University of Illinois at Chicago
Katherine (Kate) Zinsser is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Community and Prevention Research program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Through her research Kate strives to support the social-emotional well-being and development of young children and their caregivers by conducting applied research that can benefit practice and policy. Current projects include: developing research-based tools to foster social and emotional teaching practices including child assessments, classroom observation, and professional learning strategies; exploring the ways that high-quality teachers are able to positively affect children’s social and emotional learning; and examining how organizational and ecological characteristics of educational settings – such as state education policies, quality rating improvement systems, workplace climate, and administrator practices – affect social and emotional teaching.
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Rachel Weber is a professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she conducts research in economic development, real estate, and public finance. She has expertise in the areas of urban and regional economic development, public finance, municipal government law, planning theory, andreal estate. She has conducted extensive research on the impact of changes in capital markets on urban economies and the built environment. She has also written on school and infrastructure finance, the effect of e-commerce on bricks-and-mortar retailers, the design of incentive contracts, and participatory budgeting. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning and author of From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Weber was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force and was a member of the Urban Policy Advisory Committee for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
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Kathleen M. Sheridan is an associate professor in the department of Educational Psychology. Some of her research interests include early math literacy, professional development for early childhood teachers and caregivers, online learning and course development in higher education, and teacher presence in online courses. Sheridan has been published in leading academic journals, delivered keynote speeches, and has presented her work at workshops and at national and international conferences. She teaches courses in assessment, child development and constructivist approaches to development. Currently she is the principle investigator on 2 grant-funded projects that focus on early math and the professional development of caregivers, teachers and leaders.
Most recently, her new project: Early Math Matters: A Math at Home Professional Development Series for Child Care Providers, launched 8 FREE online courses housed in the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity I-Learning site. Providers receive 1 hour of Gateways approved training and 1 CPDU for each course they complete. Sheridan and her team are collecting data to examine whether the delivery modality and the courses are effective in changing provider’s practice and self-efficacy about including math in their early childhood classrooms.