Each one of our presenters is set to bring their expertise and insight to create an engaging experience for all attendees. We'd like to say a big thank you to each one of our presenters for their support of this conference!
Amy Huffer graduated with her master's of social work from the University of Oklahoma and earned her doctorate in human science from Oklahoma State University. She specializes in infant and early childhood mental health and currently supports efforts of Zero to Three to change the trajectory for infants, toddlers and their families impacted by the child protection system. Previously, she assisted with the research and dissemination of the Attachment and Bio-Behavioral Catch-Up (ABC) intervention through the University of Delaware and served as Oklahoma’s Early Childhood Trainer and Consultant where she worked to develop and strengthen infant and early childhood workforce across the state. Huffer has supported infant and early childhood mental health consultation for early education settings and additionally supported research efforts in the field of infant and early childhood mental health. Huffer has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Association for Infant Mental Health as an Infant Mental Health Mentor and regularly provides training and reflective consultation to professionals serving infants, toddlers and their families.
Melissa Manning has over 30 years of experience working with young children, families and programs that provide quality early care and education. She has held many different roles, including an infant and toddler teacher, center director, health services manager and program operations manager with Head Start, classroom assessor, and training and professional development manager. Currently, Manning serves as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City Community College. She is passionate about helping early childhood professionals and utilizes a variety of assessment tools, such as ITERS, ECERS, Infant, Toddler, Pre-K CLASS and Program Administration Scale, to help them learn and grow. She is also certified to teach the Program for Infant/Toddler Care, Adult & Youth Mental Health First Aid, American Red Cross CPR, and I am Moving, I am Learning. Moreover, Manning has her master's in science and is an educator for the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development.
Amy McCain is currently division chair and an assistant professor of the Division of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla. In addition, she teaches as an adjunct at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Education has been McCain’s passion for many years, and she believes educators contribute to the future and the well being of our children. For over 25 years, she has taught all ages and worked at multiples levels of early care. McCain graduated from Oklahoma State University with her bachelor's in family relations and child development. She has two master’s degrees, one in human relations/counseling from the University of Oklahoma, and the second in licensed marriage and family therapy from Mid-America Christian University. McCain and her husband have eight children, ages 10-26, as well as one granddaughter.
Jen Jackson provides her audience with more than information — she offers exceptional enthusiasm that participants can take straight back to the classroom. With deep knowledge of the needs of early learners and their families, Jackson will be a valuable presenter. A proven team leader, Jackson is also a qualified trainer for Mind in the Making and holds a bachelor’s degree in child development and family relations. As a program director, Jackson managed over 400 employees and oversaw a budget of $30 million. While she coordinated all manner of efforts — from grant writing to food service — her focus was clear: providing support and educational opportunity for families and children in her care. As an administrator and a director, she used her considerable organizational skills to coach and mentor site management, promote family engagement and ensure Child and Adult Care Food Program compliance. Jackson’s excellent speaking skills and passion make her an invaluable resource.
Kyong-Ah Kwon is an associate professor in the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum at the University of Oklahoma (OU)-Tulsa. She has extensive experience as a teacher of young children in Korea and the United States. She received her doctorate in developmental studies from Purdue University and worked as an associate professor at Georgia State University before coming to OU. Kwon has an extensive record of scholarly work about parenting, classroom quality and teachers’ well-being and the impact each of these has on children’s development. She has been published in prestigious journals, such as Teaching and Teacher Education, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Learning and Individual Differences and Early Education and Development. Kwon has also led several grants that contribute to supporting teachers and improving classroom quality. She was recently awarded the Research Scholarship Award from the Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education at OU.
Ken Randall is co-director of the Office of Community Engagement (OCE) at the University of Oklahoma (OU)-Tulsa as well as associate dean of the College of Allied Health and a professor in the department of rehabilitation sciences at the OU Health Sciences Center. He received his bachelor’s in physical therapy from OU in 1986, his master’s in human relations degree from OU in 1996, and his doctorate in educational psychology at Oklahoma State University in 2009. Randall has taught in the academic environment for 27 years and been in physical therapy field for 33 years. Moreover, he has been involved in interprofessional education for 20 years. Randall is currently involved in three research studies examining fitness and wellness in three distinct populations: 1) Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (in collaboration with the St. Jude affiliate clinic at St. Francis Children’s Hospital); 2) adults with behavioral diagnoses (a collaboration with OU Tulsa’s IMPACT team and Dr. Jessica Tsotsoros in occupational therapy); and 3) early childhood educators (in collaboration with the Early Childhood Education Institute at OU).
He has published numerous articles in international journals as well as in both Allied Health Education and Physical Therapy, the flagship journals of his profession. In addition, he has presented internationally on four continents. Randall’s publications and presentations address topics that range from academic integrity to novel educational strategies to fostering student success in the practice environment and to individual and community-centered practice. He has received over fifteen teaching and service awards over the years, including the OU-Tulsa President’s Award for leadership in community service in 2009, the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Association Kennett Ball Service Award in 2014, and the inaugural Provost’s Teaching Award at the OU Health Sciences Center in 2017.