Meet The Team

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Therese Ajtum-Roberts

Center Coordinator

Therese Ajtum-Roberts has devoted most of her career to creating inclusive, equitable, and engaging learning environments. For nearly twenty years, she has supported educators' 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. Therese currently serving on the Board of the New England Educational Research Organization as Conference Director and Technology in Education Strand Director.

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.

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Breanna Huntley

Psychology Intern

Breanna Huntley will serve as a Psychology Intern at the Chris Walsh Center during the Fall 2021 Semester. She is a senior at Framingham State University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. After graduation, she plans to get her master's degree in Clinical Psychology. As an Intern at the Chris Walsh Center, Breanna is most looking forward to the ability to provide families with the resources they need to help their children throughout their education. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as exploring new hobbies in her free time. 

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Krysta Padellaro

Psychology Intern

Krysta is serving as an intern at the Chris Walsh Center during the Fall 2021 Semester. She is a senior this year at Framingham State University majoring in Elementary Education with a coordinate in Psychology as well as member of the Honors College. She plans to get her master’s degree in Special Education or Elementary Education. By joining the center, she is looking forward to understanding and learning the perspective of parenting and bringing that knowledge with her to help guide her classroom in her future career as an educator. She is excited to locate resources to help guide parents to help their children. Outside of the classroom, she plays for the Women’s Basketball team at Framingham and enjoys going home to beach with her family. 

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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 junior at Framingham State University majoring in English with a concentration in Journalism, and minors in both Chinese and Political Science. Leighah is an Associate 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. Leighah also works as a Peer Mentor in the University's First-Year Foundations Program in addition to freelancing for The Woonsocket Call and Pawtucket Times.

James Cressey

Education Department Chair

Dr. Cressey is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department at Framingham State University. He was the center's first coordinator in 2020-21. 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.

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Former Staff

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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 preforming 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Join the Team

The Chris Walsh Center is seeking undergraduate interns for the spring 2022 semester. Learn more about how you can join our team. Please contact us at to submit your application.