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Session III Speakers & Notes

Early Childhood: The Science Behind and Importance of Early Brain Development

Thursday, August 9, 2018, 12:00–2:00pm

Speaker Handout    Radio Cafe Interview (see S1E76) 

Session Notes

National Speaker: Amelia Bachleda

Amelia Bachleda is an Outreach and Education Specialist at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), University of Washington. In this role, Dr. Bachleda translates and delivers accessible information about the latest research in early learning and brain development to members of the early learning community, including parents, child care providers, educators and policymakers. Since joining I-LABS in 2015, Dr. Bachleda has given dozens of public talks and workshops, including presentations at Starting Strong P–3rd Grade Institute, Washington State Home Visiting Summit and the Infant and Early Childhood Conference.

Prior to her work at I-LABS, Dr. Bachleda earned a B.S. in Neurobiology at the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her graduate work focused on brain and sensory development. She has also developed content and curriculum materials for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC.

Local Context Speaker: Anna Marie Garcia

Anna Marie Garcia is the Early Childhood Director at the LANL Foundation. She has offered technical support to First Born programs throughout the state and was instrumental in starting the Northwest NM First Born home visitation program serving San Juan and McKinley Counties, including the Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo. She continues to support home visiting as a statewide initiative to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico children and families and works to build infrastructure across several program models. She is currently working on a project in partnership with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council that is mapping home visitation and family support systems in each of the Eight Northern Pueblos.

Garcia has a master’s degree in early childhood/special education and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in early childhood social justice. Along with her three sons, she spent a year in the rain forests of Costa Rica consulting in a bilingual preK–12th grade school. While there, she developed an inclusive special education program. Garcia has taught early childhood classes at Northern New Mexico College, as well as at Santa Fe Community College.

Moderator: Jennifer Duran-Sallee

Jennifer Duran-Sallee is the Director of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence at Santa Fe Community College.