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Dr. Rolf Schmitz, Muskingum College administrator and educator, honored for work in early childhood advocacy and education

APRIL 16, 2004 - A tireless advocate for children and their teachers was honored recently by the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children. The Early Childhood Award was presented to Dr. Rolf G. Schmitz, director of the Master of Arts in Education program at Muskingum College and founder and director of the Educating Children Summer Training Institute (ECSTI) at Muskingum.

Dr. Schmitz was cited for his significant career contributions to the field of early childhood education and for his impact on the needs, rights, and well-being of children throughout the state.

During the past 10 years, Dr. Schmitz has developed ECSTI into one of the premier summer early childhood programs in the country. The program started with nine seminars and has grown to include 31 seminars scheduled for this year. Participants come from across the U.S. and from some 19 foreign countries. He has also been instrumental in bringing such distinguished leaders as Sue Bredekam, Paula Jorde Bloom, Lillian Katz, and Kevin Swick to Ohio.

Dr. Schmitz is the only male Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) Fellow in the world. According to his nominators, Dr. Schmitz grew up in Europe during World War II and, as a result, is well aware of what crisis can do to a child and a familys life. He encourages teachers to investigate the many agencies that can support families daily and in crisis.

As a lecturer, writer, and adviser to national and international early childhood associations, Dr. Schmitz has traveled the globe, speaking in Mexico, Hungary, Germany, France, New Zealand, and Singapore.

His publications are varied and include articles on the RIE and Pikler methodology of infant and toddler educaring. He is the founder and former editor and publisher of a bimonthly journal, Junge Kinder, for the Association for Education of Young Children, Europe. He also edited another newsletter, Our Children.

Dr. Schmitz is the owner and director of CHILDREN FIRST! a federally trademarked early childhood education service providing consultation, specialized training and evaluation to those in the early childhood field.

He earned a B.A. from Ohio Northern University and an M.S. and Ed.D. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.