As a Senior Technical Assistance Specialist and Research Scientist at AnLar, Monica focuses on magnifying the impact of people-serving organizations—particularly those serving young children and their families. She loves working with clients to identify areas of growth and creatively use data and diverse perspectives & expertise to design and implement solutions to what seem like deeply entrenched societal challenges.
Monica has over 20 years of work experience in the education sector. Prior to joining AnLar, Monica served in a variety of positions including as the Director of Programs and Strategy at the Zaentz Early Education Initiative at Harvard University (where she led the Initiative’s professional learning community and managed strategic planning), as an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston (where she proudly supported early ed leaders and teachers in their quest to become highly effective professionals) and as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher (where she began learning how to be an empathetic person while working with a lot of awesome adolescents).
Monica has a Doctorate in Education and a Master’s in Prevention Science and Practice from Harvard University, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em Horns!), and a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biology from Purdue University (Go Boilermakers!). When forced to pick her favorite research interest she often chooses understanding the organizational and adult contributions to education settings with the overarching goal of improving those environments for all children. But, in reality, she finds most social phenomena captivating and worth learning about. Her favorite author is Terry Pratchett whose books first taught her (when she began reading them in middle school) about the concept of the multiverse, the immense power of hope and kindness, and the importance of being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.