61 Sever Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Executive Director of Global Initiatives
Professor of Teacher Education and Family Studies
Division: Education and Psychology
Office Location: 30 Roxbury Street
Dr. Debra Pallatto-Fontaine wants to make the world a better place, and she encourages her students to do the same. Since 2000, Dr. Pallatto-Fontaine, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, has served as a volunteer with Global Ministries in Asia, Africa, and Central America, where she taught Bible studies and English classes to adults. She has also educated pastors in China on how to best counsel their parishioners regarding family issues such as divorce, child rearing, and domestic violence.
In the classroom, where she teaches courses on education, religion, and humanities, Dr. Pallatto-Fontaine strives to inspire her students toward their own humanitarian endeavors, particularly for people who are in some way impoverished. Field trips to area community agencies and guest lecturers are regular features of her curricula, providing opportunities for her students to meet people who are working toward making a positive difference for others.
Ultimately, Dr. Pallatto-Fontaine would like all of her students to nurture a passion for helping others as well for the work they will do after graduation. In 2010, she partnered with students to form the Becker College Mission 2 Go, a club that plans and coordinates community outreach initiatives and service trips. As the faculty advisor, she led the first international service trip to Honduras in May 2011.
Prior to joining the Becker College faculty in 1998, Dr. Pallatto-Fontaine was on the faculty at Assumption College, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in education. She serves on the Worcester Interreligious Forum, where she participates in projects and activities that promote community education about world religions. She is also on the board of directors for the Spiritual Life Center in Bloomfield, Connecticut, where she has conducted several workshops in spiritual formation for chaplains and church leaders. She earned a doctorate in curriculum, instruction, and supervision; a master’s degree in education; and a sixth year in counseling psychology from the University of Connecticut, as well as a master of divinity degree from Hartford Seminary.
Gifts in Open Hands: More Worship Resources for the Global Community (contributor), Maren Tirabassi and Kathy Wonson Eddy, Pilgrim Press, 2011.
Our Korean Partnership Committee, ConnTact (Connecticut Conference of the UCC), October/November 2006.
Becoming a Ministries and Mission Interpreter, ConnTact, September 2006.
Women in the Chinese Church (independent research study for Hartford Seminary on the role of women), summer 2006.
Teaching and Learning Across Borders, Becker Bridges, Spring 2006.
Rev. John Thomas Visits the Quiet Corner, ConnTact, Jan./Feb. 2005.
Across Borders: God Is Still Speaking, A Journal of Faith, Hope, and Love (completed journal on Huangshan Summer English Program), summer 2005.
A Spirit of Faith in Woodstock, ConnTact, spring 2004.
Teaching in China: An Opportunity of a Lifetime, Cultural Meetings: American Writers, Scholars, and Artists in China, Guangxi Normal University Press, 2003.
From Woodstock to Changzhi, ConnTact, 2000.
We will be Muslims all of our lives, Bridge: A Forum on Muslim-Christian Relations, New York City: Global Ministries Middle East Office, 1996.