Judith Marshall Finkelstein was a member of the University of Northern Iowa faculty for over forty years. She received her Kindergarten/Primary Certificate from Iowa State Teacher’s College in 1952; Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in 1954; Master of Arts in education from the State College of Iowa in 1968; and her Ph. D. in early childhood curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota in 1983.
In 1988, Professor Finkelstein assisted in the establishment of the Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education, served as its first director and as associate director with Dr. Anne Cairns Federlein until 1994. From then, until her retirement in 2008 she served as a member of the faculty of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education.
During her tenure at UNI she was active in the National Council for the Social Studies and served on their Board of Directors. She represented UNI on five state-wide Early Childhood committees developing the guidelines for four year old programs in the public schools; the merger of Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education; standards requirements for the inclusion endorsement; licensure requirements for birth to third grade programs; and the Legislative Interim Task Force. She also served on the Board of the National Program for Playground Safety housed at UNI.
Professor Finkelstein continues to be active in various centers and projects at UNI.