Dr. Podhajski founded the Stern Center in 1983 with a clear vision to empower all learners to reach their potential. Her passion to achieve three key goals remains a driving force behind everything the Stern Center does: to provide direct instruction and evaluations of the highest quality for learners of all ages, to create professional development opportunities for educators and medical professionals, and to conduct research on best practices in the classroom. Dr. Podhajski is Clinical Associate Professor of Neurological Sciences at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is Speech-Language Pathologist Advisor to the Vermont Secretary of State Office of Professional Regulation. Dr. Podhajski received her Ph.D. in Communication Disorders, specializing in Learning Disabilities, from Northwestern University. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She developed BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY®, a course for early care and education providers to prepare preschool children for school success, which is available free online and will soon be offered as a 3-credit course through Champlain College. A frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences, Dr. Podhajski has published and presented numerous papers on the interactions between spoken and written language, as well as on how extending teacher/provider/parent knowledge about how the language works increases children’s literacy outcomes.