Mi’Jan Celie Tho-BIaz (March 2016)

Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Ed.D., is a Visiting Scholar with the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics at Columbia University; inaugural leadership member with the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, as well as The Banff Centre’s New Fundamentals in the Creative Ecology; and the lead designer and co-facilitator for the public policy digital storytelling and documentation training with women organizers who labor for social change, at the Steinem Initiative at Smith College.

Additionally, Mi’Jan Celie serves on the Board of Directors with the Northern New Mexico Radio Foundation; the South by Southwest (SxSWedu) and American Association of University Women advisory board review panels; and in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is the founder of the inaugural 2016 Community Artist Year.

Julie Sasse (May 2016)

Dr. Julie Sasse is Chief Curator and Curator of Modern, Contemporary, and Latin American Art at the Tucson Museum of Art. Since joining TMA, she organized more than 90 solo and group exhibitions of regional, national, and international artists. Among her group exhibitions are Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discourse in Nature and Society; Paint on Metal: Modern and Contemporary Explorations and Discoveries; Into the Night: Modern and Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition; and The Figure Examined: Masterworks from the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation. Her solo exhibitions include artists Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, Alan Sonfist, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Henri Matisse, Deborah Butterfield, Ansel Adams, and Rose Cabat.


Sasse received a Clark Art Institute fellowship in 2008 for her book, Trouble in Paradise, a Latino Museum Studies Fellowship in Washington, DC, in 2007, and a Louise Foucar Marshall Foundation Graduate Fellowship for her dissertation, Blurred Boundaries: A History of Hybrid Beings and the Works of Patricia Piccinini, in 2013. Sasse holds a B.A. from Southern Illinois University, a M.F.A. and a M.A. in Art History from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She also attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.


The author of more than 35 catalogues, books, and published essays, Sasse wrote the monograph on James Havard (Hudson Hills Press, 2006); Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discord Between Nature and Society (2008); and the feature essay for Contemporary Art of the Southwest (Schiffer, 2012) and The Figure Examined: Masterworks from the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation (2014).


Dr. Sasse was Gallery Director/Curator at the University of Arizona, 1995-2000. Managing five non-collecting spaces on the U of A campus, she organized more than 100 exhibitions, including solo shows of works by William T. Wiley, Harmony Hammond, Ruth Weisberg, and Kadir Lopez Nieves. Group exhibitions include: Hindsight: Art Historical References in Contemporary Art; Abject Lands/Personal Horizons; an exchange exhibition of watercolors with the Museo de Acuarela in Mexico, Intercambio; and Shanghai Ink: Contemporary Works in the Ink Tradition from China.


In the 1980s, Sasse directed the Elaine Horwitch Galleries in Scottsdale and Sedona, AZ; Santa Fe, NM; and Palm Springs, CA, focusing on international and regional artists. There she organized more than 300 exhibitions, including works by Larry Rivers, David Hockney, Louise Nevelson, Peter Voulkos, and Beatrice Wood. She also taught studio art at Arizona State University and Eastern Washington University from 1974 to 1977; and courses in gallery management at The University of Arizona from 1995 to 2002. Sasse has served on numerous panels and jury committees at such institutions as the Contemporary Art Center in Las Vegas; the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the University of Texas in El Paso; and the IV Annual Computer Art Biennial in Rzeszow, Poland. Sasse’s fellowship at the Women’s International Study Center will focus on her research and writing for her book, Art Gal: Elaine Horwitch and the Rise of Contemporary Art in the American Southwest.

Allison Goodwin (May 2015)

Allison Goodwin is a teacher and writer, whose scholarly work challenges traditional understandings of religions’ discriminatory teachings about women, other religions/sects, and other groups.  While in residency at WISC, she will be working on an article that proposes that the hundreds of psychological and social studies on the effects of self/other concepts, discrimination, expectations, and stereotypes, provide a means of transforming religions’ negative and limiting beliefs and rules, because they offer concrete evidence that such views and treatment lead to harm.


In addition to her own scholarly work, Ms. Goodwin has helped to identify the best scholarly writings that provide evidence that the negative Buddhist teachings about women are not the true teachings of the Buddha.  Collaborating with scholars, activists, religious leaders, and non-profits, she has facilitated the translation of that research into Mandarin, Thai, and Korean, and helped to ensure its inclusion in the curricula of universities and religious institutions in Asia and the West.  She is currently raising money for Tibetan translations, and will continue to facilitate translations in other languages.  Her scholarship and activism have increased awareness about the implications of this important research—and used that awareness to transform discriminatory beliefs and practices.  Her WISC project will expand the scope of this endeavor, so that the research may serve as a catalyst for change in other religious traditions.


Ms. Goodwin has won fifteen fellowships, grants, and awards for her fiction and scholarly writing, and she has been invited to speak about her scholarly research at conferences, universities, and religious centers in Taiwan, India, Korea, and the U.S. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Fiction from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in English literature from Barnard College, Columbia University, and has taught literature, screenwriting, fiction writing, creative non-fiction, and rhetoric at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, National Taiwan University, and Syracuse University.  She has also worked in a variety of positions in feature film production and development, and as a Mandarin language translator.

Ramona Sakiestewa

Areas of Expertise:


Arts – The value of artmaking.


Cultural Preservation – As it relates to museums, cultural centers, cultural groups.


Other – Design in artchitecture, site design.


Ramona Sakiestewa grew up in the American Southwest, and lives and works in Santa Fe. For more than 30 years she has written and lectured about Native American weaving and contemporary art including a USIA lecture tour of Japan. In addition to her own tapestry work, her studio has woven the works of other contemporary artists including Paul Brach, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Kenneth Noland. Her own weavings reside in numerous public, private, and corporate collections. She recently changed media, exploring constructed works-on-paper, print work, and painting, and has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions across the continent. For the past twenty years, Ms. Sakiestewa has worked with a series of nationally known architects designing elements for buildings and theming interiors. She has worked in a variety of media including stone, metal, carpet, and glass. Some of her work can be seen at the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC. Ms. Sakiestewa was a participating artist in the Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies in 2001. Her honors include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, induction into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame, and recognition by the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Donna L. Doane


Areas of Expertise:


Business & the Labor Force – (1) Women in the informal economy, especially in developing country contexts in South, Southeast and East Asia. (2) Women’s organizations and networks.


Sciences, Technology & Engineering – (1) Combining “modern” and “traditional” knowledge/technologies (medicine, crafts, etc.). (2) Women in science in developing and industrialized country contexts.


Other – (1) Gender and other social hierarchies, especially prejudice and discrimination. (2) Identities based on gender, race, ethnicity, class, national origin, sexuality, religion, etc.


Donna L. Doane, PhD, is a Senior Researcher and Adjunct Faculty in Gender and Development Studies at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand. She is also a Program Consultant for HomeNet South Asia, a network of organizations of homebased (predominantly women) workers in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, with partners in several other South and Southeast Asian countries. Dr. Doane has a BA from Stanford University, and an MA in Anthropology and a PhD in Economics from Yale University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a tenured Associate Professor in Economics in the U.S. She has spent the majority of her life in Asia and in recent decades has been living and working in Thailand, India, Japan, and the Philippines, teaching in universities and research institutes and doing research in association with informal workers’ organizations and networks. Dr. Doane’s areas of interest include gender and economic development, the informal economy, women’s economic empowerment, and social protection (including both “traditional” and government-centered responses to health, conflict, livelihood, and related concerns). She continues to combine work in economics and political economy with anthropology and related fields.

Current and Past Fellows-in-Residence

The Fellows-in-Residence who stay at the Women’s International Study Center benefit from an environment that is ideally conducive to focused, creative work: respite from the routines and demands of their everyday lives, stimulating interchanges with other Fellows, and the serene natural beauty and rich cultural history of the Acequia Madre House and Santa Fe.  WISC Fellows hail from a broad range of personal and professional backgrounds and pursue an exciting array of projects during their residencies. They all, however, share at least one thing in common: a profound wealth of experience and expertise in their respective fields.


PAST: Geraldine  Craig   (May-June 2014)  PAST: Geraldine Craig (May-June 2014)

Geraldine Craig is an artist and writer whose research focuses on the intersections or relationships between textile history, theory and criticism, curatorial work and studio practice. She received Bachelors’ degrees from the University of Kansas (Textile Design; History of Art), and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989. She also studied art history and philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Currently, she is Professor of Art at Kansas State University, where she has taught and been Department Head of Art since July 2007.



PAST: Punyashree Panda   (May-June 2014)  PAST: Punyashree Panda (May-June 2014)

Dr. Punyashree Panda is an Assistant Professor of English at Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, India. Dr. Panda has a doctoral degree in Native American literature and a Post-graduate diploma in ELT which is equivalent to an American TESOL diploma. She is particularly interested in Native American and Native Canadian Fiction, Postcolonial World Literature, Indian Writing in English, Cross Cultural Communication, and English Language Teaching. She is presently working on a sponsored project on “Twentieth Century Marginal Women’s Autobiographical Writing: A Contrastive Study of India and the United States.”



PAST: Adrianne Wortzel   (May-June 2014)  PAST: Adrianne Wortzel (May-June 2014)

Adrianne Wortzel creates unique and innovative interactive art works exploring historical and cultural perspectives by coupling fact and fiction and deploying their considered mix in both physical and virtual networked environments. She is a Professor of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Media Technologies at New York City College of Technology, the senior technical college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. She is the Founding Director of StudioBlueLab, an interdisciplinary collaborative lab facility for faculty and student invention, established by a 2004 CUNY Graduate Research Technology Incentive Award and maintained at New York City College of Technology.



PAST: Kristin Swenson   (April 2014)  PAST: Kristin Swenson (April 2014)

Kristin Swenson is a visiting associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and continues to be affiliated with Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned tenure as a professor of the history and literature of ancient Israel. After taking a fellowship at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and moving to Charlottesville, she resigned from VCU to write full-time. She serves as editor for the Society of Biblical Literature’s NEH-supported Bible Odyssey website project and is a regular contributor to the religion arm of Publishers Weekly and to The Huffington Post.


 Board of Directors


WISC’s Board of Directors guides the organization with an unparalleled range of skill, acumen, vision, and commitment.  Five of the seven current Board members served as Founders, part of the dedicated group of women and men who worked purposefully and diligently for 18 months to develop WISC from an idea into a flourishing reality.  With such a distinguished and talented Board, WISC is fully prepared for an abundant future advancing the status and accomplishments of women worldwide.


Sandra (Sandy) Blakeslee

Sandra Blakeslee is a veteran science writer for the New York Times and co-author of nine books on popular scientific themes. In her 45 years with the Times (on staff and later as a regular contributor), she has covered everything from the early Apollo program through the latest findings in zoology. Sandy’s specialty for the past 25 years has been on the neurosciences, unraveling mysteries of the brain.


  1. Revell Carr

After 31 years at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, with seven years as Chief Curator and 23 of as Director and President, Revell, who has degrees from Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania, retired in 2001. Since then he has written two books, has a third underway, and lectures at sea for Road Scholar and Holland America Lines. He has assisted several organizations with strategic planning. It was from a plan he developed for Acequia Madre House™ that the concept for WISC emerged.


Linda Donnels

With a three decade career at George Washington University, Linda served in a variety of management positions culminating as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. She has served on the Boards of Directors of numerous organizations including Association of Higher Education and Disability, the Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, the Sheridan School and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Linda holds a BS in English Education from Ohio State and a Masters in Counseling from Gallaudet University.


Natalie Fitz-Gerald

A graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with additional programs at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and the London Business School, Natalie Fitz-Gerald became one of the first two female stockbrokers in her native South Africa, a position in which she thrived for several decades. Now a resident of Santa Fe, Natalie owns and operates Casa Nova, a unique home decor and gift gallery offering a cultural fusion of art, craft, and design pieces primarily from Southern Africa. Through Casa Nova, Natalie is committed to making a difference in the world by creating sustainable employment for fair trade cooperatives, women’s groups, and individual artisans. Natalie has also benefited the Santa Fe community by contributing her time and talents to numerous non-profits, community organizations, and foundations.


Maria (Bunny) Huffman

Maria (Bunny) Pierce Huffman is a member of the Board of Directors (Ex Officio) and the Director of Acequia Madre House™, the former home of the Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo family. An illustrator and cultural historian whose work has been featured in New Mexico Magazine and been exhibited at St. John’s College and the NM Museum of Art, Bunny is a graduate of Georgetown University in Languages and Linguistics and attended the Sorbonne.


Janet McKay

A graduate of Smith College, who obtained her J.D. from the University of New Mexico and has been practicing law for over thirty years. She is a partner in the respected law firm of Sommer, Udall, Sutin in Santa Fe. Over the years, Janet contributed her talents and time to more than a dozen non-profits, community organizations and foundations, benefitting Santa Fe greatly.


Helena Ribe

Helena Ribe is an international development economist. Having retired from the World Bank where she held a number of senior managerial positions, she is now a non-profit director and development consultant. She is in the Board of Pro-Mujer International, the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, the Council of International Relations and Northern New Mexico’s Public Radio. She also serves on the organizing committee of the Mentor to Market program of the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. She holds a Masters and a PhD in Economics from Yale University.


Gloria Zamora

Gloria retired after 31 years at Sandia National Laboratories, where she was a manager in the Government Affairs Office. She is a member of the Special Libraries Association, an international information organization, in which she has held several offices, including President. Gloria has an undergraduate degree in history and political science and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She is the Grants Administrator of the New Mexico Library Foundation where she is a board member and serves as chair of the Academic Advisory Committee (AAC). Gloria also volunteers in the archives of the Acequia Madre House™ and with Santa Fe’s ARTSmart, a nonprofit that raises money for art programs in public schools.


A Distinguished Team Advises WISC on Programs and Participants


A prestigious and diverse Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) counsels the Board of the Women’s International Study Center on its existing and future programs, and reviews potential Fellows and Scholars. The AAC members represent the four areas of interest to WISC. The members are:



Dr. Virginia Scharff

Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Distinguished Professor of History and the Director of the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico. A highly respected authority on Southwest and women’s history, she is Women of the West chair at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and a Fellow of the Society of American Historians. She was President of the Western History Association for 2008.





Dr. Martha (Marni) Sandweiss

Marni is a professor of history at Princeton University. She received her PhD in history from Yale University and began her career as a photography curator at the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas. She later taught American studies and history at Amherst College for twenty years before taking her post at Princeton. Marni consults broadly on issues relating to the use of visual images for historical research and teaching.





Dr. Elizabeth W. Hutchinson

Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research centers on the role of visual and material culture in the interactions between the diverse cultural groups of the American west, using close visual analysis, feminist and postcolonial theory, and cultural history to interpret the contributions of art objects to current and historical cultural debates. She was one of the first academics to recognize the significance of the Acequia Madre House™ archives.





The Honorable Janice Lachance

Janice is the Chief Executive Officer of the Special Library Association and was a Cabinet level officer in the Clinton Administration as Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She is an attorney and, with her links to 9,000 special libraries around the globe, brings knowledge of library, archive and research practices.





Dr. Aline Coudouel

Aline brings international, academic and business perspectives to the WISC AAC as a lead economist with the World Bank, where she currently focuses on topics of social assistance, social insurance, and labor markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Aline holds a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in Italy.





Dr. Wendy Cunningham

Wendy adds to the AAC’s international and business perspective as the World Bank’s Sector Leader for Human Development for Mexico and Colombia. She managed the research agenda of the World Bank’s Caribbean Region’s Gender team for several years, focusing on labor supply decisions, informal labor markets, and household risk management. Her PhD is in labor economics from the University of Illinois.



Acequia Madre House™—”House of the Three Wise Women”

The house was built by Eva Scott Fényes, her daughter, Leonora S. M. Curtin, and granddaughter, Leonora F. Curtin, who later became Mrs. Yrjö Paloheimo.


In 1927, the noted historian, Indian activist, poet and journalist Charles Fletcher Lummis pronounced the new Santa Fe home of his friends, “The House of the Three Wise Women” demonstrating his respect for the three remarkable women of Acequia Madre House™.


The house was designed by the women after rejecting proposals by such notables as California architect Wallace Neff and artist-builder William Henderson. They found an architect in Albuquerque, Charles Rossiter, who listened to their thoughts and drew the plan. Contractor Charles Campbell was engaged and the cornerstone laid by visiting count, Lattanzio Firmian. Both Leonoras contributed design ideas and kept tabs on the expenses. Eva, an experienced house builder, required daily reports on its progress when she was in California and so participated in every element of its construction. The primary designer, she chose the furniture for the living room and many of the decorative objects still in place today. Adobe bricks were made on site. The house was completed in 1926.


Large public rooms and comfortable private rooms are filled with the original Spanish Colonial, Native American and Finnish furnishings, as well as items collected during the family’s travels. Pieces in the collection have been featured in academic publications, and museum exhibitions. Most important are the furniture, tin work, and textiles made during The Depression for The Native Market, a cooperative for local artisans, that was created and subsidized by Leonora Curtin Paloheimo. The house, which sits on a three-acre parcel of land, is an example of the Santa Fe territorial revival style. It is unique, in that it has retained its original appearance and estate setting. Over the years, internationally known artists, writers, and musicians have been family friends and guests.


In addition to the 5,400 square foot main house, there are several other structures on the property including an Archive building. On adjacent San Antonio Street, two homes which adjoin the property will be used as Scholars’ Residences.


In July, 2012, the house and property received the designation of “museum” from the Santa Fe Board of Adjustments in a Special Use Permit, enabling the Women’s International Study Center to conduct its programs onsite into the future.