Katie Herron, PhD is the Director of the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. Dr. Herron has a background in Clinical Psychology and completed her PhD in a program that emphasized research. Her focus shifted to disability and early intervention during graduate school when her son was born with a disability. Since then, she has worked within Indiana’s early intervention system in multiple roles and has also trained families to become effective advocates. For the past decade at the ECC her focus has been on improving the quality of early intervention and early education systems using evidence-based family-centered practices, including the promotion of high-quality family engagement, the promotion of high family expectations for young children with disabilities and the importance of infant/early childhood mental health.
Dr. Herron holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Spanish from Indiana University and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University (2003).
The Early Childhood Center has been my professional home for almost a decade, and I believe strongly in its research-to-practice mission. Although my path to my current position as Interim Director has been unusual, I feel that my unique experiences have contributed to my passion and perspective. My Ph.D. from a research-intensive graduate program in Psychology formed my foundation as a researcher. My personal experience as a parent of a child with a disability (born while I was completing my dissertation) formed by deeply held values and beliefs about inclusion, collaboration, advocacy, and the value of all humans. My work experiences, from various roles in the early intervention system to roles in family advocacy programs, have formed by understanding of how systems work and how critical it is for systems to make data-informed, family-centered decisions. My time at the ECC has expanded my systems thinking and allowed me to merge my research background with practical applications in early intervention and preschool settings. The ECC has provided me with opportunities to develop effective professional development for early childhood systems as well as conduct research and evaluation projects. As I watch my son (now 21) navigate new systems, opportunities, and challenges, I am constantly reminded that early childhood is just one life stage, and our work should reflect that lifespan perspective at all times.
- Family Engagement
- High quality practices in early intervention
- Fostering high expectations in families of children with disabilities
- Evaluation of new early childhood initiatives
- Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood
Awards and Honors
- 2015, Family Leadership Award, Riley Child Development Center
- 2013, Mayor’s Award, City of Bloomington