Cora Megan, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, October 2022

Cora MeganCora’s career in early childhood development and education began at UConn 15 years ago. After starting her college career as a music major at the Hartt School of Music, she felt compelled to transition into a field that could leave more of an impact. Because she always had a special interest in babies and toddlers, she was drawn to the HDFS program at UConn and completed the early childhood specialization in 2010. This program connected her with some incredible mentors who have helped shape her professional career in the years since.

After graduating, Cora found a remarkable early learning center, Alphabet Academy, located in Hamden, Connecticut where she decided to plant her roots. Cora started as a toddler teacher but gained teaching experience with infants through preschoolers over the course of six years. She was an integral part of opening their Yale affiliated site, The Nest, where she served as the director for three years. In 2019 she helped launch their fourth campus in Branford where she spent the past three years. Alphabet and The Nest’s mission is based on giving children the time and space to develop into their authentic selves. In carrying out this mission, she was able to develop and refine her teaching skills and gained a profound understanding of how to nurture children’s social and emotional development.

Even though Cora loved working with children and families in this capacity, she longed to develop a deeper understanding of parenthood and the parent-child relationship. This interest led her to return to UConn to pursue her Master’s degree in HDFS. In 2018 she completed this degree while working full time as a center director at the Nest. Through her graduate experience, she became a registered Circle of Security Facilitator, received her infant mental health endorsement and presented at the World Association of Infant Mental Health. Cora was also exposed to teaching undergraduates for the first time as a teaching assistant- an experience that was both challenging and rewarding. After graduating, she wanted to continue teaching undergraduates in her area of expertise and sought out an adjunct faculty position at UConn Stamford where she has taught child development courses for the past two years. She is also a parent educator for Peace at Home Parenting Solutions and regularly provides online webinars and individual consulting to parents and providers.

In Cora’s career, it seems like all roads lead back to UConn, and she is thrilled to join the early childhood specialization as a full-time faculty member on the Stamford Campus this year. She intends to pay it forward to this generation of UConn students and closely mentor them so that they are as prepared and excited to join the early childhood workforce as she was over a decade ago.

Cora lives in Hamden CT with her husband Brian, 1 year old son Everett, and dog Ziggy. In her spare time, she can be found playing flute in the American Chamber Orchestra, trying out new recipes, enjoying a group fitness class or spending time with family and friends.

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