What could inspire an early childhood education scholar to experience a cross-cultural relationship with her family? According to Dr. Barbara Welles-Nystrom, it’s having a goal of childcare equity in the U.S and joining a faculty that prioritizes teaching and service. This is what prompted her to move to America from Sweden in 2008 to take a position at the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) as associate professor of curriculum and instruction and educational liaison to Fairfield University’s Early Learning Center.
“There is so much work to be done in this country to insure that all infants and children have safe and decent homes and parents who love and support them,” says Welles-Nystrom. “In these challenging economic times, it’s more important than ever to all work together to once again make the U.S. the best place in the world to live.”
At GSEAP, Dr. Welles-Nystrom is continuing her scholarship in cross-cultural comparative human development that began at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where she met friend and colleague Rebecca New. After graduating from Harvard University, Dr. Welles-Nystrom conducted her doctoral research in Sweden where she studied how age and maturity affected the transition to motherhood of Swedish women aged 20 to 40. There she met her husband and raised two children; her son moved to America with her to attend University College at Fairfield while her daughter stayed back in Sweden with her husband.
“Living in two countries and two cultures is a challenging and rewarding blessing,” says Welles-Nystrom. “I am truly grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to join the family of excellent and committed scholars at GSEAP.”
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