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Patti Bokony, PhD

Patti Bokony, PhD

Patti Bokony, PhD, recently retired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She holds master's degrees in education from the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, specializing in early childhood special education. She earned a PhD in educational psychology with an emphasis on early childhood from the University of Memphis. Her work focused on applied studies that translated research into practice for families and child care providers. She is the lead developer and researcher of a parenting-education program based on a brief-intervention model and its partnering online professional development program designed for child care providers. She authored the Arkansas 45-hour Pre-K Social-Emotional Learning for Child Care Workers. Other work includes a randomized trial of an adaptation to an evidence-based program in family child care homes. She has three first-authored peer-reviewed publications and has co-authored 18 publications.

James W. Hall III, PhD

James W. Hall III, PhD

James W. Hall III, PhD, is an internationally recognized audiologist with 40 years of clinical, teaching, research, and administrative experience. He received his PhD in audiology from Baylor College of Medicine. During his career, Dr. Hall has held clinical and academic audiology positions at major medical centers. He is the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors and the author of over 180 peer-reviewed publications, invited articles, and book chapters as well as 10 textbooks. Dr. Hall now holds academic appointments as Professor (part-time) at Salus University and the University of Hawaii, in addition to numerous adjunct and visiting professor positions in the United States and abroad.

Barbara Kaiser, MA

Barbara Kaiser, MA

A graduate of McGill University’s Masters Program in Educational Administration, Barbara Kaiser, MA, has been working with early childhood educators, children, and their families for over 35 years. She is the co-author of Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing and Responding Effectively, 4th edition (2017), and Meeting the Challenge: Effective Strategies for Challenging Behaviours in Early Childhood Environments (1999, CCCF). She has taught part-time in the Faculty of Education at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and Acadia University in Nova Scotia.

In addition to presenting workshops and keynote speeches on the topic of challenging behavior and related issues in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and Mauritius, she was the chief consultant for Addressing Youth Violence: An Intersectoral, Integrated Approach for Western Nova Scotia and designed a webinar series and guide to help teachers and administrators reduce and respond to bullying behavior for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. She also helped develop teacher training video programs focused on managing children’s challenging behavior, Challenging Behaviors: Where do we begin? with Family Communications Inc., and Facing the Challenge with Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC).

Natasha Crosby Kile, MS

Natasha Crosby Kile, MS

Natasha Crosby Kile, MS, is a Program Coordinator for Bentonville Schools in Bentonville, Arkansas, and works as a certified trainer, writer, coach, and consultant for both the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. She has over 25 years of experience working in the field of early childhood as a teacher, supervisor, trainer, and mentor. She holds a bachelor's degree in child development from the University of Arkansas and a master's degree in childhood services from Arkansas State University. She has served as a leader in many areas, including serving on the board of Arkansas Early Childhood Association. With a a passion for training early childhood professionals, she finds herself right at home in a group of five to 5000 teachers that are eager to facilitate the growth of young children and support their families. A distinguished expert, she was named Arkansas Early Childhood Professional of the Year in 2012.

Melanie Bruce Little, MBA, MEd

Melanie Bruce Little, MBA, MEd

Melanie Bruce Little, MBA, MEd, earned her master's in business administration from Boston College and her master's in early childhood administration from National-Louis University. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education as a teacher and administrator. She has served as adjunct professor in the Early Childhood Education departments at Andover College in Portland, Maine, and North Shore Community College in Lynn, Massachusetts. She is the owner and Director of the Fox Hill School in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Sara Miller, EdD

Sara Miller, EdD

Dr. Sara Miller, EdD, works with University of Arkansas Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP) to provide professional development to early child care professionals throughout the state of Arkansas. She is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a published author, and an invited speaker on topics related to early child care and creating coaching culture change.

Liz Moore, MEd

Liz Moore, MEd

Liz Moore, MEd, works as a Program Coordinator with the Oklahoma Autism Center and the University of Oklahoma's Health Science Center. Ms. Moore is the project coordinator of Early Foundations, a training site and an inclusive school for toddlers with autism. She has over 13 years of teaching experience that includes public school experience in an early childhood special education classroom. Ms. Moore is certified in early childhood education and special education and has completed her administration coursework. Ms. Moore has extensive experience and training in autism spectrum disorders and inclusive educational practices. She provides ongoing training and technical assistance to the public school and early intervention professionals.

Barb O'Neill, EdD

Barb O'Neill, EdD

Barb O'Neill, EdD, is a speaker, trainer, and consultant. She is the founder of Transform Challenging Behavior, a training and consulting business that helps early childhood professionals develop the confidence, skills, and systems to prevent challenging behavior and set children up for success. She holds a MEd in early childhood special education and an EdD in early childhood education, both from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds early childhood and special education teaching credentials in both New York and California. She previously worked as a preschool teacher, special education teacher, center director, and university professor. As an early childhood professor, her research focused on using play and theater arts techniques to prevent unwanted behavior and promote the inclusion of children with disabilities. She has published this work in the National Association for the Education of Young Children's journals Young Children and Teaching Young Children and in other early childhood journals and books. She writes online, and her work can be found at www.transformchallengingbehavior.com.

Amber Tankersley, PhD

Amber Tankersley, PhD

Amber Tankersley, PhD, is an associate professor in child development within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary/early childhood education, a master's degree in elementary education, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction. She has worked in the field of early childhood for over 20 years as a preschool teacher, university child care center director, university instructor/professor, and director of a NAEYC-accredited preschool lab. She often presents at workshops/conferences on the topic of early childhood curriculum and the importance of play. She teaches courses such as early childhood curriculum, interacting with children, and parent/professional relationships. She also supervises practicum students and preschool student teachers.

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L, is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy in 2000 and completing her master’s degree in rehabilitation sciences with an emphasis in pediatrics in 2005. She has spent her entire career focusing on improving the quality of services for children, primarily targeting children with autism. She currently co-owns a pediatric therapy practice called Today’s Therapy Solutions and is a consultant for the Oklahoma Autism Center through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Child Study Center. Her specialties include working with children with autism and challenging behavior. She has extensive experience and expertise in behavior management, sensory processing, self-care training (potty training, eating/feeding, dressing, play, etc.), and assistive technology. She has conducted trainings and provided consultations for schools, parents, and health and child care professionals all across the state.

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