Think College Welcomes New Staff

In the midst of a wrapping up one grant, working through Year 1 of our current grant, applying for still another grant (and some of us taking some time off), TWO new staff joined Think College this summer! Ashley Luce joined the team as program coordinator for the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) project at UMass Boston and consults on college-based transition services and disability services, and Belkis Choiseul-Praslin has joined the National Coordinating Center team as a research associate on the Evaluation Team. Both women are already exhibiting a great deal of flexibility and excellent collaboration. We are looking forward to the contributions Ashley and Belkis will make to our team and the field of inclusive higher education.

Learn a bit more about each of the new Think College staff, in their own words.

Ashley Luce

"I am excited to begin my new position coordinating the MAICEI program at UMASS Boston. I see this as an opportunity to rebuild a strong college transition program to serve the schools in the Boston area. Before joining Think College, I coordinated the MAICEI program at Framingham State University. In my time at FSU I also worked with disability services, supporting students with autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and psychological disabilities. I assured that students had access to needed accommodations, and also consulted with faculty members surrounding the delivery of academic supports. As an academic coach and educational coach, I worked one-on-one with students to work on executive functioning skills. I also have previous experience with student retention efforts for students who were considered at risk. I earned my M.A. in Counseling Psychology and B.A. in Criminology at Framingham State University."


Belkis Choiseul-Praslin

"Prior to starting my teaching career, I planned to become an AP English teacher but after being selected to join the 2013 cohort of the [Washington] DC Teaching Fellowship program, I found myself working as an 11th and 12th grade special education teacher and never looked back. That first teaching job introduced me to the world of transition, and it ignited a passion to support students with disabilities as they prepared to move into the ‘adult world’ where they would spend the rest of their lives. I later became a transition coordinator and oversaw a community worksite program for adult students with severe/profound disabilities. The work I did there was so fulfilling, and the program made great gains every year - I wanted to do that on a larger scale.  I did my doctoral program at University of Oklahoma and had the opportunity to work with the amazing students in the Sooner Works program. This opened my eyes to a world outside of K-12 where I could provide transition education and support to students in their natural campus and employment settings, which I think make a lasting impact on students.

My current research focuses on preparing special educators to plan and teach transition to students with disabilities through college/university teacher preparation programs and professional development for in-service educators. In addition to my work at Think College NCC, I teach university courses for Pacific University. I am so happy to have joined TC’s evaluation team which combines my transition knowledge and experience with a newfound love for data analysis. In this role, I get to support how the NCC collects and analyzes TPSID data and I can help inform how information gained from the data is disseminated. While the data analysis part of my job is more technical, the information gained from it can help improve existing programs and processes which in turn mean better postsecondary experiences and outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities."