Martha Bakken

Charles Baldwin

Charles G. Baldwin is the Program Officer for the Mass Cultural Council’s Universal Participation (UP) Initiative, which provides resources for organizations seeking to develop inclusive and equitable tools for policy development and community engagement. For 15 years Charles was the Director of Marketing and Operations at Wheelock Family Theatre, a professional, Equity theatre in Boston committed to affordable, colorful, accessible theatre for children and families. He serves on the Executive Committee of CANE (Cultural Access New England) and is an active participant in the Kennedy Center’s LEAD Conference (Leadership Exchange for Arts and Disability). Charles was a founding member of TAMA (Theatre Artists Marketing Alliance) and CBACT (Consortium of Boston Area Children’s Theatres) and has been a consultant to The Accessible Theater (2012-2015) and the Fenway Alliance Disability Review Board (2008-2010). Currently he serves on the Disability Task Force (Jewish Family and Children’s Services) and the ReelAbilities Boston Advisory Panel. Out of the office, Charles is an educator, illustrator, stage designer, and puppeteer.

Gracie Brakeman

(Any pronouns) is a theatre-maker and creative producer living in San Francisco. Favorite theater credits include Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Production Manager); Coming Soon (Associate Producer & Casting Director); Collective Rage (Director); The Donkey Show (Co-Director and Choreographer). Gracie graduated from Northwestern University and has worked as an administrator at American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, and Atlantic Theater Company. In her free time, Gracie does partner acrobatics, contact improv dance, and community organizing. She personally experienced Wheelock Family Theatre’s ability to transform lives as she performed in 9 WFT productions during her childhood.

Dr. David Chard

David J. Chard, Ph.D., became Dean ad interim of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development on June 1, 2018. He was previously President of Wheelock College before its merger with Boston University. Prior to that, Dr. Chard served as Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he created a strategic vision focused on undergraduate and graduate programs built on evidence-based practices.

Dr. Chard holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and a B.S. degree in mathematics and chemistry education from Central Michigan University. He has held faculty positions at Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, he oversaw curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education.

A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, Dr. Chard has taught courses on behavior management, special education reading and writing, learning disabilities, and special education law. He has served on more than 30 doctoral dissertation committees in special education, communication disorders and sciences, literacy and language, school psychology, and cognitive psychology.

In October of 2011, Dr. Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES). He was confirmed in 2012 by the U.S. Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013.

Mikhail Higgins

MD MPH, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Interventional Radiology in the Department of Radiology at Boston Medical Center. He received his BA from Macalester College (Saint Paul, MN), and MD from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He holds an Advanced Professional MPH with a concentration in Health Care Policy and Health Care Administration from Yale University.

He completed a residency in Radiology as well as a 4th year concentration in Interventional Radiology (IR) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a fellowship in IR at the University of Virginia and is a diplomat of the American Board of Radiology.

At Boston Medical Center, he serves as the Associate Program Director for the Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology pathway and as the Director of the Radiology Medical Student Selective and Electives.

He is the Founding Chair of RISQCS (Radiology Interventions Safety Quality and Complications Symposium), a dedicated medicolegal, patient-safety, and risk management IR educational initiative for medical students, IR trainees and practicing IR’s, and which has been endorsed by the Society of Interventional Radiology.

His professional interests include patient safety and risk management in IR, engaging resilience and vitality as antidotes for Burnout, optimizing medical student and trainee education, diversity and inclusion enrichment, as well as interprofessional management of frostbite.

Dr. Higgins is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He has received numerous awards for his performance in medical and graduate school including the Isadore Meschan Award for Academic Excellence in Radiologic Sciences (Wake Forest School of Medicine), Outstanding Community Service Award (Yale University), and the Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed Award (Yale School of Public Health). He is the founder and former managing editor of OASIS, an anthology journal for medical students he created at Wake Forest University. He is the cofounder of the UPHS-CHOP Alliance of Minority Physicians (AMP), a grant and multi-institutional funded diversity and inclusion enhancement coalition of the University of Pennsylvania Health System Hospitals (UPHS) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He was nominated by AuntMinnie.Com as Semifinalist for Most Influential Radiology Researcher in 2020 and was inducted in the Boston University Medical Group’s Clinical Excellence Society in 2021. He is the Vice Chair of the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria expert panel on Interventional Radiology and is a member of the ACR Commission on Women and Diversity.

He has extensive experience mentoring underrepresented high school and college students. In his personal time, he serves as a certified yoga instructor as well as a high performance coach for professional athletes and other performance-minded individuals.

Susan Kosoff

Susan Kosoff is a theatre director, playwright, author, and professor emerita at Wheelock College.  She is a founder of the Harwich Winter Theatre and the Wheelock Family Theatre, and takes pride in its reputation for ground-breaking work in nontraditional casting, arts access, and theatre education.  Ms. Kosoff’s plays have been performed on stages around the country.  Her most recent publication is the two-volume set, The Young Actor’s Book of Improvisation:  Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg, co-written with Sandra Caruso.  She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, and is a member of the boards of StageSource, Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre, and Wheelock Family Theatre.

Shelagh Leahy

(She/Her/Hers) began her career at ABC News, where she produced award-winning long-form and documentary work. In managerial and executive roles at CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS, she has created and directed programming, recruited and managed teams and talent, and led strategic plans and partnerships. As an independent producer she develops and produces digital + social content for clients including Time, Inc., The Economist, The New Yorker, WGBH, Hewlett Foundation, Stanford University, and The World Science Festival. She has taught journalism and Boston University, and serves as a juror for the Alfred I. duPont Awards at Columbia University

Dr. Holly Oh

(She/Her/Hers) is a pediatrician and the Chief Quality Officer at Cityblock Health, an innovative start-up providing high quality health care to low income communities in multiple states.  Previously, she was the Chief Medical Officer of The Dimock Center in Roxbury. Over 20 years at the health center, she built care models that integrate physical health, behavioral health, and social resource need connection to serve patients and families of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and beyond.  She and her family live in Brookline, MA, and she is a delighted WFT parent, with a child who has enjoyed the experiences of WFT’s educational programming and mainstage productions.

Myran Parker-Brass

A Chicago native, Myran Parker-Brass is a music educator, administrator, consultant and professional musician with thirty years experience providing access to quality arts and education.  In 2009, Myran joined the Boston Public Schools (BPS) as Executive Director for the Arts providing strategic vision and systemically building and deepening arts education focused on quality, equity and access for all students. The BPS arts expansion and collective impact strategies are national models for urban school districts. Before joining BPS, Myran was Director of Education for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in her twenty year tenure she developed model programs to support arts education for all Massachusetts communities. Myran also served as Chair of Experiential Education at Longy School of Music, developing the graduate teaching artist training program. Myran has extensive experience as a strategic and cultural planning consultant and serves on the board of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Landmark Orchestra and the Arts Education Council for Americans For The Arts.  In 2014 Myran received the Excellence in Arts Education Award from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and in 2016 was selected as a member of Education Week’s class of “Leaders to Learn From”.

Rudina Seseri

Rudina Seseri is Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to investing in the next generation of founders reinventing enterprise and security markets using the power of AI and frontier technology. Rudina has 20 years of investing and operational experience in high-growth companies across enterprise SaaS, where she serves as a director on their boards. Rudina is a Harvard Business School Executive Fellow and previously was served as a Rock Venture Capital Partner and Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Her philanthropy work includes serving as Chair of the Philanthropy Board of Advisors for Boston Children’s Hospital and as a Trustee for the Meadowbrook School of Weston.

A woman with short white hair smiling.

Jane Staab

is delighted to return to the WFT stage, her home for 33 years. A founder of Wheelock Family Theatre, Jane has directed over 30 productions, including Annie, Honk, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and most recently, Beauty and the Beast. She performed in well over 75 plays which included Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Jean Brodie in To A Mouse, A Mole and A Troll, among many wonderful roles at Wheelock. She wrote the music for several original productions at WFT including The Norton Award winning The Secret Garden. After retiring as a teacher at Wheelock College and WFT staff member, she moved back to her theatre roots at the Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Jr. Theatre where she’s been fortunate to continue acting, directing and teaching. Jane was seen on Broadway with Frank Langella in The Prince of Homburg, worked off-Broadway and at several regional theatres, but considers her work at WFT and HJT, helping young performers grow and thrive, to be the most rewarding of all possible careers.

Jerry Wheelock

Jerry has worked in several human-service roles, most recently with a group that does workforce training for immigrant hotel workers. He began his connection with WFT@BU as a stage dad for his aspiring actor daughter in the Wizard of Oz.  He continued by building sets and props, sewing, wrangling and ushering over her nine WFT shows.  Even after her departure for college, he continued to work on productions and helped with the BU transition backstage. He has served on the Board of Boston Arts Academy and works with the scenic design teacher to purchase equipment and maintain their shop. He is also on the Board of the Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury, a historic mansion from 1747.

Dr. Harvey Young

Harvey Young’s research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals, profiled in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education. As a commentator on popular culture, he has appeared on CNN, 20/20, and Good Morning America as well as within the pages of the New York Times,Vanity Fair and People.

He has published seven books, including Embodying Black Experience, winner of “Book of the Year” awards from the National Communication Association and the American Society for Theatre Research and, most recently, Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (coauthored with Mecca Zabriskie).

In January 2018, he became Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. Between 2002 and 2017, Dr. Young was a member of the faculty of Northwestern University, where he was also Professor and Chair of Theatre.

He is the current President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and has served on the boards of numerous arts and educational organizations, including the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston) and the Yale Club of Chicago among others. A former Harvard and Stanford fellow, Dr. Young graduated with honors from Yale and holds a M.A. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and a Ph.D. from Cornell.