Center for Thriving Children Events

The Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children hosts events regularly. These events bring experts from across the world together to discuss research and insights into whole child education. 

Past Events

Helping Children Thrive in an Age of Uncertainty

Moderator: Jackie Mader, Hechinger Report

Panelists: Vivian L. Gadsden, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; Richard J. Murnane, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Aisha Khizar Yousafzai, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Henrik Daae Zachrisson, University of Oslo Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Invited Boston College Student and Faculty Responses: Katarina Sauter, Elementary Education & Applied Psychology and Human Development, class of 2024; Catalina Rey Guerra, Applied Developmental Psychology, class of 2024; Earl Edwards, Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Our esteemed panelists are international leaders in the fields of child development, economics, education, and public health. Together, they bring a wealth of knowledge as presidents of premier research associations, directors of large research centers, members of national science academies, and principal investigators for large research projects. Each also brings years of experience consulting with local, regional, national, and international education leaders and government officials. The panelists will use this collective wisdom to answer a question of deep concern to families, communities, educators, researchers, and policy makers: “In this time of historic uncertainty and challenge, what does it mean for children to ‘thrive,’ and what will it take to promote thriving in enduring and equitable ways?” 

The conversation -- moderated by award-winning education journalist Jackie Mader -- will bring together insights from developmental science, economic and labor force considerations, policy drivers, educational innovation, international perspectives, and the critical role of family and community assets in the face of structural inequities. The forum will provide a new understanding of the challenges before us and pathways forward, pathways that ensure many more children have chances to thrive.

Formative Lecture Flier

Formative Education Lecture Series Presents: Mary Walsh

Tuesday, March 19 at 4pm to 5:15pm
Corcoran Commons, Heights Room
Corcoran Commons, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Mary Walsh
Executive Director of City Connects,
Senior Fellow of the Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children and Professor Emerita,
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
2023 Bellarmine Award Recipient*

Mary E. Walsh, Ph.D is the Founding Director and a Senior Fellow at the Walsh Center for Thriving Children and the Executive Director of the City Connects Intervention Program. She is the Daniel E. Kearns Chair of Urban Education and Innovative Leadership Emerita, and currently Research Professor at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Over the past 20 years, Mary has led the design, implementation, and evaluation of City Connects, a research-based practice for schools that addresses the out-of-school challenges faced by children living in poverty.

*The Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J., Award honors a distinguished faculty member whose significant contributions have consistently and purposefully advanced the mission of Boston College.

On April 5, 2023, Boston College celebrated the $10 million endowment gift to the Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children at the Cadigan Alumni Center. The event highlighted the Center’s unique contributions to advancing understanding of how all children can thrive. 

As part of the event, a panel discussion was held about what it means for a child to thrive. Panelists included Harvard Research Professor Richard J. Murnane, Winthrop Elementary Principal Leah Blake McKetty, and Lynch School Professor and Center Director Eric Dearing.

On March 28, 2023, the Mary E. Walsh Center for Thriving Children hosted a symposium on child development and educational opportunity in Norway. Speakers included Henrik Daae Zachrisson, Astrid Sandsør, Nicolai Borgen, Gülbin Sengul-Inal, and Tormod Bøe.

The speakers had engaging discussions with the audience about the causes, consequences, and (potential) solutions to inequality in a social democracy. 

Topics included: The widening achievement gap between rich and poor in a Nordic country: Are schools equalizing or exacerbating inequality?; Between-school variation in the SES-achievement association; The double jeopardy of low family income and negative emotionality: the family-stress model revisited; and New Patterns: Combating childhood poverty through coordinated measures.