Heather Girvin, PhD, MSS


Associate Professor Social Work

Mother | Othermother

My friends and I would often end up in a conversation that included this question:  "Wouldn't it be great to have a big network of diverse women who supported each other and celebrated each other's work in the world?" 


The answer-- "Yes!  I know, right?!" --evolved into Femina because I'm lucky enough to know some truly amazing women who helped me transform the idea into a network that continues to grow. 


I make a living as a professor and embrace a social work (and therefore social and economic justice) perspective.  At the core of all I do is a deep appreciation for those who have mothered me, and an imperfect dedication to nurturing the people (and animals) around me.  I celebrate women's differences and draw strength and inspiration from our common ground.  If you are interested in Femina, horses (equine-assisted learning, therapy, development), community building, my work in academics and teaching, social justice, trauma, or mothering as a role and way of being, please be in touch.   


Jenny Schulder Brant

Creative Consultant

Artist | Producer | Ayurvedic Practitioner
Mother | Othermother

I am an artist, creative producer, and partner in healing.  As an ayurvedic practitioner influenced by diverse cultures and traditions, I help people see themselves and the world around them in a different way.  My focus is on creating a community in which health and quality of life is valued most; where there is an understanding that the health of our own bodies and minds directly connect to the health of our communities and the world.  We are our own universe and our health reflects the health of the larger universe around us.

Jenny's bio photo taken by Sarah Code Kroll.


Michelle R. Gherardi, MPA

Program Director

Doctoral Student | Maternal Activism Researcher

Mother | Othermother

I bring people together to intentionally engage in educational and motivational dialogue about social justice issues directly impacting women and children, so that we can develop effective real world strategies to actively champion and protect their human rights.  My doctoral research focuses on maternal activism, the impact of maternal relationships, and the prejudicial and punitive impact of current legislation on poor and low-income  mothers.