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. 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 encourages "thinking outside the box" which has led her students to fling paint in the style of Jackson Pollock or create potions that turn colors, emit smoke, and bubble. She also develops video inventories, study materials, and lesson plans specificially for future teachers of young children. Many UMF students have been involved in creating these resources, which are used in colleges across the country. Dr. Clawson provides workshops for educators and families throughout New England in order to promote understanding of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, as well as singing and acting in different community venues.
Dr. Patti Bailie arrived at UMF in 2014 with significant experience in nature-based early childhood education. She was the founding director of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool in Milwaukee, WI and co-director of the Early Childhood Outdoors Institute in Omaha, NE. She teaches several methods and field based courses in the undergraduate early childhood department including; ECH 150 Introduction to ECE, ECH 232 Social Science for Young Chidlren, ECH 192 Practicum, and ECH 420 Planning Environments for Young Children. Dr. Bailie is active in the field of early childhood environmental education serving on the advisory board of the Natural Start Alliance and as consulting editor of the International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education. Her research interests include identifying high quality practices of nature-based preschools and their impact on school readiness. She enjoys Maine's winter activities and maple sugaring.
Dr. Donna Karno teaches in the on-campus BS program, the off-campus BS program, and the MS Ed. in Early Childhood 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. With an MA in political science and teaching experience in social science, she has a particular interest in fostering social science curriculum. Donna’s research interests include exploring how the readable/writable web can be used by teachers and students to deepen inquiry and encourage democratic education.
Dr. Char Moffit came to UMF from Las Vegas were she taught in the public schools. She taught in Kindergarten and first grade and later became a Literacy Specialist. She completed her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy 2013. Her research interests include utilizing curriculum integration of science and literacy to increase student engagement and motivation in young children. She currently teaches ECH 201 Language Development, Early Literacy and Chlldren's Literature, and EDU 333 Reading. Language Arts, and Children's Literature in Grades K-3. In her free time, she likes to travel, ski, hike, and kayak.
Dr. Williams arrived at UMF in 2012 and teaches the following courses: ECH 150 Introduction to ECE, ECH 232 Social Science Curriculum, ECH 440 Children, Families, and Communities, ECH 450 Senior Research Seminar, ECH 535 Play, and ECH 538 Collaboration with Families and Communities. Her scholarship examines the effectiveness of homevisiting programs, parent involvement, the support needs of new parents, and the benefits of service learning. She has received grants from the March of Dimes, the Massachusetts Department of Education, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. She also serves as editor of Annual Editions: The Family, a McGraw-Hill publication. 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.
Having taught for many years in New York Public schools, Cara Furman brings a philosophical stance to concerns about practice. With an undergraduate degree in History, Dr. Furman is committed to the liberal arts – encouraging students to take an inquiry stance towards the world around them. She has published on inclusive classrooms, descriptive inquiry, supporting classroom teachers, practical wisdom in classrooms, the pedagogical value of narrative, and progressive education. Whether teaching methods courses such as ECH 336 or research classes such as ECH 450, Dr. Furman seeks to provide a balance of practical experiences and philosophical discussion.