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Senior Advisory Committee

The Senior Advisory Committee was established in 2019 to support the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute in the implementation of its strategic plan. Committee members provide advice to the Institute’s director and leadership team, particularly in regard to strategic plan priorities and initiatives. Their wisdom and insight helps to propel the Institute forward as it evolves to meet current needs, while simultaneously maintaining respect for and recognition of historical contributions and achievements.

The Committee is comprised of long-standing members of the Institute community who serve at the invitation of the Institute's director. They are influential leaders who are knowledgeable about the most important challenges facing young children, their families, and the institutions that serve children and families. These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization, and we are grateful for their service.

Don Bailey
Don Bailey

Don Bailey, PhD, is a distinguished fellow, early childhood development at RTI International. He is internationally known as an expert on young children with disabilities. For 27 years, he was on the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and, for 14 years, director of the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Don's research addresses issues related to newborn screening, early identification and early intervention for children with disabilities, as well as family adaptation to disability.

Donna Bryant
Donna Bryant

Donna Bryant, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She co-leads the national evaluation of the Educare Learning Network of Educare centers and a randomized control study of the Educare intervention. Donna has conducted studies of center-based child care, family child care, and family and health services as well as home visiting programs that provide early intervention and prevention for at-risk children. Donna has authored many papers and chapters on early intervention and early childhood education and is the co-author of two books, one on home visiting and another on early intervention.

Dick Clifford
Dick Clifford

Richard M. Clifford, PhD, is a senior scientist emeritus at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. His work focuses on two dimensions of early childhood care and education—optimal learning environments for young children and public policy, including public financing for early childhood services. He is a co-author of three widely used instruments for assessing the quality of services for children from birth up to the early school years, jointly referred to as the Environment Rating Scales, and he has led major studies of programs serving young children and their families. Dick also has worked in the public policy arena, helping to design and launch two major early childhood initiatives in North Carolina—Smart Start and NC Pre-K—and advising policymakers across the US as well as in other countries.

Mary Ruth Coleman
Mary Ruth Coleman

Mary Ruth Coleman, PhD, is a senior scientist emerita at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Her research focuses on students with exceptional learning needs, in particular, students with learning disabilities and students with gifts. She directed Project U-STARS~PLUS (Using Science, Talents, and Abilities to Recognize Students ~ Promoting Learning for Under-Represented Students) and Project ACCESS (Achievement in Content and Curriculum for Every Student's Success). Mary Ruth was co-principal investigator for the Early Learning Disabilities Initiative and, from 1994 to 1998, she co-directed North Carolina's Statewide Technical Assistance for Gifted Education Center.

Peter Ornstein
Peter Ornstein

Peter Ornstein, PhD, retired in 2018 after 45 years on the UNC faculty and is now the F. Stuart Chapin Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Emeritus. Over the years, he has been interested in many aspects of the development of children’s memory—ranging from children’s strategies for remembering and their memory for salient events to research on the socialization of memory in the context of adult-child conversations. His current work concerns the impact of teachers’ "memory talk" during instruction in the early elementary school years on children’s changing deliberate memory and study skills. This classroom-based research has led Peter to become interested in classroom instruction more generally and in the development of teacher-based interventions that have the potential to impact student learning and achievement.

Barbara Wasik
Barbara Wasik

Barbara H. Wasik, PhD, is a William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor Emerita in the UNC School of Education and faculty fellow emeritus at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She has conducted research on home visiting and family support programs and other early childhood intervention programs, as well as the early predictors of school failure for at-risk children. She also has studied family literacy programs and developed measures and implemented interventions on parent problem-solving skills. Continuing her professional interests, Barbara is editing a book on advances in early childhood care and education. She serves as the facilitator of the UNC Institute for the Arts & Humanities Retired Faculty Seminar.

Pam Winton
Pam Winton

Pamela J. Winton, PhD, is a retired senior research scientist at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and retired research professor at the UNC School of Education. Over the past three decades, Pam engaged in teaching, mentoring, and conducting research, outreach, technical assistance, and professional development related to early childhood as well as directing multiple national TA centers. She has published numerous books, articles, chapters, and curricula on topics related to professional development, collaboration, systems change, family-professional partnerships, and inclusion. Pam has served on national, state, and local advisory boards and review panels, and has been recognized by local, state, and national awards.