investigation family, parenting, and physiological factors that account for the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage.

She is an investigator on several federally funded projects examining the development of executive functioning (NICHD), the effects of low income on preschool children's cognitive and social development (NICHD), neighborhood, family and peer effects on adolescent substance use (NIDA), parenting in the context of domestic violence (NIMH), and childhood risk factors for the emergence of adult mental health problems (NIDA).

2010 Conference Presenters

Rebecca C. Cortes, Ph.D
Research Scientist
UW Department of Psychology

Rebecca C. Cortes received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. She was trained in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on prevention science under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Greenberg at the Penn State Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. During this time Dr. Cortes co-authored the PATHS Preschool curriculum, a social and emotional school-based curriculum originally developed for children attending Head Start. The curriculum has been tested in two randomized-controlled trials, the most recent of which included an early literacy component.

Dr. Cortes's research focuses on the role of parents in the developmental integration of emotion and cognition in young children and its implications for early learning. Currently, she holds a position as research scientist in the psychology department at the University of Washington where she collaborates and is the project director on Dr. Liliana Lengua's Project 1, 2, 3 Go!, a longitudinal study that examines the development of effortful control in young children.

Her research interests include the emotional development of infants and young children, and the longitudinal relationship between maternal and child depression. Dr. Cortes lives in Seattle, Washington where she has a daughter and two grandchildren.

Denise Dumouchel, PH.D
Head of Graduate Education, IslandWood
Affiliate Faculty
College of Education
University of Washington

Dr. Dumouchel is the Head of Graduate Education at IslandWood, a residential environmental learning center on Bainbridge Island, serving students of all ages including the very young, families, and UW College of Education master's students. Denise has been a classroom teacher as well as an environmental educator for people of all ages and from many parts of the world. Prior to IslandWood, she was an assistant professor of Environmental Education at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She writes a short column about Parenting in Nature for IslandWood's Connections newsletter and teaches a Child Development course in the graduate program.

Education: B.A., University of Rochester; M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University; Ph.D., Environmental Studies, Antioch University, New England.

Erika Feldman, M.S.
Doctoral Student
College of Education
University of Washington

Erika Feldman received her B.A. from Kenyon College in Political Science and a M.S. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Washington. She has worked as a community organizer, art therapist, researcher and early childhood educator in both formal and informal learning environments. As part of her dissertation work, she is developing a curricular planning and assessment framework for use in early learning environments. Her research interests include how early learning environments can support development through play, approaches to assessment that honor community values, and young children’s understanding of technology. She currently works as a research assistant at the Center for Childcare Quality and Early Learning.

Janine Jones, PhD, NCSP
Assistant Professor, School Psychology
Educational Psychology
College of Education
University of Washington

Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor of School Psychology at the University of Washington and a Licensed Child Psychologist in private practice.  She received a PhD in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child therapy from the University of Southern California.  Her research, teaching, and clinical work focus on culturally competent service delivery and resilience in children and adolescents from a cultural perspective. In particular, she has expertise providing culturally relevant clinical services to children and their families in schools, community mental health centers, homes, and private practice settings. Dr. Jones’ experiences include providing child and adolescent therapy, psychological assessment, teaching, and supervision of graduate students.  Dr. Jones is the editor of the book The Psychology of Multiculturalism in the Schools: A primer for training, practice, and research. She has authored chapters about multicultural counseling and articles related to her research on resilience in African American children and providing culturally relevant family-school collaboration.

Lynn Katz, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
UW Department of Psychology
Research Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability

Dr. Katz's primary research interests are in examining familial factors related to risk and resilience in children's socioemotional development. She is particularly interested in children's ability to regulate emotion in face of adverse environments and life events, and how parenting buffers children from negative developmental outcomes. She sees the family as an important source of influence shaping children's ability to regulate their emotions and teaching them how to develop successful, healthy relationships with others, including peers. Consistent with a developmental psychopathology approach, the studies she has conducted have included children who are functioning normally as well as those who exhibit conduct-problems and depression. A focus of her current efforts is in understanding the effects of domestic violence on children through a study that addresses such issues as how children react to the stress of being exposed to domestic violence, whether parenting can reduce this risk, and whether there are changes in these processes across development. Another adverse life event currently being investigated is children's adjustment following cancer treatment.

Elham Kazemi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Education
University of Washington

Dr. Kazemi's work centers on mathematics education. Her interests include mathematics literacy, socio-cultural analyses of learning and change, teacher development, and school reform initiatives. Current research includes LTP: Learning in, from and for Teaching Practice, which aims to redesign mathematics teacher preparation; RMLL: Researching Mathematics Leader Learning, which focuses on what happens during professional development when teachers do mathematics together; as well as Stories Count: Students' Experiences Across Mathematics & Literacy, where she and Elizabeth Dutro at UC Boulder and a public school teacher, Ruth Balf, followed children in one fifth grade classroom across two years in order to examine how children are intellectually and socially positioned in the classroom across the subject areas of mathematics and literacy.

Jean F. Kelly, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center on Infant Mental Health and Development
Family and Child Nursing
School of Nursing
University of Washington

Dr. Kelly's research focuses on how early care-giving affects children's development. She is Co-Director, Center on Infant Mental Health and Development at the University of Washington. Dr. Kelly has directed research and training programs focused on young children's social and emotional health for over two decades, and has published numerous articles and chapters on promoting children's social and emotional development. She developed and published a research-and practice-based preventive intervention program called Promoting First Relationships, to enhance caregiver-child relationships. She directs NCAST-AVENUW Programs which is also dedicated to promoting young children's social-emotional development through responsive, nurturing caregiver-child relationships.

Suzanne Kerns, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy

Dr. Kerns' clinical and research interests focus on translation of evidence based practices to real-world settings, their acquisition, adoption, and sustainability. She currently collaborates with agencies, communities and Tribes to develop strategic planning to increase effective utilization of evidence-based practices. She is a program consultant and involved in research of Family Integrated Transitions, an intervention targeting youth returning to their communities after being incarcerated, and Project Focus, an experimental study of strategies designed to increase access to evidence-based services for youth in foster care through caseworker and clinician training and consultation. She is also a certified trainer for Triple P Positive Parenting Program.

Yaffa Maritz, MA
Founder and Director, Community of Mindful Parents
Seattle, WA

Ms. Maritz works collaboratively with Dr. Rebecca Cortes from UW Psychology on the application of research into practice. Ms. Maritz was educated and trained as a clinical psychologist in Israel. She also is a licensed mental health counselor with advanced training Infant Mental Health. Ms. Maritz is a co-founder of Listening Mothers, an innovative program that uses reflective and mindful techniques to increase mothers' awareness of their interactions with their babies and enhance their capacity to deal with the challenges of motherhood. More recently, Ms. Maritz founded and is the director of the Community of Mindful Parents which offers carefully selected resources and engages parents in mindful conversations on line as well as offer small group discussions through programs such as Listening Mothers and Reflective Parenting. She is an advocate for the well-being of children and their families and serves on several local and national boards that promote this agenda, including the Governor's Commission for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. Ms. Maritz believes that by supporting parents and creating nurturing communities for them, we can set the foundation for the positive growth of children's social, emotional, and mental health.

Steven J. Morrison, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Music
University of Washington

Steven Morrison is Associate Professor and Chair of Music Education at the University of Washington. An instrumental music specialist, Professor Morrison teaches courses in music education, classroom management, and research methodology and conducts the UW Symphonic Band. He has taught at the elementary, junior high and senior high levels in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Louisiana and has conducted and arranged for bands, orchestras, and chamber groups throughout the United States. In addition to his work in instrumental teaching and learning, his research investigates neurological responses to music listening, perceptual and performance aspects of pitch-matching and intonation, and use of expressive gesture and modeling in ensemble teaching. His research also includes music preference and the relationship of musical responses to diverse cultural contexts.

Prior to joining the UW faculty, Morrison served as lecturer of Fine Arts at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has spoken and presented research throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Italy, the Netherlands, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. During 2009 he served as a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge. Morrison’s articles have appeared in Music Educators Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Music Perception, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education, Southwestern Musician, Recorder: Ontario Music Educators Association Journal, College Music Society Newsletter, and Southern Folklore. Along with colleague Steven M. Demorest, his research into music and brain function has appeared in Neuroimage, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Progress in Brain Research and The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a contributing author to The Science and Psychology of Music Performance, published by Oxford University Press, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Education, and the text Musician and Teacher: An Orientation to Music Education, authored by UW colleague Patricia Shehan Campbell and published by W.W. Norton.

Morrison is on the advisory board for the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research, on the editorial board of the Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Music Education. He is past University Curriculum Chair for the Washington Music Educators Association. He holds a B.M. from Northwestern University, an M.M. from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

Andrew Shouse, Ph.D.
Associate Director
UW Institute for Science and Mathematics Education

Andrew Shouse is an education researcher whose interests include equitable science education in formal and informal settings, and communication of educational research to policy and practice audiences. Shouse joined the University of Washington in 2008 as Associate Director of the Institute for Science and Mathematics Education where he directs and/or contributes to a portfolio of externally funded research and development partnerships focused on broadening participation in science, including: Exploring Databases (NSF) a collaboration with genome scientists to integrate digital scientific tools into the secondary curriculum; SoundCitizen Science Apprenticeship (NSF), a collaboration with ocean scientists to explore youth identity development in the context of community-relevant scientific research, and System STEM Development, an effort to expand project-based STEM curriculum throughout K12 schools in the Puget Sound region. Previously in his tenure with the National Research Council (NRC) Andrew directed two science education consensus studies (NSF 0545947 and 0348841) and edited the reports: Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (NRC, 2009; with Philip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, and Michael Feder) and Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 (NRC, 2007; with Rick Duschl and Heidi Schweingruber). Shouse authored (with Sarah Michaels and Schweingruber) Ready, Set, Science! Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms, a 2008 Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Book Award winner. Shouse serves on a number of advisory committees and boards of scientific and educational organizations, including: the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Pacific Science Center, Center for Inquiry Science of the Institute for Systems Biology, and The NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California-Davis.

Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D.
UW Department of Psychology

Frank Smoll received his Bachelor's degree from Ripon College (Wisc.) and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, he played on championship basketball and baseball teams, and he is a member of Ripon's Athletic Hall of Fame. As a UW faculty member, Dr. Smoll's research focuses on psychosocial aspects of children's participation in youth sports. In collaboration with Dr. Ronald Smith, Professor Smoll was the recipient of research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the William T. Grant Foundation. The major purposes of their Youth Enrichment in Sports project are to develop, evaluate, and disseminate psychoeducational interventions for coaches and parents that are designed to foster more positive sport outcomes for young athletes.

Dr. Smoll has published more than 130 scientific articles and book chapters, and he is co-author of 20 books and manuals, including Sports and Your Child (2005) and Mastery Approach to Coaching (2009). His professional honors include election to fellow status in the American Psychological Association and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). In 2002, he was the recipient of AASP's Distinguished Professional Practice Award, which was bestowed for "demonstrating exceptional quality and innovation in delivering sport psychology services to the public."

Jessica Sommerville, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UW Department of Psychology

Dr. Sommerville received her BSc from the University of Toronto, and her PhD from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sommerville's research interests center around early cognitive development, in particular, how infants and preschoolers represent their own and other's actions. Her current research projects include work on the development of problem-solving abilities in infancy and infants' ability to understand the goal-directed nature of simple action sequences. She is also investigating preschool children's memory for their own actions and the actions of others in the context of joint activity.

Shelley Stromholt, M.Ed.
Learning Sciences
University of Washington

Shelley Stromholt is a doctoral student in the College of Education at University of Washington. Her research interests stem from her experience in assessment and evaluation of student learning in a variety of informal settings, including science museums and environmental education centers. Shelley's work focuses on how people become interested in and develop an identity in science through engagement in informal settings. Before pursuing a Ph.D., Shelley completed a B.S. in Biology at Oregon State University, and an M.Ed. in Science Education at UW.