Michelle Cove (Founder MEDIAGIRLS)
Michelle Cove is the founder and former Executive Director of MEDIAGIRLS. She is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and journalist whose projects have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie,” “The Today Show,” Fox TV, and national publications including The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Parenting, MORE, and U.S. World News & Report. She is the author of I Love Mondays (Seal Press, 2012), co-author of the national bestseller I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict (Viking, 1999), and author of Seeking Happily Ever After (Tarcher Penguin, 2010). Michelle continues to blog regularly for the award-winning Huffington Post Parents, and speaks at festivals and conferences around the country. See more at www.michellecove.com.
With nearly 20 years’ experience in communications across multiple industries and sectors, Jacqueline currently serves as the Head of Communications & Brand for OSRAM, one of the world’s leading lighting manufacturers with a track record of more than 100 years. In her current role she represents the global communications and brand strategy with oversight of media relations, digital marketing, trade show and events, government/industry affairs and employee communications. Prior to joining OSRAM, she ran Corporate Communications for Lewiston, Maine-based, Northeast Bank. She oversaw the corporate charitable foundation and managed Corporate Social Responsibility for the med device manufacturer, Boston Scientific. Early in her career she interned with ABC News 20/20 (during the Barbara Walters era) which sparked her passion for communications. Her love of service started while getting her MA in Anthropology at Columbia University. Jacqueline also has her BA in Anthropology & Women’s Studies from Syracuse University and her MBA from Simmons University.
Damita Davis serves as the Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion at Boston College. Prior to this position, Damita was the Director of Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel College, where she was responsible for the development of diversity education programs and initiatives for students on campus. Damita conducts trainings for Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, other paraprofessionals and staff, and created the Rose Bulter Browne Leadership and Mentor Program for Women of Color as a course at The University of Rhode Island. Damita has served as a training consultant for Special Programs for Talent Development at URI, and developed curriculum for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Damita is a member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), and Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Education, and is founder and immediate past President of African American Women in Higher Education-New England.
Melissa Grossman (Past Board Member)
Melissa Grossman has over 20 years of non-profit management experience with a focus on leadership development, program development and implementation, and fundraising with organizations both small and large, including Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In addition to her role at MEDIAGIRLS, she directs a national book and author program focusing on issues of gender and religion at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Melissa also serves on the Board of Directors of Families First, an organization dedicated to improving parenting skills in at-risk communities. A lifelong consumer of media, Melissa is also the mother of a ten-year-old girl and has tremendous passion for issues of gender, body image and self-esteem. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and has her Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University.
Laura Johnson (Past Board Member)
Laura Johnson works at Boston University, where she serves as Director of Advising within the Provost’s Office. Before moving to BU, Laura served as a faculty member and administrator at Harvard University. At Harvard, she taught courses in History & Literature and in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, including “Girl Talk,” “Gender and Sports,” and “Gender and Education.” Laura holds a doctorate from Boston University in American Studies, with a specialization in gender studies. She earned a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she focused her studies on the social and emotional development of adolescents and young adults.
Jessie Newman has a long history of success as a corporate communications and social responsibility leader. Her expertise is in developing internal and external communications strategy, shaping culture and employee engagement, and effectively driving transformational change. She is currently the Director, Community Relations for Fresenius Medical Care North America based in Waltham, MA. Her most recent role was as the Vice President of Corporate Programs for the Mile High United Way in Denver. Prior to joining the United Way, she was president of a consulting firm that specialized in communications and Corporate Social Responsibility programs, with clients like Harvard Pilgrim Health Foundation, Fresenius Medical Care and Jackson Health.
Rachel Kalvert (Past Board Member)
Rachel Kalvert is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Boston seeing both individuals and couples. Rachel helps her clients understand their strengths in the workplace and also the patterns that may be causing dissatisfaction or conflict in their professional life. Through her consulting firm, Making Parenting WORK, Rachel also provides workshops to support working parents and expectant mothers in the workplace. Rachel became a Psychoanalyst after training at Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and obtained a MSW from New York University. Rachel received her BA from Smith College.
Amy Kingman is the Director of Advancement for Breakthrough Greater Boston, an organization dedicated to transforming urban education by putting kids in low-income communities on the path to college and inspiring and training the next generation of urban teachers. Most recently, Amy was the Boston Executive Director for Strong Women, Strong Girls, a mentoring program working to raising the aspirations of girls in low-income communities. Amy has dedicated her professional career to increasing opportunities for all young people. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Skidmore College. In addition to her work advising MEDIAGIRLS, Amy currently serves on the steering committee of Women in Nonprofits, the Youth Villages Women of Excellence selection committee and is a volunteer with Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring.
Kavita Pillay is a documentary producer, radio reporter and media consultant, who has traveled widely while unearthing a range of stories. Kavita began working in film as a documentary producer at Northern Light Productions. In 2005, she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to India, where she started researching and producing a feature-length documentary about Indian men named Stalin and Lenin (expected completion: 2017). After studying at the Prague Film School, she was named a 2009 Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH Boston. Kavita has received film related grants from the LEF Foundation, the Flaherty Film Fellowship and the Sundance Documentary Film Program, and was a 2011 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and a 2014 New Voices Fellow with the Association of Independents in Radio.
Kelly Segal has run her own consultancy, K.S. Advisors, since 2010. She works with nonprofits to accelerate impact by improving efficiency. Her clients include both small and large non-profits in the areas of education, politics, child advocacy, social justice, and women’s empowerment. Prior to that, she worked for 15 years in the nonprofit sector in a wide variety of roles. She is passionate about gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Kimberly Eretzian-Schnauber Smirles
Kimberly Eretzian-Schnauber Smirles is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Emmanuel College in Boston. Her areas of research include the effects of media on women’s body image and Japanese college women’s perceptions and beliefs about gender roles and leadership. Among the courses Kimberly teaches includes Race, Gender, & Sexuality, Psychology of Women, and Leadership & Community Change. She also teaches a course on Women & Leadership to students from Showa Women’s University. Kimberly obtained her Ph.D. in Social Psychology and M.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and her B.A. in Psychology from Boston College. She has a passionate interest in empowering girls and women through her research and teaching.
Teresa Rodriguez (past board member) is the Director of Family and Community Relations for Boston Collegiate Charter School. For the past 20 years, she has worked at district and charter middle and high schools, as well as a private elementary school as an administrator, guidance counselor and history teacher. She has been named a Boston Neighborhood Fellow by The Philanthropic Initiative and Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellow for Aspiring Public School Teachers of Color. Teresa serves on the boards of local non-profits focused on affordable housing and education. She lives in Jamaica Plain and speaks Spanish. Teresa graduated from Williams College with a major in History and Women’s Studies and the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an M.Ed in Teaching and Curriculum.
Erin Thornton (Past Board Member)
Erin Thornton helps individuals, nonprofits and companies who are serious about making a difference in the world develop and execute a plan to do just that. In 2015, she founded Erin Thornton Consulting, through which she has been advising new clients on how to leverage their own unique attributes to address global challenges. Erin is also a Partner and Co-Founder of HIVE, a collective designed to help organizations and individuals put social impact at the heart of their work. From 2010 to 2015, she worked with co-founder Christy Turlington Burns as the Executive Director of Every Mother Counts (EMC), a campaign designed to engage the public on the issue of global maternal health. Erin spent 8 years on the Executive Leadership team as the Global Policy Director of DATA and later the ONE campaign to fight global poverty. Erin joined co-founders Bono and Bobby Shriver at the organization’s inception and was responsible for establishing ONE as a critical partner for policymakers and lead thinkers alike. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University and received her master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University. Erin was recognized as one of the Top 40 Leaders in Global Development Under the Age of 40 in 2010.
Elisa Vincent (past board member) has built a career in human capital and women’s leadership management and consulting. She is currently Director, Talent Management and Organizational Design at ThermoFisher Scientific. She has held many leadership roles in talent management, learning and development, international and intercultural education, diversity and inclusion strategy and training, and leadership development and coaching, specifically of women across their career journeys. Throughout her career, Elisa has been a leader and advocate for women’s advancement in professional and social contexts, having founded women’s leadership programs in many organizations she has worked for.
Zanefa Walsh (past board member)
Zanefa Walsh is a marketing and communications professional with diversity and inclusion experience. Currently, she is the Marketing Director for ChopChop Family, a not-for-profit that educates families about the benefits of cooking and eating healthy food together. She holds a bachelor’s in Anthropology from George Washington University, a master’s in International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, and an M.S. in Digital Marketing and Design from Brandeis University. Her academic qualifications from the U.S. and Switzerland, as well as experiences from living abroad and traveling extensively throughout Africa and Europe, enhance her ability to communicate effectively with and on behalf of individuals from various cultural backgrounds. She uses cultural sensitivity, diplomacy, mediation, patience and empathy to limit misinterpretations that commonly occur in cross-cultural communication.
Emily Weinstein is a social scientist and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School Education. She studies how social media influence the everyday lives of tweens, teens, and young adults. Emily’s research appears in peer-reviewed academic journals including Journal of Adolescent Research, New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, and Computers in Human Behavior. Her work has also been covered in popular publications such as TIME Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Boston Globe. Emily loves working with school and families to reshape how we think and talk about digital citizenship. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Cornell University, as well as a master’s degree in Prevention Science & Practice and a doctorate in Human Development & Education, both from Harvard University.