Part-Time Faculty


FPG bio:

"No society can long sustain itself unless its members have learned the sensitivities, motivations and skills involved in assisting and caring for other human beings."

– Urie Bronfenbrenner


Dr. Gallagher’s research and applied work focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based approaches that support the learning and well-being of young children, families, and early childhood professionals in the contexts of poverty and disability.

Her current projects include:

  1. an intervention to support toddlers with autism and their families,
  2. evaluation of a project to enhance rural North Carolina’s communities’ early childhood systems, and
  3. development of a mindfulness-based program to enhance the health and well-being of early childhood professionals.
See Dr. Gallagher's talk at TEDxUNC 2015, "The Healthy Child: Assembly Required"

Educational Background

  • PhD, Educational Psychology/Human Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MA, Education/Foundations, Marquette University
  • BA, Early Childhood Education/Special Education, Cardinal Stritch College

Research Interests

  • Social-Emotional and Behavioral Interventions
  • Children Living in Poverty
  • Early Care and Education Programs
  • Program Evaluation
  • Professional Development

Teaching Areas

  • Child Development and Family Studies
  • Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support
  • Early Literacy
  • Early Childhood Education (Birth - 8) and Special Education


Undergraduate - Child Development and Family Studies

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Seminar/Internship in Infant/Toddler Curriculum and Learning Environments
  • Leadership and Professional Development

Graduate - Masters of Education for Experienced Teachers

  • Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention
  • Preschool-Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning Environments
  • Infant/Toddler Curriculum and Learning Environments
  • Seminar/ Internship in Leadership in Early Intervention
  • Leadership Internship: Teacher as Researcher
  • Doctoral Proseminar in Education Research
  • Social Relationships and Developmental Competence

Honors & Awards

  • Faculty Speaker Award - TEDxUNC Speaker Competition, February 7, 2015. The Healthy Child: Assembly Required
  • Finalist, Governing Board Candidate Finalist, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • University Research Council Faculty Award, UNC at Chapel Hill
  • Michael Vincent O’Shea Fellow in Educational Psychology. Dissertation Research Award. University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Public Service

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Consulting Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • North Carolina Museum of Art/North Carolina Ballet, PNC Grow Up Grow Great Grant, Advisory Board
  • Kidzu Children’s Museum, Education Advisory/Design Team. Chapel Hill, NC
  • North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning Content Team, Raleigh

Selected Publications

Whitaker, R. C., Dearth-Wesley, T., Gooze, R. A., Becker, B. D., Gallagher, K. C., & McEwen, B. S. (2014). Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health. Preventive Medicine, 67, 147-153.

Gallagher, K. (2014). Where all can play: Including young children with disabilities in early childhood classrooms. Milestones, Spring, 41-42.

Gallagher, K.C., Kainz, K., White, K.M. & Vernon-Feagans, L. (2013). Development of student- teacher relationships in early education. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 520-528.

Gallagher, K.C. (2013). Guiding children’s friendship development: An essential part of the early childhood curriculum. Young Children, 68, 5.

Rudasill, K. & Gallagher, K.C. (2010). Temperamental attention and activity, classroomemotional support, and academic achievement in third grade. Journal of School Psychology, 48, 113-134.

Vernon-Feagans, Gallagher, K.C., Amendum, S. Ginsberg, M., Kainz, K., Rose, J.,& Burchinal, M. (2010). A Diagnostic Teaching intervention for classroom teachers: Helping struggling readers in early elementary school. Learning Disability Research and Practice, 25(4), 183-193.

Gallagher, K.C. & Kainz, K. (2009). Student-teacher relationships: Keys to unlocking learning. Children and families, 23, 32-35.

Gallagher, K.C. & Mayer, K.L. (2008). Enhancing development and learning through teacher-child relationships. Young Children, 63 (6).

Stright, A.D., Gallagher, K.C. & Kelley, K. (2008). Infant temperament moderates relationships between maternal parenting and children’s adjustment in first grade. Child Development, 79,1, 186-200.

Gallagher, K.C. (2002). Does child temperament moderate the effect of parenting on adjustment? Developmental Review, 22, 623-643.

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