Haring Center Leadership
Ilene Schwartz :: Faculty Director
Dr. Ilene Schwartz has been a member of the special education faculty at UW since 1991 and the Director of the Haring Center since 2007. She is at the forefront of research and professional training in the areas of autism, inclusion and the sustainability of educational interventions. At the intersection of these three areas is Project DATA, a model preschool program for children with autism. Ilene is the director of Project DATA, which was created at the Experimental Education Unit in 1997. With continuous research funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, Ilene is on a variety of review boards including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Early Intervention. She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas and is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA).
Ilene is also the director of the UW special education program designed to prepare Board Certified Behavior Analysts. She is committed to ensuring that all children, with and without disabilities, have access to a high quality education in their neighborhood school.
"Inclusion is not a set of strategies or a placement issue. Inclusion is about belonging to a community – a group of friends, a school community, or a neighborhood."
Chris Matsumoto :: School Principal, Experimental Education Unit
Chris has been an EEU community member since 1999, when he started as an Early Childhood Interventionist. For more than a decade, Chris has dedicated himself to making the EEU better for our students and their families first as a head teacher (2001-2003), then assistant principal (2003-2009), and most recently as principal (2009-present). Chris received his bachelor's degree in education from Western Washington University and Master's in education from the University of Washington. He also holds a Principals Residency Certificate from Western Washington University and a Professional Education Certificate with endorsements in Special Education P-3 and Special Education K-12. Chris and his wife, Lisa, have had their two children attend the EEU to learn the idea of inclusion in them at a very young age.
"We knew this was the place where our children would learn that ability and development are not obstacles to friendship."
Julie Ashmun :: Director, Professional Development Unit
Julie's imprint can be tracked through each branch of the Haring Center. Since she became a member of our community in 1999, Julie has been a Project DATA teacher and coordinator at the EEU, a professional development research trainer, assistant director of operations at CARE Clinic and is currently the director of the Professional Development Unit. Additionally, she and her husband have had two daughters attend the EEU.
Julie received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in education from the University of Washington. She is a Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Professional Education Certificate in Special Education K-12 and an endorsement in Special Education P-3.
"There is an opportunity to utilize education here to strive every day toward building better, compassionate communities. That's my passion."
Kathleen Artman Meeker: :: Director, Applied Research Unit
Kathleen Artman Meeker joined the UW special education faculty and the Haring Center community in 2013. Kathleen has worked extensively with teachers around preventing challenging behavior and promoting young children’s social-emotional development. She is particularly interested in efficient and effective coaching for early childhood educators. She has designed professional development materials for U.S. military child care and collaborated with the Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) to design and deliver professional development to support coaches in Head Start classrooms. She earned her PhD in special education from Vanderbilt University and her undergraduate and masters degrees in special education from the Ohio State University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and was a certified early childhood special educator. Kathleen and her husband, Jon, have had two children attend the EEU.
“The Haring Center is a place that lives its values. Every member of the community works together to make sure all children get the early experiences they deserve.”
Jennifer Fung :: Assistant Director, Applied Research Unit
Dr. Jennifer Fung came to the EEU in 2000 as a University of Washington undergrad. She has worn many hats since, including ITP head teacher (2005-2006), Toddler DATA Project coordinator (2003-2006), practicum supervisor (2006-2011), and Applied Research Unit assistant director (2011-present). In every role Jen has filled at the Haring Center she has been an advocate for the highest quality early intervention possible for all children, and for meaningful support for families of young children. Jen is a lecturer at the UW College of Education, where she received her bachelor's degree, master's degree and Ph.D. in early childhood special education.
Jen and her husband, Brian, recently enrolled their baby daughter at the EEU and are excited to pass on their love for this amazing community to her.
"The EEU has the kind of community our world needs. It's a place where everyone has something important to contribute, everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach. Quite simply, it's a place where everyone belongs."
Haring Center Campaign Board
The Haring Center Campaign board actively supports the Haring Center by increasing public visibility, raising funds, and providing strong ties to the community.
Kirby Winfield, Jr