Connected Beginnings Training Institute

Our Staff

Mary Watson Avery

Director, Connected Beginnings Training Institute

Mary Watson Avery

Mary Watson Avery’s career has focused on work with children birth to 8 years, building nurturing environments in family services and early childhood practitioner professional development. Her special interests include the support of very young children at risk; the development of trauma-sensitive learning environments; effective parent engagement; best practice in coaching across settings; and the mentoring of early childhood trainers.

With substantial experience in developing curriculum, planning professional development, as well as coaching and mentoring groups and individuals, Mary is a well-respected educator across the Commonwealth and the region. In addition to training on a wide variety of topics related to the social emotional well-being on very young children and their families, Mary is a master trainer in all aspects of Pyramid Model implementation, including Train-the-Trainer, Train-the-Coach, Program-Wide Implementation and the Pyramid Model Family Modules. In addition to her many years as an early childhood educator, Mary has taught at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Wheelock College. She also served as the Director of Family Connections, a community mental health outreach program targeting parental depression, based at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Mary earned a master's in infant & toddler studies from Wheelock College with additional training in trauma-informed practices at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Mary also earned a BFA in studio art from Manhattanville College.

(774) 455-7366

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Catherine Wakely

Data and Instructional Technologies Manager

Catherine Wakely

Catherine Wakely's expertise includes Salesforce, website administration, and data management. She has also worked as an operations coordinator at Sun Life Financial and an IT support consultant at the University of Maine.

Ms. Wakely earned a bachelor's in animal science from the University of Maine. 

(774) 455-7365

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Contracting with Us

The UMass Donahue Institute is pre-approved to offer a variety of options for streamlined, simplified contracting both within Massachusetts and at the federal level.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts

Office of the President

100 Venture Way, Suite 9

Hadley, Massachusetts 01035

(413) 545-0001

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