Clawson, Mellisa
Professor of Early Childhood Education
Degrees
PhD Child Development, Auburn University; BS Psychology, Birmingham-Southern College; MS Child Development, Auburn University
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Asperger Syndrome, Child Development, Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood, Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Teacher Preparation, 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 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.


Williams, Patricia
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
Degrees
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. 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.


Bailie, Patti
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Degrees
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.


Fish, Leigh Ann
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Degrees
2015 PhD Educational Administration/Curriculum & Cultural Studies, Miami University; 2005 MSED Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, University of Dayton; 2002 BS Computer Graphics/Technology, Purdue University
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education: Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood, Models and Approaches, Reflective Practice, Reggio, Social Studies, Technology, Young children with gifts and talents
Elementary Education: Democracy in Education, Diversity, Gifted & Talented, Labor Relations, Literacy, Language and Cultural Studies, Multicultural Education, PreK - 12 public education, Teacher Leadership

Dr. Leigh Ann Fish is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration/Curriculum and Cultural Studies from Miami University. Prior to working at UMF, Dr. Fish served as a K-12 Gifted & Talented Coordinator and as a National Board Certified elementary teacher in Ohio. Her professional interests include girlhood studies, gendered school practices, treatment of intellect in schools, importance of play in early and elementary settings, Reggio-inspired practices, and young children with gifts and talent. She is an active member of NAEYC, MEGAT, and NAGC and is a seasoned advocate for young children and young gifted children. When not working, Dr. Fish enjoys spending time with her family as they imagine, dream, play, and create on their 18th century farm.


Furman, Cara
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Degrees
2003 BA History, Haverford College; 2006 MA Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia; 2014 PhD Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education:
Elementary Education:
Philosophy and Religion:

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. 


Moffit, Char
Assistant Professor of Education
Degrees
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.


Karno, Donna
Asso Prof Early Childhood Ed
Degrees
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.