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Children’s Learning Center Director Receives Director of Year Award


Karen Woland PayneThe director of the Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology was selected to receive the Director of the Year Award from the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers.

Karen Woland Payne was selected from among several nominees based on her tireless dedication to ensuring the highest-quality programming, securing funding for Penn College student parents by writing successful grants and collaborative efforts with other departments on campus.

A letter from the coalition to the college called Woland Payne “truly a leader in your community and state.”

“It seems only fitting that she should be recognized for her work on the national level, as well,” the letter continued.

Woland Payne’s nominators credited “her dedication to empowering others to work in viable partnerships to support the early care and education profession. Karen is an exemplary leader, and she makes a difference in the lives of many most importantly children and their families.”

The award was presented April 7 during the coalition’s annual conference in San Diego. Woland Payne also presented during the conference as part of a panel discussion on “Options for Campus Children’s Centers.” Woland Payne and three other panelists discussed three accreditation system options for campus child-care centers.

The National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers is a nonprofit educational membership organization whose mission is to support research and activities affecting college and university early childhood education and service settings, family and work issues, and the field of early childhood education in general.

Woland Payne has been with the Children’s Learning Center at Penn College since it opened in 1994. In addition to her full-time job as director, she also teaches as an adjunct instructor in the college’s early childhood education major.

Her career in early childhood education began more than 30 years ago in Rome, where she taught 2- and 3-year-olds at a private, English-language preschool serving a multinational community. A central Pennsylvania native, she returned home to spend many years with Columbia Child Development Program in Bloomsburg before starting full time at Penn College.

Woland Payne holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Bloomsburg University. She lives on a farm in New Columbia with her husband, Edwin, and has two grown sons.

The Children’s Learning Center at Penn College serves students, faculty and staff whose children need high-quality, on-campus care and early childhood education while their parents work or attend classes. The center cares for children between the age of 18 months and 5 years.

The center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Education.

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