Child development lab director given award

Child development lab director given award

April 17
16:13 2013

Andrew Freeman / Staff Writer

Carol Hagen, director of the UNT Child Development Laboratory, was given the title of “2013 Director of the Year” at the annual National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers conference.

According to a UNT website, the lab has a preschool program that serves as a research center and training station for students in early childhood education and child development and play therapy.

Early childhood education graduate student Stephanie Reinke, who was unable to be reached for comment, was the student who gathered letters of recommendation and other materials to submit to the NCCCC.

Early Childhood Instructor Carol Collum said Hagel deserves the title.

“She oozes with wisdom and experience,” Collum said. “It comes straight from her heart.”

Hagen has been the director of the CDL since 1988, four years after arriving at UNT to teach.

“I’ve always wanted to work with children,” Hagen said. “I don’t know where my passion comes from, but I was the oldest sibling in a large family.”

Established in the early 1930s, the CDL is a preschool program for young children from the ages of three to five. In 2007, it received the Texas Workforce Child Care Provider of the Year award.

“This is the ideal program, there is no other one out there like it,” Carrie Langford, a teacher at the CDL, said. “And she [Hagen] is the ideal boss. When we have questions, we come to her.”

The CDL is used by students for observation and as a participation site for their courses. Faculty also sometimes uses the CDL to conduct research related to the study of young children, but only with permission from their families.

“I get a lot of enjoyment from the fact that I work with preschoolers,” Hagen said. “They are the most original and creative thinkers there are. They are simply open to everything.”

The award she received from the NCCCC was not the only award she has been given recently, either. Last semester, she received the 2012 Teacher Educator of the Year award, given to her during the annual Texas Association for the Education of Young Children conference.

“It’s a pleasure to work with children and families from all around the world,” Hagen said. “It’s a fantastic place and it is a pleasure to come here every day, as no two days are the same.”

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