Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

Katie Baulier

Katherine Baulier is a doctoral student at Boston University, pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in special education and 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. Prior to 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.

Katie Meyer

Kathryn Meyer is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Educational Studies with a specialization in special education through Project LINC at Boston University. She also earned a Master of Education in Special Education and a Master of Social Work from Boston University. Kathryn began teaching in New Orleans in 2009, a time when schools were under state control and undergoing a shift from traditional public schools to charter schools. Over the past 10 years, she has worked as a general and special education teacher in inclusion, resource, and self-contained settings in both Louisiana and Massachusetts. Having worked in both charter and traditional schools under state receivership, Kathryn is interested in researching the working conditions of special educators, particularly in schools and districts at-risk for receivership or takeover.

Lindsey Kaler

Lindsey Kaler is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Studies with a specialization in Special Education through the Project LInC program at Boston University. Lindsey graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with her Master of Teaching degree in Special Education and English Education. Since graduation, Lindsey has worked as a special education teacher in District of Columbia Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools. In both settings, she worked with students with an array of disability classifications in both self-contained and inclusive classroom settings in grades 6-12. Lindsey is currently interested in conducting research in the area of special education policy. Her research interests include the intersections of trauma and special education, outcomes for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, and education policy design and implementation.

Margaret Carroll

Margaret Carroll is a doctoral student at Boston University studying special education with a focus on mental health and social and emotional learning. She is also a member of Project LINC. She previously earned a Master of Education in Special Education and Bachelors degrees in both History and Social Studies Education from Boston University. Margaret has spent the past five years teaching social studies in Natick, Massachusetts. Her research interests stem from a desire to better equip educators with the tools they need to address the social and emotional needs of their students. She is interested in researching how children can better be diagnosed with and receive early interventions for mental health and social and emotional needs.

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.

Prior to 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.


UConn Neag School of Education

Melissa Stalega

I’m Melissa Stalega and I am a first year Phd Student in Special Education at the University of Connecticut. As an undergraduate student at Bryant University, I began as an accounting major with a minor in psychology. I ultimately decided I wanted to work towards building a future career where I could make valuable contributions. This led me to pursue educational psychology. Throughout the years I have participated in a variety of different research projects which have left me with an eclectic knowledge base.

I attended the University of Virginia and received my M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. During my time at UVa, I participated in research studies out of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). I focused on teacherstudent interactions and professional development in early childhood education. I became interested in how teacher-student interactions contributed to children’s social emotional development and learning. Following my master’s program, I contributed to the development of an inclusive preschool motor program where I used my knowledge of intentional teaching strategies to build a curriculum that supports each of the school readiness skills (including pre-literacy!).

Over the past couple of years my work has focused on reading research. My most recent research projects have included (1) supporting the development of a tabletbased dyslexia screener for children as young as 4 years old and (2) coordinating a virtual reading program for use at home to prevent the “COVID slide”. I look forward to advancing my studies to learn more about reading theory and how to apply this to early childhood education as well as translate it into meaningful language for educators.

Shannon Langdon

Shannon is a first-year doctoral student in Special Education with a concentration in Postsecondary Transition at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. Last year Shannon was a LEND trainee through the University’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD). Previously, she obtained her M.Ed. in Counseling with a focus in rehabilitation counseling from Springfield College and is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). Shannon has worked in the past to help individuals with disabilities obtain individualized employment, as well as served as a transition specialist helping individuals’ transition from school to work. She is interested in researching postsecondary transition for individuals with disabilities as well as the development of effective IEP and 504 plans. Upon completion of her degree, Shannon hopes to work on researching and conducting policy advocacy in the area of IEPs, 504 plans, and transition planning.

Sarah Rosati

Sarah Rosati is a doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Connecticut with a concentration in Special Education. She received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University in Spanish Language & Literature with a minor in Psychology prior to receiving a dual master’s degree in Childhood Special Education (also from Fordham University). She was a teacher in New York City at an independent school serving elementary-aged students with complex and multiple disabilities, ranging from learning, developmental, social, emotional, linguistic, and medical special needs. In seeking greater depths of understanding of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS) as implemented beyond that independent school site, Sarah moved into the public school sphere. She became a special education director for a public K-5 elementary school north of San Diego, California. As such, she was also the case manager for all students in the school with academic Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). For the past few years, Sarah served as a fourth-grade general education teacher at a trilingual public school in San Francisco, where she was also the Culture and Climate Teacher Leader to support her colleagues in executing tiered interventions and implementing SW-PBIS on site.

Sarah’s experiences in a variety of educational positions and settings, from special education to general education and from private to public, led her to pursue a doctoral degree in order to formally research questions she has crafted along the way. Sarah aims to focus on how teachers are making decisions about behavior management in the absence of training on PBIS in order provide more targeted training for preservice teachers, how PBIS is affecting students with disabilities and/or working to reduce special education referrals for social, emotional, and behavioral concerns, and how equity can better guide the continued improvement of PBIS. Sarah has years of experience implementing interventions among students with disabilities and is excited to be a member of Project LINC because of its contextualization of these interventions within educational, policy, mental health, and family systems.