People

Christy Tirrell-Corbin

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin is the Executive Director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention, as well as the Director of the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education teacher education program. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin is an award-winning faculty member having been acknowledged for her scholarship, teaching and service. Her research focuses on young children at risk due to adversity, specifically those residing in low-resourced communities. She has worked extensively in Title I (high poverty) schools around issues of race, culture and trauma. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has been the Principal Investigator on numerous early childhood focused grants that include external evaluations, curriculum design and implementation, and trauma informed schools. The results of her research have been published and presented both nationally and internationally and funded by public, philanthropic and organizational entities. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has also served as a consultant for PBS, National Geographic and Sesame Workshop.

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.