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Meet the NCCWSL Steering Committee

NCCWSL would not be possible without our dedicated volunteer steering committee. Coordinating preconference activities in our host location, leveraging professional networks to market the conference, and lending expertise in student life to guide program content are just some of the ways these dedicated individuals help bring our conference to life. Committee members come from campuses and leadership institutions all across the country and are passionate about creating an empowering, inclusive space for our NCCWSL attendees to harness their leadership potential.

Many thanks to our 2019 steering committee for yet another successful year of empowering workshops, panels, speaker, and networking opportunities for college women student leaders!

Missy Smith
2019 Steering Committee Co-Chair

Missy Smith (QueenEarth) holds an MA in Liberal Studies from Loyola University of Maryland and a MA certificate in Instructional Systems Development from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is a singer/songwriter and creative professional.  She has over ten years of experience as a performer, educator, and event producer. Her coursework and portfolio include writing and composition, curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusion, and arts integration for classrooms, events, and programs. She has a passion for curating spaces for community conversations and loves working with higher education administration and student leaders. She thrives in entrepreneurship and enjoys merging tech and creativity, especially in spaces for underrepresented groups and social justice advocacy.

QueenEarth travels with her educational concert, QueerCore: Behind the Music, to share songwriting stories for LGBTQ audiences and allies. This evolving showcase has been offered as a workshop, retreat, open mic, and community event for cultural celebrations. All are invited to share in the open mic! The stories from the audience are the best part of the experience.

@msqueenearth       msqueenearth

Rebecca Halligan
2019 Steering Committee Co-Chair

Rebecca Halligan works as the Assistant Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s LEAD living-learning program and for the first-year emerging leader programs in residence at VCU.  She is passionate about building communities of leaders through leadership course curriculum, experiential learning, and co-curricular engagements. Previously she worked as the coordinator for leadership and volunteer programs at VCU and the assistant director of student life at SUNY Purchase College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in higher education administration from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Melissa Robertson
Chair Emerita

Melissa currently serves as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for The George Washington University School of Business. As part of her work, Melissa focuses on the development of programs, events, and branding opportunities to highlight the School of Business, its faculty, and departments and on enhancing the engagement of the GWSB alumni community through meaningful programs and events.

With a background working in both Higher Education and non-profits, Melissa has facilitated several presentations and training sessions for college groups, and for professional staff at both regional and national conferences, particularly focused on women’s leadership development and in using technology to develop mentoring and support networks for female students and professionals.

Melissa earned her B.A. in Communication at the University of Kentucky and her M.A. in Communication with a focus in Media Studies and Risk Management at George Mason University. She previously served as Chair for the 2018 NCCWSL Conference.


Emily Ancinec
Volunteers Chair

Emily Ancinec is currently the associate director of alumni relations for the George Washington University Law School, working with alumni across the country through affinity groups, regional programming, and Supreme Court Bar admission. Prior to being at George Washington, she worked at the University of Georgia (UGA) as the coordinator of student organizations. While at UGA, she worked with student organization policy, registration, and leadership development. Ancinec holds a master’s degree in student affairs administration in higher education from Texas A&M University, where she worked with student organization risk management and recognition. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Bowling Green State University.


Brandy Hall
Volunteers Sub-Committee Member

Angela Clark-Taylor, Ph.D.
Scholarships Chair

Angela Clark-Taylor is an educator, scholar, feminist, and community organizer with more than a decade of experience in addressing women’s issues and working for gender equity. She is currently the Director of the Women’s Center at Bowling Green State University in Northwest Ohio. Clark-Taylor previously served as a 2015–16 Community Innovation Fellow with the International Council for Research on Women; managing editor of the New York Journal of Student Affairs; program manager for the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester; AAUW’s New York state college/university director; and assistant professor of counseling and higher education at the University of Redlands. She holds a doctorate in higher education with a graduate certificate in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies from the University of Rochester as well as a master’s degree in women’s studies from the College at Brockport.

Debra Bright, Ed.D.
Scholarships Sub-Committee Member

Debra Bright, Ed.D., associate dean of student affairs at Montgomery College (MC), provides operational leadership for the student success unit, chairs the campus behavioral intervention team, and advocates for students experiencing academic and personal difficulty. Passionate about empowering students, she helped develop a mentoring program at MC for single mothers, at-risk and first generation college women, and personally mentors several women students and young professionals. She is also a member of NASPA, the Association for Student Conduct Administration, and a charter member of the Montgomery College chapter of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education in higher education administration from the George Washington University.

Katy Hogan
Scholarships Sub-Committee Member

Katy Hogan currently serves as the Director of Washington Programs, managing the Washington, DC office for the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. In this role, she oversees the Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP), which brings 60+ Buckeyes to Washington each year to live and intern. She also supports Ohio State’s federal policy team. Prior to her role with Ohio State’s DC office, she worked for American Councils for International Education, working to administer the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, a U.S. Department of State program that sends high school students abroad to learn critical languages. During graduate school, Katy worked as a graduate administrative associate in Ohio State’s Undergraduate Admissions Office, overseeing 60+ student employees. She also served as an advisor for alternative break trips, taking student groups to Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Cape Town, South Africa to engage in service projects.

Katy is a member of AAUW’s lobby corps team and is a certified salary negotiation facilitator for AAUW’s Work Smart program. She is also the faculty/staff advisor for Ohio State’s AAUW student chapter. She is the service coordinator for the Ohio State University Washington, DC Alumni Club, and serves as a monthly volunteer group leader for Food & Friends, a DC-based nonprofit that delivers meals to clients living with HIV/AIDS and other life-challenging illnesses.

Katy is a proud two-time Buckeye, holding her MPA and dual BA in political science and international studies from The Ohio State University.

Dani Iannelli
Scholarships Sub-Committee Member

Dani Iannelli is the Digital Immersion Grant Manager at PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. In this role, Dani educates station representatives on how to engage with audiences through digital platforms while using multiplatform strategies. She does this through coordinating a multifacted curriculum with workshops, webinars, and mentorship experiences. Prior to working at PBS, Dani worked at Florida Atlantic University as the Transfer Student Services Coordinator, where she helped students transition into the university, facilitated multi-campus orientation programs, and taught transition and leadership courses for incoming students. She earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Georgia and her Undergraduate Degree in Communication Studies from Appalachian State University.


Jeannine Heynes, Ph.D.
Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Jeannine Heynes, Ph.D., currently serves as the director of women and gender resources at Johns Hopkins University. Her work focuses on advancing women students’ personal, academic, and professional achievements while supporting all students on matters related to gender equity and inclusion. Heynes places a high priority on the intersectional programming she does with her colleagues in the office of multicultural affairs, campus ministries, and LGBTQ life, helping students consider their own identities while developing an understanding of allyship and social justice. Heynes previously served as director of the center for gender and relationships at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, overseeing sexual health education, LGBTQ life, and feminist initiatives, and led sexual assault prevention education and ensured Title IX compliance as coordinator of gender programming at Carnegie Mellon. Heynes earned her doctorate in women’s and gender studies from the University of Manchester.

Renee Tolliver
Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee Member

Renee Tolliver has worked for Stockton University in the Office of Student Development for over 15 years.  Renee is a Program Assistant and manages Stockton’s Resource Room, which provides support to all of the university’s clubs and organizations.  Renee serves as the Advisor to F.E.M.A.L.E.S. (Focused, Educated, Motivated, Aspiring Ladies Empowering Society) and Stockton’s chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho; also as Co-advisor to clubs including The Unified Black Students Society, and the Stockton chapter of the NAACP.  Renee takes great pride in knowing that she has helped these organizations grow and flourish. She is also a member of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc., a business and professional women’s organization, where she serves as first vice-president. Renee was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ.  She attended Atlantic City public schools and the Atlantic Cape Community College.  Renee is a mother of four amazing children and grandmother to four beautiful grand ladies.

Alicia Hanh-Murphy
Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee Member

Alicia Hahn-Murphy is a student affairs professional with over ten years in the field. She currently serves as the director of the Center for Women & Gender Equity at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA). In this role, she inspires women to step into leadership roles and works to advance the safety, equity, and academic excellence of students. Hahn-Murphy aims to center our marginalized women to give voice to their experience and build connections among faculty, staff, and students. Previously, Hahn-Murphy was the Director of Wellness Promotion at WCUPA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lycoming College and master’s degree in higher education counseling and students affairs at WCUPA.

Shana Lowery
Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee Member

Shana ‘Ms. L’ Lowery works as the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator in the Women’s Center at Old Dominion University. An avid traveler who has been to over 20 countries and 48 states. She holds a graduate communications degree from Regent University. Engaging with students has run the gamut from teen mentoring programs to time spent as a communications faculty member at Hampton University, Christopher Newport University, and South University.

She is the co-author of a stage play in response to the #MeToo movement entitled ODU Monologues which first debuted in 2018.  You will not find a more die-heart Carolina Panthers fan!

Tiffany Sanchez
Workshops Chair

Tiffany Sanchez has more than 20 years of experience in student affairs and residence life, and has spent the last 15 years overseeing student programming, orientation and first-year experience, housing, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, and student conduct. She joined Johns Hopkins University in 2013 as associate dean of student engagement and provides leadership for student orientation and the first-year experience, student arts programming, fraternity and sorority life, and student leadership and involvement. She also sits on the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Center for Women Board. Previously she served as the director of new student programs at American University and held positions with Youth for Understanding International Exchange and Heidelberg College in Ohio. Sanchez is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and earned a master’s degree from the college student personnel program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Narges Fekri Ershad
Workshops Sub-Committee Member

Narges Fekri Ershad is currently an assistant community director at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she works with residential life student staff and residents. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s and gender studies from UMBC, and is currently earning her master’s degree in women’s and gender studies at Towson University while navigating her career in student affairs. She hopes to be more involved in the lives of students and future leaders. As a previous NCCWSL attendee and presenter, she is very excited to give back to this community and meet the next generation of leaders.

Meghan Riley
Workshops Sub-Committee Member

Meghan K. Riley (BA and MA, University of Michigan-Flint) is a doctoral candidate studying the ways in which writers of colour in speculative fiction represent the tensions between essentialism and hybridity, as well as how the reading and watching of speculative fiction can be utilized to improve the ways secondary and postsecondary students and instructors can think and talk about race and gender together. Currently her research projects include an article on depictions of race, gender, and reproduction in shows such as Star Trek, Continuum, and Orphan Black, and an article on the relevance of fMRIs on postpartum depressed women and men to provide a model for feminist science. Meghan’s research has been generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Scholarship and Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Meghan’s research interests and career trajectories have been influenced by her secondary school and adult education teaching history. At the University of Waterloo, Meghan has continued to engage with student-centred learning and student services through employment at the Student Success Office and Centre for Teaching Excellence, and through founding a teaching support network for English grad students: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ENGLteachingnetwork/

Allison Boone Green
Workshops Sub-Committee Member

Allison Boone Green is a Doctoral Fellow and Instructor at Eastern Michigan University. Her research interests include women in leadership, leadership education, women in athletics, and positive organizational design and evaluation. Prior to beginning her fellowship, she worked for six years for the University of Michigan’s Department of Athletics and Science Learning Center. She is a former collegiate student-athlete and an NCAA Academic All-American. Passionate about educating and empowering college women, she was awarded a grant from the Women in Philanthropy non-profit organization to design and lead an experiential education course which connected aspiring young leaders with accomplished women in leadership. She has presented at numerous national leadership conferences, is active in both her local AAUW Ann Arbor (MI) branch and in the association of Women Leaders in College Sports. She plans to continue leading experiential education courses and facilitating campus initiatives to help support women leadership development.

Sara Yzaguirre
Student Support and Advocacy Sub-Committee Member

Sara currently serves as the coordinator for victim advocacy services at American University, working with students who have been affected by any form of sexual violence and providing them with the emotional and administrative support necessary to continue their education. She also conducts educational programming and outreach for students, faculty, and staff to help promote resources and prevent violence in the campus community. Prior to becoming a social worker, Yzaguirre worked at a small start-up specializing in online curriculum development for middle and high school students. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in American government and sociology. She is also a graduate of the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America, where she earned her master’s degree in social work.


Stephanie Baker
Student Support and Advocacy Sub-Committee Member

Stephanie Baker is a case manager and assistant director for conflict resolution at Towson University. Previously Baker worked in case management at two other institutions, and has additional experience working for the State Higher Education Commission. She is passionate about supporting students out of the classroom when significant life circumstances such as mental and physical health issues, financial difficulties, sexual violence and harassment, or family emergencies affect their wellbeing or academics. She enjoys connecting students to resources and supporting their overall wellness and experience in college. Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the Ohio State University.

Lee Savage
Student Support and Advocacy Sub-Committee Member

Lee Savage works at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) as a program manager in the Women’s Resource Center, focusing on leadership initiatives that include the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) AAUW student organization. She has been active with AAUW at the branch and state level, most recently serving as AAUW Michigan College/University Director for two years and the state’s student advisory council coordinator for three. She also serves as the campus ombudsperson for students, providing individual, informal assistance in resolving concerns and addressing issues regarding student rights and responsibilities. Savage holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Albion College, a master’s degree in public administration from Wayne State University, and a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Madonna University.

Brittany Oliver
Project Volunteer

Brittany T. Oliver is a civil and women’s rights activist based in Baltimore, MD. Oliver is the founding director of Not Without Black Women, a political movement of black women that radically uplifts black women’s rights, voices and freedoms with the focus of abolishing gender violence and sexual oppression. Oliver received national recognition for challenging white feminism during the beginning stages of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and a year later she was invited to be a speaker at Lincoln Memorial, which drew a crowd of more than 10,000 people. Oliver holds a B.S. from Towson University and was named a Baltimore Sun’s 25 Women to Watch in 2018 for her work on passing legislation in Annapolis to strengthen protections for survivors in the era of the #MeToo Movement.

Jess Myers
Project Volunteer

Lauren Edwards
Project Volunteer