Advisory Council Members
Dr. Paul Thayer M.A., M. Div., D. Min.
Associate Professor of Education and Child life
Chair, Department of Child Life and Family Studies Wheelock College
Dr. Paul Thayer has inspired students and collaborated with colleagues at Wheelock College since 2000, where he is an Associate Professor of Education and Child Life. In addition to teaching child life and bereavement courses, Dr. Thayer’s research interests include pediatric hospice, therapeutic boundaries in professional care, spirituality and illness and bereavement care for children.
Once graduating from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in psychology, Dr. Thayer received a MA in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College in 1979. Further study earned Dr. Thayer a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, during which he completed his child life internship at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Prior to teaching, Dr. Thayer practiced as a child life specialist, mental health counselor and inpatient hospice director. While teaching at Wheelock College Dr. Thayer earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University in 2007. His wife was also in grad school at the time so many nights were spent at the kitchen table after putting the kids to bed. All worth it!
An active family life remains central to Dr. Thayer. His wife, Donna, is a first grade teacher. Twenty four year old Jenny works as a loan officer and lives at home with her two year old daughter Sofia. Daughter Carly, 13, and son Sam, 11, also live at home as well as their beloved dog Ozzie.
Dr. Thayer is known and highly respected for his contributions to the study of cross cultural grief and bereavement practices, helping children and families worldwide. Annual trips to Singapore link students and professionals there to child life practices. He has also been a Jasper Whiting Fellow, studying grief in Singapore and in the United Kingdom. Dr. Thayer brings extensive knowledge and experience to Standish Foundation.