Arcadia University’s School of Education Presents Early-Childhood Education Colloquium, Nov. 1 

Glenside, Pa., October 11, 2012—Arcadia University’s School of Education will hold an Education Colloquium with a panel discussion titled “Keeping the Promise of Early Childhood Education: Putting In to Practice What We Know” on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 5:15 to 8:15 p.m. in the Great Room of the Commons. Arcadia University is located at 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, Pa. The event is free and open to the public.

The Colloquium focuses on early-childhood education and will center around a panel discussion that provides many different perspectives on the topic of early-childhood education, including neuroscience, cultural studies, ecology, social justice/advocacy, and politics.

The panel discussion aims to engage students, teachers, administrators, researchers, community leaders, advocates and policy makers in a conversation about how to better understand development, examine threats to childhood in the current socio-cultural-political environment, draw implications for teaching, and generate possibilities and recommendations for the future.

“This Colloquium comes at an exciting time, both for the newly-launched School of Education and for early childhood education,” notes Dr. Leif Gustavson, Interim Dean of the School of Education.  "Research increasingly reveals that a child's earliest years are primary influences on future progress and development. Our Colloquium promises to provide an intriguing exploration of this subject, with discussions from experts in many fields intersecting on the topic of early childhood education.”

Opening Statement:

Dr. Foram Bhukhanwala, Assistant Professor, Arcadia University

Dr. Foram Bhukhanwala joined Arcadia University in 2007 after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.  She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and has had extensive experiences of working with children and adults in diverse settings both in the United States and in India. Foram’s current research interests include arts-based research, reflective practices, early field experiences and student teaching, innovative approaches through inquiry and teacher education


Dr. Smita Mathur, Assistant Professor, Arcadia University

Dr. Smita Mathur earned a doctoral degree from Syracuse University in Child and Family Studies. She is an assistant professor at Arcadia University and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Mathur’s research focuses on issues related to school readiness and play behaviors of young migrant children. She is also interested in developing innovative programs to promote teacher preparation of socially and economically vulnerable early childhood educators who work in rural migrant communities. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) in Florida. 

Donna Cooper, Senior Fellow, Economic Policy team at American Progress

Donna Cooper is a senior fellow with the Economic Policy team at American Progress.  She is the former deputy mayor for policy for Philadelphia and secretary of policy and planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In founding Good Schools Pennsylvania she cemented equitable funding for public education as the number one issue in Pennsylvania’s 2002 gubernatorial race. Governor Rendell hired Cooper as his secretary of policy leading his education improvement strategy that boosted student achievement more than any other state in the nation while also making record progress for closing the school funding gap.

Shelly Yanoff, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Shelly Yanoff is one of the region’s most effective advocates for children. A lawyer by training, an advocate by disposition and experience, and a tenacious optimist, she has been fighting for children and families for more than four decades. Her work at PCCY, formerly Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth and now Public Citizens for Children and Youth, has been instrumental in increasing funding and improving programming in child health, child welfare, public education, child care, youth development and family well-being.  As Executive Director of PCCY, Shelly Yanoff has played a major role in expanding the scope and quality of services to children and their families. Shelly Yanoff, a 1962 alumna of Arcadia University and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Villanova University School of Law, was appointed Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Children and Families in 2005 by Governor Rendell.  Shelly was named a Distinguished Daughter of PA in 2011 and will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Please Touch Museum on November 8, 2012.

Michele Fina, Branch Executive Director, Morrisville YMCA

Michele Fina, the 2012 winner of the VOICE Award from the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, is the Branch Executive Director of the Morrisville YMCA. She is President of the Bucks County Quality Child Care Coalition and serves as a Morrisville community liaison.  In 2010 Michele testified on behalf of children and families before the State and Federal Committee Hearing on Health Education Labor and Pensions for Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. Mrs. Fina earned a Master of Education from Arcadia University in 2011.


Dr. Priscilla Jeter-Iles, Adjunct Professor, Arcadia University

Dr. Priscilla Jeter-Iles, an Arcadia alumna, completed her Ed.D. in Special Education in 2009. She has over 26 years of experience in the fields of Social Work, Education, and Mental Health. Priscilla Jeter-Iles has developed and facilitated professional developments for school districts, schools, conferences, and community organizations on a variety of subjects. Currently, she teaches in the undergraduate and graduate program and is a consultant and trainer for the B2EST Program at Arcadia University.

Closing Statement:

Dr. Kathy Trainor, Adjunct professor, Arcadia University

Dr. Kathy Trainor received her Ed. D. from Arcadia University in 2008.  She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is the Chapter Counselor for the Zeta Nu chapter of Kappa Delta Pi.  Her major area of research focuses on the study and implementation of best practices in inclusive early childhood settings. Her interests include working with pre-service and in-service teachers, building community partners, and promoting quality early care and learning.

Media Contact: Donna Whitlock, Arcadia University, 215-572-2969, 

About Arcadia University: Arcadia University is a top-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia and a national leader in study abroad and international education. The 2011 Open Doors report ranks Arcadia University a top leader in the nation in undergraduate study abroad. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia University among the top regional universities in the North and as one of the top study abroad programs. U.S. News also ranks Arcadia’s Physical Therapy program among the top 15 in the nation. Arcadia’s Physician Assistant students score in the elite 4th percentile on national boards.

Arcadia University School of Education has 15 teaching certification programs for undergraduate and graduate students; six graduate-level educational administration certification programs; and master's programs in 22 concentrations.  More than 100 undergraduate and 450 graduate students benefit from the School's innovative, clinically rich approach to what it means to be a teacher and educational leader in K-12 classrooms. 

Arcadia University promises a distinctively global, integrative and personal learning experience that prepares students to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world. (