December 8, 2022
Kelli Odden, Mayville State Associate Professor of Education, had the opportunity to fulfill a professional dream during the week of Nov. 14, 2022, when she served as master of ceremonies for the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) conference in Washington, D.C. As Vice-President of Conferences for the NAECTE, Dr. Odden had been working for the last year to plan the national conference.
The theme for the annual NAECTE fall conference was “Higher Education’s Role in Strengthening the Early Years: Collaborative Leadership and Community Building in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Teacher Education.”
“The conference was an incredible time to learn and work with people from all across the nation and world,” said Dr. Odden. She recognizes that realizing the dream of being a leader in your profession comes as the result of hard work. “Fulfilling your dreams will not happen without action,” she said.
Keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning, president of Erikson Institute in Chicago. She delivered an important message that challenged all in the audience to think about how to build an educated and prepared workforce with the skills to work with all people.
Reflecting on this opportunity, Dr. Odden said, “My involvement at this level would not be possible if not a push many years ago from retired early childhood Mayville State faculty member Dr. Carol Enger. She encouraged me to get involved in national and international work.”
“We are extremely proud of Dr. Kelli Odden,” said Mayville State University President Dr. Brian Van Horn. “The enthusiasm and expertise she brings to the field of early childhood is amazing. She is a shining star who makes a huge positive impact every day with her students and colleagues at Mayville State University, and her leadership at the national and international levels is icing on the cake.”
“It was a privilege to represent Mayville State University on a national platform,” said Dr. Odden. “I’m still on cloud nine!”
The purpose of the NAECTE is to promote the professional growth of its membership, to discuss the educational issues that are specific to its membership, and to advocate for improvements in early childhood teacher education.