Our Approach

Learning Teams

The next step in the Pathways initiative is to better understand the stories behind the North Carolina data for each measure of success. We are convening three Learning Teams to:

  • Assess Trends:  How is the state doing on each measure? What are the trends over time? How does NC compare to other states? Where are the largest improvements? Where are things stagnant or getting worse?
  • Understand Inequities:  Where are the biggest inequities? Where has there been success in reducing inequities? How did that come about?
  • Understand Patterns/Connections:  What are the patterns in these trends across the indicators that we should pay attention to? Which indicators seem strongly connected to each other?
  • Identify Data Gaps:  What additional data to we need to understand and track? What measures should be on a data development agenda of measures we do not currently track?

Learning Team Job Description

Learning Team Orientation Webinar

Learning Team Meeting Materials

Learning Team Co-Chairs

Learning Team Members


Watch the Learning Team Orientation webinar.

Learning Team Meetings

Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth Supported and Supportive Families and Communities High Quality Birth-to-Eight Learning and Education
Meeting 1 Materials
Meeting 2 Materials
Meeting 3 Materials
Meeting 4 Materials


Learning Team Co-Chairs

  • Meghan Shanahan

    Co-Chair, Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth Learning Team

    Meghan Shanahan, PhD, MPH , is a Research Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Research Scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. Dr. Shanahan attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.A. 2001) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MPH 2006, PhD 2010). Her work has focused on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect, evaluating the impact of child maltreatment prevention programs, how to effectively conduct child maltreatment surveillance, and creating systems-level approaches to child maltreatment prevention.

  • Jennifer Zuckerman

    Co-Chair, Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth Learning Team

    Jennifer Zuckerman, M.S. as Director of Strategic Partnerships, leads the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation’s efforts to make connections across grantees, philanthropy, industry, academia and NGO’s at the local, state and national levels.  Prior to this position, Ms. Zuckerman served as the Senior Program Officer for Healthy Living, building the strategy to increase access to safe active environments and  healthy, locally sourced food for all North Carolinians with a strong focus on early childhood development and food systems. Prior to joining the Foundation team in 2006, Ms. Zuckerman worked at NC State University’s Recreation Resources Service where she helped parks and recreation agencies across the state develop partnerships for the benefit of community health. Ms. Zuckerman has also worked in a variety of North Carolina nonprofits including the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Special Olympics North Carolina, and North Carolina Amateur Sports. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Advisory Board and is a member of the Duke University World Food Policy Center Advisory Board and the Early Childhood Innovation Collaborative of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. Jen has also served on the Steering Committee for the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force and the Statewide Prevention Task Force. She earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from NC State University in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

  • Amy Hawn Nelson

    Co-Chair, Supported and Supportive Families and Communities Learning Team

    Amy Hawn Nelson is the Director of Social Research for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Director of the Institute for Social Capital, Inc., an integrated data system charged with supporting university research and enhancing data-based decision-making in the Charlotte region. She is a co-editor of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: School Desegregation and Resegregation in Charlotte (Feb. 2015, Harvard Education Press). She is a Charlotte native and proud graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Prior to joining the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in 2012, Hawn Nelson served as a teacher and school leader for 11 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Masters’ degrees in Teaching and in School Administration. Her research interests include long-term schooling outcomes, data-informed decision making, and integrated data systems. She is an active member of the community, serving several civic-based organizations in Charlotte.

  • Tamika Williams

    Co-Chair, Supported and Supportive Families and Communities Learning Team

    Tamika Williams serves as a Program Officer at The Duke Endowment. Williams joined the Endowment in 2011 after working professionally as a Master’s Level Social Worker in child welfare for 13 years. Her work has included direct child practice, county supervision, state policy development and administration, and national training and technical assistance to states, tribes and U.S. territories.

  • Khari Garvin

    Co-Chair, High Quality Birth-to-Eight Education Learning Team

    Khari Garvin is the Program Director of Great Expectations, a Birth – Grade 1 initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust created to ensure that young children in Winston-Salem–Forsyth County – and especially those living in financially disadvantaged families – meet age-appropriate developmental milestones in their first six years.

    From 2007-16, Khari was the director of the NC Head Start-State Collaboration Office – one of five programs of the NC Office of Early Learning. He has been affiliated with Head Start since 1999 – previously serving as a National Head Start Fellow (Washington, DC); a grantee program manager (Illinois); and a grantee Assistant Program Director (North Carolina). His work centered on building a collaborative early childhood system in North Carolina by coordinating the services of Head Start programs with other early care and education services, providers, stakeholders, and policymakers across the State.

    Khari earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Emory University. In addition, he has spent six years conducting research on early childhood mathematics.

  • Terry Stoops

    Co-Chair, High Quality Birth-to-Eight Education Learning Team

    Terry Stoops is the Director of Research and Education Policies Studies at the John Locke Foundation.

    Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the program assistant for the Child Welfare Education Programs at the University of Pittsburgh.  He taught Language Arts at Spotsylvania High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia and served as an adjunct instructor in professional communication at the University of Mary Washington.  He was a research assistant in the Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.

    Stoops earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Clarion University and a master’s degree in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education.  He received a Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education.