SCSD Professor Mollie Romano Receives Community Engaged Research Partnership Award

School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) Associate Professor Mollie Romano recently received the inaugural Community Engaged Research Partnership Award. This award is given to acknowledge and support recognizable community-engaged research. The funding for this award is made possible by the Institutional Challenge Program, awarded to the Florida Center for Reading Research by the William T. Grant Foundation, Doris Duke Foundation and Spencer Foundation.

Mollie Romano

Romano has been a partner of Kids Incorporated, who administers Tallahassee’s center-based Early Start program, for the last twelve years. She works closely with Donna Hines, a passionate early educator who is now the Education Manager with Kids Incorporated. Ms. Hines brings decades of classroom experience to their partnership, and she works to support ongoing staff development in her role.

Donna Hines

“This award enables us to identify and target what the infant-toddler teachers want to learn as part of their professional development, and we will then respond to those priorities by building experiences that meet their identified needs,” Romano said. “The award also ensures that the partners have a key role in disseminating findings from the work, and that graduate students have an opportunity to take part in community-based, participatory research.”

Romano hopes that this award will positively impact her research by helping to learn more about what infant-toddler teachers want to learn to better support children’s early learning, particularly for children who are showing early signs of developmental delays.

“These teachers have an incredible impact on children’s early language, communication, social, emotional, and cognitive development and yet they are often overlooked and undervalued by society at large,” Romano said. She is grateful that this award honors the critical role that teachers play by making an investment in their partnership.