Betty was employed with Michigan State University between 1948-1984. She received her Bachelors degree from Eastern Michigan University and Merrill Palmer Institute and her Masters degree from University of Michigan. She was the founding member of Spartan Cooperative Nursery as well as its first director. She initiated a grant that eventually provided grant funds for Head Start Training for the tri-state area to MSU for a decade. She organized the Michigan Council of Cooperative Nurseries (MCCN) and was an officer and advisor to the group for many years. She was an advocate, founder and first president of the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC). While in her retirement she achieved a Master Gardner certification.
Dr. Marjorie Kostelnik, former FCE faculty member and department chair, now Dean at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, wrote the following remembrance of Betty. I was lucky to have known Betty for many years. Actually, she was one of the first people I met in coming to MSU. We shared a small cluster of offices in the Olin Health Center my first year on campus. At first, Betty seemed so sweet and unassuming, a cheerful grandmotherly sort of person. However, with time I learned she had a fierce loyalty to children and always pursued the 'right' course on their behalf - no matter the consequences. She spoke out even when it would have been easier to keep quiet and she rallied people of all types to put aside their differences to do what was 'best for the children.' She helped start Spartan Nursery School in the late 1940's/early 1950's and was an international leader in the co-op preschool movement. She started the Michigan co-op journal and got what has now become the MiAEYC conference underway. She was also a great champion of healthy foods for children and significantly shaped the State's nutrition programs for young children and their families. She founded the MiAEYC in 1974 and that organization has named their lifetime achievement award after her. The award recognizes Betty as the first president of MiAEYC from 1974-1976, and honors her life-long commitment to young children and their families. Recipients of the award must demonstrate deep devotion to working on the behalf of Michigan's children and families, and have made exceptional contributions to the early childhood profession.