Dr. Smith has spent the majority of her career conducting research on the topic of chronic illness in children, studying the effects of disease or its treatment on children’s development. She received her master’s degree in early childhood special education, where she focused on the development of medically fragile and chronically ill children in the hospital setting. She completed a post-master’s internship working in the pediatric and neonatal ICU as well as the developmental follow-up clinics. She has worked in various settings providing assessment and early intervention to young children and their families challenged by medical conditions and developmental disabilities. Dr. Smith then joined a research project studying the effects of HIV on children’s development and family functioning; this was at the height of the pediatric HIV epidemic in this country. She completed her doctorate in early childhood special education at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign with a focus on educational psychology. She continues to work in a position where she is able to combine her two passions- research and early childhood development, including the opportunity to introduce and/or foster the fascination and challenges of research in the early childhood setting to other students.
- MEC 545