People

Christy Tirrell-Corbin

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin is the Executive Director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention and the Director of the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program at the University of Maryland. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has worked extensively with Title I (high poverty) schools to increase family engagement and raise awareness of teacher beliefs and practices relative to race, culture and socioeconomic status. She has also studied teacher candidates’ beliefs and practices around race and culture. Most recently, she has been the principal investigator/project director of three evaluation projects: Evaluation of Maryland’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant program, Evaluation of the Birth to Five Service Delivery Models in Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education and an Evaluation of the Efficacy of Maryland’s Family Engagement Framework.

Paula Beckman

Dr. Paula Beckman is a Faculty Associate with CECEI and a Full Professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. She specializes in early intervention, early childhood education for children with disabilities and working with families and communities. She is particularly interested in risk factors affecting the education of children living in poverty, both in the United States and in low income countries. 

Brenda Jones Harden

Dr. Brenda Jones Harden is a Faculty Associate with CECEI and a Full Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Her research focuses on young children at environmental risk, specifically those reared in contexts of poverty, maltreatment, and parental depression. She is engaged in the implementation and evaluation of prevention programs that enhance the development and well-being of these children, including early care and education, home visiting, and child welfare interventions. Her projects with CECEI include Project CHATT, a parenting intervention to improve the language skills of young children from low-income families, and the evaluation of the Quality Improvement Network (QIN) initiative to enhance the quality of infant/toddler care in the District of Columbia. Dr. Jones Harden is also a member of the CECEI Executive Committee. Learn more about her work in the Prevention & Early Adversity Research Lab (PEARL).

Elisa Klein

Dr. Elisa Klein is a Faculty Associate with CECEI and a Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Her research focuses on child social policy, teacher education and young children’s understanding of their early school experiences. She has worked extensively with the Maryland State Department of Education in the development of early childhood policies such as universal preschool education, and has been a consultant to many local, non-profit, and governmental agencies, including Head Start, The Children’s Defense Fund and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Klein serves as the Principal Investigator on CECEI’s Evaluation of Maryland’s Preschool Development Expansion Grant Program.

Joan Lieber

Dr. Joan Lieber is a Faculty Associate with CECEI and a Full Professor Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education. Her research interests include curriculum development for young children with disabilities and those at risk for school failure. Dr. Lieber serves as the Co-Principal Investigator on CECEI’s Evaluation of the Efficacy of Maryland’s Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC). Dr. Lieber is also a member of the CECEI Executive Committee.

Geetha Ramani

Dr. Geetha Ramani is a Faculty Affiliate with CECEI and an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Her research is focused on how social interactions and activities can influence young children’s cognitive development, specifically in mathematics and problem solving. Her program of research makes a significant contribution to the literature by providing insight into the benefits and unique processes of learning mathematics through joint play and activities with peers and adults. This research provides insight into constructing effective mathematical educational practices for young children. In her role at CECEI, Dr. Ramani serves as a content expert for all aspects of center work related to mathematics, including the 2016 Summer Institutes for Early Childhood Special Educators. Dr. Ramani is also a member of the CECEI Executive Committee.