About

Academic Experiences at a Professional Pace

We collaborate with leaders and organizations to support staff development and customize programs that address the specific needs of professionals and practitioners. Our offerings are made stronger and more relevant thanks to the talent of our dynamic instructors, who possess expertise and experience in a range of topics—from bilingual education to autism spectrum disorder.

"Through our wide variety of high-quality, research-informed professional development offerings, you will increase your efficacy, support your practice, and transform as a professional."

Ashana Hurd

Ashana Hurd

Assistant Dean of Urban Outreach and Professional Development

Core Team Members

David Goodman

Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations


Elizabeth MacDonald

Elizabeth MacDonald

Program Coordinator

Michael Mookie Manalili

Michael "Mookie" Manalili

Program Coordinator


Abby Heingartner

Abby Heingartner

Programs Administrator

Darby McMakin

Darby McMakin

Graduate Student, Professional Continuing Education

Maria Brisk

Marina Brisk

Maria Estela Brisk is a Professor of Education at the Teacher Education, Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction Department in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics and bilingual education at the University of New Mexico in 1972. Her research and teacher-training interests include elementary students’ writing development, bilingual education, bilingual language and literacy acquisition, methods of teaching literacy, and preparation of mainstream teachers to work with bilingual learners. She is the author of numerous articles and books.

Martin Scanlan

Martin Scanlan

Dr. Martin Scanlan is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Before joining the academy, Scanlan spent over 10 years as a teacher and administrator. He primarily worked in urban settings in schools serving traditionally marginalized students in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, CA, and Madison, WI. 


Rebecca Lowenhaupt

Rebecca Lowenhaupt

From school reform to urban education, Dr. Rebecca Lowenhaupt has focused her research on how immigration impacts school leadership. She studies the role that school principals—and other school and district leaders—play in supporting culturally diverse students. Her expertise spans social justice and instructional leadership and bilingualism. Since arriving at the Lynch School in 2012, she has designed and taught nine new master’s and doctoral level courses within the Educational Leadership program.

Daren Graves

Daren Graves

Dr. Daren Graves is an Associate Professor of Education and Social Work at Simmons University and Adjunct Lecturer of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research lies at the intersection of critical race theory, racial identity development, and teacher education.


Elizabeth MacDonald

Elizabeth MacDonald

A teacher and coach in the Boston Public Schools for over 20 years, Elizabeth MacDonald’s interests include urban education, reading and writing instruction, dual-language schools, and the preparation of pre-service teachers. She has worked with Maria Estela Brisk on writing instruction as a teacher, coach, and colleague. Additionally, as co-author of the first and second edition of The Mindful Teacher, she is committed to supporting and retaining urban educators.

Michael Mookie Manalili

Michael "Mookie" Manalili

Michael "Mookie" Manalili has degrees in the fields of civil engineering, theological pedagogy, theological studies, and clinical social work and is currently co-chairing the Psychology & the Other conference, assisting with research in the Morality Lab, and co-directing the Psychological Ethics and Humanities research group.


Nathaniel Brown

Nathaniel Brown

Dr. Nathaniel Brown has geared his career toward changing the way we think about learning and accessing education. Specifically, his research explores learning assessment—reforming grading practices to establish formative classroom cultures, promote growth mindsets, chart clear paths for students and teachers, and support learning regardless of achievement level. His expertise spans cognitive development, STEM teaching and learning, and student motivation.

Keisha Valdez

Keisha Valdez

Dr. Keisha Valdez has been a professional educator for over 22 years. She has been a teacher, coach, and mentor for new professionals, teachers, school leaders, and university faculty. As a former urban, public elementary school teacher she has remained tied to teacher education over the years. She has advised struggling schools/districts on strategies for improving student outcomes, school reform, school-based management, and raising the quality of teaching, learning, and parent support.


Patrick Proctor

Patrick Proctor

Patrick Proctor is a professor and educational researcher focusing on bilingualism, bilingual education, language, and literacy at Boston College. His work attempts to merge critical and developmental perspectives on language, literacy, and bilingualism in education. He works directly with teachers and administrators on issues of bilingual education and language-based literacy instruction, particularly in schools and districts characterized by student (and ideally teacher) multilingualism. 

Kristen Bottema-Beutel

Kristen Bottema-Beutel

Dr. Kristen Bottema-Beutel brings to the Lynch School expertise in a complex topic gaining increasing public attention: autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her research into ASD includes social interaction dynamics in children and adolescents, educational interventions to promote peer interaction and social development, social communication development in students, and decision-making processes regarding peer inclusion.


Scott Seider

Scott Seider

Scott Seider is an applied developmental psychologist whose research focuses on the role of schools in supporting adolescents’ civic development. He has reported on this work in more than 70 academic publications. As a core faculty member in the Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology department at the Lynch School, Dr. Seider teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on adolescent development and social oppression and transformation.

Tracy Hodgson-Drysdale

Tracy Hodgson-Drysdale

Dr. Tracy Hodgson-Drysdale has taught in various capacities over a 20-year period, including five years working as an elementary generalist, six as a reading specialist, and 13 as an instructor teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, bilingualism, and systemic functional linguistics. She has worked with Dr. Maria Estela Brisk since 2008 as her teaching assistant and research assistant, and they also presented at conferences and collaborated on articles.