Presenter Biographies

Find biographies of our seminar presenters below.

Amy Alamar, Ed.D.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Dr. Amy Alamar has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over 15 years. She currently teaches graduate-level courses in teacher preparation and curriculum design and implementation. Her first book, Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice is a comprehensive guide to becoming the most thoughtful and confident parent possible, applying practical strategies based in educational research. Dr. Alamar was an invited guest of former First Lad Michelle Obama at the White House for a conversation about kids’ health in 2016 and was the host of Parenting from the Trenches on She is a contributing author to the Disney parenting website, Babble and Psychology BlogHey Sigmund.  Her second book, The Parenting Project: Build Extraordinary Relationships with Your Kids through Daily Conversation​, focuses on communication strategies. She serves on the boards of the Watkinson School and the Avon Education Foundation, and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing excellence in education. Dr. Alamar is the mother of three children whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day. 

Kim AnthonyKim Anthony, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.;

Kim Anthony is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years of experience. She currently serves as manager of senior care planning with Kim holds an M.S.W. and a certificate as a certified senior advisor. Her past professional experience includes medical social work, child protection, and almost 10 years as a family violence prevention educator with the United States Navy.  

Dana Asby, M.A., M.Ed; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Dana Asby is a developmental and educational psychology researcher and author, as well as a mindfulness, growth mindset, transformational leadership, and instructional educator. She is the Director of Innovation & Research Support at the Center for Educational Improvement and the Education Coordinator of the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). Dana recently co-authored the book, Compassionate School Practices, and founded the parenting education service, Parent in the Moment. As a trauma-informed yoga teacher and neuroscience researcher, Dana understands how mindfulness can change the structure of the brain to help heal the effects of attachment disorders, mental health challenges, trauma, and toxic stress. She holds a B.S. in elementary education from Missouri State University, an M.A. in development psychology from Columbia University, and an M.Ed. in educational psychology from the University of Georgia.

Lora Babb, M.E.L.P.; Sustainable Economies Program Manager, Manomet

Lora Babb manages Manomet’s U360 Business Sustainability Internship Program, which aims to create a more sustainable world through the engagement of both college students and small businesses. Students in the U360 program learn firsthand how sustainability practices may be applied in the real world while simultaneously working to reduce environmental impact by connecting Manomet with hundreds of small businesses. Prior to Manomet, Lora founded and directed an environmental education nonprofit; was the director of marketing and sustainability for a regional, independent restaurant chain; and held other positions that allowed her to work with countless small businesses on sustainability. Her areas of expertise include business sustainability, climate change, toxins, food systems, and environmental communication. She holds a B.A. in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and an M.E.L.P. from Vermont Law School.

Ina Bachman, L.I.C.S.W., T.I.W.C., C.E.A.P.; Founder and Coach, Bachman Coaching

Ina Bachman is a licensed clinical social worker whose work with individuals and couples focuses on how money impacts relationships. Since launching Bachman Coaching in 2014, Ina has helped couples find their money roadblocks and has supported them in building fun, abundant, and resilient lives together. She also has over 25 years of experience in the field of personal development and transformation, and is a Certified EAP consultant. Ina received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S.W. from Boston University. 

Susanna (Zan) Barry, Psy.D., M.A.; Senior Program Manager, Community Wellness at MIT Medical

Dr. Susanna (Zan) Barry has nearly 20 years of experience developing programs at MIT to support the wellbeing of groups and individuals. In her role as senior program manager in Community Wellness at MIT Medical, her preventive health programs, classes, and workshops focus on topics such as stress reduction, sleep health, mindfulness, and new ways of managing motivation and meaning during times of uncertainty. Dr. Barry holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in education from Tufts University, and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from William James College.

Jimmy Becker, M.B.A., B.A.; Founder, Financially Speaking

Jimmy Becker is the founder of Financially Speaking where he provides one-on-one financial planning services that are unbiased and actionable. He also creates and presents customized workshops on many dimensions of financial decision-making to employee groups, adult education learners, and graduate students. Jimmy began his career on Wall Street as an options trader and understands the financial services industry from the inside out. He earned a B.A. in economics from Brown University and an M.B.A from the Yale School of Management. 

Alex Bickford, Director, College Finance, Bright Horizons College Coach

Alex Bickford joined Bright Horizons College Coach as part of the college financing team from the education finance department of Citizens Bank. Before his stint with Citizens, he worked as an Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Southern New Hampshire University. Alex has spent most of his professional career working in financial aid and has assisted traditional undergraduate, adult learners and master's degree students in financing their educations. He has a master’s degree in business education, a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management, and an associate's degree in culinary arts.

Kelley Bonner, L.C.S.W., M.A.; Founder, Burn Bright

Kelley Bonner is a licensed clinical social worker, burnout expert, and wellness advocate. She launched Burn Bright to help high-achieving professionals prevent burnout through mindfulness and self-care. Over the last 15 years, Kelley has worked with individuals, groups, and organizations to provide tools to reduce stress, enhance wellness, and strengthen workplace culture. Kelley has teaching experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and holds additional certifications in resiliency, mindfulness, and trauma.

Hanna Brinkhaus, M.A., L.C.S.W.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Hanna Brinkhaus has focused for the last 25 years on supporting families throughout their parenting journey. She is especially interested and experienced in working with the impact of life's transitions and medical issues such as post-partum depression, pregnancy loss, diagnosis of a disability, divorce, or geographical moves on families and children, especially from pregnancy to age five years old. Hanna has worked in Head Start programs from Detroit to rural South Louisiana as a therapist, mental health consultant, and curriculum developer. Currently, she has a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she works with individuals and families in her office, clients' homes, and school settings. She offers strength-based, relationship-focused support to young children and the adults who care for them. In addition to her master’s degree in social work, Hanna holds a master's degree in human development and family studies with a concentration in early childhood.

Kristen CascioKristen Cascio, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.; Program Manager, MIT HR Center for WorkLife and WellBeing

Kristen Cascio is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor. Kristen is a program manager for MIT HR’s Center for WorkLife and WellBeing, where she oversees MIT MyLife Services and backup care benefits, coordinates programming via the Seminar Series, and works on a variety of resources and projects to support the overall wellbeing of MIT’s community. Prior to joining MIT, Kristen was a behavioral health care manager at Tufts Health Plan, where she worked directly with individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses to coordinate the resources needed to achieve safety and wellness in the community. Kristen has extensive experience in crisis intervention, including conducting emergency mental health assessments and staffing 24-hour crisis hotlines related to mental illness, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Kristen received her B.A. in psychology from Clark University and her M.S.W. from Simmons University.

Rick Clerici, C.HT., C.S.E.; Director, Clear Mind Systems

Rick Clerici is a therapist, educator, and activist whose background in therapy, change strategies, and sleep medicine makes him uniquely prepared to raise the public understanding of sleep. As the director at Clear Mind Systems since 1987, he has helped thousands of clients with anxiety, panic, and insomnia. Serving as a corporate sleep consultant, he works with four national employee assistance programs and 45 corporations, universities, and hospitals helping employees to improve their sleep. At Sleep Health Centers, Rick spent two years studying sleep in the laboratory and attended more than 500 overnight and daytime sleep studies. Rick is also a certified hypnotherapist, behavioral sleep therapist, and meditation teacher. He holds a B.S. in Education and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

Michelle Clifton, B.S.; College Finance Consultant, Bright Horizons College Advising

Michelle Clifton has spent the majority of her professional career in higher education. She began her career at the Rhode Island School of Design, working with student accounts and student loans. At Babson College, she worked in a variety of roles within Student Financial Services, including financial aid, student loans, and student accounts. She most recently served as Babson’s associate director of financial aid, providing financial aid counseling for undergraduate and graduate students, reviewing and awarding applications, processing appeals, and overseeing all loan processes. Michelle is an active member of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and volunteers for FAFSA Day Massachusetts, where she guides students in completing their online financial aid applications. She holds a B.S. in management from Northeastern University.

Autumn Cloud-Ingram, L.M.S.W.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Autumn Cloud-Ingram provides training and support to families living with significant mental health challenges and to first-time parents adapting to parenthood. She specializes in working with families who have experienced a traumatic birth or a termination, and is passionate about promoting reproductive justice and improving health outcomes for birthing people and their babies. Autumn is the founder of ParenTechnique, LLC, which provides therapy during the perinatal period as well as childbirth and postpartum education and consultation. She also serves on the leadership teams of her school district’s Racial Equity Initiative and the New Haven chapter’s “Showing Up for Racial Justice” program, and presents on the history of U.S. racism and the nature of implicit bias to educators and community members. Autumn is a Certified School Social Worker, Certified Childbirth Educator, Full spectrum doula, and Certified Parent Educator. She holds a B.A. in social work from Central Connecticut State University and an M.S.W. from Fordham University.

Jan Combs, Senior Manager, College Finance, Bright Horizons College Coach

Jan Marie Combs has significant experience in financial aid at the graduate and undergraduate levels and has counseled thousands of families through the college financing process. As an assistant director at Boston University and as the director of financial aid at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Jan awarded financial aid, reviewed appeal letters, and managed several scholarship programs. Jan also spent nearly a decade working in education finance for two national lenders, where she counseled students on private education loans and student loan repayment options. Her diverse professional experiences have helped her successfully guide students in a variety of situations. In addition to her work at Bright Horizons Education and College Advising, Jan has been a long serving ambassador for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), where she facilitates educational programs on admissions and financial aid at high schools in Massachusetts. Jan is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and serves as Tri-Chair of FAFSADay Massachusetts, a non-profit program providing assistance to families in completing their financial aid application. Jan holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Boston University and a Master of Education from Cambridge College.

Patricia C. D’Agostino, J.D.; Partner, Margolis Bloom & D’Agostino

Patricia C. D’Agostino is a partner at Margolis Bloom & D'Agostino, practicing in the following areas: estate and long-term care planning, MassHealth applications and appeals, planning for children with special needs, settlement planning, guardianship and conservatorship, and probate administration. She has developed a specialized practice in the area of advising clients on how to supplement the cost of care at home or in an assisted living facility through the use of myriad MassHealth, Veterans Administration, and low-income programs.

Ken Davies, E.A., C.E.B.S., B.S.; Retirement Programs Manager, MIT

Ken Davies, the MIT Retirement Program Manager, manages MIT’s retirement plans and the team that delivers retirement services to members of the MIT community. Prior to joining MIT, Ken was a pension consultant and actuary providing advice about the design, administration, and funding of large corporate pension plans. Ken holds a B.S. in Finance from Babson College, and is an Enrolled Actuary and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.

Steven Dimitriou, A.I.F., Q.P.F.C., B.A.; Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Mayflower Advisors

Steve Dimitriou is a co-founder and managing partner at Mayflower Advisors, with more than 30 years of experience in the retirement-plan industry. He has been named Retirement Plan Advisor of the Year by PlanSponsor Magazine, and is the former president of both the American Retirement Association and the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the largest retirement-plan advocacy group in the nation and the preeminent sponsor of professional development and continuing education in the industry. As such, he meets regularly with congressional members and various governmental agencies, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Steve has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (A.I.F.) and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (C.P.F.A.) designations, and is a graduate of Colby College, where he earned an Honors B.A. in both physics and economics.

Lauren Dumont, Psy.D.; Clinical Psychologist, Kendall Psychological Associates

Dr. Lauren Dumont is a clinical psychologist at Kendall Psychological Associates based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Through her work in private practice, she engages with individuals, couples, and groups to help them achieve enhanced well-being. Dr. Dumont integrates empirically based techniques with tailored approaches for each of her clients. She also regularly works with companies and organizations in Cambridge to promote employee and organizational well-being through seminars, workshops, and groups. Her knowledge base, expertise in stress management, and sense of humor often put people at ease as they navigate their journeys toward health and wellness. Dr. Dumont holds a doctorate from Loyola University Maryland and has worked at various outpatient settings, including New York University, the University of Delaware, and Drexel University.

Suzanne FlynnSuzanne Flynn, Ph.D.; Professor of Linguistics and Language Acquisition, MIT

Dr. Suzanne Flynn is a professor of linguistics and language acquisition at MIT. Professor Flynn is a leading researcher on syntax acquisition of children and adults in bilingual, second, and third language contexts. More recently, her work has also focused on the neural representation of the multilingual brain as well as on the phonological and acoustic underpinnings of accent. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cornell University.

Chrissy ForanChrissy Foran, M.S., B.A.; Senior Director, College Finance, Bright Horizons College Coach

Chrissy Foran brings to Bright Horizons College Coach 18 years of experience in finance education from a broad range of schools. She has worked for both public and private colleges and has experience with undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all backgrounds. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Chrissy worked for Washington State University helping medical students, nursing students, and other medical professional students through the process of paying for their education. Chrissy has an M.S. in human resources, a B.A. in education, and a B.A. in English. She is a member of the Washington Association of Financial Aid Administrators.

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman, L.C.S.W.; Founder and Lead Teacher, Peace at Home

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman is a licensed clinical social worker who has taught parenting education to hundreds of parents annually over the past 35 years. She is co-founder of the Connecticut Parenting Education Network and lead author of Building Family Futures, a University of Connecticut train-the-trainer parenting education curriculum. She has also served as the Family Services Director for The Cove Center for Grieving Children. Ruth’s approach to parenting education incorporates her clinical experience with children and families in crisis, as well as key concepts synthesized from a wide range of sources. Ruth freely and humorously shares the real-life blunders, challenges, and successes that she has experienced applying positive parenting as a mom, stepmom, foster mom, and “Nana.”

Paul Fulton, Ed.D.; Founding Member, Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy

Paul Fulton is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and founding member and former president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is currently a Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Psychiatry, and directs the Certificate Program in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy offered to mental health and other healthcare professionals. Paul is co-editor and co-author of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy (Guilford Press), and has authored many articles and book chapters on mindfulness and Western psychology. He has lectured nationally and internationally. Paul is in private practice in Newton, MA, and holds an Ed.D. from Harvard University.

Sally Ganga, Director, Educational Counseling, Bright Horizons College Coach

Sally Ganga's most recent college admissions role was at the University of Chicago, where she was associate director of admissions and ran the application reading and scholarship process. Previously she had worked at Whittier College in the Los Angeles area as an associate director of admissions. She graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a B.A. in history, beginning her admissions career there first as a tour guide and then as an intern in the admission office before being hired after graduation as an assistant dean of admission. After leaving college admissions, Sally became the director of college counseling at both the Archer School for Girls and Chadwick School in the Los Angeles area. In addition to counseling students one on one, Sally taught classes on preparing for the college process and general college life skills.

Dionne Garcia, S.H.R.M.-C.P., B.A.; Faculty Retirement Plan Counselor, MIT

Dionne Garcia is the faculty retirement plan counselor at MIT, where she assists faculty as they transition into retirement. Prior to joining MIT, Dionne acquired over 15 years of experience as an enrolled actuary with the DB Pension Administration and other actuarial work. Dionne holds an Honors B.A. in actuarial science from Western University, and a S.H.R.M.-C.P. designation.

Briana GordonBriana Gordon, M.Ed., M.S.; Director of Tutoring, ArborBridge

Briana Gordon is a seasoned tutoring expert who has worked in nearly every capacity of the industry for almost two decades. Her primary role at ArborBridge is to help families navigate the test-prep journey with ease and data-driven effectiveness. Briana studied at Cornell University before earning an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, and an M.S. in atmospheric science. She has personally taught students for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, SSAT, TOEFL, and AP exams, and has contributed to over 35 published works on standardized test preparation.

Charmain JackmanCharmain Jackman, Ph.D.; Founder, InnoPsych

Dr. Charmain Jackman (she/her) is an award-winning licensed psychologist and a global spokesperson on mental health. She has leveraged her 25+ years in the mental health field to start InnoPsych, a mental health tech company on a mission to disrupt racial inequities in mental health, and promote healing and thriving in communities of color. After dealing with two bouts of burnout, she decided to make sustainable changes in her personal and work lives. She is an organizational consultant on topics such as racial trauma, burnout, and employee wellbeing, and the creator of the My Time to Thrive card deck, an interactive tool for stress reduction. Dr. Jackman has been featured on national media outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, PBS, and the Boston Globe, and is the recipient of the Boston Business Journal’s 2022 Power 50: Movement Makers award and the 2021 APA Citizen Psychologist award. 

Linda Jason, J.D., M.Ed.; Real Estate Lawyer and Educator

Linda Jason, a real estate lawyer and educator for more than 20 years, sees her mission as educating buyers and renters to evaluate and effectively advocate for their needs in the purchase or rental of a home, condo, or apartment. She has represented buyers, sellers, and real estate developers, and has taught real estate seminars for adult education and corporate human resource programs. Linda holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and an M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Kathy Kasabula, B.A.; Program Manager, MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing

Kathy Kasabula oversees the many services that support MIT’s Technology Childcare Centers (TCC) and works closely with MIT’s child care management vendor, Bright Horizons, to ensure that TCC centers are able to meet the needs of the families they serve. Kathy visits all TCC locations regularly and works closely with parents and a host of MIT departments in order to coordinate projects, establish systems, monitor activities, and resolve problems. Kathy also manages the MIT Childcare Center scholarship program for employees and postdoctoral scholars, leads monthly “Choosing Quality Childcare” sessions, oversees the campus lactation rooms, and is a contributor to many Center for WorkLife and WellBeing projects offering support to MIT children and families. Kathy holds a B.A. in communication from Rhode Island College, a graduate certificate in project management from Boston University, and is certified in the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®, a leading quality improvement system for measuring and improving classroom interactions.

Rahul Kay, M.P.H., M.B.A.; CEO and Co-Founder, Sukhi

Rahul Kay is the CEO and co-founder of Sukhi, which aims to build the bridge between mental wellness and cultural understanding through the use of technology, modern analytics, and proven therapeutic practices. Prior to founding Sukhi, Rahul consulted at McKinsey, worked in global health around the world, and spent six months conducting group therapy sessions in Boston. He studied clinical psychology at Tufts Medical School and abnormal psychology at Cornell University, and holds an MBA from MIT Sloan. He also completed silence and meditation training in India, and recently led workshops for over 30 corporate clients, including teams at Amazon, The World Bank, and Verizon.

Beth Feinberg Keenan, M.B.A., M.S.; Director, College Finance, Finance Education, Bright Horizons College Coach

Beth Feinberg Keenan has spent her entire professional career in financial aid. She started her career at Lesley University and spent over a decade at Northeastern University’s Office for Student Financial Services, where she was a senior assistant director. At Northeastern, Beth worked with applicants for financial aid, athletes, and families interested in financing their education. In addition, she has served as an ambassador with the Massachusetts Education Finance Authority, visiting Massachusetts high schools to introduce students and parents to the financial aid process and the many sources of education financing that are available. Beth is a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and she holds an M.B.A. and an M.S. in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University. She serves as an ambassador with the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Christine Kenyon, M.A.; Director of Educational Counseling, Bright Horizons College Advising

Christine Kenyon is the Director of Educational Counseling with Bright Horizons College Advising, where she strives to help each and every student find the right fit for life after high school. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Christine served as an application reviewer and interviewer for highly selective scholarships affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. She has also worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Babson College where she focused on scholarship review, transfer admission, and multicultural recruitment. Christine holds a B.A. in Secondary Education and History and an M.A. in Developmental Psychology, both from Boston College. 

Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D.; Certifying Coordinator, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapist and Focusing Trainer, The International Focusing Institute

Joan Klagsbrun is a practicing psychologist and certifying coordinator in Focusing, a mindfulness practice. She currently lectures at Lesley University, and has taught Focusing internationally for over three decades. Joan has written articles on Focusing for professional journals, and in 2010 received the Alice Ladas award for her research on Focusing with women with breast cancer. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A.T. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Francine Kollias, B.A.; Social Security Consultant and Educator

Francine Kollias brings over 42 years of experience working with the United States Social Security Administration, where she conducted educational seminars and outreach as the public affairs specialist and liaison for Massachusetts. Francine has presented on Social Security to MIT employees for over 35 years, and since 2014 has consulted on Social Security programs and services with state, local, and private employers. She received a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Lance Linke, Ph.D., Psy.D.; Clinical Psychologist, Director of Child and Adolescent Services, Kendall Psychological Associates

Dr. Lance Linke is a clinical psychologist with expertise in self-regulation and behavior change, and is currently the Director of Child & Adolescent Services at Kendall Psychological Associates. He has worked nationally and internationally with departments and ministries of health and education to create mental health frameworks that focus on the importance of emotional development across cultures. Dr. Linke has held faculty positions at Hawaii Pacific University, Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His research publications are in the fields of cultural, educational, and clinical psychology. Dr. Linke graduated from Colgate University and holds a Master’s degree from Marquette University. His doctoral degree in Educational Psychology is from the University of Hawaiʻi, and his doctorate in Clinical Psychology is from the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Anjala Manuelpillai, L.M.H.C.; KGA 

Anjala Manuelpillai is a clinical supervisor at MIT MyLife Services. She has been working as an employee assistance program (EAP) counselor for three years. Prior to this role, she supervised an emergency room (ER) clinical team and has over 10 years of experience conducting crisis evaluations both in the ER and in the community. Anjala has worn many hats over the years, working in a school with children on the autism spectrum, working in residential settings and in-home therapy, working in the prison setting, as well as doing community outreach. She has also been an active member on the opioid task force. Anjala holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is also a licensed mental health counselor in Massachusetts.

Michael Marquez, Psy.D.; Psychologist; Co-Owner, Bmore Liberated

Dr. Michael Marquez is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Bmore Liberated, a group practice of queer-identified therapists whose passion lies in providing affirming care for marginalized communities. He has experience providing outreach and consultation with several organizations and clinics, with a focus on optimizing relationships and happiness during the pandemic and organizational policies to be more inclusive. Dr. Marquez holds a Psy.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Cora Megan, M.A.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Cora Megan is an early childhood specialist and parent educator who has worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families for over a decade. She is currently the director of the Nest Shoreline Campus, an early learning center located in Branford, Connecticut. Cora is a trained Circle of Security Facilitator, is a member of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health, and teaches Early Childhood Development at the University of Connecticut. She is especially passionate about infant and toddler social and emotional development and views her work through an attachment lens, providing support and guidance that promote secure and positive parent-child relationships. Cora holds a B.A. in early childhood development and an M.A. in human development and family studies, both from the University of Connecticut.

Katherine McHughKatherine McHugh, M.S.; Mindfulness Educator

Katherine McHugh brings over three decades of personal mindfulness practice to her training, and over 16 years of experience as a personal development consultant and mindfulness educator in corporate, academic, and community settings. With a master’s degree in comparative contemplative practices, Katherine trained at the renowned Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. Working with a wide array of organizations, Katherine brings a tailored approach to each client and every new project. She has successfully coached CEOs, business leaders, and students to learn to live with more intention and focus, and to promote healing to thrive.

Acey NeelAcey Neel, M.A., L.P.C.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Originally from South Carolina, Acey Neel has lived in New England for 20 years and received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. A licensed professional counselor (L.P.C.), Acey has worked at Wheelock College in Boston, MA, and at Eastern CT State University in Willimantic, CT. She is currently working for Holistic Health and Healing in West Hartford, CT as a psychotherapist. Acey’s work is highly influenced by relational, attachment, and developmental theory. She believes in the power of relationships to facilitate growth and healing, and views herself as a partner with, and not an authority over, the individuals she works with. Acey is the mother of three middle school-aged children and lives in Storrs, CT. She is successfully co-parenting with her former wife, and believes that her experiences as a parent and co-parent have only deepened her compassion and awareness as a therapist.

Laurie Peltier, M.B.A.; Director of College Finance, Bright Horizons College Advising

Laurie Peltier brings over 20 years of financial aid experience at the college and university level. Her professional and personal interest in helping families understand the financial aid process has resulted in particular expertise around saving for college, which she has applied to assist thousands of families. Prior to joining College Coach, Laurie served as financial aid director at Anna Maria College and prior to that as assistant director of financial aid at Becker College. She also has worked as a financial aid consultant with several other colleges in Massachusetts and with the Massachusetts Education Finance Authority (MEFA) as a workshop presenter at area high schools, and has volunteered at several Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) day events. Laurie holds a B.S. in marketing from Bentley University and an M.B.A. from Anna Maria College.

Michelle Richardson, Director, College Finance, Bright Horizons College Coach

Michelle Richardson has focused her professional career in the education finance industry. With extensive experience at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Sallie Mae, USA Funds, and Chase Student Loans, she has spent over two decades counseling students and families on the value and return of a post-secondary degree. Prior to joining Bright Horizons College Coach, Michelle served as a senior manager at USA Funds and developed education loan repayment and student success strategies for colleges in the Midwest and West. She holds a bachelor's degree in banking and finance from Buena Vista University and a master's degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University. Michelle is a member of several state financial aid associations and the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

JoAnn Robinson, Ph.D.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Dr. JoAnn Robinson is an internationally recognized researcher on parent-child relations and young children’s emotional development. She is a retired university professor who served as director of early childhood studies, and has more than 80 papers published in scientific journals on supportive
interventions for vulnerable families. Dr. Robinson has been part of investigative teams studying parents' perinatal wellbeing and mental health for 30 years. Her published research focuses on the outcomes of supporting parents throughout pregnancy and early childhood. She served as co-investigator in nationally recognized research efforts, including the national study of Early Head Start and the Nurse Family Partnership where the benefits of home visiting on parent-child relationships and child development were demonstrated. Also of note are investigations she co-authored on the benefits of kangaroo holding for mothers, fathers, and their preterm babies. Recently, she has consulted with international organizations about supporting parents of infants and toddlers caught up in the world refugee crisis. Dr. Robinson is also a mother and a grandmother. When not traveling around the world to research and teach about infants, young children, and families, she serves as a Peace at Home Parenting teacher and coach.

Stephanie RondeauStephanie Rondeau, M.S., LAT, ATC, CSCS, CHC; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions 

Stephanie Rondeau is a certified health coach with a background in sports medicine and fitness training. She is the founder of Rondeau Health and Wellness, offering private health coaching and small group coaching. Stephanie is a licensed and nationally certified athletic trainer with an M.S. in nutrition. She has been working in the sports medicine field for over 15 years and is currently an orthopedic technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She has worked for years with the athletic population to diagnose and treat orthopedic injuries resulting from physical activity. Stephanie also contributes freelance health and fitness content for various websites and has written her own health and wellness blog since 2012. A busy mom of two, Stephanie helps other busy moms find their healthy “sweet spot” through fitness, nutrition, and general wellness coaching. Stephanie currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and young children.

Heidi Roth, R.D., L.D.N., B.S.; Owner, Heidi Roth Nutrition

Heidi Roth is a registered/licensed dietitian, health coach, and nutrition expert with a passion for health and wellness. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics. Heidi spent the first part of her career as a critical care neonatal dietitian and pediatric nutrition specialist. She went on to found her own corporate wellness consulting business, with a goal of making science-based nutrition recommendations simple, real, and fun. Today, Heidi shares her enthusiasm for nutrition and wellness virtually and in person through webinars, worksite seminars, individual counseling, and healthy food demonstrations. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and skiing, and considers herself to be a total foodie. 

Tessa SelchTessa Selch; Senior Academic Advisor, Revolution Prep

Tessa Selch has over 10 years of experience in the field of education. As a mother of three, she is compassionate and understanding of each student's individual needs and goals, and understands the challenges and pressures that students and parents face. Prior to joining Revolution Prep, Tessa worked as an admissions director at Charter College, and has helped thousands of students achieve their educational goals. 

Karen SpencerKaren Spencer, M.Ed.; Director, Educational Counseling, Bright Horizons College Coach

Karen Spencer has worked in education for over 16 years. After graduating from Valparaiso University in Indiana, she went on to receive her M.Ed. from the University of Virginia (UVA). Her love of education began when she was a tour guide at Valpo and in the Admissions Office of the Curry School of Education at UVA. Karen began her professional work at Hope College and Franklin & Marshall College in Residence Life and Admissions, respectively. Most recently, she worked as the assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Georgetown University where she was responsible for recruitment and transfer admissions, and sat on the admissions committee for the McDonough School of Business.

Martha Staeheli, Ph.D.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Martha Staeheli is a social and behavioral public health researcher focusing on school-based mental health and recovery, and resilience-oriented health care. Martha is a former high school English teacher, and is on the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry faculty, where she leads the School Mental Health Initiative at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. She writes and presents on school mental health, equity in health services, and community psychiatry. As a yoga teacher, health researcher, and parent to a teenager, Martha understands how important it is for parents and educators to access evidence-based education on social emotional skills, adolescent development, and the wellbeing of youth, parents, and educators in challenging circumstances.

Megan Stubbendeck, M.A., Ph.D.; Managing Director of Operations, ArborBridge

Megan Stubbendeck has more than 13 years of teaching experience. She has privately tutored students of all backgrounds for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, IGCSE, GCSE, TOEFL, IB, AP, and Subject Tests. Her students have been admitted to all of the top 20 universities in the United States, including the Ivy League schools. She has also counseled students on research essays published in The Concord Review and Columbia Undergraduate Law Review. Megan has headed multiple teams of tutors, overseeing tutor training and management. She has written curricula and workbooks for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, AP, and Subject Tests used by a number of companies in the United States. In addition to tutoring for ArborBridge, she oversees curriculum and professional development of a 70-person tutoring team. She also serves as the company’s subject specialist in U.S. history, designing the history curriculum and serving as a resource for history tutors. Megan holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Binghamton University.

Basima TewfikBasima Tewfik, Ph.D.; Class of 1943 Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies, MIT Sloan

Dr. Basima Tewfik is the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her main stream of research examines the psychology of the social self at work. In particular, she seeks to define new conversations around two underexplored phenomena in the organizational literature that implicate the social self: workplace impostor thoughts (popularly known as impostor syndrome) and request-declining at work, defined as the active decision not to help others at work. In a secondary stream of work, she examines effective employee and workgroup functioning in the modern workplace, an increasingly important topic given the rising complexity of work. Dr. Tewfik was named one of the “Best 40-Under-40 Business School Professors of 2021” by Poets and Quants, and was selected to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 30 thinkers to watch in 2022. Additionally, her dissertation was named the 2018 winner of the INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Tewfik worked as a management consultant at Booz & Company, working with national and global clients across a wide range of industries. She received her Ph.D. in management (organizational behavior) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.A. summa cum laude in psychology with a secondary degree in economics from Harvard University.

Shannon Vasconcelos, M.A.; Senior Manager of College Finance, Bright Horizons College Advising

Shannon Vasconcelos has worked in student financial assistance at Boston University and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she served as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid. At Tufts, she was responsible for reviewing financial aid applications, determining financial aid awards, and helping families through the college financing process. In addition, Shannon has served as an active member of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Early Awareness and Outreach Committee, as a trainer for the Department of Education’s National Training for Counselors and Mentors, and as a volunteer for FAFSA Day Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.

Jill WalshJill Walsh, Ph.D., M.P.P.; Professor of Sociology, Boston University; Founder, Digital Aged

Dr. Jill Walsh is a sociology professor at Boston University. She is also the founder of Digital Aged, a consulting group that educates students, families, and educational institutions about positive technology use. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University, an M.P.P. from Brown University, and a B.A. from Harvard University. Before graduate school, she taught grades 9–12 at an independent school. Her research looks at the way that digital media use impacts psychosocial wellbeing and development. Dr. Walsh's book Adolescents and Their Social Media Narratives: A Digital Coming of Age was published in 2017, and she is working on a new book for parents. Her research interests include social media and identity work, parasocial relationships, mental health, and digital hate speech. 

Rob Walsh, B.F.A., M.S. Candidate; Mindfulness Practitioner and Instructor

Rob Walsh has practiced and trained in the field of mindfulness for over nine years. During this time, he has worked internationally in the sectors of healthcare and education to organize and facilitate mindfulness workshops and retreats in multiple countries, including Bhutan, Canada, India, and the United States. This work and training have primarily been conducted with the internationally recognized Plum Village Community of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in physical therapy at the University of Toronto, Rob is passionate about bringing together the disciplines of physical therapy and mindfulness as a way to support well-being.

Aaron Weintraub, M.S.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions

Aaron Weintraub has 30 years of experience in supporting families of children with special needs. His approach is focused on recognizing strengths in the child and family system, and draws from experience working in settings such as infant development centers, public schools, university instruction, adult day services, private practice for children with special needs, and everything in between. Aaron has three children whose ages range from an adult daughter to a young son. He serves as both a teacher of live online classes and a virtual parenting coach; is the director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland, CT; and is the family specialist at CLICC, supporting parents who are incarcerated.

Bradford Wiles, Ph.D.; Teacher, Peace at Home

Bradford Wiles grew up on a small farm in Indiana where he was a ten-year 4-H member. He holds a doctorate from Virginia Tech and worked in Silicon Valley developing emerging technologies at a genomics/biotechnology company. He is currently an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Kansas State University School of Family Studies and Human Services. Bradford focuses his research on building resilience and health in vulnerable families by providing rural, low-income parents with knowledge, skills, and decision-making strategies to make a positive difference in their children’s lives. He is a Peace at Home Teacher who has taught parenting education for over a decade. His vision is to reach all families with children and assist them in applying research-based practices in the domains of brain development, physical health and activity, and social-emotional health. Bradford enjoys all manner of outdoor activities, especially playing with his two young children and wife. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Bradford enjoys playing just about any kind of music and is proficient in guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, ukulele, and all sorts of percussion instruments. He has a small recording studio where he serves as recording engineer, mixer, tech, and even the talent.

Erin Winsor, M.S.W.; Care Advisor, Adult and Senior Care Advising

Erin Winsor is a master’s-level social worker and Senior Care Advisor with’s Senior Care Planning team. She has worked in programs that serve those who lack sufficient housing, veterans, college students, and people with clutter or hoarding issues. Over time, Erin developed a passion for working with older adults and their families. Erin pursued aging-specific training in her master’s program and roles in senior-specific programs, such as Adult Protective Services. Erin holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.S.W. from Boston University. 

Gayle Parker WrightGayle Parker Wright, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-R.

Gayle Parker Wright is an L.C.S.W.-R in NY, a licensed social worker in NJ, and a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor. She graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in social work and from Columbia University with an M.S.W. Gayle is currently working toward her doctoral degree at Simmons University. She has over 30 years of experience working with individuals and families in underserved communities, and has provided services to populations such as foster care, criminal justice, mental health, substance abuse, case management, juvenile justice, and geriatrics. Gayle has worked in and provided services in various settings, such as residential, corrections, substance abuse, mental health, respite, and private practice. Over the last 25 years, she has served in many leadership roles, providing management oversight and clinical consultant services to community agencies. Gayle is a motivational speaker, sharing her life experiences and information to empower others. 

Yi Yang, Ph.D.; Clinical Psychologist and Private Practice Therapist

Dr. Yi Yang is a clinical psychologist and private practice therapist, and provides therapy and consultation for individuals, couples, and groups in English and Mandarin Chinese. Dr. Yang specializes in mental health for international students and families, and aspires to serve as a bridge between students, parents, schools and health services. She has worked with high schools and universities across the U.S., providing interventions to Chinese international students and helping faculty and staff better understand and work with international students and families. Dr. Yang received her master’s degree from Oxford University, doctorate from Cornell University, and completed her postdoc at Harvard Medical School.

Erin YoungErin Terkoski Young, M.B.A., M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., B.A.; Behavioral Health Strategy Consultant

Erin Terkoski Young is an experienced leader in mental health clinical strategy, program development, and operations. She consults for a wide variety of clients to help improve employee engagement and awareness around mental health care and substance use disorder, including creating anti-stigma campaigns, evaluating and applying digital technologies, and identifying operational solutions for improved behavioral health care. Erin was previously a clinical social worker in direct practice, providing social work services and care to patients in trauma/burn units in Detroit, and was a core member of the addiction psychiatry team at an academic teaching hospital in Boston. She also oversaw social work delivery in psychiatric units at a Boston-based hospital system. Erin graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in political science and religious studies, followed by an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a licensed independent clinical social worker in Massachusetts.

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