Karno, Donna
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education - Chairperson
2008 PhD The Ohio State University; 2000 MS The Ohio State University; 1987 MA The Ohio State University; 1982 BS Arizona State University
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Education policy, Technology, models and approaches, social studies

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. 

Clawson, Mellisa
Professor of Early Childhood Education
1996 PhD Auburn University; 1993 MS Auburn University; 1990 BS Birmingham-Southern College
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Young Adults, Child Development, Children and Political Violence, Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood, Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Media Influences on Children, Teaching Science to Young Children

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.

Williams, Patricia
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
1997 PhD Applied Child Development, Tufts University, Medford, MA; 1988 BA Psychology, Health and Society., University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Family, parent, and community involvement in learning and education, Home Visiting, program evaluation, service learning

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.

Bailie, Patti
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
2012 PhD Educational Studies, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; 1992 MED Elementary Education, John Carroll University; 1979 BA Psychology, University of Cincinnati
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Curricula, Early Childhood Program Administration, Nature-Based Education, Teaching Science to Young Children

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.

Moffit, Char
Assistant Professor of Education
2013 PhD Curriculum and Instruction, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; 2001 MA Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; 1995 BS Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education:
Elementary 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.