PhD, Sociology, Brandeis University; MA, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Brandeis University
Areas of Expertise:
Public policy development/analysis with specific focus on women and girls; women’s political representation and leadership; women’s health and reproductive rights, state government, Massachusetts politics.
Christa Kelleher has been affiliated with the Center’s Graduate Certificate Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy since 2002 and teaches the Contemporary American Public Policy Issues course. While currently serving as Interim Director of the center, she has spent five years in the position of Research Director overseeing research on women’s political leadership and a range of public policy issues that affect women, with a particular focus on women’s reproductive and maternal health. Dr. Kelleher has previously taught courses in sociology, community health, public affairs, and public policy at Pine Manor College, Brandeis University, and Tufts University. Her background includes work on political campaigns, in the Massachusetts Legislature, and in not-for-profit advocacy organizations.
Denise Schultz, Operations Director
Education: BA, Women’s Studies, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Denise Schultz comes to the Center with a lengthy background in the financial services industry. Most recently she has shifted her career to focus on women. With a strong background in women’s studies, Denise’s interests lie at the intersection of feminism, mothering and public policy. Denise is the vice-chair of her local Democratic Town Committee and is currently volunteering for the several campaigns for the 2012 general election. Denise is involved with the National Women’s Studies Association, as a member of the Feminist Mothering Caucus, and has presented at the regional conference in 2010 and national conference in 2012. Denise is also a student in the Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy.
Paige Ransford, Senior Research Associate
Education: MA, Sociology, UMass Boston; BS, Criminal Justice, Northeastern University
Areas of Expertise: Incarcerated women, female substance abuse, women in politics, women’s leadership.
Paige Ransford has been with the center for over 10 years. She was project director for the “Parenting from Prison: Family Relationships of Incarcerated Women in Massachusetts” project and prior to that she served as co-author of the “Women in Prison in Massachusetts: Maintaining Family Connections” report and researcher on the "Alternatives to Incarceration for Substance Abusing Female Offenders in Massachusetts" project. She currently oversees the New England Tracking Project and has recently co-authored a chapter entitled “Moving through the Pipeline: Women’s Representation in Municipal Government in the New England Region of the United States” in an international textbook- Women and Representation in Local Government. Paige worked as a counselor and life skills educator for the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department before pursuing her interest in research and public policy.
Meryl Thomson, Research Associate
Education: MS, Public Policy, UMass Boston; BA, Sociology, Samford University
Areas of expertise: U.S. social policy, U.S. rural issues, women in the workplace, and child care/family leave.
Meryl Thomson is a Ph.D. student at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where she is in the assets and inequalities concentration. She co-authored “Moving through the Pipeline: Women’s Representation in the Local Government in the New England Region of the United States.” Meryl also co-authored “Unfinished Business: Building Equality for Women in the Construction Trades,” which examined the issues facing women trying to enter and remain employed in the building trades. She contributes to the New England Women’s Political Tracking Project as well as numerous other projects.
Linda Uch, Research Assistant
Education: BA, Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Linda Uch graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a bachelor's degree in political science. Linda is a research assistant for the Centers for Women in Politics & Public Policy under the Women’s Pipeline Project. Her responsibilities include the implementation of the PAR project; coordination of trainings and meetings with Research Fellows; oversight of all project personnel; management of administrative and logistical tasks; and assist in the coordination process for development of the project.
Michaella Rey, Research Assistant
Education: Certificate, Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy; BA, Political Science and International Relations, Antioch College
Michaella Rey is a graduate of the Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy at UMass Boston, where she interned at the State House for Representative Denise Garlick, 13th District of Norfolk. Her internship experience included creating a system for constituents to communicate with Representative Garlick and assisted with town hall meetings within the district. Prior to moving to Boston, Michaella lived in Dayton, Ohio where she worked as an Automated Donations Coordinator for the Community Blood Center. In addition, for three years Michaella served as the Legislative Coordinator for the State of Ohio with Amnesty International.
Carol Hardy-Fanta, Senior Scholar
Education: PhD, Public Policy, Brandeis University's Heller School; MSW, Smith College; BA, Occidental College
Carol Hardy-Fanta joined the center in 1994, became Research Director in 1997 and then center Director in 2001. Carol is a nationally recognized scholar on Latina/o politics and has published widely on the intersection of gender, race and ethnicity in politics and public policy.
Fatma Senol, Fulbright Fellow
Education: PhD, Urban Planning, University of Southern California; MCP, University of Pennsylvania; BCP, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
Fatma Senol has been teaching at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Izmir Institute of Technology (Izmir, Turkey). Her research focuses on urban theories, gender and urban space experiences, and political participation at neighborhood level. She has published about women’s candidacy for neighborhood offices (Women and Environments International Magazine 2006, 70/71 pp. 47-49; Political Geography 2009, 28 pp. 362–372) and women and men neighborhood officers in the city of Izmir (forthcoming, Urban Studies). As a Fulbright Fellow, she will research about the impact of public policies on women`s and men`s political representation at the local elected level.
Muna Killingback, Assistant Program Director
Education: Douglass College at Rutgers University; BA, English and Journalism
Muna Killingback joins the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy with many years of experience advocating for and writing about women's and human rights, peace, and social and economic justice. Formerly at the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters at UMass Boston, she had previously served as Executive Director of the Cambridge-based non-profit organization Theological Opportunities Program (now WomenExplore). She is a former Director of Communications for the World YWCA, headquarters of the global women's movement in Geneva. As a freelance writer and editor, she specialized in the work and communications needs of non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including grant writing. She continues to serve as one of the World YWCA's UN representatives. Muna is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations at UMass Boston.
Anne Forman, Alumnae Coordinator
Education: Certificate, Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy; BA, English, Bradley University
Prior to becoming Alumni Coordinator, Anne Forman worked in travel and as a meeting/event planner for incentive travel. She is a 2006 alumna of the Program for Women in Politics & Public Policy and recipient of the Program’s Research Excellence Award for her case study titled Mixed Income Housing and the Definition of Effectiveness. She is also a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.