Meet the IECE Faculty
The IECE program includes course work, practicum experiences and expertise from faculty with diverse backgrounds and areas of specialization. Courses include opportunities for applied activities, collaboration activities, research, reflection and discussion.
Meet the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Faculty
Dr. Jeanetta Riley
Dr. Jeanetta Riley is a professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi and taught in early elementary grades for 24 years in Hopkins County, Kentucky, prior to coming to Murray State. Her research interests include the connection between play and development/learning, gender issues in education, and culturally responsive teaching.
Dr. Mi-Hwa Park
Dr. Mi-Hwa Park is an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has taught preschool and kindergarten in South Korea and the United States. Her research and teaching interests focus on emotional scaffolding, self-regulation, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and play. She has a Ph.D. in early childhood education from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Jessica Branch
Dr. Jessica Branch is an assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She received her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Toledo. She co-taught in a public preschool as an intervention specialist before becoming a preschool special education supervisor for a county in Ohio. Her research interests include the connection between child interests and engagement levels, equipping teachers to use evidence-based practices, and the use of play to enrich high-quality learning environments.