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New England Educational Research Organization Board of Directors

Screenshot of the gallery view of NEERO Board Meeting
Board Members: Welcome

Upcoming NEERO Board Member Opportunities

Are you, or someone you know, interested in becoming more involved with NEERO?


Consider serving on the NEERO Board or Submit a Nomination. Board members graciously volunteer their unpaid time and expertise to design and oversee the annual conference. Board members are expected to attend approx. six meetings per year, register for and attend the annual conference, and complete role-specific duties (such as organizing conference sessions, engaging current members and building the membership across New England). Nominations will be reviewed during upcoming Board Meetings. Currently, we are accepting nominations for:

  • Communications Director

  • Conference Director

  • Connecticut State Representative

  • New Hampshire State Representative

  • Maine State Representative

  • Measurement, Assessment and Research Methods Strand Director

  • Technology in Education Strand Co-Director


Board Position Nomination Form

Board Members: Text

Officers

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Sarah Enterline

President

St. Mark's School

Sarah Enterline Roch is the Director of Institutional Research at St. Mark’s School (Southborough, MA). Sarah received her Ph.D. from Boston College in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation, and served as the first Director of Assessment and Accreditation at BC’s School of Education. Sarah has participated in NEERO since 2004, received the inaugural Kim Fries Award, and been a member of the Board since 2018.

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Jessica (York) McKinney

Vice President and Conference Chair
CT State Community College at Tunxis

Jessica (York) McKinney is the Associate Dean of Faculty at CT State Community College at Tunxis. She has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She is first and foremost, a teacher, teaching courses in history, early childhood education, education, and higher education, as well as courses in women, gender, and sexuality studies. She has held progressive leadership roles in student and academic affairs including Director of Exploratory Advising and Tutoring, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Department Chair, Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Graduate Studies. She has been deeply involved in committee work, chairing university wide assessment and curriculum committees at multiple institutions, graduate studies committee, and has been a key member of several NECHE accreditation and programmatic accreditation teams.

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Emilie Mitescu Reagan

Immediate Past President
Claremont Graduate University

Emilie Mitescu Reagan is Associate Professor in the Claremont Graduate University School of Educational Studies, in Claremont, CA. Her research focuses social justice-oriented teacher education policy and practice, using primarily quantitative and mixed methods research. Emilie has presented at the NEERO conference since 2007, been a member of the NEERO Board since 2014, and she has served in the roles of strand director, New Hampshire State Representative, Conference Director, Vice President, and President. 


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Katie Roquemore

Secretary
Landmark College

Katie Roquemore (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Education at Landmark College and chair of the Core Education Department. She received her PhD from Syracuse University in Cultural Foundations of Education and Disability Studies. As a disabled scholar, her research interests include disability identity development, disability as diversity, and inclusive and equitable pedagogy. Katie has been a member of NEERO since 2021 and was the recipient of the James J. Rubovitz Award in 2023.

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Beth Fornauf

Treasurer
CAST

Beth Fornauf is a Research Associate at CAST, where uses her background in qualitative research, disability studies, and teacher learning to support projects at various stages of research and development. Prior to coming to CAST, Beth was an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. She taught courses for practicing teachers, teacher candidates, and educational leaders on critical special education, research design, and inclusive education. Her research has been published in Studying Teacher Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, and The Teacher Educator.

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Deb Patterson

Special Projects
Western New England College

Deb Patterson is Chair of the Education Department at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the licensure officer for WNE.  In addition to the NEERO board, Deb also serves on the Massachusetts Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE) board.

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Therese Ajtum-Roberts

Conference Director
Framingham State University

Therese Ajtum-Roberts is the Coordinator of the Chris Walsh Center for Educators and Families of MetroWest at Framingham State University. She has devoted most of her career to creating inclusive, equitable, and engaging learning environments. For nearly twenty years, she has supported instructors' use of technology, backwards design, and UDL principles to create a responsive, equitable, and inclusive curriculum for all learners. Therese’s research interests focus on faculty and in-service teachers' professional development, teaching with technology, and how teachers create responsive, equitable, and inclusive learning environments.

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Amy Ryan

Historian
Boston College

Amy Ryan is the Assistant Dean for Field Placement and Outreach at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. In this capacity, she oversees field placements for teacher candidates, actively partners with faculty in the Teaching, Curriculum and Society Department, and serves on the Catholic Education Committee and the Donovan Urban Scholars Advisory Board. Before joining Boston College, Dr. Ryan served as the Deputy Superintendent of the Catholic Schools Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. She led the implementation of a new student information system and adaptive online assessments across the elementary schools. Dr. Ryan has served on the  in the roles of Conference Director, Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President as an active member of the NEERO Board.

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Open Position

Communications Director

If you are interested in learning more about the position, email us neero.conference@gmail.com.

If you would like to nominate someone for this position, please do so using the form at https://forms.gle/ZvAefuEqSHWb2Y8B9

Board Members: Team Members

Regional Representatives

The NEERO Board includes one Representative from each of the following states:  Connecticut; Massachusetts; Maine; New Hampshire; New York, Rhode Island; Vermont;  and one representative from outside the Northeastern United States. State Representatives: disseminate information regarding the NEERO conference and other activities to institutions and organizations with their state; recruit members and conference participants from their home state; and identify nominations for conference awards

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Olcay Yavuz

Connecticut Representative 
Southern Connecticut State University

Olcay Yavuz is Internship Coordinator and an Associate Professor in the Southern  Connecticut State University Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department where he teaches courses in School Law, School Finance, Doctoral Inquiry Seminar, Leadership Perspectives, Program and Personnel Evaluation, Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership, Organizational Development, Advanced Research Methods, Learning Theories, Leadership Development, School Leader Field-Based Internship as well as Dissertation Advisement and Defense.

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Lisa D' Souza

Massachusetts Representative 
Assumption University

Lisa Andries D'Souza is a Professor of Education at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her research interests include teacher preparation, history/social science education and middle school education. She has been an active member of NEERO since 2005. Lisa is passionate about supporting undergraduate/graduate students and beginning faculty in their pursuit of educational research.

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Peter McDermott

New York Representative
Pace University

Peter McDermott is Professor of Education at Pace University’s School of Education in New York City. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina and a former President of the New York State Reading Association.  He has extensive experience with the International Literacy Association’s projects in Kazakhstan, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Pete has been an active member of NEERO for many years.

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Bryan Mascio

New Hampshire Representative
Independent Consultant

Bryan Mascio is an independent consultant, where he helps prepare new teachers and works with schools to build capacity in equitable and inclusive practices.  Before getting his doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Bryan taught in a variety of settings throughout New Hampshire with adolescents and their families who had been marginalized and excluded from traditional school settings.  The uniting thread throughout his research and practice is understanding teaching and learning as complex systems – for the purpose of making P12 schooling and teacher preparation as inclusive and equitable as possible.

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Cara McDermott-Fasy

Rhode Island Representative
Rhode Island College

Cara McDermott-Fasy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at Rhode Island College. Cara received her Ph.D. from Boston College in Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, she serves as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for Elementary Special Education and the Graduate Coordinator for the Literacy/Dyslexia Endorsement. Cara joined the Board in 2023 as the Rhode Island State Representative.

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Kelly Swindelhurst

Vermont Representative
University of Vermont

Kelly Swindlehurst is a lecturer in the Department of Education at The University of Vermont. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Special Education. Her research focuses on effective teacher preparation to meet the needs of all learners.

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Rebecca Buchanan

Maine Representative
University of Maine

Rebecca Buchanan is an assistant professor of curriculum, assessment and instruction, part of the School and Learning and Teaching at the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Buchanan studies teacher learning, broadly defined. She is interested in the intersection of personal identity, professional development, organizational structure, and language in the development of social justice oriented educators. She employs qualitative methods and discourse analysis to investigate how teachers learn in and across multiple contexts by connecting their own personal and professional pasts with the present

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Jonathan Hart

Outside New England Representative
Readington Township Public School District

Jonathan Hart currently serves as the Superintendent of the Readington Township Public School District in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.  He has served as the district leader since 2018.  Prior to his position in Readington, Dr. Hart served previous school districts in leadership positions such as Director of Human Resources, Acting Assistant Superintendent, and Assistant Director of Special Services.  Along with his background in various facets of school leadership, Dr. Hart was also a teacher.  He was previously an elementary general education teacher and an elementary teacher of gifted students.  Dr. Hart did not fully leave his love of teaching as he has taught courses as an adjunct at Cabrini University and The College of New Jersey.  Working with graduate and undergraduate students is truly a passion of his.  


Dr. Hart received a B.A. in Psychology from Gettysburg College and a M.Ed. in Reading and Language Arts from The College of New Jersey.  He later received a Certificate in Educational Leadership for Aspiring Principals from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Temple University.  He has a research interest in personalized professional development through teacher inquiry.  He is interested in serving on the NEERO Board to encourage practitioners like himself to attend research conferences.  He believes that research conferences and engaging in action research are ways in which practicing educators can be lifelong learners and serve their communities.  Dr. Hart and his wife live in Pennington, NJ with their two sons. 

Board Members: Team Members

Strand Directors

Strand Directors and Co-Directors create written descriptions for their strands; oversee the review process and make final recommendations regarding conference proposals in their strand; work with the Program Committee to assign accepted presentations to sessions; identify nominations for conference awards.

Mary Grassetti

Teaching and Teacher Education 
Framingham State University

Mary Grassetti is a Professor of Education at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Mary primarily teaches math methods courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her research focuses on mathematics teacher education, technology and education, and motherhood and education. Prior to her work as a university professor, Mary was a public school teacher and taught at the elementary and middle school levels. Mary has served as President of NEERO and has been an active member since 2005.

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Denise Sargent

Diversity and Sociocultural Perspectives
Fitchburg State University

Denise is the Chair of the Education Department and Associate Professor at Fitchburg State University.  Denise teaches in the graduate and undergraduate education programs and supervises student teachers. Her research interests are in teacher development, policy, and school improvement. Prior to coming to Fitchburg State University, Denise worked at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and taught special education in public school K-12 classrooms.

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Gail Prelli

Leadership, Policy, and Education Reform
Bridgeport University

Gail Prelli is an Associate Professor in the University of Bridgeport’s Educational Leadership Department where she teaches courses in Leadership Theory, Educational Leadership, Supervision and Evaluation, Contemporary Educational Issues, School Improvement and Educational Research. As a retired public-school administrator, she includes firsthand experience to support the program’s focus on guiding candidates in moving theory to action. Gail also supports doctoral candidates in dissertation advisement and defense.

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Kelly Swindlehurst

Curriculum and Instruction
University of Vermont

Kelly Swindlehurst is a lecturer in the Department of Education at The University of Vermont. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Special Education. Her research focuses on effective teacher preparation to meet the needs of all learners.

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Aubrey Scheopner Torres

Higher Education
St. Anselm College

Aubrey is an Associate Professor in the Education Department at Saint Anselm College. Her research interests include competency-based education, teacher retention, teacher preparation, and Catholic education with methodological areas of expertise in qualitative research design as well as mixed methods, including development, use, and analysis of interview, observation, and survey protocols.

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Andrew Miller

Human Development and Learning
Boston College

Andrew’s research and teaching focus on the ways Catholic schools and Catholic school leaders, inspired by Catholic social teaching, provide a transformative and socially just education for the students who attend America's Catholic schools. As a faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Higher Education department, Miller teaches graduate electives in the M.Ed. program focused on ethics and equity frameworks and transforming the field of Catholic education.

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Ana Román-Sanchez

Measurement, Assessment, Evaluation & Research Methods
Cigna

Ana Román-Sanchez is a Business Project Senior Manager at Cigna, where her responsibilities is to drive improved health outcomes and affordability by executing strategic projects that impact our customers, clients and providers. In addition, as a team manager for over a decade Ana focuses on the team’s development, opportunities, and alignment of work. As a recent graduate of the University of Hartford Ed.D. program, Ana continues to network and involved in academia to pay it forward.

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Bo Zhang

Professional Development
Providence Public Schools

Bo Zhang, Ed.D., earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford. Bo’s research interests focus on international higher education, international student mobility, educational leadership, educational technology, and second language acquisition. Bo is an ESL instructor and an administrator at Providence Public Schools in Rhode Island. Besides the role on the NEERO board and being a member of the NEERO Graduate Committee, Bo also serves in varying capacities for the STAR Scholars Network, American Educational Research Association, TESOL International Association, and International Association of Student Affairs and Services. Additionally, Bo is a reviewer for the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice.

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Kathryn Welby

Technology in Education
Merrimack College

Kathryn Welby is an Assistant Professor and Director of K-12 Teacher Preparation Programs in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College. Her research, publications, and course development are grounded in her 15+ years of experience as an educator working in urban schools. Dr. Welby has been nationally recognized for her work on topics such as remote special education during the pandemic and the impact of the opioid epidemic on schools, families, and children. She is a frequent presenter at research and practitioner conferences locally and nationally. Her most recent publication is the book, Remote Learning Strategies for Students with IEPs, published by Routledge in 2021.

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Board Members: Team Members

Co-Strand Directors

Strand Directors and Co-Directors create written descriptions for their strands; oversee the review process and make final recommendations regarding conference proposals in their strand; work with the Program Committee to assign accepted presentations to sessions; identify nominations for conference awards.

Deb Patterson

Teaching and Teacher Education
Western New England University

Teacher and Teacher Education
Western New England University
Deb Patterson is Chair of the Education Department at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the licensure officer for WNE.  In addition to the NEERO board, Deb also serves on the Massachusetts Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE) board.

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Laurie Link

Diversity and Sociocultural Perspectives
Fitchburg State University

Dr. Laurie Link is an associate professor of Education, working with pre-service teachers in the early childhood and elementary education programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She teaches methods courses in math, science, social studies and assessment. She also supervises pre-practicum and practicum students in area K-5 schools. Prior to joining the faculty at Fitchburg State University, Dr. Link had 30 years of experience working in elementary schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts as a teacher, assistant principal, and a K-5 math curriculum coordinator.

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Olcay Yavuz

Leadership, Policy, and Education Reform
Southern Connecticut State University

Olcay Yavuz is, Internship Coordinator and an Associate Professor in the Southern  Connecticut State University Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department where he teaches courses in School Law, School Finance, Doctoral Inquiry Seminar, Leadership Perspectives, Program and Personnel Evaluation, Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership, Organizational Development, Advanced Research Methods, Learning Theories, Leadership Development, School Leader Field-Based Internship as well as Dissertation Advisement and Defense.

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Jennifer Sinal Swingler

Leadership, Policy, and Education Reform
Fairfield Public Schools

Jennifer Sinal Swingler is the Program Director for Secondary Literacy and Learning for Fairfield Public Schools in Fairfield, Connecticut. Jenn is an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership program at the University of Bridgeport where she teaches in the sixth-year program, the doctoral program, and chairs doctoral committee work. Jenn adjuncts at Southern Connecticut State University in the Reading Department where she teaches courses focused on literacy leadership. In addition to serving on the NEERO board, Jenn is also the president of the Connecticut Council of Teachers of English. Research interests include action research design, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and curriculum theory and design principles.

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Patty Mason

Curriculum and Instruction

South Shore Educational Collaborative

Patricia Mason is the Director of Student Services at the South Shore Educational Collaborative. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of education serving infants, children, and adults with diverse needs in public, private and residential settings. Dr. Mason is an assistant teaching professor at Northeastern University, an adjunct assistant professor at Bridgewater State University and adjunct faculty at Stonehill College, Lesley University, and Boston College. Research interests include the use of augmentative and alternative communication, use of assistive technologies and literacy for students with more complex access needs

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Jess Gregory

Higher Education
Southern Connecticut State University

Jess L. Gregory is a Professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at Southern Connecticut State University, where she teaches Educational Leadership courses across both the sixth-year administrator certification and doctoral programs.  Jess has published many peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles as well as conference papers, books, and several chapters in edited volumes.

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Beth Fornauf

Human Development and Learning
CAST

Beth Fornauf is a Research Associate at CAST, where uses her background in qualitative research, disability studies, and teacher learning to support projects at various stages of research and development. Prior to coming to CAST, Beth was an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. She taught courses for practicing teachers, teacher candidates, and educational leaders on critical special education, research design, and inclusive education. Her research has been published in Studying Teacher Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, and The Teacher Educator.

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Tricia Stewart

Measurement, Assessment, Evaluation & Research Methods
Western Connecticut State University

Tricia J. Stewart is a Professor at Western Connecticut State University in the Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership Program. She received her Ph.D. from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester in Educational Policy and Theory. Tricia has been presenting at NEERO since 2011 and she joined the NEERO Board in 2023.

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Carmela Amato-Wierda

Professional Development
University of New Hampshire

Carmela Amato-Wierda is an associate professor of chemistry at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).  She holds a B.A. in both physics and chemistry from Harvard University and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research at UNH is focused on informal STEM education and its impacts on youth, as well as research about STEM professional development and its impacts on teachers.  Additionally, she is interested in cognitive development of STEM concepts from grades K-16. She is also the faculty advisor for the UNH Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Carmela joined the NEERO Board in 2023.

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Therese Ajtum-Roberts

Technology in Education
Framingham State University

Therese Ajtum-Roberts is the Coordinator of the Chis Walsh Center for Educators and Families of MetroWest at Framingham State University. She has devoted most of her career to creating inclusive, equitable, and engaging learning environments. For nearly twenty years, she has supported instructors' use of technology, backwards design, and UDL principles to create a responsive, equitable, and inclusive curriculum for all learners. Therese’s research interests focus on faculty and in-service teachers' professional development, teaching with technology, and how teachers create responsive, equitable, and inclusive learning environments.

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Board Members: Team Members
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