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Heather MacDermott-Havey, new Executive Director of the Penn Children Center

The Penn Children's Center has introduced Heather MacDermott-Havey as its new executive director.

The announcement comes after Teri Windisch, who was named the Center's executive director last year, stepped down from the position. MacDermott-Havey will oversee approximately 45 individuals affiliated with the Center, as well as its educational and operational activities.

The Penn Children's Center — which partners with the Graduate School of Education, the Annenberg School of Communication, and the Wharton School — serves as a care facility for children between the ages of three months to five years. The Center aims to provide a safe environment in which children of students, faculty, and surrounding community members are raised and cared for.

The Center also executes research studies and explores the development of children. A current project, in collaboration with the Language Development & Language Processing Lab at Penn, explores how children learn languages and link words to their meanings. 

MacDermott-Havey — who is a former director of the Children's Center at Washington State University — has worked in the education field for over 30 years. She has received honors such as the Washington State University Administrative Professional Excellence Award. In 2022, Washington State University was awarded the National Accreditation for Early Care and Education Programs under her leadership. 

MacDermott-Havey holds a B.A. in education from Central Washington University with a specialty in early childhood education and special education. She also holds a Master's in early childhood education and teaching from Boise State University.