Find biographies of our seminar and webinar presenters below.
Amy Alamar, Ed.D.; Parenting Teacher and Coach, Peace at Home Parenting Solutions
Amy Alamar has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over fifteen 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. She was an invited guest of Michelle Obama at the White House for a conversation about kids’ health in 2016 and was the host of Parenting from the Trenches on Yellowbrick.me. She is a contributing author to the Disney parenting website, Babble and Psychology Blog, Hey 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, dedicated to promoting and enhancing excellence in education. Amy is the married mother of three children whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day.
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 well-being 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. Zan 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.; Founder, Financially Speaking
Jimmy Becker is the founder of Financially Speaking, where he coaches adults of all ages on the different dimensions of financial decision-making. He began his career on Wall Street as an options arbitrageur, and has since used his deep understanding of the financial services industry to advise and present publicly on topics such as healthy budgeting and saving strategies, the college financial aid process and student loan repayment, retirement planning, and financial advisor assessment. He also authors an advice blog on various finance-related topics. Jimmy earned a B.S. 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, MA, LCSW
Hanna Brinkhaus, MA, LCSW has focused for the last 25 years on supporting families throughout their parenting journey. Brinkhaus 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 5 years old. She has worked in Head Start programs from Detroit to rural South Louisiana as a therapist, mental health consultant, and curriculum developer. Currently, Brinkhaus has a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she works with individuals and families in her office, clients' homes, and school settings. Brinkhaus holds a master's degree in human development and family studies with a concentration in early childhood in addition to her master’s degree in social work. She offers strength-based, relationship-focused support to young children and the adults who care for them. She works with caregivers to increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges and gifts these early years bring. Brinkhaus serves as an early education specialist and coach with Peace At Home Parenting.
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.A.; 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, LLP
Patricia C. D’Agostino is a Partner at Margolis & Bloom, LLP, 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. Patricia 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.
Chandi Deitmer, L.I.C.S.W.; Care Advisor, Care @ Work Adult and Senior Care Advising
Chandi Deitmer is a Care Advisor with Care @ Work Adult and Senior Care Advising, where she offers guidance and support to families planning care for their loved ones. Prior to joining Care @ Work, Chandi was a social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she worked with psychiatric inpatients and their families—providing education on managing psychiatric illness and partnering to develop long-term plans for psychiatric stability. Chandi brings her particular passion for supporting mental health throughout the lifespan to her current work with aging populations. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University and an M.S.W. from Simmons University.
Steven Dimitriou, A.I.F., Q.P.F.C.; Managing Partner, Mayflower Advisors
Steve Dimitriou is a co-founder and managing partner at Mayflower Advisors, with more than 27 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 the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). Steve is currently the president-elect of the American Retirement Association (ARA), the largest retirement plan advocacy group in the nation, and meets regularly with congressional members and various governmental agencies. Steve has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) designations, and is a graduate of Colby College, where he earned a B.A. in both honors 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.
Chris Espinoza, M.A.; Navigator, EdNavigator
Chris Espinoza has dedicated his career to expanding educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds, particularly in higher education. He has worked at colleges and universities across the Greater Boston area, including MIT, Bridgewater State University, Boston College, and the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Chris now serves as a Navigator for EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization that partners with MIT and other leading employers to connect busy families with expert education advisors who provide ongoing, personalized education support. Chris holds a B.S. in psychology and English from Bridgewater State University and an M.A. in higher education administration from Boston College.
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 an S.H.R.M.-C.P. designation.
Jennifer Goettl, L.M.S.W., M.P.H.; Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Jennifer Goettl is a licensed social worker and certified Mental Health First Aid instructor with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. She began her career in mental- and public health practicing psychotherapy with families residing within Chicago's public housing system and authoring several publications focused on the experience of youth living in public housing in America. Jennifer’s prior clinical experience also includes work with individuals and families experiencing the emotional impact of systemic injustice and issues related to chronic illness and aging. Currently, she volunteers with the Make-A-Wish organization as a wish granter. Jennifer holds a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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 Specialist, 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 oversees campus lactation rooms, and is a contributor to many MIT HR Center for WorkLife and WellBeing projects offering support to MIT children and families. Kathy holds a B.A. from Rhode Island College.
Beth Feinberg Keenan, Director, College Finance, Finance Education
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 educations. 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 has an MBA and a master's degree 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.
Allie Kirchner, Senior Academic Advisor, Revolution Prep
Allie Kirchner has over 15 years of experience in the field of education. Allie takes great pride in having helped thousands of students define and then achieve their educational goals. As a mother of three, Allie has a keen understanding of the pressures students face as they contemplate their academic futures while also being able to make a very personal connection to the parental support team behind each of her students. Allie is a compassionate advisor who first started her career in education as an instructor teaching courses in adult education. Prior to joining Revolution Prep, Allie worked as an academic advisor at one of the country's largest online universities, Walden University.
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. Francine holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Rahul Kulkarni, M.P.H., M.B.A.; CEO and Co-Founder, Sukhi
Rahul Kulkarni 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.
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.
Jeanne Mahan, M.A.; Senior Manager of College Finance, Bright Horizons College Advising
Jeanne Mahan served as a Financial Aid Coordinator at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and as a Senior Financial Aid Counselor at Quinsigamond Community College before joining College Coach. She also has served as an ambassador for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), visiting high schools and meeting with parents and students to discuss how to fund a college education, and has presented to various groups involved in college awareness and readiness. Jeanne graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.A., earned a Certificate of French Language from the Sorbonne, and earned an M.S. in Non-Profit Management at Worcester State University.
Michael Marquez, Psy.D.; Psychologist
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. Michael 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.
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.
Jim Porter, M.A.L.S.; CEO, StressStop
Jim Porter is the CEO of StressStop and has authored dozens of books, workbooks, audios, and videos on managing stress. These include The Stress Profiler, Stop Stress This Minute, and The Employee Stress Reduction and Resilience Handbook, which together have sold over 400,000 copies. Jim has lectured on stress management at universities, at major corporations, and for government agencies, and has presented at numerous professional conferences. He has also appeared on CBS This Morning, and his work has been reported on by Good Morning America, Ladies Home Journal, the Associated Press, and the New York Daily News. His articles on stress have been published online by Forbes, HuffPost, Apple News, and Inc. Jim holds a B.A. and an M.A.L.S., both from Wesleyan University.
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
JoAnn Robinson is an internationally recognized researcher on parent-child relations and young children’s emotional development. She is a retired university professor of early childhood studies with over 80 publications on supportive interventions for vulnerable families throughout pregnancy and early childhood. JoAnn has studied parents’ perinatal well-being and mental health for 30 years and 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. Recently, she consulted with international organizations about supporting parents of infants and toddlers caught up in the world refugee crisis. JoAnn holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Heidi Roth, R.D., L.D.N., B.S.; Owner, Heidi Roth Nutrition
Heidi Roth is a Registered Dietitian, a Massachusetts State Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, and a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Heidi owns her own corporate wellness consulting business. She teaches nutrition and wellness through seminars, individual counseling, and healthy food demonstrations, and brings her passion for an active and healthy lifestyle to her clients. Earlier in her career, she worked as a critical care neonatal dietician. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and holds a certificate of training in Adult Weight Management. In her spare time, she enjoys creating healthy new recipes, skiing, hiking, and tennis. She earned a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Lynelle Schneeberg, Psy.D; Director, Behavioral Sleep Program, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Lynelle Schneeberg is a pediatric sleep psychologist, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, and the director of the behavioral sleep program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. As a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, she is one of only about 200 board-certified sleep psychologists in the country. While most sleep books are aimed at parents of babies and toddlers, Lynelle's book, Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor’s 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10, was written for parents of school-age children. A striking 80% of preschooler parents say that their children’s sleep needs improvement, but these parents can’t use the sleep methods that work for babies. Their children can walk and talk, and this can make the process much more complicated. Lynelle enjoys helping parents teach their kids how to fall asleep easily and independently in their own beds, and stay there throughout the night.. She is also a mom of three, so she knows both professionally and personally how important it is to help kids become great sleepers.
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.
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.
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 is the director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland, CT and the behavior specialist at Holiday Hill Day Camp in Mansfield, CT. With almost twenty years of experience in supporting families of children with special needs, Aaron's approach is focused on recognizing strengths in the child and in the family system. Aaron is the author of several papers and books on Autism and ADHD. His perspective on working with families draws from an integration of practical therapies and philosophies that share a strengths-based approach, and a focus on practical, evidence-based techniques tailored to the individual needs of the child and family.
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.
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.