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Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University (1993)
Maria Bacigalupo holds a Masters and Doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard and a Master's degree in Counseling from Suffolk University. Dr. Bacigalupo, known to her students as Dr. B., is the recipient of the Curry College Human Justice Award (2011) for her work as an "ardent advocate for diversity, respect and inclusion within the educational workplace and the larger Curry community." *
Recruited directly out of her undergraduate program at Curry College to teach college-qualified, learning-disabled undergraduate students in the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL), Dr. B. is now (since 1993) a Full Professor at the College. "She has worked for over thirty years within the learning disabilities community - as teacher, mentor, and advocate, she has supported the rights of learning disabled individuals to services that enable them to participate successfully in education at all levels and to lead full and productive lives."
Dr. B. teaches a course in multicultural education and strategies for building an effective classroom culture in a pluralistic society to undergraduate education students as well as courses in curriculum articulation and universal design and differentiation in the Master's of Education Program. Her interest area continues to be Universal Design for Instruction (meeting the needs of the full range of learners in all classrooms). "Through her teaching of undergraduate and graduate students at Curry who make up countless current and future classroom teachers, she has been fiercely committed to the dignity, worth, and value of all students, recognizing the larger social and political realities of class inequality, racial segregation, and citizenship status which create barriers to educational success. No student leaves her course without a deep understanding of bias in schools, teaching, and curriculum - and ways to combat it. She has shown particular understanding and empathy towards the bullying that many disabled as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students face in school."
While teaching in the 80s and 90s, Dr. B. also co-founded a successful New England-based organization, The Learning Disabilities Network. The non-profit aided students with learning disabilities and their teachers and continued for two decades, largely on volunteer contributions. Here she "worked to build the resources and networks that connect people with learning challenges and differences, advancing their common interests" including operating some of the most successful conferences in the New England area for teachers of students with learning disabilities in the 80s and 90s.
"Dr. Bacigalupo has also served as an advocate and leader on behalf of workplace democracy." A member of the American Association of University Professors for more than 30 years, she has contributed to the local chapter in many roles, the latest of which is as Union President. Dr. Bacigalupo served as a member of five bargaining teams each resulting in a mutually satisfactory Agreement. "Through a variety of leadership roles, she has been a strong representative and voice for the faculty union here at Curry, demonstrating commitment to principles of dialogue, cooperation, fairness, equity, transparency, shared governance, and conflict resolution in the workplace." She was recently elected to a national office (National AAUP Council) in 2012 for a three year term.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Bacigalupo also occasionally consults with private special needs schools in the areas of curriculum alignment and universal design/differentiation, and she speaks at various conferences as well as at colleges and public schools.
*Further quotes in this description are from this award.