The Heller School for Social Policy and Management


Our staff is composed of researchers, advocates, students and other professionals who are dedicated to developing, disseminating and identifying resources for parents with disabilities, their families, and those who work with them. 

Kerry Patenaude, Project Manager

Kerry Patenaude

Project Manager

Kerry Patenaude is a doctoral student in the individually-designed interdisciplinary Educational Studies program at Lesley University.  Her areas of interest include Disabilities Studies, Public Policy, and Transitions. Kerry has worked with students with disabilities of all ages in a variety of contexts for over 25 years, including as a mother. Most recently she served as the Assistant Director of Disability Services & Support at Brandeis University for six years and prior to that she was the Assistant Director of Student Support Services at Boston University School of Medicine.  Kerry is very excited to make the transition from direct services to the research and policy side of disability work.

Finn Gardiner

Communications Coordinator

Finn Gardiner is the Lurie Institute’s Communications Specialist. He is a disability rights advocate who is primarily interested in accessible communications, intersectional disability justice, inclusive technology, and equitable access to community resources including education, employment, and health care. Throughout his work, Finn combines disability advocacy, policy analysis and research, and written and visual communications through policy briefs, original reports and white papers, and contributions to research projects. His research and advocacy interests include education and employment for autistic adults, comparative disability policy, inclusive technology, LGBTQ cultural competency, and policy that takes into account the intersections between disability, race, LGBTQ identities, class, and other experiences. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Heller School and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Tufts University. Finn also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Human Services Research Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to research and policy advocacy benefiting people with disabilities and seniors. 

Eun Ha Namkung

Postdoctoral Fellow

Eun Ha Namkung, Ph.D., MSW, is a postdoctoral associate at the Lurie Institute of Disability Policy. Her research interests center around health and well-being of individuals with disabilities as well as their family caregivers over the life course. She is particularly interested in examining social and environmental determinants of health disparities among these vulnerable population. Most of her recent work examines the family relationships and physical and mental health outcomes among families of an adult child with intellectual/developmental disabilities or serious mental illnesses. Her current research projects include investigations of (1) mental and physical health status, (2) social and economic determinants of health, and (3) policy or environmental effects on health among parents with disabilities using population-based data. Prior to joining Brandeis, Dr. Namkung was a researcher in Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA). She has received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her MSW from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Anne Valentine

Research Associate

Anne Valentine, MPH, is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate.  Her research interests include mental health and substance use services research; healthcare disparities; social and behavioral determinants of health status; behavioral economics and obesity. Prior to matriculating at Brandeis, she was the project manager for the NIMH Center for Advanced Mental Health Disparities at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research.
National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities