Lesley University

Lesley University

Lesley University empowers students to become dynamic, thoughtful leaders in education, counseling and psychology, expressive therapies, visual arts, humanities, and business management. Located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley combines an intensely creative environment with the practical experience students need to succeed in their careers. Each year, over 7,000 students pursue degrees on campus, regionally, online, and through low-residency programs.  Alumni, students, and faculty work together to discover the power of creativity to overcome obstacles, build inclusive environments, foster connections, and reveal fresh answers to the world’s problems. At Lesley, we aim to develop an institution whose continual pursuit of excellence is shaped and informed by a commitment to diversity throughout all levels and functions of the university.

UNITWIN Project Members

Donna Marie San Antonio, Ed.D.
Dr. San Antonio is Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology and a frequent consultant to rural school and community programs addressing social, emotional, and economic barriers to success for children and youth. On-going research and writing projects include: the international UNITWIN project on perceptions of work and future among emerging adults without a high school diploma; innovative school-based interventions to support well-being and future possibilities for vulnerable youth; the Lives in Transition Project, a longitudinal study which tracks educational, vocational, and relational transitions through adolescence and emerging adulthood; and school- and community-based efforts to support social integration and well-being of migrant youth and families.

Jason D. Butler, Ph.D., RDT-BCT, LCAT
Dr. Butler is an associate professor and drama therapy program coordinator as well as the editor-in-chief for The Arts in Psychotherapy an international journal examining the arts therapies. His research focus is on pedagogy in the arts therapies with particular interest in individuals’ entry into the helping professions, how professional identity is formed, and the transformation of such identities. He presents internationally on arts therapies pedagogy, dramatic approaches to psychotherapy, and the role of play and spontaneity in decision making.

Janet Kaplan-Bucciarelli, Ph.D.
Janet Kaplan-Bucciarelli, PhD is an adult educator, program designer, and  storyworker who has taught ESOL, digital storytelling, community organizing, and leadership development to adults and youth for over two decades. The educational programs and processes Janet designs break barriers, and encourage hesitant learners to become students, new volunteers to become mentors, and experienced practitioners to think with a “beginner’s mind.”

Louise Michelle Vital, Ph.D.
Louise Michelle Vital, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations. Her research examines the higher education experiences and career expectations of emerging adults in Haiti. The study offers insights on the understanding of students, alumni, and staff about higher education experiences and career expectations in Haiti. Her research has wider implications for discussion on mapping effective support for emerging adults in struggling economies in a global context.

Marion Nesbit, Ph.D., Senior Faculty
Dr. Nesbit’s interdisciplinary research focus encompasses studies of leadership and collaboration, and she has presented nationally and internationally. She received several fellowships, including one involving study of educational approaches in Germany and Poland, and served as Visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School. She serves on an advisory board of a vocational school where she has offered workshops on interviewing, among other topics. She will bring a strengths-based frame of leadership development to the discussions on effective Life Design Interventions.

Maura McCullough, Ph.D.
Maura McCullough holds a PhD in Counseling and Psychology from Lesley University, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed School Counselor, and a Certified Grief Counselor. She holds National Counselor Certification and is committed to innovation within the human arts and to re-envisioning multicultural counseling and life design interventions for the post-pandemic future. As a dual citizen, she is committed to fostering partnerships and collaboration with international higher education colleagues. Maura has held leadership positions in higher and secondary education and is a guest lecturer at Lesley University. She maintains a private practice focused on career and transition counseling, which includes recent PhD graduates struggling to navigate the post PhD transition. She also counsels doctoral students and PhD candidates experiencing distress, confronting writers’ block, grief, or loss.

Meenakshi Chhabra, Ph.D.
Professor in Global Interdisciplinary Studies. Dr. Chhabra is a Fulbright Scholar and a practitioner in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. For almost two decades, her research and practice has focused on supporting educators, women, and youth in international protracted conflict zones.  Her recent research related to the topic of Life Design draws on field work in Palestine with young first-time school educators and seeks to shift the discourse of life course design to a human right. The research aims to explore meaningful ways of providing life course design mentoring in protracted conflict contexts, a missing voice in the field of Life Design Interventions.

Raquel Chapin Stephenson, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LCAT
Raquel Chapin Stephenson is Associate Professor and Graduate Art Therapy Program Coordinator. Her work is on the intersection of arts and aging, helping older adults navigate age related changes through involvement in the arts and expressive therapies. Through her research, the voices, experiences and assets of elders advocate for inclusivity in society, community, and can be applied to professional identity and opportunity. Her current research project is, Weaving the tapestry: How creative engagement inspires and informs the life course design of older adults.

Sue Motulsky, Ed.D.
Dr. Motulsky is an Associate Professor in the Division of Counseling and Psychology at Lesley University. Her teaching, research and writing interests include feminist, relational psychology; gender, multicultural and LGBT identity development; career development and transitions; and qualitative, constructivist, and narrative research as well as social justice issues in counselor education. Sue publishes articles and presents at national conferences on relational career counseling and career transition, transgender career issues, qualitative inquiry in psychology, and social justice in counseling psychology. She maintains a private practice in career counseling and has an extensive background in career development and transition in university, community, and human services settings. Sue’s approach to teaching and counseling is based on a relational definition of a healthy psychological self as being in connection with the self, with others, and with the world.

Kerry Patenaude
Kerry Patenaude is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Educational Studies program at Lesley University. Her research focuses on identity and the process of change, with particular interest in individual experiences at the intersections of their efforts toward inclusion and facing the structures and barriers of exclusion. She is pursuing studies at the intersections of identity development, identity in transition, and identity re-construction within ecological and social justice systems frameworks. She is currently most interested in exploring how processes of change impact identities as people navigate life changes bending toward social justice in international and transcultural settings.

From left to right: Michelle Vital, Maura McCullough, Donna San Antonio, Marion Nesbit, Meenakshi Chhabra, and Raquel Stephenson