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2017 Symposium

February 9, 2017

Oklahoma Early Childhood Research Symposium

Strengthening Early Care and Education and Child Welfare

System Partnerships



OPSR, once again, successfully brought together those who care for and work with families and children to improve and increase investments in early childhood at our annual symposium. In 2017, we focused on the benefits to young children by strengthening partnership between early care and education programs and the child welfare system.

Our keynote presenter was Deborah Phillips, professor, Georgetown College.



Keynote Speaker

Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips is a professor in developmental psychology and affiliated faculty of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown College. In addition, she is the co-director of the Center for Research on Children in the United States. She has been a leading expert in child development for more than 30 years, working at the intersection of psychology and policy in academic, policy and nonprofit positions.

Phillips has served on numerous task forces and advisory groups that address child and family policy issues, including the Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, the Head Start FACES Redesign Expert Panel, and the Secretary’s (US DHHS) Committee on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Evaluation.

In addition, Phillips is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society. In 2011, she received the Distinguished Contributions to Education in Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. She earned her doctoral degree from Yale University.



Couldn’t make it but want to learn more? Just click on any topic that interests you for a PDF of that presentation.

Early Care and Education & the Neurobiological Underpinnings of Development
  • Deborah A. Phillips, professor, Department of Psychology, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Changing the Odds: Increasing Protective and Compensatory Experiences for Children Exposed to Toxic Stress
  • Amanda Sheffield Morris, George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) chair in child development, Oklahoma State University (OSU)-Tulsa
  • Jennifer Hays-Grudo, regents professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science, OSU; and adjunct professor of pediatrics, Center for Health Sciences, OSU
Increasing Access to Early Childhood Education Services for Vulnerable Children 
  • Lana Beasley, assistant professor, Human Development and Family Science Department, Oklahoma State University
Building Partnerships Between Child Welfare and Early Care and Education
  • David E. Bard, associate professor, College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The Role of Early Care & Education in Promoting Safety, Permanency & Well-Being for Children in the Welfare System
  • Sacha Klein, associate professor, School of Social Work, Michigan State University
Applied Research on Oklahoma's Early Childhood Education Programs
  • Diane Horm, GKFF endowed chair and director, Early Childhood Education Institute (ECCI), University of Oklahoma-Tulsa 
  • Sherri Castle, senior research and policy associate, ECCI
  • Shannon Guss, project director, Educare Implementation Study, ECCI


Thank you!

We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you to all the following organizations for their continued support of OPSR and our mission to improve school readiness.



  • Arnall Family Foundation
  • George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Inasmuch Foundation
  • Oklahoma Child Care Association
  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services
  • Potts Family Foundation
  • UCO Office of Research & Sponsored Programs