Department of Early Childhood Education
Dr. Mellisa Clawson is a professor of Early Childhood Education. She has taught and held administrative positions in infant, toddler, preschool, Head Start, and public school settings. Professor Clawson teaches Creative Arts and Technology for the Young Child and Science Methods in Early Childhood Education, in addition to other courses. Her research focuses on developing online, interactive resources for future early childhood teachers. These materials are used in colleges across the country. Currently, Dr. Clawson is writing a book about integrating place-based science into pre-K through 2nd grade curriculum, particularly in economically disadvantaged schools. She travels around the country providing workshops to help teachers support children with Asperger Syndrome and find ways to integrate more creative arts and science into the curriculum. In her spare time, Dr. Clawson enjoys singing and acting in community theater.
Dr. Beth Hatcher came to the University of Maine at Farmington in 2006 with significant experience as an early childhood professional. Her background includes early childhood program administration and development, teacher training, and mentoring. Dr. Hatcher is Division Chair of Early Childhood and Elementary. She teaches a variety of methods and field-based early childhood courses including undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Hatcher researches and publishes on the topics of kindergarten readiness and preschool routines. Dr. Hatcher is active on Maine’s Early Childhood Accountability Team and the Higher Education Committee, and is a member of the committee that is revising the Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines. She is a board member for the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers. She loves living and working in Maine (even the winters) and snowshoes and hikes in the lovely forests that surround her home.
Dr. Donna Karno teaches in the on-campus BS program, the off-campus BS program, the MS Ed. in Early Childhood degree program, and the MS Ed Instructional Technology collaborative degree program. Since entering the profession of early childhood education, she has worked in many different capacities including as a consultant, lead teacher, and preschool director. She brings all of these experiences to the classroom as a way to connect the academic with field work. Dr. Karno is involved in teaching and research using digital technologies in the early childhood profession on the local, state and national levels. With an MA in political science and teaching experience in post-secondary social science, Dr. Karno maintains an active interest in public policy.
Dr. Williams arrived at UMF in 2012. She teaches ECH 150 Introduction to ECE, ECH 232 Social Science Curriculum, ECH 250 Infants and Toddlers, ECH 440 Children, Families, and Communities, ECH 450 Senior Research Seminar, ECH 535 Play, ECH 538 Collaboration with Families and Communitiesn and ECH 541 Capstone Research. She also coordinates the Infant-Toddler Playgroup Program. Her scholarship examines homevisiting programs, parent involvement, the support needs of new parents, toddler curriculum, and service learning. She has received grants from the March of Dimes, the MA Department of Education, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. She serves as editor of Annual Editions: The Family (McGraw-Hill). Prior to arriving at UMF Dr. Williams worked as an early intervention teacher, an afterschool program coordinator, and a research consultant to early childhood programs and school districts in Massachusetts and Maryland.