Preparing and Supporting Leaders

Mentored opportunities provide important experiences for preparing and supporting leaders in the field of early childhood studies. The Anita Zucker Center is committed to supporting early childhood practitioners, scientists, policy makers, families, and those in other leadership roles by preparing them to become individuals that champion change that leads to improved early childhood systems through research, policy, and practice.

Authentic Early Childhood Experiences: Experiences where children learn, play, and live

  • The Anita Zucker Center partners with local, state, national, and international partners to provide authentic mentored experiences in real-life settings.
  • Early childhood leaders learn by being involved in real-life situations where children learn, play, and live.

Applied Research: “Real-Life Settings”

  • Research is conducted in community settings in which children learn, play, and live.
  • Policy should be developed based on applied research and experiences in real-life settings.

Active Mentorship

  • Faculty provide ongoing mentorship through individual meetings and participation in center-related activities.

Community of Support

  • Faculty strive to create a community of support for early childhood leaders through both formal and informal mentoring experiences.

The Anita Zucker Center enhanced the education I received at the College of Education. [As a teacher], the Center continues to support my ability to deliver high-quality embedded interventions for my students and their families.”

Master’s student in Early Childhood Studies

As a graduate student affiliated with the Anita Zucker Center, I received valuable mentorship and experiences from distinguished experts in the field.  My experience here not only enhanced my knowledge about early childhood studies but also sparked my interest in a career in research and community service.

Doctoral student in Special Education (Concentration in Early Childhood Studies)

Center Priorities

Generating Knowledge
Early childhood leaders are mentored, participate, and contribute to ongoing research projects that generate knowledge in the field of early childhood studies.

Engaging with Partners
Opportunities are provided to work collaboratively with our partners in research, technical assistance, and other outreach activities at local, state, national, and international levels.

Preparing Leaders
Anita Zucker Center faculty are shaping leaders to transform the future of early childhood studies.

Making an Impact
Leaders create broad impact within local, national, and international initiatives dedicated to improving outcomes for young children and their families.

My experiences at the Anita Zucker Center have been invaluable and have allowed me to build a strong network of colleagues, mentors, and community partners that is integral to my work as an early career researcher and scholar.

Recent Doctoral Graduate and Post-Doctoral Fellow


Graduate Assistants, Student Assistants, and Project Prepare Students

My involvement with EICA has transformed my perspective of teaching young children in inclusive classrooms including goal writing, when and how to work on learning goals, data collection, and teaming with families and staff.  My participation and experiences through the Trainer of Trainers and Coach Cadre continues to broaden my understanding and further develop confidence in my abilities in planning and implementing workshops, coaching calls, and coach support.  It is through these training events I am able to share the Embedded Instruction practices and Practice Based Coaching strategies that are so essential to quality early childhood education.

Leader of Professional Development Activities for School District

Related Content

Beyond the Center: Guiding the Next Generation

After an eye-opening summer working at a children’s summer camp, Nicole Mera realized she belonged in the classroom supporting the growth and development of young children. She is now using her knowledge and skills of early childhood education and utilizing them to tackle a new setting — second grade.

Beyond the Center: Shaping Your Journey

Understanding her passion is rooted in supporting young children, Feihong Wang has dedicated her career to fully understanding their needs and becoming deeply involved in all aspects of early childhood development. Looking forward, Feihong hopes to help her students grow as individuals through real-world application of her lessons.

Beyond the Center: Championing Outcomes for Lifelong Success

With a robust background rooted in psychology, Joy Polignano joined the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies eager to put her passion into action and conduct research aimed to transform the lives of young children.  Today she plans to continue to engage in collaborative research projects, some with members of the Anita Zucker Center.