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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 10:00am
Dobbs Ferry Campus

Over 150 educational professionals from Westchester County and the surrounding areas traveled to Mercy College’s Dobbs Ferry Campus on Saturday, October 20, to attend the 54th annual October Conference, hosted by Mercy College and the Westchester Chapter of the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC).

The main attraction was Shawn Brown, a motivational speaker, comedian, musician and highly sought-after speaker in the field of Early Childhood Education. Shawn, originally from Chicago, formed his own company, Role Model Productions, where he began working with inner city at-risk youth. He designed educational theatrical programs that utilized original dramatic writings to combat teen pregnancy, gang violence and drug abuse among high school and middle school age students. Now in the Atlanta area, Shawn writes and implements unique and entertaining curriculum enhancement programs for early childhood and elementary school grades. He uses infectious music to hook his audience into learning and moving while having fun.

Shawn currently travels the globe as a keynote speaker and presenter, teaching his unique style of “edu-tainment.” His keynote, "New Millennium Music for the New Millennium Child," addressed many of the challenges that early childhood teachers face in a funny and entertaining way. For more information, visit his website:

Mercy College President Tim Hall welcomed the group of professionals, reminding them that their important work with young children is something that technology cannot replace. The conference also featured nine educational workshops geared toward those who work with and for children, including teachers, assistants, administrators, students, caregivers, parents and social workers.

For the ninth year, the Department of Early Childhood & Childhood Education at Mercy College co-hosted the event with The Westchester Chapter of NYSAEYC. “Although it was early on a Saturday morning, everyone was energetic, especially with Shawn’s music,” said Dr. Elena Nitecki, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education at Mercy College. “This event was a celebration of Early Childhood Education and the important work that teachers of young children do,” Faculty members Aki Ohseki and Teresa Quackenbush were also instrumental in facilitating the event. 
The Westchester Chapter of NYSAEYC includes a broad-based membership of hundreds of teachers, assistants, administrators, students, caregivers, parents and social workers. This organization embodies the NAEYC mission and promotes excellence in early childcare and developmental services for young children, while
supporting the development of a strong network of local affiliates. Advancing public knowledge about the critical importance of early care and education, as well as providing opportunities for collaboration, were top priorities evident at the conference.

Early Childhood Conference
















(Mercy College Department of Childhood Education Faculty with President Hall and Keynote Speaker

From Left: Teresa Quackenbush, President Timothy Hall, Elena Nitecki, Aki Ohseki.

Front: Shawn Brown, Keynote Speaker)