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Charlie Dunne


Senior Network Engineer

Photo of Charlie Dunne

As a child, I was interested in all sorts of mechanical and electrical things. Before coming to CAST, I worked at the Museum of Science in Boston and afterwards on wired and wireless voice communications systems,  particularly on large Public Safety systems. Helping others and solving problems for the general good have always been motivators for me.

I had been doing technical work for many years by the 1980s, and I was intent on changing careers, so I was working on an undergraduate degree in literature. For a time, I thought about continuing in English Lit., but my advisor helped me realize that it wasn’t the right fit. He recommended looking into the Ed. School at Harvard. I entered the masters program there the following year, thinking that I might teach high school English. My field work in a regional high school outside of Boston brought back to me the reality of what high school had been like. I decided that I didn’t want to work in that environment.

Fortunately (like many at CAST) I decided to take David Rose’s course. His, along with one or two others, opened up the possibility of combining my technical, educational and humanistic interests. Those courses gave me a framework for better understanding how poorly formal education deals with individual differences – and I suppose it helped me realize that educational systems should adapt to the individual – not the other way around.

After finishing at the Ed. school I worked as an intern during a CAST summer institute at Harvard, and then become an employee.

In the past, particularly when CAST was working with individuals, I worked on Text-To-Speech hardware, software development and adaptive devices – like the universal adjustable chin switch and accessible (scanning access) software development.


My inspirations include John Dewey, D.H. Lawrence, J.S. Bach, Vernon Howard, Thomas Edison, A.G. Bell, and, of course, my wife Liz.



MEd, Harvard Graduate School of Education
BA, Tufts University