Meet Our Education Team
Sylvie Abrams was born and raised in France where she made many trips to the neighborhood zoological garden as a child. She holds a Masters in Languages (English and Italian) from Université Jean Moulin (Lyons). She started her career in the software industry, managing the internationalization of products and the creation of edutainment titles for children. She is currently working in broadcasting.
For the past ten years, Sylvie has volunteered for a wild and exotic animal sanctuary in California, where she resides. This volunteer position has given her the opportunity to provide care and enrichment to many animals and education to humans. She is also part of an international non-profit organization providing education about climate change.
Debra Curtin is New England Primate Conservancy's founder. For 35-years, Debra developed and delivered presentations, workshops and training seminars for professionals in multiple industries.
Well-versed in the plight of captive nonhuman primates and their need for sanctuary, Debra launched New England Primate Conservancy's outreach programs in 2004, speaking at a variety of venues on behalf of the Conservancy's mission and addressing students from elementary to university and graduate school programs. She developed the Conservancy's original Education Center curriculum, produced the accompanying educational videos, and organized the education team.
Christine Regan Davi
Christine Regan Davi is a writer and editor with a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. She also works for an entrepreneurial skin care company, with a personal focus on helping clients develop better-for-you products that use natural, sustainable, and globally conscious ingredients. In her previous life as a reporter and editor for The Cape Codder and Solid State Technology, she researched and covered topics as varied as semiconductor manufacturing in Taiwan, women’s health (including breast cancer research, the sex trade industry, and women’s prison conditions) and the wildlife conservation efforts of Mass Audubon.
Throughout her career, Christine’s love of writing and deep curiosity about the world have led her to work with organizations like Orenda Wildlife Land Trust on Cape Cod and Mass Humanities, for which she developed and facilitated a family literacy program curriculum. Animals have figured prominently in her life: her first dog was a rescue from the streets of Tehran, where she was born and spent her early childhood. She’s currently working on a middle-grade novel involving a girl and an orphaned loon.
Christine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and WISE (Women Impacting Store Brand Excellence); she also serves as a trustee for the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA.
Christine has been writing primate profiles for NEPC since mid-2017.
Kathleen (Kathy) Downey is a lifelong animal protection advocate. At age 11, she successfully appealed to her town's legislators for the preservation of a pet cemetery that was to be razed. As an adult, she’s participated in and helped organize several animal protection campaigns in Massachusetts, including the successful 1996 Ban the Steel-Jaw Leghold Trap; Grey2K campaigns, which succeeded in banning the abusive practice of greyhound racing in 2008; and a 2016 Massachusetts initiative, working with Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, to ban the cruelest of farm animal confinements.
As a journalist, Kathleen has worked as a correspondent for regional publications, profiling people in the community and writing feature articles—highlighting animal protection and environmental causes whenever the opportunity arose. For seven years, she wrote the newsletter and fundraising appeals for the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (mrfrs.org), along with appeals for other animal rescue organizations. She also wrote a regional book, Legendary Locals of Newburyport, published in 2014, for Arcadia Publishing.
Kathleen has been writing NEPC primate profiles, editing our book and other educational content, and contributing her input to NEPC initiatives since early 2016.
Laura Fern is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls studying to be an English and ESL teacher. She grew up in small town Wisconsin, and from a young age loved animals. When she was little, she used to watch VHS tapes on repeat that featured Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter" and wildlife advocate. She also loves horses, and has been trail riding since she was only five years old.
Laura spent the past year in Brazil teaching English and learning Brazilian Portuguese. She hopes to return to Brazil in the future to start her own English school. In addition, she is inspired and endlessly interested in different cultures and customs, and hopes to be a successful advocate and teacher for immigrants that travel to the United States. She is passionate about writing, loves to read, and hopes to be an author in the future.
Nina Shangari is an interactive digital analyst, writer, photographer and traveler, with a BS in Professional & Technical Communication from the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY).
She has written website copy, blogs, tv scripts, user manuals, tutorials, and technical/functional documentation for a variety of industries—including healthcare, international broadcast media, and advertising/tech. With a longstanding passion for the “green” movement, Nina has poured herself into passion projects both locally and internationally to further her understanding and involvement of ecological conservation and animal welfare. She loves her cat more than some close friends, and dreams of one day writing her way through the meandering avenues and alleyways of the world as a travel writer/photographer.
Nina has been writing primate profiles for NEPC since October 2017.