Second Preeminence Professor appointed in early childhood studies
The University of Florida College of Education has filled its second Preeminence faculty position in early childhood studies, appointing Mary McLean, an endowed professor in early childhood education and director of the Early Childhood Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
McLean, a prominent researcher and leading author of textbooks on assessment of infants and preschoolers with special needs, will join the UF education faculty on Aug. 16 as a professor in the college’s School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies.
Her appointment follows on the heels of the recent hiring of that program’s first Preeminence faculty member, Brian Reichow, an emerging scholar of behavioral interventions for young children with autism and developmental disabilities. Both will be affiliated with UF’s interdisciplinary Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies (CEECS), based in the College of Education.
McLean and Reichow are among more than three dozen distinguished faculty members recruited from around the world as part of UF’s “Preeminence Plan” to rise among the nation’s top public research universities. They are in the first wave of an estimated 120 faculty to be recruited this year and in 2015. Both will join the multi-college Preeminence initiative focused on “optimizing early childhood development and learning experiences.”
“With the recruitment of Dr. McLean, we are fortunate to bring one the nation’s most preeminent and productive scholars in early childhood special education to the University of Florida,” said Glenn Good, dean of UF’s College of Education. “Her leadership with the Early Childhood Research Center at Wisconsin offers the perfect background and expertise for the interdisciplinary collaborations she will be involved with at UF.”
Along with her groundbreaking work in the assessment of young children, McLean has co-authored the first three editions of Recommended Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education, an undertaking of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the international Council for Exceptional Children. The latest revision occurred this year. She is a past president of DEC and currently chairs the group’s Recommended Practices Commission.
“I was immediately drawn to the Preeminence faculty position at the University of Florida because of the focus on strong interdisciplinary collaborations with recognized leaders in early childhood studies like Pat Snyder and Maureen Conroy at the CEECS,” McLean said. “It’s a grand opportunity to work together toward innovations helping young children and their families and then applying those innovations to help close the gap between research and practice for all children.”
McLean, who has a doctorate in early childhood special education from UWM, also has held faculty positions at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, Auburn University, the University of North Dakota, and Cardinal Stritch University. She has edited seven books and written numerous refereed articles, book chapters and professionals papers.
Her other research interests include intervention practices, and cultural and linguistic diversity, and she has received 10 personnel preparation grants funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1997, McLean has worked with the California Department of Education on the development of a statewide assessment program for children from birth through age 4.
Since 2010, she has partnered with the Head Start national Center for Quality Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington, developing training and technical assistance materials on child assessment.
McLean has been teaching in higher education for 32 years and was named Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member while at Auburn. She was a special education teacher for two years in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools before starting her doctoral studies, and also was the supervising teacher for the early development assistance program at the John F. Kennedy Center Experimental School at Peabody College, where she earned her master’s in special education.
UF has earmarked state Preeminence funds for four new “all-star” College of Education faculty positions: two in early childhood studies (McLean’s and Reichow’s), one in education technology (filled by Carole Beal, who will head UF’s new Online Learning Institute), and one in “big data” informatics research in education (Andrew Thomas).
SOURCE: Mary McLean, email@example.com; 414-229-2213
WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education; firstname.lastname@example.org; 352-273-4137