2023 Keynotes



Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD

Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD, award-winning and best-selling author specializing in emotionally intelligent leadership and preventing legal risks, is an international keynote speaker. iTunes ranked her radio program, Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference in its top 200 k-12 podcasts.
She served as Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maine and Assistant Dean at the University of Maine School of Law. While working as Associate Professor and Academic Dean at the University of Maine-Augusta, Holly Elissa was selected “Outstanding Professor”.

An alumna of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, she teaches leadership courses for Wheelock College, most recently in Singapore.
Her first book, Leading on Purpose was published by McGraw-Hill in 2008. Its sequel, What You Need to Lead: Emotional Intelligence in Practice has been one of NAEYC’s best-sellers. Managing Legal Risks, Teachers College Press, is another best-seller. The Comfort of Little Things received the Living Now Award for books in any field that “uplift the quality of life”. Her current writing focuses on transforming childhood trauma into healing wisdom. Her article “Broken into Wholeness” was released by Exchange Press in early 2018.

To “recovering attorney” Holly Elissa, life is too short to anything but enjoy it daily.



Dr. Stephanie M. Curenton-Jolly

Executive Director, Center on the Ecology of Early Development (CEED); Program Director, Child & Youth Policy Certificate Professor
Dr. Stephanie M. Curenton is a professor at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and the executive director of the Center on the Ecology of Early Development (CEED). She is a developmental and community psychologist who studies the social, cognitive, and language and literacy development of racially marginalized children within various ecological contexts, such as parent-child interactions, early childhood care and education, professional development interventions for the early childhood workforce, and related state and federal policies designed to promote the positive development and health of young children.
Dr. Curenton has received national policy fellowships from several organizations, including the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD)/American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Black Child Development Institute. She has worked as a research policy fellow in the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care. She is a board member for the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care, and previously served on the boards of National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and local Head Start programs.
Dr. Curenton’s research has been funded by the HHS Office of Program Research and Evaluation (OPRE), the National Academy of Science Ford Predoctoral Fellowship, American Education Research Association (AERA), Imaginable Futures, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, the Foundation for Child Development, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is an associate editor for Early Education and Development and previously served as associate editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly