The Foundation for Child Development’s Promising Scholars were Young Scholars Program applicants who demonstrated exceptional potential to conduct rigorous high-quality implementation research focused on the early care and education workforce. Over the course of their professional development year, they will receive resources and supports to assist in further refining their research skills and knowledge. The Foundation is proud to invest in their scholarship.

2022 Promising Scholars (Cohort 3)

Katherine K. Delaney, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Department of Teacher Education
University of Toledo

Research Interest Area: Supporting early childhood educators’ professional practices to facilitate access to and utilization of early intervention evaluation and services for children with potential developmental delays and disabilities, and their families

“I am honored to be chosen as a Promising Scholar by the Foundation. This program offers an incredible opportunity to continue to develop my line of research, to build relationships with scholars working in other disciplines, and to gain new skills. I look forward to continuing to develop my research agenda to better understand how to best support diverse populations of early childhood educators, working in varied auspices of care, in the identification and inclusion of young children with developmental needs and/or disabilities. Including the voices, perspectives, and experiences of early childhood educators in the design of professional learning experiences is key to building truly responsive systems of early childhood professional education.”

Alison Hooper, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
The University of Alabama

Research Interest Area: Understanding and supporting the relative child care provider workforce and their participation in child care subsidy and professional development systems

“I am honored to be chosen as a Promising Scholar. I appreciate the opportunity to strengthen my research skills, hone my focus on supporting the home-based child care workforce, and connect with others who conduct implementation research in early care and education.”

Naomi Jessup, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Georgia State University

Research Interest Area: Critical examination of equity-oriented teaching practices and professional development methods to support equitable, culturally responsive discourse in math instruction with historically marginalized children

“I am honored to be chosen for the Foundation’s Promising Scholars Program, which will strengthen my research and grant writing skills! My research is committed to disrupting the generational harm associated with biased and inequitable teaching. As a Promising Scholar, I look forward to the networking and mentoring opportunities and exploring how my research can inform early childhood policy.”

2021 Promising Scholars (Cohort 2)

Tameka N. Ardrey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Education
Georgia Southern University

Research Interest Area: Professional development strategies that effectively support teachers in creating and sustaining equitable high-quality and culturally-affirming early learning environments Read More.

Sheresa Boone Blanchard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Human Development & 
Family Science
East Carolina University

Research Interest Area: Identifying and addressing gaps in the pipeline of early educators of color and in rural areas related to educational preparation, attainment, and licensure Read More.

Kamilah Legette, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology 
University of Denver

Research Interest Area: Racial/ethnic disparities in children’s academic group placement, discipline experiences, and professional development methods to reduce teachers’ racially biased decisions Read More.

Cristina Medellin, Ph.D.

Career Development Coordinator, New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute 
The City University of New York

Research Interest Area: Examining the systems and structures that support the early childhood workforce through professional development and stackable credentials for Latinx family child care providers Read More.

2020 Promising Scholars (Cohort 1)

Tia N. Barnes,  Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences 
University of Delaware

Research Interest Area: Professional development training and coaching in inclusive preschool classrooms to improve teacher-assistant teacher collaboration Read More.

Jayanti Owens,  Ph.D.

Senior Assistant Professor, International and Public Affairs and Sociology 
Brown University

Research Interest Area: Racial/ethnic disparities in elementary school disciplinary practices and professional development methods to reduce bias in teaching and disciplinary practices Read More.

Margaret F. Quinn,  Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies 
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Research Interest Area: Supporting preschool teachers in the promotion of children’s early writing skills using an online professional development platform Read More.

Katherine Zinsser,  Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Community and Prevention Research Program
Department of Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago

Research Interest Area: Teacher preparation models to better support children’s social-emotional learning and continued validation of a classroom observational measure of emotion-centered teaching practices Read More.