Dana Winters, Ph.D., is the Rita McGinley Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Institute at Saint Vincent College. Her extensive field research from interviewing prisoners to shadowing crossing guards, from observing Head Start teachers and developing coaches in early childhood systems has informed the co-development of the Simple Interactions approach to support children, families, and their helpers. Dana describes and affirms the essential and relational practices of professionals across early education and intervention, out of school time learning, healthcare, family engagement, and more. She is an experienced applied researcher who has served as co-principal investigator and program evaluator for consecutive NSF-funded early childhood research and intervention projects in the areas of early literacy, social emotional development, and early mathematical learning. She leads numerous foundation and government project grants to improve early childhood systems and family engagement practices. Dana serves as a UNESCO Faculty Fellow in Children and Youth Studies and enjoys collaborating with faculty around the world in the advancement of empathy development and adult-child relationships across developmental settings. She received her Ph.D. in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Dana always has a book with her and spends her time outside of the Fred Rogers Institute with her husband, their two daughters, and their labradoodle.
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