Faculty and Community Partners

The Executive Committee consists of faculty in both the School of Education’s Early Childhood Education program faculty with expertise in early childhood education and the School of Social Work’s Child & Family Studies program. faculty with expertise in child development. The faculty are actively engaged in both the academic preparation of teacher educators and care providers (birth to age eight) and a robust research program in early childhood education and child development.

Name Title Institution Department Email
Cynthia DiCarlo Executive Director LSU Education cdicar2@lsu.edu
Gene Geist Member-at-large LSU Education genegeist@lsu.edu 
Jennifer Baumgartner Member-at-large LSU Education jbaum@lsu.edu
Carrie Ota Member-at-large Weber State University Child & Family Studies carrieota@weber.edu

The Louisiana Members consists of faculty from multiple disciplines across the state who work with young children. These faculty have research and academic focus on the early childhood population.

Name Institution Department Email
Alica Benton LSU Education abento9@lsu.edu 
Michelle Fazio Brunson Northwestern State University  Early Childhood Education faziom@nsula.edu
Katie Cherry LSU Psychology pskatie@lsu.edu
Chien-Jen Chiang LSU Human Sciences & Education chiang@lsu.edu
Michelle DeMeulaneare Louisiana Department of Education Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program michelle.demeulaneare@la.gov

Eileen Haebig

LSU Communication Sciences & Disorders ehaebig1@lsu.edu

Ryan M. Hulteen

LSU Kinesiology rhulteen@lsu.edu
Dan Isbell LSU Music disbell1@lsu.edu
Kamile Geist LSU Music kgeist@lsu.edu
Emily C. Marcinowski LSU Kinesiology  emilym@lsu.edu
Judy Myhand LSU Agriculture Nutrition & Food Sciences jmyhand@agcenter.lsu.edu
Kenyetta Nelson-Smith Southern University and A&M Family and Consumer Sciences kenyetta_nelson@subr.edu
Laura Piestryznski LSU Education lpiestrzynski@lsu.edu
Amanda Staiano LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center Pediatric Obesity and Health Behavior amanda.staiano@pbrc.edu
Ann Marie Stanley LSU Music astanley1@lsu.edu
Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell LSU Literacy Leadership & Urban Education sdowell@lsu.edu 
Derrick Toups Agenda for Children Center for Early Childhood Advancement dtoups@agendaforchildren.org
Julie Schneider LSU Communication Sciences and Disorders juschnei@lsu.edu
Linda Aidong Zhang LSUS Education & Human Development aidong.zhang@lsus.edu
Nicholas Fears LSU Kinesiology nfears@lsu.edu
Leanne Redman LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center Reproductive Endocrinology & Women’s Health Leanne.Redman@pbrc.edu
Pheriche Perkins Pointe Coupee Early Childhood Coalition Community Non-Profit executivedirector@pcearlystart.org

External membership is available to faculty outside of Louisiana from a variety of disciplines whose work focuses on young children. External Affiliated members must be nominated by LSU faculty.

Name Institution Department Email
Elizabeth Beavers University of Houston-Clear Lake Education BeaversEA@UHCL.edu
Aaron Deris Minnesota State University Education aaron.deris@mnsu.edu
Erin Harmeyer Rutgers University National Institute for Early Education Research eharmeyer@nieer.org
Lena Lee Miami University, OH Teacher Education leel@miamioh.edu
Megan Purcell Purdue University Human Development & Family Studies meganpurcell@purdue.edu
Marcella Terrusi University of Bologna  Life Quality Studies  marcellaterrusi@hotmail.com
Brittany Wittenberg Phoenix Children's Hospital Adaptive Care Team Program bmwitt@gmail.com

Are you an early childhood researcher looking for community and collaboration?

Thank you for your interest in becoming an affiliated member of the Early Childhood Education Institute at Louisiana State University. The ECE Institute is an umbrella organization created to promote research and dissemination of recommended practices in early childhood care and education.

We hope you will consider joining us. If you are a researcher who is interested in being involved in the ECE Institute,  please send your CV to eceinstitute@lsu.edu

Are you a doctoral student looking for a research mentor?

We strive to offer collaborative opportunities for doctoral students by connecting them with highly-regarded researchers in their field. If you are a student who is interested, please reach out to eceinstitute@lsu.edu