Skip Navigation

News & Events

Skip Side Navigation

News & Events

                                                                                Join Now

Happy Teacher Project received an Award for Excellence in Transdisciplinary, Convergence Research and Research and Creative Activity Award!
The Happy Teacher Project received OU’s 2023 Vice President for Research and Partnerships Award for Excellence in Transdisciplinary, Convergent Research and Research and Creativity Award. Our team also has been selected for the Vice President for Research and Partnerships Annual Award for Excellence in Research Grants. Only one research team is selected per year at OU. This is a great honor and clear evidence of the success of team science. The leadership team was invited to Award Celebration Luncheon & Banquet and had a great time. I am so proud of our team!

Happy OU Project CAMPISS received Research and Creative Activity Award!
Project CAMPISS was honored last April 18th at the OU Research and Creativity Awards. This fantastic team of Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education faculty, led by Kyong-Ah Kwon, aims to support OU students with child care and support services. Their work stands to transform the lives of families for years to come! Congratulations!
Happy Teacher Project team presented at SRCD
Dr. Kwon and Dr. Jang along some graduate students attended Society of Research in Child Development (SRCD) at Salt Lake City March 23-25 and presented findings on the topic of a holistic view of personal and work-related factors for Early Care and Education (ECE) teacher turnover intent.

Happy Teacher Project attended Early Childhood Workforce Well-Being Convening at Yale University
Dr. Kwon and Dr. Ford were honored to be invited by Drs. Walter Gilliam and Ayse Cobanoglu to the Early Childhood Workforce Well-Being Convening at Yale University last week along with nationally leading researchers and practitioners. The purpose of the Convening was to develop a shared vision for policy and research actions that support ECE workforce well-being. As Ayse said, "this is just the beginning, and this amazing network will continue to collaborate to impact research and policy to support the well-being of ECE professionals doing the heavy work in the field." We will work diligently to honor ECE teachers' critical work and improve their working conditions and well-being! Thank you teachers. 

Megan Spears won the Dean P. Kevin Rudeen Research Enhancement Award at the College of Allied Health Research Day
Megan, one of the GRAs for the Happy Teacher Project presented the physical wellness part of the Happy Teacher Project and won the Dean P. Kevin Rudeen Research Enhancement Award at the College of Allied Health Research Day! This is an exciting accomplishment as a graduate student. Thanks for representing our team well, Meagan. Great mentorship, Jessica, Carolyn, and Ken!

Introducing our incredibly awesome wellness coaches for the Happy Teacher Wellness Program. 
We successfully finished pilot implementation of the Happy Teacher Wellness Intervention. We are grateful for positive feedback and look forward to a full implementation study in Head Start programs in Tulsa and OKC this spring and fall! Please let me know if your center is interested in participating. We have a dream team!

Book Club Alert! Morning Gets Bettter with Dr. Sorrels.

A Book Club with Trauma Sensitive Care for Infants, Toddlers, and Two-Year-Olds

We all love Barbara Sorrels who is also on our Happy Teacher Project team. Her book just came out and we cannot help having a book club with her! Please join us.

1st Session (Chapter 1-7) 2/25/2023 9-10:30 AM CT

2nd Session (Chapter 8-13) 4/01/2023 9-10:30 AM CT

HTP Wellness Room

It is not complete yet, but we worked hard to turn a closet into our first wellness room for the Happy Teacher Project today within 2 hours!! Don't all teachers deserve a space like this? Thanks, our amazing crew, Mia, Hanna Lee, Emma, and partners!!

I wish you all were there to feel it firsthand! A quiet space you can rest and decompress with soothing music, aroma, images of nature, soft lighting, a comfy chair, water, and healthy snacks, etc. We will have fresh snacks delivered to them every week. Mia (interior design faculty on our team) said this should be a standard for any educational setting. I can't agree with her more. -Kyong-Ah, Kwon-

Happy OU Project

We are very pleased to announce that our Happy OU Project team received a grant of nearly 3 million dollars ($2,998,016 for 4 years) from the U.S. Department of Education to support our project entitled “OU Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program for Students’ Success”. This is an exciting opportunity for OU low-income student parents! We are not creating average on campus child care services--we dream big pursuing the best early childhood program that one can possibly imagine as a model university laboratory school. It includes well-trained, well-paid, and respected teachers, care for well-being of children, teachers, and families, beautiful and ergonomic work and learning environments, nature-based outdoor environments, Reggio-Inspired curriculum and culturally responsive practice, a place for building a sense of community, and well-equipped site for research, innovative practice, and cross-disciplinary collaboration! 

This proposal was developed by a team from the Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education at OU in partnership with the Institute of Child Development (ICD) at OU, other OU organizations, and community partners. As a part of the Happy OU Project Team led by Kyong-Ah Kwon (PI), the Cable Endowed Chair and Associate Professor; and including Dr. Courtney Dewhirst, Assistant Professor (Co-PI); Dr. Brittany Hott, Associate Professor and Associate Director of ICAST (Co-PI); Dr. Erin Casey, Associate Professor (Co-I), Dr. Diane Horm, GKFF Endowed Chair, Director of the Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI), and Associate Director of ICAST (Co-I); and Ms. Becca Waggoner, Director of the ICD at OU. 

This project will provide OU low-income students with access to high quality, campus-based child care and wrap-around services (e.g., additional financial aid to cover educational costs, transportation costs, mental health services, tutoring and academic support, peer support groups, parenting workshops and support, free food and baby supplies).

ACF Grant “Unpacking the Complex Story of Head Start Teacher Turnover: Patterns, Factors, Mechanisms, and Outcomes”

Our Happy Teacher Project team's proposal entitled “Unpacking the Complex Story of Head Start Teacher Turnover: Patterns, Factors, Mechanisms, and Outcomes” has been selected for funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (A total of $100,000 for the 18-month project). To address urgent concerns about the stability of the HS workforce, the purpose of the proposed project is to investigate patterns, factors, mechanisms, and outcomes of HS teacher turnover using advanced analytical techniques.

This proposal was developed by a cross-campus OU Happy Teacher Project Team, led by Kyong-Ah Kwon (PI). The team includes a new Childhood Well-being cluster hire Dr. Wonkyung Jang, Assistant Professor in ILAC, Dr. Tim Ford, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Director of the Leadership and Policy Center for Thriving Schools and Communities (THRIVE), and Dr. Diane Horm, GKFF Endowed Chair in ILAC and Director of the Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI), in collaboration with Dr. Noreen Yazejian and researchers at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina and her team as well as collaborators at Educare Learning Network. 

We would like to acknowledge several OU internal investments that supported the development of this team and proposal including: ECEI Seed Grant (funded by previous VPR funds), Faculty Investment Program (funded by the OVPR), and the Associate Vice President and Academic Affairs at OU-Tulsa, the recent OU cluster hire initiative, additional research support for Endowed Chairs, and support from the Departments, College, the ECEI, ORS, and Research Financial Services. We want to extend our gratitude for all support we are fortunate to have to make this happen!

Our team also wants to extend a sincere gratitude to the Educare Learning Network and the FPG Educare National Evaluation Team for graciously granting access to unique and high-quality data collected over the past 16 years on the Educare teacher workforce, program characteristics, and child outcomes. We appreciate the tireless work and resources the Educare staff, leaders, evaluators, and funders invested to create this remarkable dataset that documents Educare practices that build on Head Start’s performance standards and contemporary research. We hope this collaborative study informs and makes a significant impact on practices and policies to support the early childhood teacher workforce, not only across Educare and Head Start but across the ECE field.