Dawn Mollenkopf, Ph.D.

Co-Assistant Chair, Professor

Office: COE B188   |    Phone: (308) 865-8362   |    Email: mollenkopfdl@unk.edu

Dawn Mollenkopf, Ph.D.


Ph.D., University of Kansas (2002)
Special Education Policy Integration
Early Childhood Education

M.S., University of Oregon (1989)
Special Education
Cross-Categorical Disabilities K-12

B.A., Andrews University (1988)
Elementary Education

Joined UNK Faculty: 2003

CV: Download

As an Associate Professor here at UNK, I direct the Early Childhood Unified (ECU) program and also teach the Early Childhood specialization in the Curriculum and Instruction Master's program.  I grew up in Oregon, but came to the Midwest to attend the University of Kansas where I graduated with the Ph.D. in Special Education Policy Integration with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education in 2002.  Since coming to UNK in 2003, I have worked with five different Federal U.S. Department of Education grants to help early childhood teachers and young children.  The first grant helped low-income preschools develop quality literacy programs, and the second helped early childhood teachers across Nebraska finish early childhood college degrees.  Two other grants helped create and support the ECU Online program, which allows individuals to complete BA degrees or Initial Certification, or to add the ECU Endorsement to their current teaching degree.  The fifth grant was a partnership with Nebraska Indian Community College to help their students complete ECU BA degrees. 

I also try to make a difference in policies affecting young children and their families. I have served as president of the Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children and am now serving as the Higher Education representative for the Early Childhood Inter-agency Coordinating Council, which makes recommendations about early childhood policy to the Governor. On that committee I head up the Workforce and Development subcommittee and sit in on the steering committee.  I have contributed to the state's Preschool Early Learning Guidelines and early childhood policy handbooks, and I am part of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, a university-wide, interdisciplinary effort to improve the lives of young children and their families. I have also served UNK as Faculty Senate president and Graduate Program Chair for Teacher Education. Although I am busy, I make it a priority to have time for my students.