Carrie Portrie joined the Carsey School’s civic engagement initiative, New Hampshire Listens, in 2016 as a project manager and small group facilitator to address issues on childhood lead poisoning, substance misuse and harm reduction, early childhood education and care, school-based race and equity dialogues among educators, and community needs in northern New Hampshire. Her role soon expanded to include program evaluation support and coalition building, and now Carrie is taking on a full-time position as research faculty.
“I like being on the road involved in field work, projects that serve and engage with communities, and holding space for people to build greater understanding of one another across difference.”
“I found NH Listens while pursuing my PhD in Education at UNH,” Carrie said. “Bruce Mallory, who cofounded NH Listens along with Michele Holt-Shannon, invited me to work on a series of early childhood conversations across the state. As I drove to meetings and conversations with Michele, Bruce, and NH Listens Fellow Courtney Wrigley that summer and following fall, I remember feeling very excited. I had found the alignment I was looking for in my research and career overall. I like being on the road involved in field work, projects that serve and engage with communities, and holding space for people to build greater understanding of one another across difference.”
Carrie’s background in early childhood education, special education, cultural anthropology, and sociology brings a unique mix of professional and personal skills to the NH Listens team. An AmeriCorps alum, she completed two terms of service building and maintaining hiking trails in Montana and then in the foothills of the Cascades in Washington state. During her time in Washington, she tutored students with dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, and other learning disabilities – an experience that provided a window into the immense abilities and unique outlooks of students who have disabilities and how their experiences, ways of knowing, and perspectives are often undervalued in schools. She carried this insight with her as she served as an Assistant Director at Kids Co. Ballard, a preschool and afterschool care site in Seattle.
Following her stint in Seattle, Carrie returned to her hometown of Dover, NH, to pursue graduate school while working in public schools and then on federal grants housed at UNH’s Institute on Disability and Department of Education. The invitation that followed to be part of NH Listens’ state-wide project brought her full circle to the work she finds most meaningful – helping people come together across differences to confront challenging issues.
“UNH faculty and staff have included me on a number of projects that have bolstered my learning and career. I am thankful and very much looking forward to my work with NH Listens and the Carsey School. There is a lot to do.”
“UNH faculty and staff have included me on a number of projects that have bolstered my learning and career,” Carrie said. “I am thankful and very much looking forward to my work with NH Listens and the Carsey School. There is a lot to do.”
Carrie is an alumna of the NH-ME Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. She coordinated the Early Childhood Special Education Assistive Technology (EC-SEAT) project and provided guidance on universal design for learning for the UNH Teacher Residency for Rural Education project along with project logistical supports.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology from Roger Williams University, a master’s degree from the UNH in early childhood special education, and a PhD from UNH in education with a focus on children and youth in communities.
“We are thrilled that Carrie is joining NH Listens full time as research faculty," said Michele Holt-Shannon, Director of NH Listens. "Carrie brings a great combination so needed in equity and engagement work – deep understanding of systems and policies along with the everyday skills to empower people to notice and reduce inequality. She keeps our team honest about doing our best work.”