Meet the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) Staff

Dr. Manju Banerjee, VP and Director of LCIRTManju Banerjee, Ph.D.
Vice President for Educational Research and Innovation
Director of LCIRT
Associate Professor

Dr. Banerjee has over 28 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and postsecondary education, and is a certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics such as Universal Design for Instruction, disability documentation and accommodations, and technological competencies for postsecondary transition and online learning. She was Co-PI of $1.03 million U.S. Dept. of Education demonstration project grant (#P333A080053) on “UDI Online: Applying Universal Design for Instruction to Online and Blended Courses” awarded in 2008 and completed in 2012. She currently teaches a graduate level online course on Universal Design: Principles and Practice. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Postsecondary Education Disability, Professional Advisory Board member to the Learning Disability Association of America, and a consultant to Educational Testing Service. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of Universal Design to assessment practices.

Photo of Karen BoutelleKaren Boutelle, M.Ed., PCC
Associate Director

Karen Boutelle’s experience in the field of education spans three decades and includes work with students from kindergarten through graduate school.  At Landmark College, she has served as faculty member, associate dean, and founding director of the Coaching Services department.   Karen is a Professional Certified Coach, and earned a Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate.  Her areas of expertise extend to adult development, transformational learning, and working with students and adults who have executive function challenges.  She co-authored “Executive Function Coaching for College Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD: A New Approach to Fostering Self-Determination,” Journal of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (11/09).  Recently, she completed an advanced somatic psychotherapy training program and is currently exploring the intersection of mindfulness practices, adult development, and leadership coaching.

Richard Bryck, Ph.D.
Assistant Director
Senior Academic Researcher

Rick received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon. His graduate work centered on the study of executive function using both behavioral and neuroscience methodologies (fMRI and ERP). His current interests revolve around understanding disparities in executive function related to developmental delay and/or mental health issues. Rick is also committed to developing and testing the efficacy of low-cost interventions aimed at enhancing executive functioning in at-risk populations. Dr. Bryck is the Principal Investigator on a National Institutes for Health (NIH) funded grant exploring an in-home cognitive training program for low income children (“Examining the Effects of Working Memory Training in Low SES children: # R21HD073589-01A1). Rick is also very excited to explore the multitude of outdoor adventures Vermont has to offer! 

Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Education and Research Specialist

Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Ph.D.
Senior Academic Researcher
Associate Professor

Dr. Dahlstrom-Hakki earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research has focused on visual perception and on learning. He is currently Principal Investigator of an NSF (National Science Foundation) Research in Disabilities Education Grant HRD-1128948 entitled "Investigating the Effectiveness of TinkerPlots in Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Understand Statistical Concepts." This grant is focused on improving introductory level statistics courses for students with LD at the postsecondary level. Dr. Dahlstrom-Hakki has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses at a number of campuses including the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, Holyoke Community College and the University of Phoenix. Dr. Dahlstrom-Hakki is primarily focused on the development of research projects aimed at investigating new or evaluating existing methods of delivering educational content to students with learning disabilities. In addition, he provides workshops and trainings on effective approaches to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content to students with LD and on Universal Design for Instruction.

Linda Hecker, Lead Education SpecialistLinda Hecker, M.Ed.
Lead Education Specialist
Associate Professor

At Landmark, Linda has directed tutorial and teacher training programs, taught English, study skills, and music classes, and served as an academic advisor and academic dean. She was appointed to the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training in 2001, and currently serves as a Lead Education Specialist. She frequently presents workshops, seminars and graduate courses for educators and parents. Ms. Hecker is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, including work on multi sensory learning and assistive technology. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M.Ed. from the University of Hartford. Linda has an active second life as an avid amateur violinist/violist who performs in many regional orchestras and ensembles. She also loves hiking, kayaking and biking the by-ways of Vermont.

Head shot of Zachary Alstad in LCIRT offices

Zachary Alstad, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Zachary Alstad recently finished his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington. As a graduate student, he was advised by Dr. Virginia Berninger. Berninger's research group is supported by the National Science Foundation and explores behavioral, neurological, and genetic aspects of learning disabilities. His dissertation work focused on the use of iPads for educational interventions to improve a student’s reading and writing. Zachary is interested in further possibilities for virtual reality in educational environments and how these emerging tools can assist students with disabilities. Zac is also a former Landmark College student and looks forward to sharing this journey with the students. 


Sarah Downing, Office Manager for LCIRT

Sarah Downing
Executive Administrative Assistant 
IRB Administrator

In her role as office manager, Sarah is the first point of contact for LCIRT inquiries. Those seeking additional information or customer service for workshop registrations or customized training workshops for faculty, staff and administrators receive initial assistance from the office manager. As part of the client intake process, the office manager is responsible for creating and processing contractual agreements for fee based services. In order to support ethical human subject research, Sarah serves as the administrator for Landmark College's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Sarah received a B.S. in marketing from Franklin Pierce University and assists with the Institute’s marketing efforts.

For additional information:

Landmark College Institute 
for Research & Training

19 River Road South
Putney, VT 05346