Instructors A-D

James Becker is the founder of He provides customized financial literacy workshops and individualized financial coaching on topics such as: retirement planning, investing, financial advisor assessments, college financial aid and student loan repayment, and developing healthy spending and saving habits. He earned an Economics degree from Brown University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Mr. Becker has taught in many different contexts, including high school math, economics, and financial literacy workshops to adults of all ages. You can learn more about him at:

Barbara Beckwith co-facilitates "White People Challenging Racism: Moving From Talk to Action"; she also co-teaches "Getting Your Essays Out In the World." She is a freelance journalist (M.A. in journalism, Boston University) whose articles and essays appear in local and national magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Co-author of Standing Up to the SAT, she more recently published (2009) a booklet of essays, What Was I Thinking? Reflecting on Everyday Racism, available from As Co-Chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union ( and co-chair of its diversity committee, she co-wrote and co-edited Strength Through Diversity: A Handbook for Locals ( She is a volunteer for the Library on Racism at Community Change (


Brian holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He teaches history courses he hopes his students will enjoy and from which he himself will learn more.

Frances Blasque and Jeannette Muzima are seasoned musicians, performers, and teachers. Together they are the Gray Divas, and have entertained throughout New England. Their teaching experience spans many years, and they are committed to working in a way that is fun and inspiring for all participants. They know that playing the ukulele, a small, but mighty instrument, is a joy all can appreciate. Music creates love. Love creates peace.

Joshua Bolduc is web developer who has been teaching at CCAE since 2015. He has been writing PHP in its various forms since 1999 and has worked on wide variety of projects ranging from small business websites to enterprise multi-site platforms. In his spare time he maintains several open-source projects and can occasionally be seen speaking at industry conferences.

LICSW, Wellspring Counseling Center

Merle Bombardieri, MSW, LICSW is a clinical social worker/psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in Lexington, MA. She is the former Clinical Director of RESOLVE, the national infertility organization and the author of The Baby Decision. She offers psychotherapy and coaching to help people achieve their goals by building on strengths using new strategies. She has meditated for 35 years and brings mind-body practices to her work. As a hypnotherapist, she helps people sleep through the night, reduce pain, and enhance creativity and artistic performance. She won a residency at Vermont Studio Center to work on her novel. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, Glamour, Self, and Brides.


M.L.A., Harvard University

Artist; Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher; Nationally Certified Jujitsu Instructor.

Musician; Composer; B.A., Berklee College of Music

Chris Brenne is a Swedish guitarist living in Arlington, MA. His music is influenced in equal amounts by Bert Jansch, Mississippi John Hurt, Yes, Debussy, Pat Metheny, The Beatles, Ravi Shankar, Pierre Bensusan, Pink Floyd, and more. Chris has toured around America for years playing his own songs and those of his duo Red Velvet Slide. He also performs live for yoga classes and has a background in rock and world beat.


Hillel Bromberg grew up drinking Lipton with lots of sugar and lemon. His love affair with tea began with a rich pu-ehr that tasted like no tea he’d ever had. Then he found a malty keemun. When the oolongs entered his life, he knew he’d found a home in tea. Hillel is a certified tea sommelier always looking to increase his own knowledge of tea and expose as many people as possible to the delights of Camellia sinensis. His dreams of opening a tea shop where people can sit, slow down, and enjoy a proper cup properly steeped. When he is not sipping, he writes, bikes, cares for his family, and cooks fine vegetarian fare.

Artist, M.F.A., School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



ESL Instructor

Emily Brown has been teaching ESL classes and tutoring private students in the Boston area since Fall 2009. She has a degree in Anthropology, and currently teaches ESL in Cambridge and Downtown Boston. She has just returned from 3 years teaching English in South America.

Rachel Brown works professionally in the world of higher education admissions, though she has always pursued creative hobbies in her free time. She teaches a course on modern calligraphy, a skill she's practiced since the beginning of 2016. Her work can be found on Etsy in her shop, "Rebel Lettering."


Melinda Bruno-Smith is a freelance photographer and arts educator. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Studio Art/Photography from New York University and has exhibited her work in Boston, New York and Italy.


Originally from Colombia, Luisa Buitrago is a Boston based clarinetist. Before her move to the United States Luisa was living and working in Colombia. While in South America, she participated in the Cartagena Music Festival, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango concert series and the Santa Catalina FEMUSC Music Festival in Brazil. As an international performer, she performed with the Band of Valencia throughout Spain. Luisa is currently pursuing her masters degree in clarinet performance at Longy School of Music.

Certified Beer Judge

Kris Butler is an exam-certified beer judge and president of the Boston Map Society. She has judged beer competitions in the U.S. and Italy, collaborated on a commercial beer in Denmark, consults on American craft beer for a pub in Devon, England, and is an award-winning homebrewer. In the field of maps, she writes cartography book reviews for Imago Mundi and was a contributing writer to the 2015 book MAP by Phaidon Press. In spite of her love of maps, she has no sense of direction, especially after indulging in her love of beer.
Twitter: @TravelSips and @BosMapSociety