Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Patty Clarkson Recieves CLA Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Dr. Patty Clarkson for being awarded the 2022 CLA award for Staff Excellence. This award recognizes a staff member whose performance has far exceeded expectations, advancing the department, college and university.

As the Director of the Preschool Learning Lab, Dr. Clarkson manages every facet of preschool operations, including daily interactions with preschool children and their parents, hiring and training preschool staff, developing and implementing program curriculum and assessments, navigating Cal Poly's bureaucracy, and maintaining State licensing requirements. She works tirelessly to ensure that children, families, and undergraduate students continue to have access to the highest quality early education lab school in the CSU - and one that rivals what is offered by Stanford Bing. In fact, Dr. Clarkson has worked with CD faculty to establish the identity of the Preschool Learning Lab as an exemplary preschool program that supports children's interest and engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She welcomes student and faculty projects from across campus and in doing so, enriches the learning opportunities for students and children. Under her leadership, the lab is a model setting for inquiry based learning.

Further, Dr. Clarkson works collaboratively with the CD faculty to implement our Preschool Learning Lab Diversity and Inclusivity Initiative. This initiative identifies and enacts approaches to ensuring the PLL is an inclusive space for our preschoolers and their families, such as inviting Dr. Jennifer Adair, expert in ECE and racial justice and equity in early learning, to visit Cal Poly and conduct a workshop in Fall 2023.

Not only is Dr. Clarkson invested in the PLL but she is also an active participant in discussions about childcare on the Cal Poly campus and within the community. She engages in varied service roles to support initiative to understand and provide support for families in need of care. Her commitment to her role is integral to the success of our PLL and th Child Development program more boradly.

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