Faculty Bios

Sarah Sparrow Benes
Sarah Sparrow Benes Ed.D., CHES, ATC is Program Coordinator of Physical and Health Education Programs at the School of Education, Boston University.

 

Rupal Bhatt
Rupal Bhatt, Psy.D is a visiting lecturer at Framingham State University's (FSU) Psychology department and also works at the FSU Counseling Center.  She has earned a certificate from Planned Parenthood to teach sexuality education.  Her doctorate in clinical psychology is from the University of Hartford.  She has a clinical background in community emergency mental health.

 

Linda Cartier
Linda Cartier holds a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State University, a Masters in Educational Technology from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Framingham State University. Linda currently teaches instructional technology at Bellingham Memorial Middle School. In her spare time, Linda enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys painting, crafting, going to the movies, and going for long walks with her two Labrador Retrievers.

 

Vanessa Cavallaro
Vanessa Cavallaro graduated from Fairfield University with a Bachelors Degree in English Writing and Communication.  Vanessa completed her undergraduate nutrition requirements at Framingham State University and then attended Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University for her dietetic internship and graduate work in Nutrition and Nutrition Communication. 


Vanessa is registered as a Licensed Dietitian (RD/LDN). In addition to teaching online, Vanessa has taught nutrition at Emerson College, and has led workshops and trainings around the country for a variety of audiences, including teachers and other school staff.  For a decade Vanessa has worked on childhood obesity prevention both in MA and nationally for the MA Department of Public Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Action for Healthy Kids.  
 
She currently works for the Nestle Infant Nutrition/Gerber Products Company on their Start Healthy Stay Healthy program.

 

Tina Cortis
Tina Cortis received a Masters in Education Technology from Lesley University in 2003 and a BA in English and Elementary Education from UMASS Amherst in 2001.  Before having triplets in 2006, she taught 5th grade, 6th grade, and K-5 Technology for the Stoughton Public Schools.  She has been teaching online technology courses for the Norfolk County Teachers Association since the summer 2010.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tim; children, Michael, Isabella and Ava and puppy, Tripper; hiking, gardening, reading on her Kindle, as well as, hosting parties for friends and families in our home.

 

Alison Courchesne
Alison Courchesne taught high school English for a decade before moving into her current role as a Library Media Specialist.  Alison holds a BA in Literature and Linguistics from McGill University, an MA in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and an MLIS in School Library Media from the University of Rhode Island.  She and her husband Steven have two young children, who also love books.

 

Donna Criswell
Donna has been and Instructional Technology Specialist for many years, most recently for the Sudbury K-8 district. Donna believes that putting the tools into the hands of both teachers AND students, letting them learn through play, is key to ensuring successful and seamless integration and adoption.  Donna has presented at numerous conferences throughout the area.  She provides professional development for the EDCO Collaborative, MassCUE as well as Framingham State University.  She was invited to participate in Intel’s “Teach for America”, Teach Advanced Online seminar in the UK in 2012 and was a teacher leader for the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute in 2010 and 2011.



Alison Doak
Alison is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator.  She graduated from Colby College, and earned a Master's of Science in Food and Nutrition from Framingham State University.  Alison provides nutrition education in a variety of settings, including the classroom, the web, and in individual counseling with families.  She also provides workshops and nutrition consulting services to schools and other organizations working to promote childhood nutrition and employee wellness.  Alison enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, whom she is already teaching to cook!

 

Jennifer C. Dowling
Jennifer C. Dowling is an experienced educator, designer, and artist. She is an Associate Professor at Framingham State University where she teaches such subjects as visual communication, computer animation, interactive multimedia, advertising, illustration, branding and identity, and web design. Dowling has a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of New Hampshire, and an M.F.A. in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

 

Mary Ellen Dubois
Mary Ellen DuBois graduate from Regis College in 1991 with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics. Her advanced educational work includes a Masters in Education from Curry College, and a Masters in Curriculum Instruction and Technology from Framingham State University. Before Mary Ellen started teaching for Framingham State University online in September 2000, she taught seventh grade mathematics for 6 years.

 

Alan Finkel
Alan Finkel graduated from Northeastern University with a Master of Technical and Professional Writing and from George Mason University with a B.A. in Government and Politics. He has regularly taught Professional Writing (online) for Framingham State University for over 10 years and has taught an array of writing courses for Northeastern University and Bunker Hill Community College. He has worked as a technical writer, technical editor, course developer, and trainer for software development and financial services firms, including Fidelity Investments. He has also been an English as a Second Language teacher for various schools, including a community program at Framingham State University.

Alan has been teaching Social Studies and English courses at Northbridge High School for 9 years, serving as his Social Studies Department’s unofficial communications specialist: submitting press releases to advertise the goings on in the department. He has also been the Boys’ Varsity Tennis Coach there for the last five years.

He loves to spend time with his family: wife, twin baby girls, and two dogs. He and his wife enjoy traveling, dancing, and watching movies, but they mostly enjoy their two-legged and four-legged babies.

 

Jeannie Gately
Jeannie Gately earned her Bachelors’ degree in Psychology and a Masters of Education from Salem State University. She is the Technology Integration Specialist at SEEM Collaborative. Prior to this position, Jeannie worked at SEEM for 12 years as Lead Teacher for Curriculum and Academics at SEEM Prep. Jeannie has provided Assistive Technology assessments for SEEM and its Member Districts for the past 6 years. She has taught graduate level courses in Technology in Communication and Academics, Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Diverse Learners, and Functional Curriculum Planning and Development for several local colleges and universities.

 

Patricia Glynn
Patricia Glynn teaches at Framingham State University and Emmanuel College. She has also been an instructor at University of Massachusetts/Lowell, Bentley University and several local community colleges.  She has taught English, mathematics, reading, and public speaking in several public schools and community colleges throughout Massachusetts. She received her MA in writing from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and her BA in education from Boston College. She has had several articles published in magazines, such as Instructor, Mailbox Teacher, and Parents.

 

Jennifer Hair
Jennifer has taught at Shawnee Mission East High School in the Kansas City metropolitan area for 14 years in the business and computer design department.  She earned her Bachelor’s degrees at William Woods University and Columbia College and Master’s degree at University of Missouri – Columbia.  Jennifer is heavily involved with DECA student organization and following her passion of utilizing technology in the classroom.  She is married to a fellow teacher and coach and stays busy chasing four children.

 

Shawn Hair
Shawn is a Varsity Head Boys’ Basketball Coach in Kansas City metropolitan area (Shawnee Mission School District) as well as Department Chair in Physical Education with over 28 years of head coaching experience in basketball, football, and track. He has coached over 20 Division I athletes, served as past president of Greater KC Basketball Coaches Association, and is the all-time winningest basketball coach in Shawnee Mission East School history.   He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Missouri State University.  He is married with four active and involved children.

 

Dr. Patricia Hamblett 
Dr. Hamblett is an educator who has worked as a classroom teacher, math/science resource specialist, and district curriculum coordinator. Her areas of expertise include curriculum development, instructional practice strategies, and effective assessment practices. She is currently an adjunct professor at Framingham State University and collaborates on a variety of professional development projects.



Christanne Harrison
Christanne Smith Harrison has a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Brigham Young University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She worked as an out-patient dietitian in a migrant health center in Arizona and then as the Nutrition Training and Outreach Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Education. She organized training for school personnel on nutrition and food service topics. 
 
Ms. Harrison currently works as a school nutrition consultant and teaches online graduate courses. She enjoys developing and presenting training for professionals that work in schools and child care.

 

Denise Hobby
Denise earned a Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Sciences and a Masters of Education in Nutrition Education from Framingham State University.  Denise teaches Computers in Nutrition Education as well as professional development online trainings for a variety of audiences. She also provides nutrition education and healthy cooking techniques training for clients, childcare providers, parents and teachers.

 

Nadine Lynn Johnstone 
Nadine Lynn Johnstone teaches at Framingham State University, Dean College, and Grub Street Inc. She received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia College, Chicago, and is working on the revision of her novel, Distance. Nadine has been published in The Drum, Chicago Magazine, and Hair Trigger, among other publications. She has worked in all aspects of writing: as a literary magazine editor, newspaper and magazine reporter, fiction contest judge, story performer, and creative writing instructor.

 

Kathy Kaczynski
Kathy Kaczynski has joined the online teaching community after working as an instructional technology specialist and coordinator for nearly twenty years. She holds a master’s in Instructional Technology and a certificate in Assistive Technology. She created technology curriculum for grades K-8 and as a team member developed K-12 student technology milestones. She has worked in collaboration with classroom teachers, school specialists and support staff in developing lesson plans that seamlessly infuse technology into the classroom curriculum. Kathy has also implemented and instructed on how to apply the principles of Universal Design for Learning to classroom instruction. She is dedicated to helping teachers to create a classroom that is accessible to all students.

 

Danielle Larkin
Danielle began her career in education at Framingham State University where she studied Elementary Education and Natural Sciences.  Danielle later went on to graduate with her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Elms College and earned her license as a reading specialist.  She has taught for 10 years in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and currently teaches 4th grade in the East Longmeadow Public Schools.  Danielle has worked within her school to pilot science programming, align materials to the 2016 Massachusetts STE Curriculum Framework, and assisted in finding resources and training for the implementation of these new standards.  She loves teaching science and will be presenting her ideas around elementary STEM education across the region this fall.  Danielle lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, Jared, and dog, Bruno.

  

Beverly Luskin
Beverly Luskin has twenty-seven years experience in private and public schools as a college visiting senior lecturer and full-time temporary instructor, principal, K-5 curriculum coordinator, math and science supervisor, classroom teacher, and reading specialist. She has fourteen years experience as a consultant and instructor for the AIMS Education Foundation, conducting teacher workshops throughout the U.S. for math and science in the elementary classroom. She has also created and facilitated online courses in Poetry in the Elementary Classroom, Integrating Reading and Writing Strategies, Writer's Workshop in the Classroom, Interactive Reading and Math, and Children’s Literature in the Elementary Classroom.

Ms. Luskin is currently a visiting senior lecturer at Framingham State University teaching Early Childhood and Elementary Student Teaching Supervision, Integrating the Language Arts, and Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners.

 

Heather Macpherson
Heather Macpherson graduated from Regis College in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in English. She also has a Master’s in Education from Salem State College. She is a high school media specialist, and has worked in education for ten years. Heather hopes to pursue a second masters in English. She also teaches graduate level coursework for Norfolk County Teachers Association.



Aimee McAlpine
Aimee holds an EdM from Harvard University and a BA from Emmanuel College, both degrees in education. Her professional work began as an elementary teacher in the Brockton Public Schools. In addition to her work as an elementary classroom teacher, she has worked as a technology curriculum specialist, professional development trainer, college instructor, and instructional designer.  Currently, she is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Massasoit Community College.

Deeply rooted in her educational philosophy is the belief that technology is an essential tool in all aspects of teaching and learning. She also believes it is her responsibility as a 21st century educator to provide students with the necessary skills, and exposure to tools, that will ensure their success in the digital age and beyond. Aimee enjoys working with teachers to support their skill development in the area of technology as a means of enhancing teaching and learning in classrooms.



Karen McGrail
Karen McGrail is a registered (RD) and licensed dietitian (LDN). She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at the University, including Introduction to Nutrition Practice and Pediatric Nutrition. Her areas of interest include child and pediatric nutrition, nutrition education, school gardening, and technology. Karen is the director of the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition, which offers professional development and resources to Massachusetts school professionals to promote a healthy school environment.



Dr. Deborah Merriam
Dr. Deb Merriam worked with students in grades K-12 in both general education and special education, served as a school guidance counselor, and as a student support team chair.  A lifelong learner, she earned a post-doctoral M.Ed. in online learning and always looks forward to learning from her graduate students.  A firm believer in student-centered learning with high standards and flexibility, Deb applies similar theory to practice strategies at the graduate level as she did with the youngsters in her care.

 

Andrea Milligan
Andrea Milligan has been working in higher education for over fifteen years and has a wide array of experience in instructional technology and information technology.  Andrea is the Director of Instructional Technology and Design at North Shore Community College in Danvers, Massachusetts.  As part of her responsibilities, she helps faculty in the design and development of Web-enhanced, hybrid and online courses; provides professional development opportunities to faculty in using technology effectively in the teaching and learning environment; assists and supports faculty and students in the use of academic technology tools; and maintains an awareness of the latest instructional technologies and emerging technologies that might have an impact on the teaching and learning environment.  Currently, she is working with a pilot group of faculty to explore the impact of iPads inside and outside of the college classroom.  Andrea has also taught Fundamentals of Computer Concepts for North Shore Community College and Information Technology and Society for Framingham State University.  Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from Lycoming College and her Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College.

 

Kate Moore
Kate Moore earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, Indiana.  She also earned a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Literacy, from Providence College.  Kate is currently a third grade teacher in the Marblehead Public School district.  For the past two years, Kate has served as a teacher leader in the district.  Along with her love of teaching elementary students, Kate has a passion for working with her colleagues and has led numerous professional development groups focused on literacy, specifically the reading and writing workshop.  Most recently, Kate was part of a district wide committee that realigned the Marblehead ELA curriculum with the Massachusetts Common Core Standards.

 

Joanne Najarian
Joanne Najarian graduated from Lesley University with a Master of Education in Technology in Education. Before entering the world of teaching Joanne worked as a computer programmer and web designer. Her professional work began as a technology curriculum coordinator for a private school in Watertown, MA. In addition to her work as an elementary classroom teacher, she has worked as an instructional technology specialist, professional development trainer, and online instructor.  She has served as the Elementary Technology Integration Coordinator for the Hopkinton Public Schools and is currently Director of Digital Learning for Andover Public Schools.

 

Robin Robinson
Robin Robinson is the Director of Education Technology and Support at Framingham State University (FSU), where she has worked since 2002. Robin and her staff support students, faculty and staff in their use of technology in the teaching and learning environment. Robin is the co-facilitator of the FSU Quality Matters course design initiative and currently co-chairs the Mobile Task Force with the Director of User Services. Robin is the co-NERCOMP Blackboard Sig Master, FSU liaison to Mass Colleges Online (MCO) and has been an active participant in the annual MCO e-Learning Best Practice conference. Robin was the Director of Distance Education prior to her promotion in the fall of 2010 to her current position. Robin earned a Master's degree in Technical and Professional Writing from Northeastern University in Boston, and worked in Publishing before coming to the University.



Aly Roy
Aly Amaral Roy is a certified K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist with 17 years of experience in the field of education. Aly earned her M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Lesley University in 2002. She began her professional career as a special education teacher, followed by teaching third grade. Aly’s technology integration experience started at the elementary level as an Instructional Technology Specialist for two elementary schools. Her technology experience also includes working for Tom Snyder Productions, a Scholastic Company, as a Senior Educational Software Producer where she worked on titles such as: Fraction Nation, TimeLiner, Science Seekers, and more. Most recently Aly worked at the secondary level as a Technology Integration Coordinator at both the middle school and high school levels.

 

Jumana Saleh
Jumana is a Nutrition Educator at The John C. Stalker Institute (JSI) of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University. Through her work at JSI she has helped develop and present a variety of child nutrition workshops and materials. She holds a Master's degree in Nutrition Science and Informatics from Framingham State University. Prior to her graduate studies, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Jumana has a passion for exploring food cultures and experimenting in the kitchen. In her spare time she enjoys running, yoga, hiking, and traveling with friends and family.



Dr. Katherine Scheidler
Dr. Katherine Scheidler is author of Standards Matter: The Why and What of Common Core State Standards in Reading and Writing, 2015, which discusses the rationale for common standards learning, and how MA state standards can be integrated into classroom instruction.  Dr. Scheidler is most recently K – 12 English Language Arts Director with the Everett Public Schools, and consults with districts on how teachers can ensure that all students learn the concepts and fine points of grade level Standards literacy development.

Dr. Scheidler served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Development with the Hopkinton Public Schools, and also with the Canton Public Schools, and worked with high demographic districts as Curriculum Director in Hamilton-Wenham and Marblehead Public Schools to focus on PreK – 12 literacy development.

Kay taught English at Hope High School, Providence, RI for many years, and served as English Department Chair.  She also taught Methods of Teaching English with the Education Department, Brown University, and supervised all Brown seniors and MAT English student teachers in area middle schools and high schools. 

Dr. Scheidler has a Master of Arts in Teaching English, Brown University, a graduate degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and her doctorate is from Boston University School of Education.

Dr. Scheidler has taught courses in curriculum and instruction for The Education Collaborative (TEC), Dedham, in conjunction with the Boston University teacher licensure program, and with the National Faculty, Lesley University, Cambridge, teaching curriculum courses in the Master’s in Literacy program for elementary teachers.

 

Clair Waterbury
Clair Waterbury is the Instructional Technologist at Framingham State University. As a part of the Education Technology team at FSU she assists faculty, students and staff in the use of current technologies, as well as, researching and developing new ways to integrate technology into the teaching and learning environment. Most recently Clair has been leading an iPad pilot study with a biology professor; the research study focuses on Mobile Technology, eTextbooks and the impact they have on learning and student engagement. Clair has her Master's in Instructional Technology and taught in the K-5 school system for three years. Clair has had the pleasure of being a part of a program sponsored by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology “Let’s Make Movies” camp for over four years. She assisted with researching, developing and teaching movie making skills to students in grades 3-12 attending the camp.

In her spare time, Clair enjoys spending time with her husband and being a new mom. She also enjoys reading, running, watch old movies and listening to music and spending time with family and friends.

 

Meg Whitbeck, M.S., R.D.N.
Meg Whitbeck is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator. She earned a Bachelors in Biology from The University of Scranton and a Masters of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University. Meg currently teaches the School Nutrition component of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at Framingham State University and is an instructor for the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition. Additionally, she teaches nutrition education classes throughout the community, focusing on school, child and family wellness. Meg is an avid gardener and green thumb, and ties in her love of gardening with food and nutrition whenever she can. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.



Bill Wolfson
Bill Wolfson, is a founder and principle of Engineering Lens.  His passion is about creating excitement and joy in life long learning experiences. 

Bill is an electrical engineer with a BSEE from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and a Master’s degree from Trinity College in science.  He is a founder and principle of Engineering Lens that is creating a program to excite children about learning through an interdisciplinary approach with engineering and thinking skills. He is currently collaborating with the CEEO group of Tufts University on a NSF research grant about this topic. 

Engineering Lens is developing a professional development program to be used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts teacher training schools.  This program shows PreK-5th grade teachers that they know more about engineering design than they think and it can be used as a connector between literature and math and science learning. The approach is to engage students, show them the relevance of learning science and mathematics and introduce the students to the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship.