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2nd Annual CHAD Conference - Relationships: The Secret Ingredient to Early Childhood Education

Total Credits: 6 including 6 CE Units

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Child & Adolescent Development
Dr. Birgit Monks, Ed.D |  Heather Malley |  Dr. Shelley A. Stravitz, Ed.D |  Dr. Rose G. Maina, Ed.D |  Sandra Gonzales-Pabon, MA |  Shirley Murillo
7 Hours
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Relationships: The Secret Ingredient for Early Childhood Education

Join us for the Union Institute & University 2nd Virtual Annual Child and Adolescent Development Program Conference on October 16, 2021. 

8:30 AM PST - 3:30 PM PST

We are offering six different workshop sessions on topics related to the importance of relationships, inclusion, and ethics in the field of early childhood education. This year's keynote speaker, Heather Malley, who is the owner of a play-based preschool program and author of several children's books, will explain how relationships and connections help young children to feel safe, loved, and ready to spread their wings. Participants will receive professional development certificates, handouts, instructional material, and will have an opportunity to participate in a raffle. 


Dr. Birgit Monks, Ed.D's Profile

Dr. Birgit Monks, Ed.D Related seminars and products

Faculty and Program Chair

Union Institute & University

Dr. Birgit Monks was born and raised in Passau, Germany and has many years of experience working with children and adults in the field of early childhood education. She has held various positions in diverse early childhood programs and provides training, workshops, and staff development on a variety of topics. She also spent more than 10 years teaching courses in child and human development for students enrolled in bachelors or master’s degree programs. Currently she serves as faculty and program chair at Union Institute & University.

Heather Malley's Profile

Heather Malley Related seminars and products

Founder and Director of Caterpillar Cottage Preschool

Caterpillar Cottage Preschool

Heather has been working in the field of early education and child development for over 25 years. She has worked as a researcher at UCLA’s Center for Improving Child Care Quality, as an early childhood program evaluator at Child Care Resource Center, and in direct service to families and children as a preschool teacher and director. She has a B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Research Methods from Mills College and earned her Montessori Teaching Credential in her early years of teaching.

Heather’s play-based program creates a space for preschool children that is the embodiment of empathy and active listening. It has become a preferred choice for parents. She provides mentoring for interns majoring in Child Development, as well as education for parents who seek to learn more about effective parenting.

She is the author of three children’s books, NOT FOREVER BUT FOR NOW (a story about feelings during the pandemic), THIS SUMMER I WONDER, and MY BOOK - A CONNECTION THROUGH EMPATHY JOURNAL FOR THE STORIES OF A YOUNG CHILD.

Dr. Shelley A. Stravitz, Ed.D's Profile

Dr. Shelley A. Stravitz, Ed.D Related seminars and products

ASD Educational Consulting

 Dr. Shelley A. Stravitz is an inspirational speaker and an acknowledged expert in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).  She shares her knowledge and experience on changing the current paradigms and beliefs about autism recovery with families, clinicians, and educators. 

Dr. Shelley recovered her own child diagnosed with severe autism and mental retardation—who she was told would never speak— by focusing on developmentally appropriate, relationship-based interventions to resolve the underlying causes of her child’s unique ASD profile. 

Building on these concepts, over the last 30 years Dr. Shelley’s clinical work, consultations with families and collaboration with their clinical partners and educators, workshops, extensive research, and experience on numerous professional advisory boards enabled her to develop the ACERS Model, a multi-disciplinary model of autism recovery. Extensive research of Dr. Shelley’s work with families utilizing this model demonstrated that their children reached optimal outcomes.

Dr. Shelley received her doctorate in Educational Leadership for Change: Autism Optimal Outcomes and her Master of Science in Education: Motivating Learners. Dr. Shelley graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is an experienced Pre-K-12 educator and a Masters-level teacher trainer.

She continues her focus on the varied aspects of research impacting Autism Spectrum Disorders and remains committed to issues of social inequality and social justice that affect this population daily.  Dr. Shelley is currently focused on supporting pre-service early childhood educators to recognize the earliest signs of autism and their causes, which can lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention.

Dr. Rose G. Maina, Ed.D's Profile

Dr. Rose G. Maina, Ed.D Related seminars and products

Professor of Child Development

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Dr. Rose G Maina has worked for over 39 years in the field of Child Development and Early Childhood Education teaching young children, their parents and training teachers. She has worked as an administrator of many ECE programs as a Director, where she supervised private and public ECE programs.  

She enjoys presenting workshops and has presented at several NAEYC and NHSA conferences on the subjects of Storytelling, Early Literacy, Self-Empowerment for girls, Easy Grant Writing, Black Youth of USA, Secrets of Great Supervising for Business CEOs. She is currently the Chair of Business Civic Engagement and Child Development and is teaching Child Development at colleges. She is a life coach helping her clients to resolve their childhood traumas and increase wealth into their lives.  Her International Best Seller The Book of ROSE: Rituals of Self-Empowerment is on Amazo 

Sandra Gonzales-Pabon, MA's Profile

Sandra Gonzales-Pabon, MA Related seminars and products

Early Education Consultant

Sandra Gonzales-Pabon, originally studied at Universidad de San Martin de Porres. She is an Early Childhood professional with over 20 years of experience, committed to increasing the quality of education and care for young children as well as providing education and social justice to families and professionals in the field. She has presented in many conferences and workshops that target Spanish Speaking professionals, including Region 9 Head Start Association and the Early Quality Counts Solano Early Education Conference. Mrs. Gonzales-Pabon has experience working in positions as a coach, trainer, and  leader for both state and federal programs, including different Counties Office of Education in California. She is a certified trainer, Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) (WestEd), CLASS, Observer-Infant, Toddler, and PK (Teachstone) and holds a Teacher Credential. Mrs. Gonzales- Pabon strives to integrate and create resources and content in Spanish to allow access for growth and equity opportunities for the Latinx and Spanish community in the developmental childcare professions.


Shirley Murillo's Profile

Shirley Murillo Related seminars and products


Union Institute & University

Shirley Murillo’s career has taken her on many different paths. One path led her to become an Infant/toddler specialist for the Program for Infant Toddlers Caregivers (PITC). A much longer path crossed halfway around the world to New Zealand. There her exposure to “Learning Stories,” a widely used technique to assess children’s learning in New Zealand’s “Te Whariki” early childhood curriculum, inspired her to publish multiple books, including Observation and Infants and Toddlers Growth and Development. Ms. Murillo's books provide additional resources and content in Spanish to help expand the knowledge of providers, caregivers, and early childhood professionals in the Latinx and Spanish-speaking community, where Ms. Murillo is an active member.

Ms. Murillo has worked as adjunct faculty for multiple universities and community colleges across the country, including Union Institute & University, UC Davis Extension, UC Riverside Extension, Sacramento City College, College of Marin. She continuously creates opportunities to prepare professionals and Early Childhood Education students to enhance their ability to work effectively with Latinx families and their children.


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