The idea for the first-ever Simms/Mann Think Tank, held on February 14-15, 2013 in Santa Barbara, was born from the data showing that 70% of California’s childcare workforce emerges from the community colleges. With more than half of children under age 3 in childcare, Victoria Mann Simms saw a phenomenal educational opportunity. She brought together community college faculty members and thought leaders to learn from cutting-edge early childhood learning and brain-science researchers.

This convening provided an excellent space to disseminate the latest thinking in the areas of infant/toddler development, early childhood education, and training for those working with children ages 0-3. Professional guests from the community included pediatricians, nurses, researchers, psychiatrists, and community college officials.

Desired Impact

The inaugural Simms/Mann Think Tank in 2013 featured keynote speakers Drs. Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff, internationally recognized researchers from the University of Washington. This Think Tank introduced the inaugural 2013-2014 cohort of Simms/Mann Community College Faculty Fellows, who went on to undertake a year-long research project, which they presented at the next Think Tank in February 2014.

2013 Think Tank Speakers

Patricia Kuhl, PhD

Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning, Co-Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences

Topic: The Golden Age of Brain Development and Learning

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Andrew Meltzoff, PhD

Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Chair, Co-Director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington

Topic: Importance of Ages 0-3 and Understanding Baby’s Social World

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