Meet the Faculty of Adventures in Lifelong Learning

Photo of adventures in lifelong learning instructor Barbara Berenson

Barbara F. Berenson is the author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers (2018), Boston in the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution (2014), and Walking Tours of Civil War Boston: Hub of Abolitionism (2011, 2d ed. 2014). She is the co-editor of Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts (2012). Barbara earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her law degree from Harvard Law School. She is on the boards of Boston By Foot and the Royall House & Slave Quarters. She worked as a Senior Attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court until June 2019. She has taught a course on woman suffrage at Tufts University. She is currently a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Please see

Photo of Adventures in Lifelong Learning Instructor Sue Hammerland

Sue Hammerland is a visual artist who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She credits her parents with exposing her to art, architecture, and natural sciences through weekend trips to museums and galleries and family travels to other states and countries. That exposure led to a predilection for drawing, painting, and “making things” in general. Sue earned her BFA from the College of William and Mary in Art History/Studio Arts. During college, she was awarded an internship in Exhibition Design at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Later, Sue completed her graduate studies in painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught art and design for various age levels in public and private schools, as well as in adult programs in arts organizations. She was proud to be an early member of Women’s Art Resources (W.A.R.M.) of Minnesota and a founding member of the Firehouse Arts Organization in Yarmouth, Maine. In addition to teaching at the Danforth Art School, Sue serves as a Museum Educator at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She maintains a studio at The Holliston Mill in Holliston, Mass. Her work can be seen at her Instagram page:

Dr. Helen Heineman, President Emerita of Framingham State University, has had an extensive career in higher education, including 43 years in teaching and senior level administrative positions. She holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Queens College, a Master’s degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. She received an Andrew Dickson White Fellowship to Cornell, two Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, was a Radcliffe Fellow, and an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellow. Dr. Heineman was chair of the English Department at Framingham State University, and was then appointed Academic Vice President. In 1999, Dr. Heineman became President of Framingham State University, where she served until retiring in 2006. She has published four books and numerous articles in the field of Victorian literature. Dr. Heineman now spends her retirement years traveling, writing, and teaching in Framingham’s Adventures in Lifelong Learning program.

James Parr is a third-grade teacher at the McCarthy School in Framingham and has volunteered at the Framingham History Center for over 15 years; creating programs, conducting tours, giving lectures, and writing articles and poetry. He is the co-author of Dedham:Historic and Heroic Tales from Shiretown (2009) and Milestones: Poems inspired by the Framingham History Collection (2019) - with historical sketches by Kevin Swope. Jim also has an extensive collection of early 20th century Halloween ephemera, produced right here in Framingham by the Dennison Manufacturing Company. Together with Kevin Swope, Jim has co-authored Framingham Legends and Lore (2009) and the forthcoming Murder and Mayhem in Metrowest Boston.

Dr. David Smailes is an Associate Professor in the Political Science department at Framingham State University. He joined the Framingham State community in the fall of 2017 after teaching for many years at both Westfield State University and Regis College. Dr. Smailes teaches undergraduate courses in American politics and public administration at Framingham State. He also serves as the Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate program at FSU, where he is also an instructor for several graduate courses. Originally from Wooster, Ohio, Dr. Smailes earned his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in 1981, where he graduated with department honors and election to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992. His research focuses on American political history with a focus on the presidency.

photo of Adventures in Lifelong Learning faculty Kevin Swopes

Kevin Swope works in the Advancement Office at Babson College. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of New Hampshire with honors in history and holds MA and MPhil degrees in American History from Columbia University. He is past president of the Framingham History Center, a current member of the Framingham Historical Commission, and has lectured on a number of local history topics over the past 15 years. He is the author of The Saxonville Mills: Three Centuries of Industry in Framingham (2012). Together with James Paar, Kevin has co-authored Framingham Legends and Lore (2009) and the forthcoming Murder and Mayhem in Metrowest Boston.