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Meet Our Advisors

Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D.

Christopher Cerf

Tammy Clegg, Ph.D.

Matt Glickman

Kaya Henderson

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek

Patti Miller

Ryan Padrez, M.D.

Jenny Radesky, M.D.

C. Cybele Raver

Diana Rhoten, Ph.D.

Ralph Smith

Lori Takeuchi, Ph.D.

Beverly Tatum, Ph.D.

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Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D.

Stephanie M. Carlson is an American developmental psychologist whose research has contributed to scientific understanding of the development of children's executive function skills, including psychometrics and the key roles of imagination and distancing. Carlson is Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, and Co-founder of Reflection Sciences, Inc.

Professor Carlson is a graduate of Bucknell University (summa cum laude), and obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Oregon in 1997, where she studied with Marjorie Taylor, Lou Moses, Dare Baldwin, Mary Rothbart, and Michael Posner. From 1998 to 2007, she was Assistant and then Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. In 2007, she moved to the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, where she co-directs (with Philip David Zelazo) the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. She was promoted to Professor in 2013, and recognized as a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 2017.

In 2014, Carlson and Zelazo co-founded a University-based start-up company, Reflection Sciences, Inc., to disseminate information about executive function skills and provide tools for assessing those skills and promoting their healthy development.

Christopher Cerf

Christopher Cerf is a writer, composer-lyricist, television, and music producer, humorist, and co-founder and president of the educational media and technology company, Sirius Thinking, Ltd., where he co-created and co-produced the multiple Emmy award-winning PBS children’s literacy education series, Between the Lions.

Cerf has won three Emmys and two Grammys for his musical contributions to Sesame Street (for which he has written over 200 songs since the show’s debut), and also created numerous musical numbers for the original Electric Company and for Square One Television. Cerf also played a key role in the founding of the Workshop's Products Group, and served for nearly a decade as the division’s original editor-in-chief.

Before joining the Workshop staff in 1970, Cerf served as a senior editor at Random House, where he worked with such diverse authors as George Plimpton, Andy Warhol, Abbie Hoffman, and Dr. Seuss; was a founding contributing editor of National Lampoon; and has written or co-written several bestselling humor books (most notably with his frequent National Lampoon co-conspirator, Henry Beard). His newest book, A Skunk in My Bunk, a playful easy reader in the tradition of Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop that teaches the basics of word construction, was published this past May by Beginner Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Cerf has been a long-time collaborator of Marlo Thomas on her Free To Be and St. Jude’s books, music albums, and television projects (winning an additional Emmy and Grammy in the process). Since the 1980s, he has also played a pioneering role in the advance of digital technology as a tool for educating young children, collaborating on numerous acclaimed video and interactive projects with the Jim Henson Company, the Success for All Foundation, Columbia Teachers College, Speakaboos, Tiggly, Teachley, and others.

In 2010, Cerf was awarded the Harold W. McGraw Prize for his contributions to American education.

Tammy Clegg, Ph.D.

Tamara Clegg is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership and at the University of Maryland. She co-directs the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. Tamara’s work focuses on designing technology (e.g., social media, mobile apps, e-textiles, community displays) to support life-relevant learning where learners, particularly those from underrepresented groups in science, engage in science in the context of achieving personally relevant goals. She seeks to understand ways such learning environments and technologies support scientific disposition development. Tamara’s work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, and Google.

Matt Glickman

Matt Glickman is the founder and president of Promise Venture Studio, a non-profit organization whose mission is to spur social entrepreneurship in early childhood development. He also advises or serves on the board of several technology startups and nonprofit educational organizations.

Matt has spent the bulk of his career starting and growing companies. He was co-founder and CEO of enterprise software company Merced Systems, and prior to that was co-founder and CEO of BabyCenter, a consumer Internet company that built the leading website for new and expectant parents. In earlier years, Matt has held leadership roles at Intuit, Teach for America and started his career as a consultant at Bain & Company.

He graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he earned his M.B.A. He holds an M.A. from the Stanford School of Education and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College.

Kaya Henderson

Kaya Henderson leads the Global Learning Lab for Community Impact at Teach For All. There, she seeks to grow the impact of locally rooted, globally informed leaders, all over the world, who are catalyzing community and system-level change to provide children with the education, support, and opportunity to shape a better future. She is perhaps best known for serving as Chancellor of DC Public Schools from 2010-2016. Her tenure was marked by consecutive years of enrollment growth, an increase in graduation rates, improvements in student satisfaction and teacher retention, increases in AP participation and pass rates, and the greatest growth of any urban district on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) over multiple years.

Most recently, Kaya has served as a Fellow with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a Superintendent-in-Residence with the Broad Leadership Academy, a coach with Cambiar Education, and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Georgetown University.

Kaya’s career began as a middle school Spanish teacher in the South Bronx, through Teach For America. She went on to work as a recruiter, national admissions director, and DC Executive Director for Teach for America. Henderson then served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The New Teacher Project (TNTP) until she began her tenure at DCPS as Deputy Chancellor in 2007.

A native of Mt. Vernon, NY, Kaya received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and her Master of Arts in Leadership from Georgetown University, as well as honorary degrees from Georgetown and Trinity University. Her board memberships include The Aspen Institute, The College Board, Robin Hood NYC, and Teach For America. She chairs the board of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC), an organization that she co-founded.

Patti Miller

Patti Miller is the chief executive officer of Too Small to Fail for the Clinton Foundation. Too Small to Fail is a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of America’s youngest children, ages zero to five, and prepare them to succeed in the 21st century. Prior to joining the Foundation, Patti was the vice president of public policy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of "Sesame Street". Patti previously served as vice president of the Children and the Media Program at Children Now. In that role, she led a broad coalition in advocacy and policy efforts to improve the media environment for children. Patti holds an master's in social sciences in education from Stanford University and a bachelor's in mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ryan Padrez, Ph.D.

Ryan Padrez, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician and Assistant Clinical Professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Ryan is also the Medical Director of The Primary School, a new integrated health and education model that serves low income children and families in East Palo Alto, CA. The school’s approach is working to integrate primary education and primary care, effectively braiding together education, health, and family support services starting in infancy. In doing so, TPS hopes to expand the traditional definition of school. While at The Primary School he continues to care for patients and teach pediatric residents and medical students at Gardner Packard Children's Health Center. He remains dedicated to promoting models and policies that ensure high quality care is accessible to all children.

Jenny Radesky, M.D.

Dr. Radesky is a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. She received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, trained at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, and her clinical work focuses on developmental and behavioral conditions in low-income and underserved populations. Her NIH-funded research focuses on the use of mobile/interactive technology by parents and young children and how this relates to child self-regulation and parent-child interaction. She was the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statements Media and Young Minds in 2016 and Digital Advertising to Children in 2020.

C. Cybele Raver

C. Cybele Raver is Vanderbilt’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. An esteemed developmental psychologist whose leadership has spanned research, clinical, academic and administrative settings, Raver oversees all faculty, staff, programs and initiatives for Vanderbilt’s 10 schools and colleges. She also leads the university’s research, admissions, student affairs and residential life. Raver holds a Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and an appointment as professor of psychology and human development at Peabody College. Throughout her career, Raver has received prestigious awards from the American Psychological Association and the William T. Grant Foundation, among other organizations, and has been granted support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Her research focuses primarily on early learning and development within the contexts of poverty and public policy. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Raver was deputy provost at New York University, where she worked to advance interdisciplinary research and provided leadership for faculty and graduate students. She was also the provost liaison for several institutes, including NYU’s Center for Data Science, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, as well as the Social Science Division and Graduate School within the College of Arts & Science. At NYU, Raver also held the positions of senior vice provost for academic analytics and graduate academic affairs, and vice provost for faculty and research affairs. In addition, she was the director of the Institute for Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training (IES-PIRT) and the inaugural director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change. Raver is also a dedicated teacher. She was a faculty member at NYU for 13 years, most recently as a professor of applied psychology. Previously, she held faculty positions at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Cornell University’s Department of Human Development. Beyond her roles in higher education, Raver advises various local and federal government agencies, working with them to promote healthy development and learning among children ranging from birth to the third grade. A native of New York City, Raver earned her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied psychology and filmmaking. She later earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Dr. Raver’s own program of research focuses on early learning and development in the contexts of poverty and policy. Dr. Raver’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as well as by private foundations such as the Spencer, McCormick-Tribune, and MacArthur Foundations. Her research has garnered several prestigious awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the William T. Grant Foundation.

In addition to her work at NYU, Dr. Raver regularly advises local and federal government agencies and foundations on promoting healthy development and learning among children from birth to 3rd grade. Dr. Raver also serves on the Board of Directors of the Spencer Foundation as well as on several other boards of community agencies and initiatives. Before joining the faculty of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Dr. Raver held faculty positions at University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies and at Cornell University's Department of Human Development. Dr. Raver earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Diana Rhoten

Diana is an independent consultant who was previously the Managing Director of IDEO’s New York office. She works with organizations to reimagine who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Drawn to big challenges and opportunities, she actively helps IDEO and its clients effect change at scale through the design of new offers, ventures, and partnerships.

Diana has worked in and across business, government, and philanthropy, exploring the potential for organizations to innovate with both social and economic impact. Toward this end, she has helped R&D labs discover the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to generate breakthrough solutions in sustainability. She has helped catalyze new education markets by creating partnerships to accelerate startups building digital learning solutions as well as networks to support schools and non-profits seeking to adopt them. She has also designed and launched new entities within large-scale organizations as diverse as corporations like News Corp and government agencies such as the National Science Foundation.

Today, Diana is thinking hard about questions like: What are the shifting roles of business, government, and philanthropy in society? How can brands create new offers and experiences that inspire broader societal change? How might we human-scale actions into design purpose-driven movements that drive large-scale change? How do we as designers lead this kind of change through tangible prototypes of what the future could be?

Diana is a board member and advisor to several upstarts. Outside the office, she can be found chasing her Great Dane in the park, the fresh powder on the slopes, and her perennial dream to return to South America and Southern Africa.

Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith is the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an effort to increase rates of third-grade reading proficiency for children from low-income families that includes a network of more than 360 communities — with 4,000 organizations and more than 520 state and local funders comprising "big tent" sponsoring coalitions. Smith taught as a member of the Law Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for two decades, during which time he also served as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer for the School District of Philadelphia, and as a senior advisor to Philadelphia’s mayor on children and family policy.

Ralph Smith calls himself a “recovering law professor,” but he acknowledges that his background as a corporate and securities lawyer helped him to appreciate the role of markets and the private sector and the value of cross-sector collaboration. Bringing together “unusual allies” and “unlikely champions” was a hallmark of Smith’s work at Casey, from his leadership in supporting fathers in their critical role in children’s lives to mobilizing communities to be change agents in improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families to promoting reforms that help ex-offenders become productive citizens. “A significant part of my work involves finding that sliver of agreement between and among constituencies and growing that into common ground,” says Smith, who cultivates alliances around “common sense” principles that diverse partners can embrace. In Making Connections, for example, the initiative’s unifying theme was that children do well when their families do well and families do better when they live in supportive communities.

Lori Takeuchi, Ph.D.

Lori Takeuchi, PhD is a program director at the National Science Foundation in its Division of Research on Learning. Prior to joining NSF, she spent 12 years at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, where she played various roles, including research fellow, head of research, and acting executive director. A learning scientist by training, her own research focuses on how children use media and technology across the various settings of their lives, and the implications these tools hold for their learning and development. Before earning her PhD from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, Lori spent over a decade designing curriculum-based science simulation and visualization software. She began her career managing Instructional Television at Thirteen/WNET.

Beverly Tatum, Ph.D.

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is the author of the best-selling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, now in its 20th anniversary edition.

A thought-leader in higher education, she was the 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award and the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. Dr. Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Michigan, and a M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy as well as the role of play in learning. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Golinkoff, she is the author of 14 books and hundreds of publications. She is the recipient of the AERA Outstanding Public Communication for Education Research Award, the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the Association for Psychological Science James McKeen Cattell Award, the Society for Research in Child Development, Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, the APA Distinguished Lecturer Award and the Simms/Mann Whole Child Award. She is a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society. She is the Past President of the International Society for Infant Studies and served as the Associate Editor of Child Development. She is on the Steering Committee of the Latin American School for Education, Cognitive, & Neural Science as well as on the advisory board for Vroom, the Boston Children’s Museum, Disney Junior, The Free to Be Initiative, and Jumpstart. She is also an advisor to NCECDTL Research to Practice Consortium that advises Head Start.  She is the co-developer of the QUILS Quick Interactive Language Screener that assesses early language competence in 3 through 5 year olds in English and Spanish. Her book, Einstein never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less, (Rodale Books) won the prestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003. Her recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What the science tells us about raising successful children, released in 2016, was on the NYTimes Best Seller List in Education and Parenting. 

Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a frequent spokesperson for her field appearing in the NYTimes, NPR and in international television outlets.