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Board of Visitors Honors Katharine Kersey

The Old Dominion University Board of Visitors on Dec. 5 voted unanimously to name the Child Development Center and Lions Child Study Center Director's Suite in honor of Katharine C. Kersey, a longtime professor of early childhood education and chair in the Department of Early Childhood, Speech-Language Pathology and Special Education.

In a separate action, the board also voted to bestow on Kersey the title of Director Emerita of the two centers.

In its resolution to name the centers for Kersey, the board cited her leadership role in making the Child Development Center a model facility that offers on-campus day care and provides training for ODU students in early childhood education.

The resolution further cited Kersey for raising more than $1 million in private and corporate gifts to match a state capital appropriation to renovate and expand the Lions Child Study Center, which provides prekindergarten and kindergarten classes. The resolution also acknowledged that she "dedicated her personal and professional life to the needs and concerns of families, with the hope that some day the world will be a safer and better place for children."

Kersey joined Old Dominion as an instructor in 1969, achieved the rank of professor in 1973, and served as director of the Lions Child Study Center from 1973 to May 2008 and as director of the Child Development Center from 1994 to May 2008. She continues to serve in her role as a professor in the Darden College of Education.

Among her many honors is the Award for Outstanding Service to Young Children in Virginia from the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Kersey has written four books on parenting and effective teaching: "The Art of Sensitive Parenting," "Helping Your Child Handle Stress," "Don't Take It Out on Your Kids" and "The First Year Teacher" (co-authored with Karen Bosch).

She also developed an award-winning training video, "101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline."

This article was posted on: December 12, 2008

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