Dr. Regena F. Nelson is the Chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies at Western Michigan University and a Professor in early childhood education with 20 years of research, teaching and consulting experience in the field. She has worked on numerous research studies on school readiness, authentic assessment, early childhood program evaluation, culturally appropriate practices, and mentoring. Her work has been published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Research on Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Multicultural Perspectives. She teaches research methods, assessment and child development courses. She coordinates the early childhood graduate and undergraduate programs at WMU in which over 400 students are enrolled. Dr. Nelson has served on regional, state and national boards of several early childhood organizations affiliated with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Dr. Nelson was a consultant for early childhood programs throughout Michigan and the Kamehameha preschool program in Hawaii. Currently, she works with local Head Start, state-funded and private preschool programs using a professional development model that places student interns with exemplary preschool teachers. The program has had a significant impact on early childhood education students’ ability to be successful teachers in programs that serve children in poverty.