MEDIAGIRLS would formally like to congratulate and welcome our newest Board Members: Renee DuChainey-Farkes, Erika Illiano, Seema Karunakaran, Jeff Lemberg, Eric Roe, and Kara Secan.
Head of School
Woodward School for Girls
Renee DuChainey-Farkes is a dedicated advocate for, and driver of, excellence in the full educational experience of students and parents. Renee is passionate about students and their learning, the development of teachers, and partnerships with parents and the family to achieve the best outcome and experience. Renee has been leading schools from preschool through high school. She is particularly passionate about girls’ development and the importance of supporting them to find their voice. She joins MEDIAGIRLS to further support teaching girls and young women to become critical media consumers which entails learning to step up to media messages and to work to give girls the tools to transform their personal lives, support their friends, and the bigger world around them. She hopes to support MEDIAGIRLS in school environments to support parents and students learning together. She believes that students learn best when parents learn with them.
Strategic Benefit Advisors
Erika is a Communication Principal with Strategic Benefit Advisors, a full-service benefits consulting and brokerage firm. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communication, employee communication, and human resources communication. Her award-winning work has achieved the IABC Gold Quill, Hermes Creative Gold, Graphic Design USA, and PSCA Signature Awards. She is a Leading Women Executives Program Ambassador, as well as a Board Member at Large for the League of Women Voters in Sudbury, MA. Erika is the proud mom of a 13-year-old daughter, who has “grown up” creating and consuming digital content. Erika earned her B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Rochester and her M.B.A. in Organization Studies and Business Law from Boston College. In her free time, she enjoys giving out high fives on the Peloton leaderboard.
Seema works in Talent Acquisition at PwC, one of the largest professional services firms in the world. She has spent the last 8+ years within the talent acquisition industry, finding and connecting top talent with exceptional opportunities. Prior to her TA roles, Seema worked as a Tax Consultant for a number of global professional services firms. She earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania, her JD at the University of Connecticut School of Law and is licensed to practice law in the state of Massachusetts. Seema is a proud mom to 3 children, the younger two being girls in middle school. She is excited to help further MEDIAGIRLS’ mission of teaching girls and young women to become critical media consumers. In her free time, Seema enjoys long walks (preferably near the ocean!), traveling to new destinations with her husband and children and sharing good food and lots of laughs with family and friends.
Jeff Lemberg, Ph.D.
Director of Communications and Development
Veterans Legal Services, Inc.
Jeff Lemberg, Ph.D., is the director of communications and development at Veterans Legal Services, a nonprofit legal aid organization based in Boston. He is a longtime former journalist and college professor, as well as the founder of Boys for the Better, a nonprofit that used media literacy education to teach male-identifying teens and tweens in Eastern Massachusetts about healthy relationships and emotional well-being. Jeff is the father of two daughters (ages 10 and 14), who are skilled critical consumers and creators of media. He earned a B.S. in advertising from the University of Bridgeport, an M.A. in journalism from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in public communication and journalism from the University of Maryland.
Social Media Manager
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Recently named the Social Media Manager for Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he has worked for 3 years, Eric Roe has worked in Higher Education for the past 5 years after spending 10 years working in K-12 Education. Eric has also worked at Brandeis University, MIT Sloan, Boston Public Schools, and the non-profit organization Playworks. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wheeling University in West Virginia and a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University. With a strong interest in digital media literacy Eric is excited to join MEDIAGIRLS to continue his passion of helping others consume, interpret, and challenge media in healthy ways, and also in helping others craft and share their own stories in digital spaces. His passion for service to others was shaped during his time at Wheeling University, then a Jesuit institution, where he volunteered with local non-profits and with Catholic Charities on various service trips. When able, Eric enjoys exploring legendary locations, going on historical and haunted tours, and going on walks and trips with his wife Lisa and their dog (lab/retriever mix) Sully.
Kara M. Secan
Attorney at Law
A lawyer, researcher and advocate, Attorney Kara M. Secan has collaborated on multiple initiatives in the public schools, participating on advisory boards, fundraising, and overseeing school enrichment activities. Kara’s work experience includes practicing law, legal analysis in the corporate sector, and academic research. She has served as guardian ad litem for the best interests of children in child welfare cases. Through her work as a juvenile legal advocate, as a community volunteer and as a mom, she has seen first-hand the impact that having positive self-esteem has on children. At MEDIAGIRLS, Kara hopes to aid the organization in its quest to educate children to be informed consumers of social media. Kara is licensed to practice law in the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She earned her Juris Doctorate (JD) at Suffolk University Law School, and her Master of Laws (LLM) and Bachelor of Laws (BCL) at University College Cork, Ireland. While earning her JD in Boston, Kara was awarded a Jurisprudence Award for excellence in the study of Professional Responsibility. In addition, she placed first in her LLM class. Kara is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast. She enjoys following cryptocurrency markets, reading, walks with her dog and cheering on her children’s sports teams.