UM Professor Receives Prestigious Teacher Educator Award, Brings National Attention to New UM Graduate Degree

January 07, 2016

Julie Bullard, professor of early childhood education at the University of Montana, earned a revered Teacher Educator Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Photo credit: Ray Backlund

MISSOULA – Julie Bullard, professor of early childhood education at the University of Montana, received a revered Teacher Educator Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators at its annual conference in November.

Every year NAECTE recognizes two teacher educators from across the country who demonstrate meritorious leadership and professionalism in early childhood teacher education. Recipients receive national recognition, as well as a monetary award.

 “I feel extremely honored to have received this award from my early childhood teacher educator colleagues,” Bullard said.

Bullard demonstrated the criteria needed to earn the prestigious award, which include leadership in the field; professionalism through advocacy, expertise and ethical standards; and a strong mentorship track record.  

“We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Bullard on our team,” said Roberta Evans, dean of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at UM. “The depth and breadth of her experience and knowledge is astounding, and early childhood education professionals will benefit immensely from her instruction. It is high-caliber faculty such as her that help put our college and University at the forefront of positive national trends in education.”

Bullard has been an influential member of the early childhood education community for more than 30 years. Throughout her time in the field she has served in various capacities, including lending her expertise to the Montana Faculty Learning Outcome Council, the Montana Early Childhood Advisory Council and in the Montana Early Childhood Higher Education Consortium.

She serves on the Montana Early Care and Education Career Development Task Force and recently was involved in writing the state curriculum standards for pre-K.

Bullard also has contributed her expertise at the national level, serving in various working groups and development panels with the National Association of the Education of Young Children, National Head Start, Educational Testing Service and with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. She helped write the national standards for early childhood teacher education.   

Bullard has earned other notable awards. For her early childhood education advocacy and improvement of educational settings for young children, she was awarded the McCarthy Public Service Award in 1993 and the Montana Association for the Education of Young Children Early Childhood Service Award in 1997. In 2011, she received the Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year for Montana for extraordinary dedication to undergraduate education, a passion for educating, a commitment to students and innovative instructional methods.

In conjunction with Associate Dean Susan Harper-Whalen, Bullard helped design and implement a Master of Education in early childhood education and the Master of Education in advanced early childhood education, the only degrees of their kind in Montana. She also has been instrumental developing a new early childhood education bachelor’s degree at UM that currently is awaiting Montana Board of Regents approval.

“As a state and national leader in early childhood education, Dr. Bullard’s dedication to the preparation of high-quality early childhood professionals has greatly shaped our programs,” Harper-Whalen said. “UM’s Early Childhood Education graduate degree has already garnered national attention with a top-10 ranking for online Master of Education early childhood programs in the country. It is College of Education and Human Sciences students at UM who truly benefit from the expertise that Bullard brings to our program.”

A well-known author in the field, Bullard continues to influence and assist colleagues and early childhood professionals every day. Her most recent publication, “Creating Environments for Children: Birth to Age Eight,” serves as the gold standard in the instruction and development of early childhood education settings across the country and internationally, having been translated in to various languages.

“The early childhood years form the building blocks for all later development and learning,” Bullard said. “I am happy to be part of a profession dedicated to helping all young children and their families thrive. It is so exciting to see emerging national and state initiatives dedicated to serving our youngest populations.”

For more information on Bullard’s award, degrees or the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UM, visit or call 406-243-4911.

Contact: Peter Knox, communications and outreach manager, UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, 406-243-4911,