Dr. Valerie Jarvis McMillan was honored as an Early Childhood Champion by Guilford Child Development on Oct. 18 at the Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, North Carolina.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper delivered the keynote address to an audience of more than 800 early childhood educators, administrators and advocates. The Early Childhood Champion Award honors those who have dedicated their service to bettering early childhood education for children.
GCD's other honorees were: Sesame Street, preschool educational television program; Nancy Brown, immediate past chair of the N.C. Partnership for Children; Brad Wilson, retiring CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and former chairman of the N.C. Child Advocacy Institute; and PNC Bank.
A seasoned early childhood professional of 25 years, McMillan is leading associate professor in child development and family studies in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. She is the program coordinator of the М.А.Т. Child Development Early Education and Family Studies (birth-kindergarten) program, interim program coordinator for the M.A.T. Family and Consumer Education program and faculty liaison for the Child Development Laboratory.
McMillan has facilitated more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students' successful entry into the early childhood workforce as teachers, center directors and assistant directors, parent educators, program coordinators, child development specialists, early interventionists and extension agents.
Throughout her career, she has engaged in scholarship activities. She has obtained research and teaching grants totaling $1.2 million, published articles and technical reports and delivered in excess of 100 presentations at local, state, national and international meetings and conferences.
McMillan dedicates herself to professional service that impacts the lives of young children and their families. Her service includes former membership on the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children's Governing Board, North Carolina Curriculum and Ongoing Assessment Committee, North Carolina Partnership for Children Board of Directors, North Carolina Interagency Coordinating Council, National Association for the Education of Young Children's Leadership Council, Regional Child Care Resources and Referral Policy Council, School Readiness Collaborative of Guilford County and HBCU/FPG North Carolina Consortium on Black Children and Families. She currently serves on the North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten Higher Education Consortium.
McMillan received a Bachelor of Science in child development/early childhood education and a Master of Education in elementary counseling from South Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies (early childhood education) at Iowa State University.
She is the daughter of Anthony L. and the late Miriam B. Jarvis of Orangeburg. She and her husband, Vaughn McMillan, have three children, DeVon, Kyle and Brittney.