Logo: Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Logo: The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center)

Recommended Practices Commissioners: Contact Information & Bios

» Return to the Commission Roster

Rashida Banerjee

Photo: Rashida Banerjee

Rashida Banerjee, Ph.D is an Associate Professor at the University of Northern Colorado, School of Special Education. Her research areas and interests are effective assessment of young children, especially issues around diversity, inclusive intervention for young children, early childhood workforce preparation, and effective community, family, and professional partnerships. In accordance with her interests, Dr. Banerjee has published articles, book chapters, received grants, and presented at numerous local, national, and international conferences.

She is an alumnus of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships program. Rashida has received the J. David Sexton Doctoral Student Scholarship from the Division of Early Childhood-CEC and the Award for achievement in Quantitative Research from Division of Research-CEC. She has served on the DEC Board. She also serves as the editor of Journal for International Special Needs Education.

Tricia Catalino

Photo: Tricia Catalino
  • Touro University - Nevada
  • 874 American Pacific Drive
  • Henderson, NV 89014
  • (702) 777-3124 (Phone)
  • (702) 777-3055 (Fax)
  • tricia.catalino@tun.touro.edu

Tricia Catalino, PT, DSc, PCS is a pediatric physical therapist and associate professor of the School of Physical Therapy at Touro University Nevada. Dr. Catalino has served children with or at risk of disabilities and their families in the early intervention setting her entire career. She is a certified pediatric clinical specialist and the Chair of the American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics, Early Intervention Special Interest Group. Dr. Catalino writes and presents on topics related to early intervention and serves on various national committees and workgroups. In addition to serving on the Commission, Dr. Catalino is a member of the DEC Executive Board.

Chelsea Guillen

Photo: Chelsea Guillen
  • Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois
  • Children's Research Center
  • 51 Gerty Drive
  • Champaign, IL 61820-7469
  • (217) 244-2621
  • cguillen@illinoiseitraining.org

Chelsea began her work in early intervention in a small, home-based program in rural Southern Illinois. Her experiences as a college intern in a community-based agency for people with developmental disabilities led her to their early intervention program. The time in early intervention led her to graduate work in both developmental psychology and child development.

In addition to her formal training, Chelsea credits much of what she knows about families and children with developmental differences to her various experiences in the early intervention system. Her collaborations with providers from various disciplines have expanded her methods for working with young children and their families. Her central belief in the importance of partnering with families to enhance their competence and confidence in meeting their children's needs guides all of her work.

For over ten years, Chelsea served as the director of a community-based early intervention program, instituting the switch from a child-centered, center-based program to a family-centered program delivered primarily in families' homes. She served as a family representative to the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention in 2004. She has trained early intervention and childcare providers to enhance their ability to serve children with developmental differences and their families. Chelsea's interest in the family's role drove her to become the project coordinator for Illinois' general supervision enhancement grant. In this capacity, she helped develop a survey designed to measure early intervention family outcomes. Chelsea currently serves as the Early Intervention Ombudsman in Illinois and provides technical assistance to system stakeholders to improve results for children and families.

Kathleen Hebbeler

Photo: Kathleen Hebbeler
  • The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data (DaSy)
  • Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)
  • IDEA Data Center (IDEA)
  • SRI International
  • 600 Mockingbird Place
  • Davis, CA 95616
  • (530) 758-7483
  • kathleen.hebbeler@sri.com

Kathleen Hebbeler, Ph.D., is a Principal Scientist in the Center for Learning and Development in the Education Division at SRI International where she oversees research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects focused on services and supports for young children and their families. Currently, Kathy directs the Center of IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems which works with early intervention and early childhood special education state agency staff to improve the quality and use of data and to build early childhood data systems. She also provides technical assistance to states through the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA). Kathy's areas of interest include home visiting, child development, early intervention, general and special education, assessment, accountability, and community collaboration. She served on the National Research Council's Committee on Developmental Outcomes and the Assessment of Young Children. Kathy has been a member of DEC for many years and is a former DEC board member.  In 2016, she was a recipient of the Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award.

Anne Larson

Photo: Anne Larson

Anne Larson, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Psychology (Special Education Program) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Anne worked as a speech-language pathologist and special education resource coordinator in a large urban school district in early childhood special education for seven years before returning for her Ph.D. The focus of her research includes the study of how young children learn early language and literacy skills. Anne is especially interested in studying how best to support high-quality interactions between young children and their caregivers through coaching models and community-based research.

Anne currently supports the Minnesota portion of a multi-state research grant working with Early Head Start home visitors. She also works as project coordinator for the Bridging the Word Gap Research Network out of the University of Kansas – a national network of researchers, practitioners, community members, and policymakers committed to developing effective interventions that close the word gap at the local, state and national level. Anne serves on the student editorial board for Young Exceptional Children. She received the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association's award for Diversity Champion, and was recognized by the University of Minnesota's Department of Educational Psychology's Special Education Faculty for her contributions to the field of Special Education and to children with special needs.

Tara McLaughlin

Photo: Tara McLaughlin
  • Institute of Education
  • Massey University
  • Private Bag 11222
  • Palmerston North 4442
  • New Zealand
  • (+64) 6 356 9099 ext. 84312
  • t.w.mclaughlin@massey.ac.nz

Tara McLaughlin, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in Early Years in the Institute of Education at Massey University in New Zealand. Prior to this appointment, Tara was a Research Scientist at the University of Florida in the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. During her doctoral program at the University of Florida, she was a recipient of the J. David Sexton doctoral student award from the Division for Early Childhood and received a dissertation research grant award from the American Educational Research Association/National Science Foundation, to complete secondary analyses of the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS) data set.

As a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher in Early Years, Tara is passionate about supporting learning environments that promote inclusive and equitable opportunities for all children and families. She has worked with young children and children with disabilities and their families in inclusive learning settings in the United States and in New Zealand for over 15 years. Her current research interests relate to:

  1. teaching practices that support children's learning and social-emotional competence within natural environments;
  2. professional learning opportunities for early childhood teachers and teams;
  3. family-support practices that promote home-school partnerships, and
  4. examining ways to characterize and examine childhood disability in terms of functioning and participation.

Mary McLean

Photo: Mary McLean
  • Professor
  • School of Special Education, School Psychology & Early Childhood Studies
  • Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies
  • University of Florida
  • 1345 O Norman Hall
  • PO Box 117050
  • Gainesville, FL 32611
  • (352) 273-4290
  • marymclean@coe.ufl.edu

Dr. Mary McLean is Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida where she is affiliated with the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. She is Past-President of the International Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and is a recipient of the Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division award from DEC. Dr. McLean is co-author of three books on assessment of young children with special needs and also is co-author of three books on the DEC Recommended Practices for Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education. She currently serves as Chair of the DEC Recommended Practices Commission.

Lori Erbrederis Meyer

Photo: Lori Meyer
  • College of Education & Social Services
  • University of Vermont
  • Department of Education
  • 633 Main St., L/L Suite C-154
  • Burlington, VT 05405
  • (802) 656-1367 (Phone)
  • (802) 656-2687 (Fax)
  • lori.meyer@uvm.edu

Lori Erbrederis Meyer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Vermont where she teaches in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs. Dr. Meyer’s research focuses on young children with disabilities and their families within the context of pre-kindergarten and early elementary experiences. Specifically, she is interested in contemporary classroom environments and processes used by administrators and teachers to meet the social-emotional needs of young children with delays or disabilities. As a former inclusive early childhood teacher, Dr. Meyer is dedicated to increasing the use of evidence-based/recommended practices in the field of early childhood intervention and translating research into practice.

Brian Reichow

Photo: Brian Reichow
  • School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies
  • College of Education
  • University of Florida
  • 1345Q Norman Hall
  • PO Box 110750
  • Gainesville, FL 32611
  • (352) 273-4283
  • breichow@coe.ufl.edu

Brian Reichow, Ph.D., BCBA-D is an Associate Professor in Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies and the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies in the College of Education at the University of Florida. His current research interests include the translation of research to practice, the use of systematic review methods and meta-analytic methods to identify evidence-based practices, and applied research involving young children with or at risk of developing disabilities and their families. He is also an ongoing technical advisor for the World Health Organization (WHO), where he is working with colleagues at the WHO and other international sites to develop practice guidelines and training materials to increase the identification, management, and treatment of children with developmental disabilities in lower- and middle-income countries. Dr. Reichow is the DEC Special Interest Group National Chair, and Co-Chair of the Research to Practice SIG. He is also a member of the DEC Recommended Practices Evidence Synthesis Group, which is helping to provide oversight on systematic evidence syntheses (reviews) of the empirical support for all DEC Recommended Practices.

Beth Rous

Photo: Beth Rous
  • Department of Educational Leadership Studies
  • College of Education
  • University of Kentucky
  • 111A Dickey Hall
  • Lexington, KY 40506
  • (859) 257-6389 (Phone)
  • (859) 257-1015 (Fax)
  • beth.rous@uky.edu

Beth Rous is a Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky, where she is the founding director of the Kentucky Partnership for Early Childhood Services at the Human Development Institute. Beth has focused her career on research and programs to support high-quality services to young children from vulnerable populations. She has served as PI/Co-PI on numerous federal and state grants and contracts totaling over $90 million. Beth first became involved in DEC in 1983, as a preschool teacher at Child Development Centers of the Bluegrass. She is Past President of both the Kentucky Division for Early Childhood and International Division for Early Childhood and a recipient of the Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division award in 2006. She has supported the DEC Recommended Practices since their inception in 1991, most recently as the topical lead in the area of transition.

Susan Sandall

Photo: Susan Sandall
  • University of Washington
  • PO Box 357925
  • 102 Miller
  • Seattle, WA 98195
  • (206) 221-3445 (Phone)
  • (206) 616-1769 (Fax)
  • ssandall@uw.edu

Susan Sandall is a Professor at the University of Washington, College of Education. Her scholarly interests are a) effective instructional practices for very young children with disabilities in inclusive settings, b) the changing roles of teachers of young children with disabilities, their relationships with other providers, and the implications for personnel preparation and, and c) effective approaches for professional development. She is the PI for the National Center on Quality Teaching & Learning, and was co-PI for the Head Start Center for Inclusion, both funded by the Office of Head Start. She was an Investigator with DEC's work group that identified Recommended Practices for early childhood special education/early intervention. She is the co-developer of Building Blocks, a framework for effective teaching practices for early childhood. Dr. Sandall was awarded the Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award in 2005 and the Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division Award in 2000 from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC), Council for Exceptional Children.

Sheila Self

Photo: Sheila Self
  • California Department of Education
  • 1430 N Street, Suite 2401
  • Sacramento, CA 95814
  • (916) 327-3538
  • sself@cde.ca.gov

Sheila Self, M.Ed. works for the California Department of Education in the Special Education Division’s Policy and Program Services Unit in Sacramento, California. Sheila is the Special Education Division’s subject matter expert in early childhood education for Part C and is the state’s 619 coordinator. Sheila has extensive experience in the birth to five population, early childhood assessment, and alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive impairments through her work with the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC). Sheila has worked in school districts both at the teaching level as well as districtwide to support family engagement and advocacy in elementary education.

Currently, Sheila is working with the Part C lead agency, the Department of Developmental Services, to improve social emotional outcomes for children in Part C programs as part of the State’s Systemic Improvement Plan and is a member of the Interagency Coordinating Council. In her Part B work, she supports local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve teaching practices in inclusive preschool settings for children with disabilities through an evidenced based coaching practice, and provides technical assistance to district’s working to increase inclusive preschool settings and access to instruction.

Originally from Texas, she was the director of children’s services for a mental health and developmental disability agency which operated school-based mental health services, early childhood and at-risk youth intervention, and social service programs.

She holds certification in the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, Research Level, and has conducted research in Maternal Depression across Mental Health and Social Service Populations – funded by Sutter Foundation, 2007- 2008, and an Incredible Years Implementation Study – California Institute of Mental Health and the Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, 2008-2009. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Texas.

Patricia Snyder

Photo: Patricia Snyder
  • University of Florida
  • PO Box 117050
  • Gainesville, FL 32611-4050
  • (352) 273-4291 (Phone)
  • (352) 392-2655 (Fax)
  • patriciasnyder@coe.ufl.edu

Patricia Snyder is a Professor and the David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida, where she directs the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. Pat has been a member of DEC for more than 30 years, first becoming involved in the organization when she was a direct service practitioner. In the late 1990s, she was an expert methodology consultant to the projects that supported the identification and dissemination of the 2000 and 2005 recommended practices. Pat served as editor of the Journal of Early Intervention from 2002-2007. She has been an editorial board member for Young Exceptional Children since its founding. She is pleased to serve on the Recommended Practices Commission along with many other committed stakeholders and colleagues. Among her current Commission activities, she and Mary Louise Hemmeter are liaisons to the instructional practices focus area and she is leading activities related to developing systematic review processes for the recommended practices.

Judy Swett

Photo: Judy Swett
  • PACER Center
  • Early Childhood Coordinator
  • Parent Information and Resource Project
  • PACER Center
  • (952) 838-9000
  • jswett@pacer.org

Judy Swett is the Early Childhood Coordinator at PACER Center in Minnesota. She provides individual assistance to parents of young children early childhood professionals. She also designs and presents trainings regarding early intervention, early childhood special education services and child development. She is a TA associate at the ECTA Center where she participates on various work groups including early intervention services, inclusion, the system framework and child and family outcomes. Judy is the current chair of the Governor's Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention (ICC) and serves on the board for the Minnesota CEC/DEC. She is also a member of the DEC Panel of Excellence. She presents at local, state and national conferences on topics related to family involvement, early intervention, early childhood special education and inclusion. She is the parent of a daughter with a disability. Judy was recently awarded the 2015 DEC Parent/Family Award for significant contributions through service to the field and community.

Pamela Winton

Photo: Pamela Winton
  • University of North Carolina
  • CB 8185
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185
  • (919) 966-7180 (Phone)
  • (919) 843-5784 (Fax)
  • pam_winton@unc.edu

Pamela J. Winton, Ph.D is a Senior Scientist and the Director of Outreach at FPG Child Development Institute. Winton has been involved in research, outreach, technical assistance, professional development, and scholarly publishing related to early childhood for the last three decades. Winton has directed multiple national TA centers over the last two decades including the National Center on Professional Development on Inclusion (NPDCI), whose purpose was to work with states to create a cross-agency system of high quality professional development (PD) for early childhood teachers; and CONNECT, bringing an evidence-based practice approach to professional development in key early childhood content areas. Winton has published numerous books, articles, chapters, and curricula on topics related to professional development, collaboration, systems change, family-professional partnerships, and inclusion. She has served on national, state and local advisory boards, review panels, and been recognized by local, state and national awards.

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.