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GUEST FACULTY
The IVoW Experience is woven with the voices of wise, talented, and gifted women from the community who generously share, teach, guide and lead participants in the integration of women's herstory, spirituality and leadership.
Sue Blake

Deanna Brown

Ileana Cortes Santiago

Sarah Dicks

Adrianna Ernstberger

Taya Flores

Ellen Germann

Nastaran Karimi
Barbara Kerkhoff

Louie Laskowski

Francine Passias

Robin Pickett

Anne Pigman

Toyinda Wilson-Long

Rabbi Paula Winnig

Marcia Smith-Wood

Jolivette Anderson-Douoning

Jolivette Anderson-Douoning M.A., 'the poet warrior', is a performer, educator, activiest from the Deep South (Louisiana and Mississippi). She spent 10 years in Mississippi as an artist, community organizer and activist. Jolivette earned a B.A in Speech/Theater from Louisiana Tech University and a M.A. in Humanities/Liberal Studies from Grambling State University.

Jolivette designed and implemented a Cultural Identity Curriculum called the D. Ciphers Language Migration: Explorations in Reading, Writing & Critical Thinking in response to the needs of African American public school students. She conducted mini workshops of the curriculum in the Caribbean, Oxford, England, Central America and throughout the U.S in schools and universities. She was  facilitator of the nationally recognized Young People's Project Reading, Writing Workshop, a coordinator for the Algebra Project, and is a current member of the Algebra Project Quality Education Committee.

She is former producer of the Mississippi Cipher Poetry Radio Show on WMPR, Mississippi Vibes Open Mic Poetry Set, and Sister Talk of Jackson. She has opened concerts for Patti LaBelle and Brian McKnight and has been heard on PBS Continental Harmonies Series and on Public Radio International and National Public Radio as Narrator for a documentary on Race and Terrorism titled, American as Apple Pie: How Terrorism Lost in America.

Jolivette has worked with elders of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Arts Movement, including Rosa Parks, Bob Moses, Kalamu ya Salaam, Haki Madhubuti and The Last Poets. She considers herself to be a bridge between the traditions and legacies of the Civil Rights Movement and the current generation of young people.

She is author of Past Lives, Still Living: Traveling the Pathways to Freedom (book), At the End of a Rope, In Mississippi (CD).
Deanna Brown

Rev. Deanna Brown is founder and facilitator of Cultural Connections: Women Weaving Worlds in India and Turkey. Deanna leads groups of women from the United States to India annually for mutual engagement with Indian women, particularly those from income-generating and empowerment organizations in cities and villages. Having lived and worked in India, Deanna is skilled in processes of group development, circle reflection, interfaith dialogue, and intercultural exchange.
Dena Pence

Dr. Nadine (Dena) Pence is Director of the Wabash Center for  Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, a Lilly Endowment  funded program on the Wabash College campus. Trained as a  theologian at the University of Chicago, she did her doctoral work in the fields of Christian theology and feminist hermeneutics.  

Prior to her current position, Dena taught theological studies at  the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California and at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana. She has been  ordained in the Church of the Brethren since 1984 and has pastored  two congregations. Recently, Dena has worked in the area of  theology and the arts, enjoying the ways a visual encounter with images gives rise to new theological imaginings.

"Throughout her career, Dena has shown a broad engagement with contemporary religion and theology, a deep commitment to exploring issues of teaching and learning, and a leadership style that is collaborative and empowering," said Patrick White, president of Wabash College.

She is  executive director of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion (CSSR), the umbrella organization for professional societies among those who teach in the field of religion in college, universities, and seminaries throughout the United States and Canada. Before becoming executive director of CSSR, Dr. Pence served as editorial chair of the Religious Studies Review editorial board; she continues to be the journal’s area editor for the Arts, Literature, Culture and Religion section.

Dr. Pence is a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren. She received her bachelor’s degree from Manchester College, her master of divinity degree from Bethany Seminary, and her Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago. She has written and spoken widely on the relation of theology and media, and is co-editor of Hope Deferred: Theological Reflections on Reproductive Loss, published by Pilgrim Press in 2005.
Francine Passias

Francine is a Certified Practitioner in Hakomi Experiential Therapy, Advance Hypnotherapy, and is trained in Somatic Release for Resolving Trauma, Internal Family Systems Therapy and Matrix (Group) Leadership.

She draws from Middle Eastern Dance, Continuum Movement, Living Dance, Traditional Earth Medicine, Tai Chi, QiGong, as well as other Healing Movement modalities.  She teaches Sacred Middle Eastern Dance.  Her passion and gifts are revealed in the dance as she teaches the age old art with humor and love.   

She created Moving Into the Body and Embracing the Deep Feminine retreats, The Body as Resource (a unique movement and processing support group) and Mindful Movement classes. 

Francine acknowledges the body as vessel, which carries spirit into the physical world.
Mary Pilat

Playing with words, images, and metaphors has been a central theme of Mary’s life. Whether taking photographs, coloring, manipulating clay, or role-playing, Mary has used various art forms with women and children focused on social justice and trauma prevention work.

Most recently, Mary is experimenting with scribbling smudging, and coloring and using these playful activities as a type of non-verbal journaling that reflects the transitions, history, and changes in her life. 

Based on her international work with women in places such as Central Asia and Africa  and her personal reflections through the arts, Mary is exploring the theme of “Veiling” and how this theme surfaces in life-journeys of women.

Presently on the faculty at Purdue University, Mary received her Ph. D in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University. She has worked with pregnant and parenting teenagers as the Coordinator of an Alternative Education Program in New York; was a Senior Policy Scholar in Washington D.C. at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; created the CARe: Communities Against Rape program funded by the CDC and recently taught an Honors Course titled “Violence in Science and Society”. Throughout her career the creative arts have provided a vehicle for better understanding of the complex issues faced by women and children in their daily lives.
Audrey Pollack

Audrey is the Rabbi of Temple Israel, West Lafayette. Prior to accepting the pulpit of Temple Israel in 2002, Rabbi Pollack served pulpits in Denver, Colorado, and Glencoe, Illinois as associate rabbi. Rabbi Pollack received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and was ordained as a rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati in 1994 where she also earned a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters.

Her congregational work includes teaching, counseling, pastoral care, and community outreach. Rabbi Pollack’s teaching experience and counseling credentials are extensive and she has served on the regional and executive boards of several rabbinic councils and networks.

In addition to her congregational work, Rabbi Pollack writes feminist midrash and creative liturgy, and enjoys playing the guitar and singing. Several of her feminist commentaries appear in Beginning the Journey: A Women's Commentary on the Torah, published by the Women of Reform Judaism and in A Women's Torah Commentary: 54 Women Rabbis On the Weekly Torah Portions, published by Jewish Lights Publishing.


Kimber Nicoletti

Kimber is the director of Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault (MESA) in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. In her work with MESA, she conducts sexual violence prevention education, outreach and services to underserved communities that include Latina, Native American, immigrant/refugee, migrant farm worker, African-American/Black and other underserved communities on campus and across Indiana.

Kimber states that she loves the opportunity to mentor, encourage and empower others to be their personal best, find their own light and achieve their goals. She has had the opportunity to work with students on campus and in the MESA office, survivors, men and families and women who were struggling to find their own voice. Kimber believes in helping people find their strengths and identify their own solutions. You can help encourage someone down the path, but you can't find the answers for them. They have to find the answers for themselves. "I have a whimsical saying that I wrote that I share with people who feel stuck, 'It's not too late. To eat from the plate. To take the time. To make the change.'"
Susan Kaspar

Susan was born less than 250 miles from Mt Kilimanjaro in Kenya, East Africa to missionary parents and in January 2012 returned to Africa to participate in the Freedom Climb. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with 46 other women to raise awareness and funds to end the cycle of human trafficking in our world.

Susan is a 23 year Agent with State Farm Insurance and loves to encourage people as they climb their own personal mountains.
Adrianna Ernstberger

I am a 6th year PhD Candidate at Purdue University. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in History with minor fields in Political Science and Women’s Studies. I earned my Master’s Degree at Purdue in 2008 in Global History with a Certificate in Women’s Studies, and I plan to complete my PhD in May of 2014. My research runs through many geographical regions and temporal spaces, but  always focuses on women, gender, and issues of social justice.

I have studied in Uganda completing both field research and co-leading a feminist study abroad program. My dissertation is on the history of Women’s Studies in Uganda. I am looking heavily at Makerere University’s School of Women and Gender Studies, the oldest women’s studies program on the continent.

I currently teach at three universities in Indiana: Purdue University, IUPUI and Franklin University. My insane teaching schedule is actually the one thing that keeps me grounded and motivated as my goal upon completing my PhD is to become a tenureitrack professor, ideal with a joint appointment in History and Women’s Studies.

I recently was married and look forward to enjoying time with my partner, my dog, and my students.
Andrea Wellnitz

Andrea graduated with a BFA from Iowa State University with an emphasis in painting and sculpture then went on to earn an MSW from Ohio State.

Andrea has incorporated art in working with youth and adults in the US, Jamaica, Uzbekistan and Austria. Andrea's personal artwork is often reflective of her life experiences and her love of nature.

I am a mixed media and installation artist with a Masters in Social Work from Ohio State University.  My work is a combination of life experiences, collaborations with others and personal introspection. I make connections between the environment and interpersonal growth through the use of diverse materials, images and textures. 

Working with multi-generational populations while incorporating the arts is a personal passion of mine. Uzbekistan, Jamaica, India, Singapore, Africa and Austria are some of the places in the world that I have been fortunate enough to have visited, lived, worked or volunteered.  Each experience has enriched my life and impacted my art and the way I see and interact those around me.  
Barbara Kerkhoff

Barbara, as the Orchestrator for Indiana Voices of Women, enjoys discovering the amazing harmonies created as women express and blend their unique voices with other voices in community.

Barbara leads out of the ancient practice of circle which invites all voices to inform the communal knowing and wisdom from the past, through the present, to create hope for the future. Participation in Peer Spirit circle praxis and advanced circle practicum with Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea has developed her skills in guiding this circle practice.
Nastaran Karimi
Nasi is a Purdue Graduate Student in curriculum development as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant. She also serves the community as an ICAN Youth Foundation Youth Counselor.
Sue Blake ~ My Life Experiences

2015-16 IVoW Experience Guest Faculty
Resource Guest Faculty
Jolivette Anderson-Douoning

Dee Bernhardt

Neelu Chawla

Mel Chua

Judy Doll

Marcia Fountain-Blacklidge

Jillian Henry

Jaimalene Hough

Susan Kaspar

Monica Keyes

Kimber Nicoletti

Dena Pence

Jaimalene Hough

I was born a month before my mother turned thirty-eight and was named “Jaimalene Justine” to rhyme with my mother’s name “Christine Corrine.” I tell you this brief story because my mother and my aunts were my earliest provocation and inspiration towards feminist thought. My mother does not identify as a feminist and is sometimes baffled by her feminist-activist daughter and, yet, I would not be what I am without her. Just like our names, we are so similar but so very different. As a feminist researcher and educator I try to put the similarities and differences of feminine-identified persons at the center of the very confusing question of feminism.

I received a BA in Communication and a minor in Mathematics from Eastern Washington University in 2009 and a MA in Communication and a graduate minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; in 2011. I am currently studying for a PhD in American Studies with a focus in History at Purdue University while teaching in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

In broad terms, my research interrogates the connections between female purity and national identity in the United States during the early Cold War and the War on Terror. I have taught math, public speaking, and, most recently, Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans*.

Many career academics will, when pressed, admit a preference for teaching or research. This divide has always seemed specious to me. My research is deeply rooted in my personal experiences and I believe teaching is the process of facilitating learning, whereby students incorporate knowledge they did not have into their lived reality. My students are my favorite teachers and I learn more about my own research every time I teach. Teaching is both activism and research while research is the adventure which produces the material to teach.

Mel Chua
Ileana Cortes Santiago

Ileana Cortes Santiago is a Ph.D. student in Literacy and Language (L&L) Education (English Education) in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University and a graduate assistant with the Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. She holds an M.S. in Education with a focus on English language learning from Purdue and an M.A. in English from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). Ileana is an AACTE Holmes Diversity Scholar whose research and teaching interests include Latino/a family literacies and engagement and English language learning.
Judy Doll

Judith Doll (Judy) delights in journeying with others whereever they are on their life's spiritual journey. She frequently finds the sacred in everyday occurrences and is pleased to walk with others as they seek the sacred in their own lives.

Judy has served as a board certified chaplain ministering  among persons unable to express themselves due to medical conditions.  She is able to practice "presence" with others in a unique manner and offer comfort and calm assurance. 

She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and served rural congregations prior to completing  training as a chaplain at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. Judy has served among children and youth as well as adults.  She has a particular interest in the area of grief work. Judy is a graduate of Purdue University twice over, with a B.S. and M.S. and completed her M.Div. at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis MO.

In recent years Judy has spent much time exploring, learning and sharing energy healing practices for physical and spiritual self-care. She is always excited to share these processes and to help others learn as well.
Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge was not raised in a home identified as Chippewa. However, these two principles spoke to her early in life. She was always curious about her roots. She and her mother loved to watch black and white movies and it was during these times she had the opportunity to ask all kinds of questions about her mother’s family and growing up years. Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge was also close to her maternal grandmother who shared many wonderful stories with her.

Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge’s father’s side of the family was a different matter. Her father’s family had lived on Mackinaw Island and at St. Ignace, Michigan, since the 1600’s. Each summer the Fountain family would take a trip to visit Mackinaw Island and St. Ignace. When Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge’s father was four years old, he, along with other brothers and sisters were put in the Mount Pleasant Industrial Boarding School. Her father took the family to the grounds there a few times and while there showed them a tree in which he had carved his initials. He called the Boarding School the orphanage. He knew nothing about its true purpose. However, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge knew that place was a big part of the heaviness that burdened his heart. Her closeness to her father allowed that heaviness to enter her heart as well.

One magical summer Holocaust survivors taught Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge the healing power of stories. Sequestering herself in the corner of a walk-in closet in their small home, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge read a thin book she had picked up at the library. It was a first person account of a man who had survived Auschwitz. Her father had been plagued with horrible nightmares for as long as she could remember—some from his days in the boarding school and some from his experiences in WWII. They would cause him to have night sweats and scream in his sleep. He’d warned everyone to stay away during these times because he feared how he might react. Eventually, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge developed leg aches. The cause of the leg aches could not be determined. The pain they brought resisted all treatment. As Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge opened that thin book, the losses and horrors suffered in Auschwitz engulfed her. At the end of the story, she was exhausted but she noticed her heart felt a tiny bit lighter. She read as many holocaust survivor stories as she could find. Survivor after survivor entered her closet a stranger but left a treasured friend. By summer’s end, her leg aches were gone. Her father’s nightmares had stopped. Not one word was spoken about what happened. She guessed words weren’t needed. After that summer she never went back to the closet. She’d outgrown it—from the inside out.

Most summers included a trip to Mackinaw Island for the Fountain family. In those days the Island was a safe haven. After arriving on the 9 a.m. ferry, each child would be given a quarter for the day and turned loose to explore. A coke was 10 cents and a hot dog was 15. Each child knew the family would leave the Island at 4 p.m. On the Island there was a small museum dedicated to the American Fur Trading Company. Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge had been told her family had traded there. She wanted go through the museum. The problem? There was a 25-cent admission and Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge couldn’t convince her parents to take the entire family. They told her she had her own quarter and could spend it anyway she liked. The first summer she could read she did just that. Her visit lasted the entire day. The curator, an elderly woman dressed in period costume, was kind enough to go through the original ledger books with her. And like Google has discovered, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge learned a great deal about her relatives through their sales and purchases. Finding where you have come from is a life long process.

In the years that followed, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge discovered storyteller was her main path. Storytellers help others discover where they have come from, who they are and where they are going. Healing is often another role of a storyteller. Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge fulfilled part of this role through her work directing a Drug and Alcohol Treatment social service agency, establishing a private practice in individual, couple and family therapy, and serving as Director of Human Services for the Grand Rapids Inter Tribal Council.  She then served as an Adjunct Faculty member for Indiana University at Kokomo teaching Developmental Psychology, Interpersonal Communications, Family Communications, Business Communications and Speech. Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge also co-authored an award winning non-fiction book, The Indians of Hungry Hollow, and was chosen to present her story of home as one of 56 others in the John Edwards book, Home—The Blue Prints of Our Lives.

Finally, art has been a constant companion and source of transformation and discovery to Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge. Although not formally trained, Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge has developed expertise in several modalities exploring the connections between self, culture, nature and spirituality. Ms. Fountain-Blacklidge’s life experiences have led her to focus her art on telling stories regarding an often neglected side of the human population—women. She is currently expanding and developing a one-woman exhibit entitled, “Gather the Women—Herstory.”

Inherent in this process has been the exploration of the spiritual journey of women—a journey that has unique properties and qualities. She has explored the historical aspects of the Divine Feminine that have been generally repressed or distorted by masculine dominated institutions. She believes the Creator has two aspects—feminine and masculine. Our current worldview has become one-sided and out of balance. She believes we are on the brink of a establishing a new balance—a process she likes to call a “Feminine Sunrise.”
Mel Chua is a contagiously enthusiastic hacker, writer, and educator who is training as a "midwife of makers" (helping makers make themselves) via her PhD studies in Engineering Education at Purdue University. A lifelong geek, Mel attended the Illinois Math & Science Academy and was a member of Olin College's 2nd graduating class (B.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2007). She built her career in the open source /maker/hacker movement, working as an engineer for the One Laptop Per Child project, serving on the board of Sugar Labs, and teaching faculty workshops on open source participation at universities around the world. She is a frequent speaker at both academic and maker conferences. Mel is supposed to be working on her dissertation, which explores curricular story-sharing among engineering professors. However, she can often be found dancing, praying, drawing graphic novels, studying languages (current project: German) or spending time with her close-knit Filipino-Chinese family in Illinois. She is an alumna of the 2012-2013 IVoW Experience.

Mel is a graduate of the 2012-13 IVoW Experience and served as Co-Facilitator for the 201415 IVoW Experience.
Ashley Scott

I’m passionate about building communities and serving as a resource for individuals interested in advancing their education or launching a career in tech. In particular, I advocate for youth and women of color. I encourage them to dream big, then equip them with the knowledge and resources necessary to achieve their goals. As a natural connector, I initiate or strengthen outreach programs, foster business or community partnerships, and/or connect individual members of diverse communities. I truly believe that when working together, we are better.
Dee Bernhardt
Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
St. Thomas Aquinas – The Catholic Center at Purdue
dee@boilercatholics.org

I now hold a Master of Science in Religious Education degree from Marywood College and a Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality degree from Creighton University. Professional certifications in Campus Ministry from the USCCB/CCMA and in Spiritual Direction/Directed Retreats from Creighton University keep me current in my professional development. In 2010, my colleagues conferred the CCMA Forsyth Award upon me, the most prestigious award given for campus ministry leadership in the United States.  In April, 2013, I was inducted into my high school Hall of Fame for Humanities.
Neelu Chawla

Just Be. This is the life philosophy that guides my work with families, couples, and individuals. Be kind. Be brilliant. Be powerful. Be authentic, Be joyful. Be you. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). My expertise is helping families and children heal and strengthen their relationships in the face of life's sorrows and suffering.

I also serve families and older children who have faced  issues in early childhood and seek to make sense of their experiences to affect change in their lives. In the face of life's struggle, our relationships and families can be safe places for comfort and healing.
Jilllian Henry

Jillian is a graduate of the 2012-13 IVoW Experience and serves on the Indiana Voices of Women Circle of Directors.

As INRN Western Regional Director, Jillian works with nonprofits of all sizes, including United Ways and Community Foundations. She provides training and development workshops as well as consultations and facilitation to nonprofit organizations and their boards throughout the state of Indiana. Jillian has presented and developed curriculum on board governance, strategic planning, board committee structure, leadership and motivation, volunteerism, and Sarbanes Oxley for Nonprofits and is trained in facilitating poverty simulations.

Jillian's concentration is in the facilitation of strategic plans and board retreats. Jillian has facilitated with a variety of nonprofits including, United Way of Greater Lafayette, Meals on Wheels, Food Finders Food Bank, Tippecanoe County Child Care, Tippecanoe County Historical Association, Almost Home Humane Society, Starke County Youth Club, New Chauncey Housing, and Tree Lafayette, to name a few. Her approach to facilitation includes Appreciative Inquiry and defined deliverables in the areas of Vision, Mission, Goals, Strategies, Outcomes and Tactics as well as ensuring methods of accountability for both board and staff.

Jillian has received extensive training in facilitation (including Leadership Strategies training on Facilitating Strategy for Government and Nonprofits and The Effective Facilitator), grant writing, fund raising (from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University), creative problem solving, accelerated learning, and Appreciative Inquiry. Jillian holds a bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University. She is a past school board member and currently serves on the advisory board for the Purdue College of Technology at Lafayette.
Monica Keyes
Monica Keyes, a Nurse Practitioner with an emphasis in Adult Medicine, is certified by The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Although Monica works with male and female patients, she has a particular passion and concern for women and their total health restoration, with an emphasis on the Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Monica grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania surrounded by strong role models. She is a class of 1981 alumna of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, where emerging as a leader is taught as a way of life. Due to the influences in her formative years, she believes very strongly that the exchange of information, experiences and ideas among women of all ages, means and backgrounds is profoundly empowering.

As a vibrant presenter and active listener Monica has evolved into a natural teacher, healer and motivational speaker.  Monthly, Monica facilitates three women’s groups (and coordinates a fourth specific to men), designed to influence and improve behaviors for healthier living.  She frequently incorporates stress reduction techniques and nutritional training to provoke clients to further educate themselves to lead happier lives. She uses lecture and illustrations, along with patience and kindness as a means of facilitation. These groups discuss the connection between our physical, emotional, and spirituals selves. Monica’s spiritual foundation has been a major component in her maturation as a well-respected and valuable professional. She possesses a spiritual gift of healing that reaches beyond her nursing training.

In addition, Monica is married, the mother of sons who are 14 and 17 years old, and a loyal member of the Bethel AME Church of Lafayette, Indiana. For the past 12 years, Monica has been active in both the Women’s and Choir Ministries. For five years she has served on the Trustee’s Board. Because of her speaking abilities, her church invited her to present a seminar entitled Our Bodies As His Temple for the Women’s Day conference. Her presentation was rich with healthful strategies and biblical references to equip the body of Christ. She now serves as a chairperson for the church’s Women’s Day event. She is also the leader of COFFEE – a West Lafayette group of women who meet to study the Holy Bible.  The organization provides a safe place for open dialogue to encourage a closer spiritual with the Lord, through study and conversation. Monica’s favorite past times include traveling, spending time with family, writing poetry and flower arranging.

Monica’s personal maxim is to live as a faithful female, forgiven and free to fulfill the destiny God has planned.

Anne Pigman

Anne Pigman received her Masters in Pastoral Counseling in 2000, from the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago.  Her studies and work focused in the area of youth, young adult and family, with an emphasis on personal development through group-oriented, interpersonal and reflective activities. Her studies emphasized a multi-cultural approach to counseling and group work. 
God was slow to act so after high school I got an office job, met and married  the man who was to be my partner for the next 60 years, had four children,  decorated four houses as my family outgrew each preceding one, and, at church, performed the duties deemed appropriate for its women members.  It was a pleasant but unchallenging life.

In the late 1960’s my husband accepted a job in New York City.  I welcomed the move and soon we were all transported to our new home in one of the bedroom communities from which City workers could commute.  For the first two years I was relatively content doing the kind of things I had done in Indiana:  church, PTA, decorating and child care, but I developed a restlessness and a feeling of inadequacy I had never felt before.  Most of the women in my new environment were college grads and seemed so much more capable than I.  I wanted what they had – exposure to new ideas, stimulating companions, opportunities for psychological, spiritual and emotional growth.

I found it at The New School for Social Research in NYC and for four years I reveled in its innovative spirit.  The Feminist Movement was in full swing and I benefitted from it in self- discovery and personal worth. Upon graduation in l975 I enrolled in the school’s Graduate program in Psychology but unlike the breezy modernity of its undergraduate program, it was definitely old school: large, impersonal classes, grades that came strictly from the results of final in-class exams, courses which emphasized statistics, etc.

As synchronicity would have it, I needed a major “female” operation and took off the next Fall for that purpose.  During my hiatus from school, I had occasion to revive a high school dream (which had been no more than a fleeting thought before it was swept under the “Not Possible” rug )– that had I been born male I would become an  ordained minister. At this point in time, it was now possible! And what did I know better than church work?  By the Spring of 1979 I was a student at NY’s Union Theological Seminary. I could have been a happy camper there forever!  I loved learning things about the Bible, church history and the origins of its reigning theology. But it made the falibility of both abundantly clear and I became ambivalent about preaching it.  But then, at the end of my second year I won the Hudnut Award for “the middler who showed the best signs of preparation for the preaching ministry” so that closed the deal. I took it as a sign that God had, indeed chosen me.

It took three years out of Seminary before I was hired.  Two small congregations, weary of trying to find a willing male, finally caved and took what they could get. This is not just my cynical assumption;  the Search Committee told me as much when they interviewed me.  Thus began my eight year sojourn in the wilderness of church polity and politics. I must have succeeded in changing a few minds about women in ministry, however, because they did hire another woman after I took early retirement at age 62.

Always looking for meaningful things to do, I next enrolled in The Guild for Spiritual Guidance, a once-a-month overnight two year training program for spiritual guides. I had had slight exposure previously to feminism’s call for a feminine deity, so I was pleased to discover how often the Guild’s assigned readings from psychology (Jung),  theology (Teilard de Chardin), and assorted mystics (both ancient and contemporary), made mention of the need for a Feminine Divine.  I felt that need, too, and often said so in class until the program’s, director said flatly:  “I am so sick of you women wanting everything!”

I finished with the Guild and went on to seek succor in “AWAKEN-INGS; A New School for Feminist Spirituality.”  Here I was among women of like mind, and when the 9 month program ended, I felt a great loss.  No longer affiliated with the church as a professional leader, not being able to reveal myself to orthodox folk, I turned to Goddess tours for companionship. Thus began my visits to sites sacred to the Goddess in Europe, the British Isles, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Malta, Egypt, Latin America (Mexico and Peru).  Oh, the experiences I have had! 

Back home I continued to read voraciously everything feminist scholars were writing relative to the Goddess. Not the least of these was “Cakes For The Queen of Heaven” which Unitarian Women told me about on one of these pilgrimages.  I sought out a UU Church in my area and eventually co-led the “Cakes” course. This experience was so gratifying I then decided to make my  next career offering  workshops in Goddess history, theology and spirituality.    The house we lived in New York did not provide the needed space, so, at a time when most people our age were looking for a retirement home, my husband and I went looking for a bigger house.  We found it, along with a UU church family and for the next seven years I provided workshops, lectures, retreats, and rituals in a basement haven which I named The Birthing Room, (where women give birth to themselves.)

And then, the unexpected: early in the first decade of the Twenty-first Century my husband developed Parkinson’s Disease and tell-tale  signs of dementia. He needed constant care. Choosing to be with him on this solemn journey, I cut back on Birthing Room work, maintaining only a twice-monthly gathering of a very committed circle of women who took turns planning the activeties each time we met.  It was a blessing to continue to meet for another five years until my husband’s death in 2008, and then for another two years until I, now in my 80’s, decided to accept my daughter’s invitation  to come live in the condo next to theirs in downtown Lafayette.   Growing old gracefully and gratefully has been my task for this period of my life and I am enjoying all the activities that keep me young at heart as I await the next Great Adventure.  Her Presence blesses me each day, surrounded as I am with many souvenirs of my amazing journey.
Resource Guest Faculty
Lee Sullivan
I consider myself a “late bloomer.”  Raised in southern Indiana during the ‘30’s and  40’s of the twentieth century, (I’m presently 86).  Neither the public schools nor the institutional church were equipped by the culture to encourage the hopes and dreams of their young female charges,  But I loved them both and did everything I could to fulfill my possibilities under their tutilege. There was no family support for college, either financial or emotional, so I waited for God to make a move on my behalf.
Marcia Fountain-Blacklidge

Marcia Fountain-Blacklige was born in Michigan to a Chippewa father and a French-German mother. In the Chippewa culture there are two principles that guide a soul’s journey as she walks through life. First, the Creator gifts each and every soul with many talents. These talents are to be used to serve the people and to bring joy and fulfillment to the soul herself. It is part of the mystery of life for each soul to discover the talents with which she has been gifted. In so doing, she forms a personal relationship with the Creator and learns to rely on the Creator as a guiding force. Secondly, a soul must know where she has come from in order to know who she is and where she is going.
2015-16 IVoW Experience Guest Faculty
Sarah Dicks

A mother of three.  My oldest son teaches at Avon High School for Vincennes University. my  daughter has a law degree and works for Legislative Services at the Indiana State House, and my youngest son has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and is in laboratory sales.  I enjoy my six grandchildren and daughter-in-laws who are from Ukrania and Argentina.
Taya Flores


Ellen Germann

Ellen has experienced many careers and enjoyed lots of experiences in her life.  After college, she began her professional life as a software engineer developing programs for aircraft simulators.  Since then, she has been a corporate training manager, a technical sales rep for a computer company, a career counselor, the director of a federal job training program, an adjunct faculty teaching marketing and benefits management, a district manager for H&R Block, and a District Executive for the Unitarian Universalist church, to name a few.  She even ran her own wallpaper and paint business for 4 years – what she calls her “Corporate Burnout Job

Toyinda Wilson-Long

Purposeful, passionate and persistent are just a few words that describe her character.

Toyinda Wilson-Long started her professional career at Purdue University. After 14 years of serving in higher education, she founded Leadership Strategy & Consulting, LLC where she works with non-profit organizations, sports teams and businesses to develop their teams’ intangibles like group influence and innovation, required to increase the tangibles such as remarkable results and community impact. She is known for her ability to equip individuals, teams, and organizations with tools to leverage leadership, personality strengths and genuine team relationships to better accomplish objectives and vision.
Rabbi Paula Winnig


Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig is the Executive Director at the Bureau of Jewish Education in Indianapolis, IN.  She previously served as spiritual leader of congregations in Roslyn, Queens and Lawrence, New York after receiving her ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1986 and as student rabbi at the Vista Del Mar Center, Los Angeles, CA and Congregation Beth Shalom in Auckland, New Zealand.  
Marcia Smith-Wood


Rabbi Winnig was also a prison chaplain for New York State for five years, serving in both the Women’s maximum and medium security prisons in Bedford Hills, NY.  Rabbi Winnig is an adjunct professor of Hebrew for the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. 

Rabbi Winnig received her MBA from the State University of New York, her Master of Arts of Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and her Bachelors Degree with Honors in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.  In 2010 Rabbi Winnig founded Torah Threads:  Knitting the Threads of Torah into the Fabric of our Lives, a podcast currently on hiatus, celebrating her love of Torah, fiber arts and sustainable living.  Rabbi Winnig also was a visiting graduate student in the Hebrew University Department of Talmud.  Rabbi Winnig helped found and develop SULAM-LI:  The Religious School for Jewish Children with Special Needs serving the Five Towns community of Long Island.  Rabbi Winnig has published many articles in both print and online media including a chapter in the book: The Women’s Haftarah Commentary.   Rabbi Winnig has appeared in many television programs and was a featured participant in the cable television program “Father Tom and Friends” for three years. 

Rabbi Winnig serves as co-chair of the Indiana Board of Rabbis and has served similar roles in New York prior to her arrival in Indianapolis in 2011.  She is the proud mother of two adult sons. Rabbi Winnig is also a fiber artist, cook and bicyclist.
Robin Pickett
Louie Laskowski

Born in Dayton, Ohio, 1947, Louie Laskowski spent her early childhood in a trailer park. Her parents had married 4 years earlier after knowing each other for 3 days. It was a war marriage and the ceremony took place on July 4th, 1943. Louie's birth name was Eileen Louise Horne. In 1964, her family moved to Marion, IN.


Anne currently works as a Spiritual Care Counselor for St. Elizabeth Hospice in Lafayette, Indiana, providing spiritual care, guidance and counsel to families and patients wishing to honor the sacred transition from life to death. She designs retreats for women, caregivers and families at Where Pigs Fly Farm (her residence), providing opportunities for personal reflection, rejuvenation and restoration to the local community and beyond.

Anne is a trained facilitator for the Matrix Leadership Institute, which teaches the art and science of developing sustainable relationships, groups, organizations and communities. This model enhances any system's capacity to harvest its collective intelligence and realize its potential. She has been involved in the organization for the past nine years. 

Anne, and her husband Tom, are co-facilitators for their own business, TAP Resources. They offer custom-designed facilitation for groups which may be struggling, in transition or just looking for something fresh and engaging. Working from a model of relational leadership, they seek to revitalize and enhance interpersonal and working relationships within a community, with the goal of expanding the capacity of both individuals and the group as a whole. They work in the spirit of welcoming diversity and difference as a strength and asset, and move through barriers that separate individuals to building bridges that allow each to bring their best to the table.

Tom and Anne have been involved in community development projects in Chile, South America and Ghana, West Africa. They are committed to cross-cultural exchange and dialogue as a vital component of positive social change and took opportunities to learn through experience, while living among the people as community members. The common thread of their work is a model of shared leadership, in which every participant is engaged in contributing their gifts and talents, for the benefit of the whole community. 

Anne lives outside Williamsport, on a forty acre farm, with her husband and three children, along with two horses, several cats and a few dogs.  She coaches her daughter’s soccer team, loves to kayak and swim in the local creek, and to sit out on her front porch and enjoy the rolling hills by day and fireflies and stars by night.
She attended Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. She received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, Art Education, and Physical Education. In 1969 she gave birth to her only child, and four years later was divorced from her first husband.
Her first memory about being interested in art was at the age of 4 when she felt envy when hearing some adults speak highly their child's colored pictures. At the time Louie was in the hospital waiting to get her tonsils out.

All through her young school life she remembers she was strongly attracted to other children that could color or draw well. Her mother said that Louie would spend hours on her coloring. The next significant memory Louie had pertaining to her artistic development was the day her father brought home a "real" oil painting. She remembers this painting captured her attention for years and says, "I wondered many times how one could paint so magically, how color could be blended and mixed so magnificently. I felt it was just short of a miracle." Her mother also started working with paint-by-number sets. When Louie suffered rheumatic fever at the age of 9, her mother gave her an oil paint kit.

As an adult, Louie received her Bachelors and Masters in the Arts from Purdue University and became a high school art teacher. Teaching, parenting, and political advocacy took its toll on her artistic productivity. By the time Louie was 30 years old, she started to seriously question the need for art, the making of more "stuff to pile or stack somewhere, unseen. So her energies were pulled towards education and legislative politics. After 8 years of service, she decided to disengage from her political commitments, and again connect with her art self.

From her public experiences, she found some answers to her questions about the value of art. She explains, "I have come to believe that art is about the inner connection between the soul, spirit, and physical self in search for greater understanding and the desire for human connection. The result is a physically manifested product that embodies this evolvement. In other words, I perceive that art brings together the skills and knowledge of the mind, heart, and body in order to create a greater wisdom. The art experience is both my quest and reward."
A formative educational experience was receiving a Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia State University, an historically black college. That education was deepened through study at Loyola University Chicago where she received a Master of Pastoral Studies and a Master of Divinity.

Barbara has served in various ministerial roles in churches to include Pastor. As the Director for Spiritual Leadership formation at the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Barbara was consultant to churches and religious communities in developing models and skills for lay leadership.

Barbara and her partner of 41 years have four children and are grateful for the joys of grandparenting.
She sees evidence that the mutual exchange that takes place when women share together contributes to the vital movement to emancipate human beings from each country and to fight global poverty in unique, creative, and life-giving ways. Her energy, generosity of spirit, and passion for women and travel have led her to expand Cultural Connections to engaging with women in Turkey.

Ordained since 1985, Deanna carries within her fond and fruitful memories of nearly two decades of congregational pastoral ministry and six years as the Campus Pastor (with faculty appointment) at Manchester College in Indiana.  

Deanna’s passion for working with women has always been an integral part of her ministry.  Designing and facilitating ongoing networks of women’s spirituality circles, teaching theology courses highlighting women’s perspectives, and leading women’s retreats nationally and internationally have been a part of her journey for more than 30 years.  Deanna continues as a frequent workshop leader, retreat facilitator, and speaker.
Her work has been published in English Today; Language Arts Journal of Michigan; Tonguas, "a bilingual literary and visual arts journal" of the UPR; and in Por la ventana, a literary and arts compilation by Colectivo las manos, an assembly of notable Puerto Rican artists and faculty. In addition, she has a chapter in the book Teacher education for social justice: Perspectives and lessons learned (Information Age Publishing, 2013) and, in 2008, she co-edited the book Caribbean without borders: Literature, language and culture (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). An educator at heart, she teaches a course on multiculturalism and has assisted with a methods class for pre-service teachers at Purdue. Ileana also has experience teaching Caribbean English learners at the college level and enjoys offering workshops to teachers and community members on fun and engaging literacy practices.
During much of this time, she also was a single Mom to 3 kids, volunteered at her UU church, provided leadership training to many small congregations, led a team of 5 volunteers on a foster Care Review Board, organized a 3 day workshop for teachers on the topic of learning disabilities, served on a school board, and learned to weave.

Upon moving to the greater Lafayette area in 2009, she discovered that no one was teaching weaving.  Realizing there were many people in the area who wanted to learn to weave, she worked with the YWCA to develop a weaving studio.  The studio has since moved from the YWCA.  She has trained over 35 weavers since 2011, with more on the waiting list.
Mary Pilat

Audrey Pollack

Ashley Scott

Lee Sullivan

Andrea Wellnitz
Marcia suspects she danced before she walked and drew as soon as she could hold a crayon, when she wasn’t climbing trees.  She graduated with a B.A. in theatre from Lawrence University;  married; experienced the heart miracle of giving birth to two daughters; and entered seminary to combine theatre and theology.
Throughout her divorce, she  found herself nurtured by the seminary who believed in her even when she didn’t  believe in herself. Receiving her Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1979, this Chicago woman was called to a small rural church in Iowa and fell in love with pastoring.  14 years there included starting the local food pantry, helping start a local Hospice, creating and directing a community theatre, giving workshops on liturgical dance, and being arrested multiple times for civil disobedience at the nearby SAC Air Force Base during the nuclear arms build up.  The church grew.  Her daughters grew.  She was remarried to a local farmer, and a son was born. 

While serving a second church in Rensselaer, Indiana, a near fatal car accident opened her up to energy work, first embracing the journey of becoming a Reiki Master, then a Healing Touch PA. After ten years, she finally “left church”; claimed her call to spirituality, went back to seminary to get her Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction; taught drawing at St. Joseph’s College for 3 years; co-founded a local women’s spirituality Circle;  trained to be an Inter-Play teacher; leads spirituality retreats; is a labyrinth facilitator; and is a palliative caregiver doing Healing Touch for Hospice.  As part of her spiritual direction practice, she trained 2 years with the Haden Institute to become a Dream Group Facilitator, based on the works of C.G. Jung.  She has also worked hard for full inclusion of the GLBTQ community by her denomination.  At Barbara Kerkhoff’s grace-filled invitation, she became a co-founding member of the Circle of Directors of Indiana Voices of Women, then felt called to be a participant in the very first IVoW 9-month Experience.

Self-employed on the adventure of life, Marcia lives in Rensselaer with her spouse. Daughters and son are grown and launched into their own journeys, gifting her with their partners and 5 grandchildren.
My education includes a law dregree from Indiana University, secondary education master's degree from Purdue University, and a secondary education bachelor's degree from DePauw University.

I am an Attorney in Criminal Defense and Family Law; an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College: and work in Management and Supervision for Houston Co., Inc. 

I am currently the President of a start-up nonprofit 180-day residential treatment program for women substance abusers ages 18-60.  This project was instigated through my participation in the IVoW Experience.
Toyinda is passionate about leadership growth and development and has completed training workshops and keynote speeches with organizations and businesses such as Indianapolis Indiana’s Community Leadership Initiative, Lafayette Adult Resource Academy, Tippecanoe Youth Services, Chick-Fil-A Lafayette, Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana State University, United Way, Fifth Third Bank- Indianapolis, YWCA – Greater Lafayette, faculty and staff at Ivy Tech Community College - Lafayette, and Kokomo, IN campuses, United States Tennis Association/Midwest, Purdue University departments including the College of Science, College of Engineering, Department of the Graduate School, Engineering Professional Education, Women in Leadership Institute and Intercollegiate Athletics.

Toyinda’s lived leadership experiences and persistence has allowed her to garner several awards over her lifetime including being inducted into two athletic halls of fame – Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches and Purdue University Intercollegiate Athletics. In 2005, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated’s national magazine, The Aurora, named her to its Top 20 Under 40. She was named the Purdue Black Alumni Organization’s Young Alumni of the Year in 2008. In 2012, The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper named her among the top 40 most influential females in athletics in the region and in the same year the Purdue Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance presented the Title IX Distinguished Service Award to Toyinda and 39 others.  In March 2015, Toyinda was named the YWCA of Greater Lafayette, Woman of Innovation.
She earned an associate’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision and double bachelor degrees in psychology and sociology at Purdue University. She has a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from Indiana State University.

As a woman who understands her purpose to make positive impact, Toyinda is certified to facilitate the Real Colors® Personality Instrument, trained to integrate Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment and is a certified leadership Speaker, Trainer and Coach with the John Maxwell Team. Toyinda is an active member of Gateway Worship Center, an Adjunct Professor of Communication as well as an Assistant Track & Field Coach at Coker College located in Hartsville, SC.