Staff and Partners

James Cressey

Center Coordinator

Dr. Cressey is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department at Framingham State University. His scholarship and teaching are focused on inclusion and equity through evidence-based inclusive practices such as universal design for learning, social-emotional learning, culturally responsive practices, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and multi-tiered systems of support. Before coming to FSU, Dr. Cressey worked directly with children and families for several years as a licensed special educator and nationally certified school psychologist at Wediko Children’s Services and in the Boston Public Schools. He lives in Framingham with his husband and daughter and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, singing and playing musical instruments, cooking, and knitting.

Ellen Rose

Graduate Assistant

Ellen will serve as the the Chris Walsh Center’s first Graduate Assistant for the 2020-21 academic year. This year she will be completing her first year of the Masters of Arts Program in Counseling Psychology at Framingham State University. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Stonehill College, and worked as an Admissions Recruiter at Mass Bay Community College for 8 years. She lives in Ashland with her husband and her two children, who she had been homeschooling for the last 8 years. This year both of her children are enrolled in college. She is a member of the Ashland coalition, Decisions At Every Turn, working with parents and families to prevent, reduce, and solve the problems that can lead to youth substance abuse. She also volunteers as a call taker at Call2Talk, a mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program run by Mass211. At the Chris Walsh Center, Ellen is looking forward to working with other parents as they help their children to be happy, healthy, successful learners. She enjoys spending her free time with family on a lake in New Hampshire, swimming, kayaking and taking her dog for walks.

Chandler Farley


Chandler Farley is a senior at Framingham State University studying in the Commonwealth Honors Program while earning her Bachelor of Science in Business and Information Technology with dual minors in Computer Science and Marketing. While striving to complete her degree in three years, Chandler has also worked as an IT Help Desk Technician, an Admissions Representative, and has had an internship at a local technology company performing Inside Sales. At the Chris Walsh Center, Chandler will be managing the center’s social media, marketing and website. Chandler loves to be active and enjoys spending time playing sports, swimming, cooking and being with her friends and family. After graduation, Chandler hopes to continue her passion for helping others achieve success through collaboration and problem-solving with a high interest in the technology industry.

Leighah Beausoleil

Center Assistant

Leighah is serving as the Chris Walsh Center’s first Center Assistant, hired to help launch the center during the spring 2020 semester. She is a second-year student at Framingham State University majoring in English with a concentration in Journalism, and minors in both Chinese and Political Science. Leighah is the News Editor for the school’s newspaper, The Gatepost. Leighah is interested in the community aspect of journalism and is looking forward to working with the community as the Center Assistant. When not in school Leighah travels to South Carolina to spend time with her mother. Leighah also enjoys reading and studying the Chinese language.

Former Interns and Staff

Hannah Ricci


Hannah was the center's first intern, helping to launch the center in Spring 2020. Her psychology internship focused on researching and co-facilitating a series of parent/caregiver support groups. She also assisted with four events: the center's opening celebration, two lecture/webinar events, and an info session about the child life specialist career.

Kate Whitaker


Kate Whitaker is a senior at Framingham State University studying Elementary Education with a Specialization in Earth Science and Geography. She has worked in two other centers at Framingham State University prior to joining the Chris Walsh Center team: the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, and CASA (the Center for Academic Success and Achievement). Kate also has experience as a coordinator for at risk teenagers in Natick, MA. Her biggest goal as an educator is to spread her love of STEM through engaging and inclusive teaching practices.

Anni Xie


Anni Xie is a senior in Framingham State University, majoring in Management. Anni recently completed an internship with Rep. Jack Lewis, working with him on legislation related to epilepsy. Anni is passionate about epilepsy awareness and will be planning an awareness campaign as part of her internship with the Chris Walsh Center. Anni has previous experience as a hospital volunteer, and is fluent in Mandarin. She is currently learning French as she plans to study abroad virtually in Paris next semester. Anni’s wildest dream is to travel and explore the world, while getting to know different people.

Planning Committee

The planning committee has worked for several years to develop the center's mission, form partnerships with educators, families, and community organizations. The current list of committee members is below:

Carla C. Cataldo, Corporate and Foundation Relations Specialist, FSU Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs

Nancy Duggan, Executive Director, Decoding Dyslexia-MA

Sheryl Goldstein, Parent Advocate; Framingham Special Education Advisory Council

Scott Greenberg, Associate Provost/Interim Dean of Education, FSU

Ashley Luce, Diverse Scholars Program Coordinator, FSU Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA)

Gail Palmer, Parent Advocate; Framingham Special Education Advisory Council

Wardell Powell, Assistant Professor, FSU Education Department

MaryGrace Stewart, President of MAGE (MA Association for Gifted Education)

Denise Weeks, Framingham Public Schools SAGE (Gifted and Talented Education) Department Head

Advisory Board

The center planning committee began with the efforts of community members like you, and we continue to rely on the work of volunteers who support us on a regular basis. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for our Advisory Board, or wish to participate in another way, please contact us at