Skip to main content

News Home

NAECR selects 2021-22 Policy Fellows

The Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research has selected five faculty members to serve as Policy Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year.

The NAECR Policy Fellows Program is designed to educate early childhood researchers on policy processes, impacts and relationships to research; to provide policymakers with insight into the latest early childhood research at the University of Nebraska; and to generate collaboration among researchers and policymakers to develop effective research agendas that enrich early childhood experiences.

The program features a series of informal conversations between NAECR early childhood researchers and First Five Nebraska.

2021-22 NAECR Policy Fellows:

Alexandra Daro

“I am excited to learn from the other Policy Fellows, both from their perspectives as well as about the work they are doing. Research shouldn’t sit on the page. Research represents real people who are impacted by the work of policymakers. If my research can help make those individuals known, I want to do what I can to make sure policymakers can access it.”

Alexandra Daro, research specialist, Buffett Early Childhood Institute


Jenna Finch

“I am looking forward to learning more about the current policy decisions that are being made in Nebraska that could impact the lives of young children. I hope to better understand what areas of research could be helpful to policymakers and build those topics into my own research projects.”

Jenna Finch, assistant professor of psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Anne Karabon

“I look forward to gaining new insights on legislative processes at the local, state and national levels — specifically, how research in early childhood education and teacher education can inform policy decisions. We know that investments in young children pay off in a variety of ways. Early childhood research that aims to change lives and experiences of young children needs to be accessible and understandable to all stakeholders for them to make informed decisions.”

Anne Karabon, associate professor of teacher education, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Marisa Macy

“I am excited to learn innovative strategies for advocating for young children and their families from the NAECR Policy Fellowship. Early childhood research is essential to continue learning more about young children.”

Marisa Macy, Cille and Ron Williams Chair of Early Childhood Education, University of Nebraska at Kearney


Amanda Prokasky

“I’m excited to learn how to translate early childhood research into actionable items for policymakers, and how to communicate the importance of early childhood with policymakers. It’s important to ensure early childhood research is meaningful to policymakers so policy decisions can be data driven and based on science.”

Amanda Prokasky, assistant professor of education and child development, UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute