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. Tracy Collins currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses to students in Early Childhood Education programs at the University. She also coordinates the school's Infant Toddler Parent Playgroup during the fall and spring semesters. This is one of the many practicum programs students participate in. The playgroup is open to children who are infants to three years old and they are joined by mothers, fathers or caregivers. The playgroup program serves the university (faculty, staff, students) and surrounding communities. Dr. Collns also participates in scholarship activities (research and publishing) and service activities for the university and the community.
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 the Early Childhood Program Coordinator. 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, 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. 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.