BTC’s Mindy May Honored for Her Innovative Contributions to Professional Development

headshot of Mindy May

Mindy May, MS

We are thrilled to announce that Mindy May, Brazelton Touchpoint Center’s Director of Partnership and Professional Development, has been awarded the 2020 Allen C. Crocker Award for Clinical Excellence and Advocacy in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH).

Like BTC founder Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Crocker was a pioneer in the field of developmental behavioral pediatrics. He was a fierce advocate for children with disabilities, particularly those with Down syndrome. The Crocker Award is given each year to a BCH faculty or staff member who has made exemplary contributions in the areas of policy, advocacy, clinical care, and/or program development.

Mindy was nominated for the award by Dr. Dewana Thompson, BTC’s Program Manager for Professional and Resource Development. In her presentation of the award, Dewana read the following remarks:

“This award screams Mindy May! Mindy has worked tirelessly at the Brazelton Touchpoint Center and has demonstrated over the years her ability to develop new programs and to think outside the box regarding our trainings and program development that impact children and families. She instinctively knows what the field needs and how to think broadly about how to deliver it. These qualities are true of Mindy on the best of days and now I have seen that they are also true on the worst of days.

On March 9th, when the world shut down due to Covid-19 and our trainings and in-person professional development opportunities stopped, there was great uncertainty, ambivalence, and a lot of fear. And then on May 25th when our world stopped again after witnessing the murder of George Floyd, there was even more uncertainty, ambivalence, and lot of fear and anger. During this time when we couldn’t breathe, Mindy brought the team along, encouraged each of us, cried with us, held our concerns and fears and even our anger. She was willing to have the uncomfortable but necessary conversations about race. She was one of the first of my friends to call me and ask me if I was okay, knowing I’m raising two brown boys in this world. Mindy is always holding others. At the same time, she was able to help us all to shift to a place of seeing the opportunities in the midst of these very dark times. She is the most optimistic person I know, always seeing the glass as half full. During these times, she started seeing the glass as half empty, but she was always able to see the glass as refillable. That’s hope.

She helped everyone pivot and think broadly about the needs of the communities we serve related to Covid. She brainstormed ideas, led discussions, and most of all listened.

Out of these dark times came some of the most creative work. I am sure that I will miss many of the offerings that Mindy has helped lead, but I would like to name a few:

  • She helped us shift our 3-day face-to-face Touchpoints trainings to online formats that include both asynchronous (at you own pace) and synchronous (live interactive) sessions as well as video recordings
  • She helped bring over the finish line our First 5 California Online Professional Development Project for California’s 200,000 child care providers
  • She helped develop our Virtual Service Delivery and Strengths-Based Family Engagement webinar series that are now offered in both English and Spanish and reaching thousands of providers in the field
  • She is helping to shift our in-person training on child behaviors that adults find challenging to an online format that now, given racial disparities in pre-school suspension and expulsion, includes a module specifically dedicated to culture and race
  • She is supporting the shift of many of our offerings to include cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity components along with the impact of implicit bias and inequities based on race
  • She is helping us to expand our National Training Team to include more diverse trainers and members

One good indicator of the success of our programs is attendance. We repeatedly have upwards of two to three thousand attendees on many of our webinars, which I think is a testament to the quality, but also to the leaders behind the work.

There is one last thing that I want to mention that makes Mindy stand out and apart from many others, and that is Mindy’s natural ability to lead. Mindy is the type of leader who isn’t afraid to bring people to the table to inform the work. If she doesn’t know something, she is the first to say so and then bring people into the conversation who do. She thinks about systems in a way that helps to grow our program from the roots all the way to the petals. And lastly she has a heart for the populations we serve and constantly brings their voices into the room. She thinks about how our work will impact children and families, which is what Dr. Crocker did.

Perhaps the most admirable quality about her leadership is that she is often the mastermind for many of our amazing programs and ideas or helps to implement the ideas when she has listened to the need. But she is always the first to celebrate her team who does the execution and to turn the spotlight away from herself and shine it on them. This award gives us the perfect opportunity to turn the spotlight back on Mindy and let her contributions shine.

One of our guiding Touchpoints Principles is ‘Value disorganization and vulnerability as an opportunity.’ Mindy has done this time and time again and demonstrated her ability to turn disorganization into many wonderfully innovative programing opportunities. For all of these reasons (and so many more), and all of your work on behalf of children and families, I am thrilled to present her with the Crocker Award.”