Meet the Research Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Zachary Rossetti, Ph.D. studies experiences of families with children with disabilities, focusing on family engagement in education and sibling roles and relationships. His research also examines social interactions and friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, including how educators facilitate social interactions and friendship opportunities.

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Donna Lehr has focused her teaching and scholarship on issues and practices related to educational services for students of all ages who have severe handicaps, emphasizing those who challenge educational systems. Dr. Lehr has directed national projects that have developed and demonstrated innovative educational programs for children with extensive support needs and their families. Currently, Dr. Lehr’s work focuses on including students with severe disabilities in general education and policies, issues, and practices in educating students with complex learning and health care needs.

Research Assistants

Katherine Baulier is a doctoral student at Boston University pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in special education and is a member of the Project LInC cohort. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in Special Education (students with severe disabilities) at Boston University. Before pursuing her Ph.D., Katherine taught elementary-aged students with multiple disabilities in Brookline, Massachusetts, and preschool-aged students with autism in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite her role as a substantially-separate teacher, Katherine advocated for meaningful inclusion for students with severe disabilities in the general education classroom. Katherine’s research interests include general education teachers’ perceptions of students with special needs and the use of inclusive practices for all students, particularly overrepresented populations of color in special education.

Tashnuva Shaheen

Tashnuva Shaheen is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Special Education at Boston University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in General and Special Education Grades 1 – 6 from Bank Street College. She is interested in reforming teacher preparation programs and redesigning special education to address the barriers that impede opportunities and outcomes for children with disabilities.

Before starting her doctoral program, Tashnuva worked as 5th and 6th grade ELA teacher and reading interventionist at Achievement First Brownsville Middle School for two years and then moved on to being a Literacy Specialist for two years at Community Roots grades 6 – 8, both of which were ICT classrooms and both schools in Brooklyn, NY. Her work in the field sparked her interest in researching the systemic practices of special education, one aspect being referrals and assessments and the ways teachers are being prepared to serve students with disabilities.

Deborah Taub, Ph.D., conducts research, training, and technical assistance around ensuring equitable opportunities to learn for all students, including those with significant and complex needs. She has expertise in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), co-teaching and coaching, making standards-based instruction accessible, and supporting change. Her work is informed by the practical needs of the classroom. Currently, Dr. Taub works with several collaborators on projects to support UDL and accessible standards-based instruction for all students. She works with Project TIES as a technical assistance specialist on moving students with significant cognitive disabilities to more inclusive contexts.

Kristin Burnette is a national board-certified special education teacher and is currently completing her Ph.D. in special education at UNC Greensboro. She received her master’s degree in Special Education from East Carolina University, specializing in low-incidence disabilities. Currently, she is working with the two federally funded grants to study education and systemic change for practices that support inclusive education.