Professional Development

Katrina Bledsoe

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Katrina Bledsoe

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Katrina

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Bledsoe

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Katrina Bledsoe brings extensive experience as an evaluator of programs at the local, state, and federal government levels. Bledsoe leads evaluations of initiatives focused on curriculum development in the sciences and social sciences, teacher professional development, and mental health issues such as suicide prevention. Her expertise is in community-based education and social services program evaluation, mixed methodology and methods, research innovation, applied social psychology, and cultural contexts.

Bledsoe provides technical assistance to grantees under the National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES program, which is working to identify and scale up proven, innovative ideas to create access to science and engineering for groups traditionally underrepresented in those fields.  Additionally, she is a member of the team evaluating NSF’s Broadening Participation in Computing-Alliances Program, as well as a Project Lead for the REL Northeast & Islands.

Previously, Bledsoe has served as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or project director on a variety of projects, including including leading a study exploring parental engagement in the North Corridor community of Charlotte, North Carolina; serving as an evaluation scientist for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center; and leading an evaluative qualitative outcome study focused on technology tools for teachers and students in India, using EDC’s Interactive Radio Initiative Program.

Bledsoe is the author of chapters, articles, and blog posts focusing on evaluation practice, mixed methodology and evaluation, and cultural responsiveness in evaluation, social psychology, and other topics. She has published articles in the American Journal of Evaluation ("The Use of Multiple Evaluation Approaches in Program Evaluation") and Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Science and co-authored the chapter “Decolonizing Evaluation in a Developing World: Implications and Cautions for Equity-Focused Evaluations” in Evaluation for Equitable Development Results. Her work has also been published in New Directions in Evaluation, Families in Society, and in numerous edited volumes including, among others,  Qualitative Inquiry in the Practice of Evaluation, the International Handbook of Urban Education, the Handbook of Mixed Methods Research, and the Handbook of Ethics for Research in the Social Sciences.

Bledsoe is the 2013 winner of the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group’s Scholar Award and the 2006 winner of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society’s Invited Author Award. She is an active member of AEA, where she has served on the Board of Directors and held other leadership positions, including her current role on the Evaluation Policy Task Force. She sits on the editorial board for the Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation and is a peer reviewer for both the American Journal of Evaluation and the Journal of Evaluation and Program Planning as well as the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy. Bledsoe is also a member of the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for the Study of Psychological Issues.

Before re-joining EDC, Bledsoe served as a founding member and senior research director at ThinkShift, an initiative of the DeBruce Foundation. She received a BA from the University of California-Santa Cruz, an MA from San Francisco State University, and a PhD from Claremont Graduate University.

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Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Loraine Lucinski

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Loraine Lucinski

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Loraine

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Lucinski

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Loraine Lucinski brings extensive experience in designing, implementing and evaluating child wellness programs and systems change initiatives at both the local and state levels.  She is committed to motivating others to tackle complex challenges, drive transformational innovations, and develop and implement systems solutions that positively impact children’s health, development and well-being.

Lucinski serves as Senior Project Director for the Home Visiting – Improvement Action Center Team (HV-ImpACT), which provides training and technical assistance—including site visits, webinars, and communities of practice—to Federal Home Visiting Program grantees at the state and territorial level.

Previously, Lucinski served as Deputy Director for Child Health for the Division of Family Health and Wellness in the Tennessee Department of Health, where she was responsible for the leadership, operational oversight, and evaluation of the state’s Early Childhood Initiatives; Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs; and Perinatal, Infant and Newborn Care Sections. She represented the Tennessee Department of Health on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and related committees, and was appointed to serve on a number of high-level interdepartmental advisory committees.

Lucinski began her career as an early interventionist, providing family-based therapy to children from birth to age three with developmental disabilities or at risk for delays due to environmental factors. Prior to joining state government, she started one of the first Early Head Start programs in the country and provided training and technical assistance to a number of federally funded early childhood programs in the six Midwest states. She was named the 2017 Jim Pryor Child Advocate of the Year by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of children in Tennessee. 

Lucinski received a BA in Developmental Psychology and Biology from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and an MPH in Public Health and graduate certificates in Child Development and Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology from Emory University.

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Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Project Director

Mailing Address: 

1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW, Suite 700 West
Washington, DC  20007

Telephone: 

202-572-3714

Ashleigh Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh

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Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff applies her experience as an early childhood teacher to her role as a trainer and coach for educators working with children from birth to eight years old.  She is committed to improving the early care and education experience of young children.

Bickerstaff is on the staff of The Center for Early Learning Professionals, where she provides technical assistance and professional development services to Rhode Island’s early childhood care and education programs. In this role, she also works with the state’s pre-kindergarten programs, supporting classroom implementation of high-quality programming for the state’s four- and five-year-olds.

Before joining EDC, Bickerstaff was a professional development specialist for Ready to Learn Providence and a literacy coach in an Early Reading First project, providing professional development and classroom support for teachers. Bickerstaff began her career as a kindergarten teacher, gaining experience in providing high-quality curriculum and instruction to young learners.

Bickerstaff received a BS in Early Childhood Education from Salve Regina University and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-736-1284

Maria Velasquez

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Maria Velasquez

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Maria

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Velasquez

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María Velásquez has a wealth of experience in the fields of early childhood education, K-12 education, and health, along with expertise in providing innovative, effective, and responsive training and professional development. Driven by her deep commitment to improve the quality of early childhood programs, she brings extensive knowledge of effective assessment, evaluation, research, use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, program management, and policy reform to all of her early childhood development work at EDC.

Velásquez is advancing the goals of EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals in Rhode Island. She specializes is providing bilingual, bi-literate (Spanish/English) professional development and technical assistance to early education programs that are interested in improving their services for children and families and progressing along RI’s quality continuum. In this capacity, she works closely with EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals team, as well as the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the RI Department of Human Services, the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families, BrightStars, and Rhode Island's early childhood care and education programs.

Previously, Velásquez was a State of Rhode Island Programming Services Officer/Contract Manager, in which capacity she served as the state's liaison to EDC on the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge contract of $17.5M. For nine years, she was the Director of Education Services for WSBE-RI PBS. She introduced video-streamed technology and online curriculum in RI’s classrooms increasing teacher capacity of classroom virtual learning, technology use, and knowledge of curriculum standards. She also participated in the development of the National Digital Library funded by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She began her career as a Program Manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, where she had an early start in programming and quality management operations.

Velásquez earned a BS in Psychology from Rhode Island College, an MA in Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI  02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1292

Erin Stafford

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Erin Stafford

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Erin

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Stafford

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Erin Stafford has extensive experience working directly with formal and informal education practitioners and nonprofit professionals to design, refine, and evaluate education curricula, interventions, and professional development experiences. Stafford currently leads the evaluation efforts on the Home Visiting Improvement Action Center (HV-ImpACT), funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the evaluation of Maker/STEM Education Support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS). She is also helping to lead a Low-Cost, Short-Duration Randomized Control Trial in Michigan, “The Impact of an Orientation Course on Online Students' Completion Rates, funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES).

With expertise in virtual learning, out-of-school time, informal education and STEM, Stafford has worked with various federal, state and municipal agencies as well as foundations, museums, schools and community organizations to answer their questions of policy and practice. Past experience includes serving as the analytic technical assistance manager for the REL Northeast & Islands at EDC. In that role, she guided practitioners in setting research agendas, helped build the capacity of state- and district-level practitioners to use data in their practice, and assisted school and district teams in incorporating continuous improvement processes into their decision-making. In her role as a researcher for both REL Northeast & Islands and REL Midwest, Stafford facilitated a research/practitioner alliance on virtual education and managed survey development projects, data collection efforts, and prototype and usability testing.

Stafford coauthored three IES publications on virtual education: Professional Experiences of Online Teachers: Training and Challenges, Online Course Use in Iowa and Wisconsin Public High Schools: Results of Two Statewide Surveys, and An Analysis of Student Engagement Patterns and Online Course Outcomes in Wisconsin. In addition, Stafford is the coauthor of a three-part IES series on survey methods for education practitioners and an article for the Journal of Online Learning Research, “Training for Online Teachers to Support Student Success: Themes from a Survey Administered to Teachers in Four Online Learning Programs.”

Before joining EDC, Stafford served as manager of research, evaluation and assessment for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and as an evaluator at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Stafford received her BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She has an MA in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education from DePaul University.

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Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Research Associate

Program: 

Research, Evaluation, and Policy

Mailing Address: 

770 N. Halsted Street, Suite 205
Chicago, IL  60642

Telephone: 

312-962-4520

Michelle Cerrone

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Michelle Cerrone

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Michelle

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Cerrone

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Michelle Cerrone focuses on the role of educational technologies and digital games in supporting student learning and teacher professional development. She specializes in research methods, survey development, and statistical analysis, which she applies across a range of evaluation, research, and development projects. Her most recent work examines the design of effective tools for educators and learners to promote progressive teaching and learning of STEM in pre-K through middle school settings.

Cerrone serves as the methodologist for Playing With Data, a three-year, National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project to support middle-grades science teachers in developing data literacy and interpreting and using game-based formative assessment data to enhance student learning. She is also a researcher on Bringing Science Home with PEEP, an NSF-funded project using Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) to identify new avenues to bring early science experience to preschool children (ages 3-5), particularly those living in communities with few resources.

As an external evaluator for the Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (PISA2), Cerrone is investigating the impact of a science and engineering professional development program on elementary and middle-grades science teachers. She recently led survey development and validation for the TwISLE project, which explored how social media users interact with public science institutions on Twitter. 

Cerrone’s previous projects explored the successes and challenges of facilitating and participating in online communities of practice. She also was part of the Eliciting Math Misconceptions (EM2) project, an IES-funded measurement development project that designed a diagnostic assessment system to help teachers identify student misconceptions around rational numbers.

The co-author of several articles on professional development and instrument development, including "Constructing Online Communities of Practice"  and "Recruiting Research Participants via Twitter (or Social Media)," Cerrone regularly presents her findings at the annual conferences of national organizations such as the International Society for Technology in Education and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Before joining EDC, Cerrone worked as an analyst for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, where she designed assessments and analyzed student, classroom, and school-level data. She began her career in education teaching English as a Second Language in the Slovak Republic, Spain, and New York.

Cerrone received a BS from Cornell University and an MA in Economics and Education from Columbia University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate II

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Telephone: 

212-807-4204

Nicole Breslow

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Nicole Breslow

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Nicole

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Breslow

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Nicole Breslow provides technical assistance and conducts applied research and evaluation to improve teacher and principal support and development. Her work has spanned the educator professional continuum, with a particular focus on teacher and leader preparation, professional development, and evaluation.

Breslow leads a learning community focused on teacher and leader effectiveness for projects that have received Investing in Innovation (i3) grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The community brings together leaders from innovative projects across the country to learn together by sharing effective practices and collaboratively problem solving around issues of common concern. She also provides technical assistance and content expertise to Teacher Incentive Fund grantees on topics such as teacher leadership, professional development, and shared leadership.

Previously, Breslow collaborated on a project funded by the Wallace Foundation to support district and university partnerships to improve leadership preparation. She assisted in developing the Partnership Effectiveness Continuum, a research-based tool for developing, assessing, and improving partnerships between school districts and principal preparation providers.

Breslow also was a researcher and educator effectiveness content expert for the Regional Educational Laboratory-Northeast & Islands at EDC, where she designed and implemented research projects to address the needs of state education department leaders. She also served as a member of the New York Comprehensive Center Teacher Quality Team, providing ongoing technical assistance and research support to high-level state groups.

In collaboration with colleagues, Breslow has co-authored two research reports: Changing Cultures and Building Capacity: An Exploration of District Strategies for Implementation of Teacher Evaluation Systems and Five States’ Efforts to Improve Adolescent Literacy.  She is also a trustee of the Board for the Education Fund of Westfield.

Before joining EDC, Breslow served as the Director of Teaching and Learning at Teach For America, where she designed and organized training opportunities and oversaw professional learning communities for first and second year teachers. She also taught fourth grade in East Harlem through the New York City Teaching Fellows program.

Breslow received a BS in Cognitive Science from Brown University, an MEd in School Leadership from Harvard University, and an MEd in Elementary Teaching from Hunter College.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Associate Project Director

Program: 

Research, Evaluation, and Policy

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Christina Silvi

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Christina Silvi

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Christina

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Silvi

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Christina Silvi brings expertise in early literacy, child development, evidence based practices and research, and technology based professional development. She designs and provides accessible, research based professional learning that aligns with state and national standards and quality improvement initiatives for the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals co-led by EDC. She also collaborates with program administrators through technical assistance to strengthen program quality, increase access to resources, and build systems for continuous quality improvement.

Previously, Silvi led the development and delivery of high-quality professional development sessions, funded through the Rhode Island Department of Education, that helped PreK teachers translate the CLASS and ECERS research measures into classroom practice. In addition to her training and technical assistance work, Silvi has managed quantitative and qualitative data collection efforts for several Early Reading First research projects.

Silvi is the developer of several Web-based curricula and online resources, including early childhood online courses for the E-Learning for Educators initiative, and the content for Bookfinder, a searchable database of over 700 children’s books on the PBS Parents Web site. She is the co-author of several articles and reports, including: “Why Wordless Books?” (Early Childhood News) and Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Pilot: Final Evaluation Report.

As a curriculum developer, Silvi contributed to Steps to Success, a four-unit multimedia training package for Head Start mentor-coaches nationwide. The instructional design prepares mentor-coaches to guide Head Start teachers in adopting research-based practices that foster young children’s language and literacy development.

Silvi began her career as a preschool teacher, working in mixed-aged classrooms with children and families from a broad range of backgrounds, languages, and special needs in both rural and urban settings.

She received her BA from the University of Vermont in early childhood development and an MA in child development from Tufts University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1285

Deborah Rosenfeld

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Deborah Rosenfeld

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Deborah

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Rosenfeld

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Deborah Rosenfeld is an early mathematics education researcher, instructional designer, and professional developer. She is committed to improving educational outcomes for all children, particularly those from underserved communities. She has taught young children, studied teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about early childhood mathematics, and worked with teachers to develop knowledge of mathematical development. Her current work uses technology and media to engage children in narratives and games that leverage their natural curiosity and strengths as learners to develop their mathematical understanding and promote their persistence in solving problems.   

Rosenfeld leads research efforts on the Ready to Learn project, which evaluates the learning potential of public media resources. Her most recent study looked at what mathematics children learned through interactions with the Peg+Cat suite of videos and activities, as well as how their ability to self-regulate, persist, and demonstrate flexibility in solving problems might change through watching Peg and her friends model such behaviors. She is contributing her research expertise to EDC's Heising-Simons Foundation-funded initiative Finding Our Way Around, including conducting literature reviews, informing development of digital resources, and leading a team in developing an assessment to test the resources. She is also advancing the goals of Monkeying Around, an initiative focused on supporting families in fostering preschoolers' computational thinking. 

Previously, she studied how districts and schools support teachers in the implementation of reform-based mathematics curricula and the impact of that support and implementation on student achievement. She also was involved in the development of an early mathematics assessment system for 3- to 5-year-olds, was a curriculum writer for the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded elementary curriculum Think Math, and has supported teachers in implementing conceptual-based learning approaches in their elementary math classrooms. 

Rosenfeld is a co-author of the 2016 article, "Preparing Preschool Teachers to Use and Benefit from Formative Assessment: The Birthday Party Assessment Professional Development System" published in ZDM Mathematics Education. She contributed to the research reports Preschool Teachers Can Use a PBS KIDS Transmedia Curriculum Supplement to Support Young Children in Mathematics Learning: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial and Peg+Cat Content Study. She authored a paper, “Increased Perceived Efficacy for Teaching Math” in the Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College. Her unpublished dissertation was titled, “Fostering Competence and Confidence in Early Childhood Mathematics Teachers.”

Before joining EDC, Rosenfeld was a teacher at the Rashi School and the Hong Kong International School. She taught 1stand 4th grades, as well as teaching algebra to 8th graders.

Rosenfeld received an AB in Psychology from Harvard College, an EdM in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Educational Psychology with a focus on Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate II

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Fl
New York, New York 10014 

Telephone: 

212-807-4248

Catherine McCulloch

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Catherine McCulloch

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Catherine

Last name: 

McCulloch

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Catherine McCulloch leads national initiatives that focus on bridging STEM research and practice to improve outcomes for students. An expert in formal and informal STEM learning, she brings extensive experience as a professional developer, course designer, and manager of strategic resource development and dissemination efforts.

McCulloch is the Principal Investigator of Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, a National Science Foundation-funded resource network in which she leads an EDC team in supporting STEM researchers and developers from NSF's DRK–12 program in making their findings and products accessible and usable for schools, communities, policymakers, and the public. She has also worked closely with the NSF to develop and implement STEM Smart, an initiative to disseminate successful STEM research and evidence-based practices across the nation. (Read McCulloch's blog post about STEM Smart: "Spreading the Word About Successful STEM Education.") Within this effort, she organized a K–12 engineering education, research, and practice conference held in collaboration with the American Society for Engineering Education. 

As co-PI of the Massachusetts Engineering and Innovation Dissemination Community initiative, McCulloch recently concluded a landscape analysis of K–12 engineering education in Massachusetts and co-authored a report, Engineering for Every K–12 Student, that presents key findings from the study that have important implications for K–20 educators, policymakers, and business and industry leaders nationwide.  She is the lead author of the brief, Research and Practice Partnerships: Fostering Equitable Collaboration.

McCulloch has developed and led professional development institutes for science and math mentoring—including in Mexico, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Florida—and designed and led an online graduate science mentoring course for Cambridge College. She presents at national conferences on content-based mentoring and engineering education.  She has also provided professional development for out-of-school-time program educators and is the author of Straw Rockets, a Design It! Engineering for Afterschool Programs curriculum series module.

Prior to joining EDC, McCulloch was Assistant Director of the National Arts and Learning Collaborative, where she oversaw multiple grants, including a Kennedy Center for the Arts award for community involvement in arts education. For 15 years, she taught preK–12 children in a variety of private and public settings.

McCulloch holds a BS in Creativity in Learning and an MEd in Elementary Education from Lesley University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Project Director

Program: 

Science and Mathematics Programs

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2413

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