The EarlyEdU Alliance® Team
Our team began at the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), where we developed materials to improve teacher child interactions and improve outcomes for children in Head Start programs. Now, at the EarlyEdU Alliance, all of us – early childhood experts, video producers, graphic designers, instructional designers, content experts, software developers, managers, and support staff – contribute to advancing the mission to improve access to affordable, relevant bachelor’s degrees for the early childhood workforce.
Meet a few of our team members below.
Gail Joseph, PhD
Gail Joseph is the Founding Director for the EarlyEdU Alliance®. Her vision that Head Start teachers should be able to earn their bachelor’s degree without having to quit their jobs led to the creation of NCQTL in 2010 and then the EarlyEdU Alliance in 2014. As co-principal investigator and co-director, she co-led the development of EarlyEdU Alliance courses along with Bridget Hamre, and conducted research that supported this innovative practice-based model for teacher preparation. She imagined and established the Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) bachelor’s completion program at the University of Washington. This program served as the initial pilot of the EarlyEdU Alliance model. She continues this work by providing strategic direction to the Alliance and teaching EarlyEdU online courses.
Gail is associate professor in the area of Educational Psychology at the University of Washington. She is also a principal investigator and Director of CQEL (the Childcare Quality and Early Learning Center for Research and Professional Development). Formerly, Gail was the Director of the Early Childhood and Family Studies program at the University of Washington. In addition to teaching courses, Gail has been involved in a number of research projects and training and technical assistance activities at the local, state and national levels related to child care quality, teacher preparation, and promoting children's social emotional development as well as preventing challenging behavior in early learning settings. She serves as a reviewer and editorial board member for journals in early childhood and early childhood special education.
Most recently, she was nominated as a Distinguished Faculty member for Innovation in Higher Education for her conceptualization and use of the Coaching Companion (Campus Edition) to improve early childhood teacher preparation.
All of Gail’s work has been informed by her experience as a Head Start teacher. This experience keeps her work focused on meaningful interventions for teachers and children.
Susan Sandall, PhD
Susan Sandall is the Co-Director for the EarlyEdU Alliance®. Her involvement with the Alliance dates back to 2010 when she collaborated with Gail Joseph to create NCQTL. As principal investigator and director, she led the research and refinement of the NCQTL approach and she created products for the professional development of teachers which included the EarlyEdU Alliance courses. Susan has experienced in her own teaching the transformative impact the EarlyEdU Alliance model has on her ability to foster the development of evidence-based teaching practices in her students. She continues this work through the EarlyEdU Alliance by overseeing course development.
Susan is a professor of education at the University of Washington. Her scholarly interests are: effective instructional practices for young children with disabilities in inclusive settings; the changing roles of teachers of young children with disabilities, their relationships with other providers, and the implications for personnel preparation; and effective approaches for professional development and knowledge utilization. Her research is informed by experiences in the classroom. At the beginning of her career Susan taught at the University of Oregon lab school in one of the nation’s first inclusive preschools blending children with and without disabilities. Additionally, she serves on DEC’s Commission on Recommended Practices and edited publications on the practices. She is co-author of Building Blocks for Including and Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs (2000, 2008). Awards include the Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award and the Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division Award from the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Randi Shapiro, M.Ed
Randi Shapiro is the Executive Director of the EarlyEdU Alliance® within the College of Education at the University of Washington. She oversees the program and works locally and nationally to forge partnerships that support its mission to help teachers earn meaningful bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education. Previously, she was the Executive Director of NCQTL.
Randi brings her passion for the early learning field to program development and implementation. She is an accomplished leader of teams and programs and has a history of effective partnerships and collaborations. Randi has an M.Ed. in Early Childhood/Special Education and has worked as a preschool teacher, home visitor, resource room teacher and center director. She was also the Education Director for the Infant Health and Development Program, an Early Intervention Program for Low Birth Weight Premature Infants within the College of Education at the University of Washington.
Katie Emerson-Hoss, PhD
Higher Ed Manager
Katie Emerson-Hoss is the Higher Education Manager for the EarlyEdU Alliance®. She is responsible for outreach to key stakeholders at the state level as well as faculty and administrators at higher education institutions. She also manages the course production team. As a Regional Field Specialist with NCQTL, she worked with federal staff in Region 2 to design, pilot, and implement a regional grantee support and development process. She also helped launch the practice-based coaching initiative.
Katie has a PhD in educational psychology, with a focus on early childhood special education and mental health, and a M.Ed. in early intervention and family support. She brings a wealth of experience from her work as a home visitor, teacher, and consultant with children, families, teachers, and organizations on developing strong relationships for learning and well-being. Her teaching experience includes over 15 years teaching undergraduates and graduates in early childhood and special education.
Suzanne J. Walker, PhD
Higher Ed Coordinator
Suzanne Walker is Higher Education Coordinator for the EarlyEdU Alliance®. In this role, she coordinates the EarlyEdU Alliance’s national pilots, ongoing program evaluation, and external communications. Previously, at the National Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, she managed multiple projects and organized program evaluation.
After earning a PhD in art history from UC Berkeley, Suzanne was an assistant professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. She left her faculty appointment to find work that would have a broader social impact in education, particularly for disadvantaged communities. She continues to share her knowledge of art as a volunteer docent at the Seattle Art Museum.
Higher Ed Program Coordinator
Clare Juico is a Higher Ed Program Coordinator at the EarlyEdU Alliance®. She is the Alliance’s chief point of contact and ensures that any requests from Alliance faculty, students or state team members are routed correctly and responded to in a timely manner. Clare also assists with editing course materials
Clare recently completed an AAS in early childhood education at North Seattle College. She is currently working toward her BAS, also at North Seattle. She has previously worked part time in a home-based childcare facility in Shoreline, WA. She is a firm believer that early childhood educators need accessible opportunities to further their knowledge in helping children succeed in school and in life.
Director of Integrated Learning and Innovation
As Director of Integrated Learning and Innovation, Scott oversees the structure and process of course redevelopment. Previously, he served as the Associate Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media graduate program and as the Chief Technology Officer for the College of Education at the University of Washington. Scott also served as the curator of TEDx Seattle and co-chair of the Story Runs Through It Neighborhood Film Project celebration. In 2013 Scott received the King County Executive’s Award for Excellence in Community Service.
Scott received his M.Phil.F in Philosophical Aesthetics from the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. His teaching and scholarship focus on emerging models of interactive and immersive storytelling. He uses social media as a tool for learning and building meaningful relationships that create opportunities to engage in acts of social justice.