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Center renamed in honor of “father” of Head Start

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2005 - Autumn


At a celebration in July, the Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy was renamed in honor of Edward F. Zigler, Ph.D., Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology, considered the “father” of the Head Start program. Zigler was also the founder of the center, now called the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

The center is one of the nation’s oldest centers for child and family policy research. It has been part of the Department of Psychology and the Child Study Center, where it serves a critical role in training and scholarly research.

Walter S. Gilliam, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Yale Child Study Center, who has been affiliated with the Zigler Center since 1995 and is known for his studies of state-funded prekindergarten systems, has been named director of the center. Matia Finn-Stevenson, Ph.D., will remain as associate director, and Sandra J. Bishop-Josef, Ph.D., will continue as assistant director. Zigler will serve as director emeritus.

Zigler is regarded as the nation’s leading researcher of programs and policies for children and families, having planned or implemented such national programs as Head Start, Early Head Start and the innovative School of the 21st Century. Founded by Zigler in 1978 with funding from the Bush Foundation of Minnesota, the center works to improve the lives of America’s children and families by bringing the results of empirical research on child development into the policy arena.