a monthly comm(unity) newsletter
March 2023 — Welcome to the March edition of the Inside Erikson newsletter!
Happy Women’s History Month! As we celebrate the accomplishments of women across the globe, we also celebrate three of Erikson Institute’s co-founders; Lorraine Wallach, Maria Piers and Barbara Taylor Bowman (above) and their contributions to the field of early childhood education. Following in their footsteps, Erikson Insitute’s current President Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning, as well as many women throughout our organization, continue to amplify our mission and advocate on the behalf of young children everywhere.
Last month, during his budget proposal to the General Assembly, Governor Pritzker unveiled Smart Start Illinois, a multi-year initiative designed to provide all families with young children equitable access to quality education and care programs, and early intervention and home visiting services, and to make deeper investments in the early childhood workforce. Erikson applauds the Governor’s focus on young children and has issued a statement of support for the budget that you can read on erikson.edu. The budget must now make its way through the General Assembly. Find your local legislator and ask them to support the Governor’s vision for Smart Start Illinois.
On February 14, the Fussy Baby Network and FAN team held its national meeting themed “The Many Faces of Attunement: Holding our Humanity.” This event was attended by 120 attendees from across the country and New Zealand. In addition to this wonderful accomplishment, Erikson also celebrates 20 years of Fussy Baby Network this March! Congratulations to all the amazing team members: Linda Gilkerson (Executive Director, Fussy Baby Network), Tori Graham (Director, FAN training) Siemone Smith (DEI Lead Trainer), Aleida Jaimes-Correa (Bilingual Lead Trainer) Mary Nowak (Associate Director of Operations) Sarah Martinez (FAN Lead Trainer) Linda Horwitz (Supervisor, Fussy Baby Network and Smooth Way Home) for their continued service to new moms.
Erikson is happy to support State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas as she recently announced she will serve as chair of the newly formed Senate Early Childhood Committee in the 103rd General Assembly. Prior to becoming a senator in 2020, Sen. Pacione-Zayas was the Associate Vice President of Policy for Erikson Institute. She established Erikson’s Early Childhood Leadership Academy and Community Data Lab—two statewide initiatives designed for Illinois leaders to foster deeper understanding of the importance of a child’s early years and to apply child development science to policies that yield positive outcomes for children and families. Congratulations, Sen. Pacione-Zayas!
Erikson is excited to announce that several of our new faculty have recently received awards and acknowledgements from distinguished organizations. From groundbreaking research to prestigious honors, we congratulate everyone below for these amazing accomplishments.
Lead author on a research brief with the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families that explores how COVID-19 impacted childcare subsidy access for Hispanic children in North Carolina. Read the brief here.
Selected for the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) 2023 Early Career Interdisciplinary Scholars Fellowship Program.
Won the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Early Childhood Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Dissertation Award 2023 for her dissertation titled Black Women Family Childcare Providers’ Roles as Community Mothers During the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Received the AERA Dissertation Award for the Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood Education SIG as well as the Selma Greenberg Outstanding Dissertation Award for the Research on Women and Education SIG for her dissertation titled Sister Outsider: Lived Experiences of Black Women Early Childhood Educators who Employ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.
Received the AERA 2023 Outstanding Dissertation 1st place Award from the Bilingual Education Research (BER) SIG and Honorable Mention Dissertation Award from the Disability Studies in Education (DSE) SIG for her dissertation titled Communicative Justice: Bilingual Nonspeaking Children and Families Languaging Beyond the Spoken Word.
February 28th marks the one-year anniversary of Erikson Institute’s, “1,800 Days” podcast! In partnership with PRX and hosted by WBEZ reporter and renowned author Natalie Moore, “1,800 Days” explores early childhood care and education from its conception to its current state, to experts’ predictions of its future. The podcast tells the story of early childhood in the U.S. from the perspective of the pioneers, partners, and the early care and education workforce. Since its release, the podcast has been downloaded over 7,000 times in over 40 different countries. You can listen to all five episodes by visiting erikson.edu/podcast.
Child Care Justice: Transforming the System of Care for Young Children (The Teaching for Social Justice Series) by Maurice Sykes and Kyra Ostendorf is a new book with a forward written Erikson professor Barbara Bowman. According to the book description, “This volume disrupts mental models regarding where the work of early care and education began—with enslaved African women—and how the stigma of that beginning relegates present-day child care workers to a low-status, low-wage field of practice. Expert authors contribute their wisdom, experience, research, and practical knowledge on issues related to equity and social justice.” Congratulations, Barbara!
Former president of Erikson Institute and founding executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, Samuel J. Meisels retired Feb. 28. Over his 50-year career, he distinguished himself as a leading voice in the field of early childhood education. Sam was Erikson’s longest-serving president to date, leading the Institute from 2002 until 2013. Under his guidance, Erikson grew in a number of exciting ways, with the launches of the Fussy Baby Network, Early Math Collaborative, Distance Learning, the Herr Research Center, Center for Children and Families and the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center.
Erikson Institute’s President Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning will speak at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY on March 23 at 6pm EST. Her presentation, titled “Toward a New Politics of Belonging: Moving Beyond ‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusion,’” is a part of the Longfellow Lecture series. The series, which started in 1987, honors the memory of Cynthia Longfellow, who devoted her professional life to bettering the lives of young children.
Please Join Erikson Institute’s President, Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning, and Dr. Sandra Osorio, Associate Professor of Raciolinguistic Justice & Director of Teacher Education, as they speak about the launch of Erikson’s reimagined teacher licensure program. This program, the first of its kind in Illinois, will help prepare teachers to meet the needs of every child in their classroom. This program will provide small, cohort-based learning opportunities with strong student services, including two years of professional learning post-graduation. Come learn more about this program and our Educator Impact Grant that covers full tuition and student service fees for qualifying students.
Erikson alum, Lauren Solarski, PhD, will be one of several panelists at an upcoming webinar, “Promoting High-Quality Math and Science Learning in Kindergarten,” part of the Transforming Kindergarten series, co-sponsored by New America and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The webinar will be held Tuesday, March 7 from 3-4:30 p.m. ET.
Erikson Institute’s reputation in the early childhood field has been strengthened by the contributions of our world-renowned faculty. Learn more about this dynamic group and what makes them stand out.
Meet Senior Instructor and Assistant Director of our Infant Studies program, Sarah Martinez.
Name: Sarah Martinez
Faculty Member since: 2013 – coming up on my 10-year anniversary this summer!
Of all the colleges and universities worldwide, why did you decide to teach at Erikson? Erikson’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program is one of the best anywhere. Infant Mental Health is my passion, so teaching in that program is a great fit for me.
What has been the most rewarding moment in your career at Erikson? Every year at the graduation ceremony for the IECMH program, we take a few minutes to recognize the work that each student did in their Capstone project in the program. I am inspired by the work they do to support infants, young children, and families.
What is your hidden (or secret) talent? I can sing a little, but I mostly save it for the times I’m in the car alone!
Samina Hadi-Tabassum recently co-authored an article for TeacherCertification.com titled “How to Create an A+ Teaching Resume.”
Erikson’s new Triple Endorsement Master’s Degree program was featured in Lawndale News.
Recognized for our groundbreaking work in the field of early childhood, Erikson specializes in preparing child development, education, and social work leaders to improve the lives of young children, families, and their communities. For more information on our degree and certificate programs, visit our website or email our admissions team.
Erikson’s Center for Children and Families offers pediatric mental health services for children birth to age 8 and their families. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.
Erikson’s Policy and Leadership department engages leaders in government, business, and nonprofit sectors to inform effective policies that benefit children and families. They offer unique programming that equips decision-makers and influencers with the resources, skills, and deep knowledge about early childhood development that will support their efforts to make lasting change. Learn more about our Policy and Leadership
The first 1,800 days of life set the stage for a child’s long-term physical and emotional health, socioeconomic trajectory, life expectancy, happiness, and well-being. Can we count on you to make a gift to strengthen our ability to serve children and families, as well as our students, faculty, and staff, during this time? Your support for Erikson prepares the heroes in young children’s lives—teachers, social workers, civic leaders, parents and caregivers—to get them safely through this crisis so they can soar into promising futures. Please donate here
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