Board of Directors

President

amanda-haste's picture
Term until Nov 2020
President

Secretary

bsanchez1's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Secretary

Treasurer

portolan's picture
Term until Oct 2020
Treasurer

Membership Officer

ygroseil's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Membership Officer

Board Members

dwoodman's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
B.Williams's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
ewall's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
JECunningham's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
Issy_Platt's picture
Term until Oct 2020
Board member
sshapiro's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
vabraham's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member
slanzoni's picture
Term until Nov 2020
Board member

Board Biographies

Valerie Abrahamsen (Board member)

I completed masters and doctoral studies in New Testament and Early Christian Origins at Harvard Divinity School and have remained active in my fields for nearly four decades. I worked as an academic administrator, mainly as a registrar, at a number of colleges in Massachusetts and Vermont. I reluctantly retired in late 2017 after my job was eliminated suddenly in 2013 and I was unsuccessful landing a new position. For three years, I conducted research on the survival of the soul after death and self-published my book, Paranormal, in 2015. In October 2015, I launched a website, WisdomWordsPPF, and have been posting evidence-based blogs once a week in three areas: my scholarly research on women in antiquity, New Testament, and early church history; social justice issues from a progressive, feminist perspective; and insights from Paranormal. I am now giving lectures and leading discussions, retreats and workshops at retirement communities, churches, colleges, libraries, conference centers and other venues, and I volunteer for Estey Organ Museum in Brattleboro, Vermont; the United Way of Windham County; and the Episcopal Church in Vermont.Read more

Joan Cunningham (Board member)

    Joan Cunningham is a cancer epidemiologist, retired in 2013 from the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina where she conducted research in the epidemiology of breast and other cancers, including racial disparities in etiologies and outcomes. She grew up mostly in Toronto, Canada, with one very interesting year spent in Sri Lanka at age 12.
    Joan holds a B.Sc. (Honours, Biology) and M.Sc. (Biology: aquatic eco-embryology) from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) and PhD (Public Health: epidemiology) from the University of Texas School of Public Health (Houston).  Prior to completing her PhD she worked at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, served as a laboratory technician at the Toronto Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and then spent several years in clinical trials research as a Coordinator of Research Data at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.  
    Areas of continuing research and scholarly collaboration include breast cancer racial disparities; and the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches, such as massage therapy and natural products to ameliorate side effects of anti-cancer treatment.
    Non-academic interests include reading historical and literary fiction, biographies and much more; listening to and participating in choral and folk music (voice and viola); travel; yoga and Zumba!  Environment and social justice concerns include climate change and population growth. Volunteer work includes with the Sierra Club (on Executive Committee of local chapter), Planned Parenthood, and serving locally as an Elections Judge. Joan lives with her husband in San Antonio, TX.
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Barbara Williams Ellertson (Board member)

After a career in academic publishing and small business administration, I became an independent scholar and launched the BASIRA Project in August 2013. This database project operates at the boundary of book history and art history; we hope to track and explore the ways that art (primarily painting and sculpture) in western Europe explicates the changing roles of the book across the centuries--before and during the Renaissance. Our initial paper, "The Painted Page," was published in The Independent Scholar in December 2015; we were deeply honored when it was awarded the Eisenstein Prize in 2016.
Eventually, we hope to be able to make the database open and available to any interested researchers.
My formal academic work was in history and religion at Duke University, although only at the undergraduate level. As an outgrowth of BASIRA, I’ve developed and taught a course in European book culture for the continuing education program (OLLI) at Duke for two years. And I’ve audited graduate courses in art history technology, also at Duke. The National Coalition of Independent Scholars has opened doors that would otherwise be inaccessible to someone like myself with limited credentials.
A note about my name: Barbara Williams was my working name. In retirement, I now use the last name Ellertson, one shared with my spouse, who is as passionate about typography as I remain about books.
Our BASIRA website is located at https://basiraproject.wordpress.comRead more

Isabelle Flemming (Board member)

Isabelle Flemming, BA, MA, MLS, is currently a part-time Reference Librarian at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, Illinois, after having working there for several years as a full-time Reference Librarian/Computer Specialist .  Prior to holding this position she was the Business Reference Librarian at Mount Prospect Public Library in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  She received her MLS from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, and MA in history, majoring in History of Science, with a minor in Early Modern Europe, from the University of Florida. She obtained her BA in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. 
She has had the articles: “Universe, Closed or Open”, and “Time, Cosmic”, published in the Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture, (Los Angeles: Sage, 2009), and the chapters: “Ethnography and Ethnology” and “Magic and Science” published in 21st Century Anthropology: a Reference Handbook, (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), editor, H. James Birx. She co-authored the chapter “Reference Interview in Real Time and Virtual Time” with Lesley Farmer, and it appears in a reference book for librarians, Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians can Get to the Why of Data, edited by Drs. Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer. (2011). Three articles were approved and are awaiting publication in the upcoming: The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspective. 
 Her short stories have been published in a local newspaper, after receiving first place awards at a writers’ workshop, and a short story excerpt from a novel in progress was published in the New England Writers’ Network periodical. She is currently writing a fiction novel of the supernatural/mythological in ancient Celtic culture.
She is a retired member of the American Library Association, serving a term on the History Committee for RUSA (Reference and User Services), and the Public Library Association. Current member of  PCA/ACA Popular Culture Association...Read more

Yvonne Groseil (Membership Officer)

Born, raised, and educated in New York City, I have lived on the Upper East Side since it was Yorkville. Neighborhood  parochial school,  Hunter College High School, Barnard College, The New School for Social Research (PhD, Anthropology) and Hunter College.  My work experience includes such Manhattan icons as Alexanders, Gimbels, and Bloomingdales, as well as various not-for profit organizations and, most recently, teaching as an adjunct at Hunter and the New School after obtaining an MATESOL degree at Hunter.  I have been active in tenant organizing and as a union member.  Now I am reinventing myself once again, as I focus full time on research and writing as an independent scholar. 
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Amanda Haste (President)

Amanda Haste is a British researcher and academic translator currently based in France, and has been President of NCIS since July 2015. She spent 20 years as a professional musician and music educator, and holds an MA in Musicology (with Distinction) and a PhD in Musicology. She is an adjunct professor at Aix-Marseille University, where she teaches courses in Translation, and English as a Musicological Language, at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her research is multidisciplinary, and encompasses music, language, and identity; and the intersections between music and spirituality in contemporary society. Dr Haste is active as a peer reviewer and editor, and currently serves as Humanities Editor of The Independent Scholar. She has presented her work at conferences in England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovenia and the USA. An invited lecturer, she was a keynote speaker at the 2014 History of Women Religious conference in Glasgow, Scotland. As well as journal articles and book chapters published by Routledge, Palgrave MacMillan etc. she has several substantial entries in the two-volume Women in World Religions: Faith & Culture Across History, ed. Susan de Gaia (ABC-CLIO, 2018). In 2015 Dr Haste co-edited (with Professor James Block of DePaul University, USA) a book on Constructing Identity in an Age of Globalization (Ex Modio) in which she was delighted to be able to include several independent scholars among the authors.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-ke...

As a freelance translator (French-English) and proofreader (French-English and English-English) Dr Haste specialises in academic, musical, historical and social sciences material. She holds the Diploma in Translation IoLET (Master's level) with Merit, is a member of the European Society of Translation Studies and of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Linguists in London, England; she currently teaches several courses in translation at Aix-Marseille University, France (for details see CV). She copy edited and proof read Villa-Lobos, the Music: An Analysis...Read more

Susan Lanzoni (Board member)

Susan Lanzoni is an historian of psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience in the modern period. She is interested in finding connections between sceince and literature and psychology and the arts. She earned a Ph.D. at the History of Science Department at Havard University, and also received a Masters of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School.  She is presently writing a book, contracted with Yale University Press on the history of the concept of empathy from German aesthetics of the late nineteenth century, to American psychology and neuroscience.Read more

Bridget Sanchez (Secretary)

A passionate mental health clinician and scholar looking to bring forth important contributions to the field of mental health regarding mental health practices with historically underrepresented populations, specifically related to Latino immigrant mental health issues. I received my Masters from Purdue University Northwest in Marriage and Family in 2016 and have been working full-time at one of Chicago's largest hispanic serving agency. I also have been working as a limited-term lecturer connecting the young generation with a passion for advovacy, change, and representation. I am a proud first-generation Mexican-American that enjoys laughing, animals, and dancing.Read more

Shelby Shapiro (Board member)

San Francisco-born, I grew up on Guam. After earning my BA in Anthropology, I worked for 19 years in a law office writing trial memoranda and appeal briefs, doing land title examinations, pursuing photography part-time, while hosting a Jazz & Blues program on various AM and FM stations for 9 years.

Self-taught in Yiddish, I went back to school when I came to the Washington metro area, earning an MA and PhD in American Studies studying the Yiddish press and acculturation of women immigrants. I am presently toiling to revise the manuscript based on the dissertation in hopes of publication. I am the Associate Editor for Connecticut Public Records, Vols XXI-XXII;  and a Yiddish-to-English translator.

I served as editor for the newsletter and later the small magazine of Yiddish of Greater Washington for more than a decade, continue to serve on its Board, as well as that of Operation Understanding-DC.Read more

Philip Stover (Treasurer)

Phil Stover is a historian of religion and conflict, focusing on Mennonite, Mormon, and Mexican studies.
An independent scholar, Phil’s forty year career included service as a senior administrator in higher education, K-12 public and private education, and a Fortune 500 company providing services to education. He retired from serving San Diego Unified School District as Interim Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Sweetwater Union High School District as Interim Superintendent of Schools. He also served as an Associate Professor of Psychology, teaching courses in the integration of psychology and theology. Phil has served his denomination as a licensed and ordained minister and as headmaster of a Mennonite K-12 school. Phil was appointed a member of the Sarasota County Historical Commission. Retired, Phil now lives in Mata Ortiz Chihuahua where he researches, writes, and oversees the production of peach, apple, and pecan trees. He has served his Mata Ortiz community by serving as President of the local Rural Committee for Potable Water. His Buyer’s Guide for Mata Ortiz Pottery is consistently in Amazon’s top 100 best sellers in books about ceramics.Read more

Edward Wall (Board member)

I graduated in 1963 from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) with a B.S. in Mathematics (with minors in the physical and biological sciences). Subsequently, working as an applied mathematician and attending graduate school at the University of Maryland (College Park), I received a M.A. in Mathematics in 1968. Returning to academics I received a Sloan Foundation Grant from the University of Chicago in 1969 and spent a number of years as a graduate student in Mathematical Biology. 
For various reasons I began to question a possible future career in academics and moved in the 70s to Wisconsin where, while self employed as a system analyst, I would, in 1989, receive a B.S. in secondary mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point) with certification in Learning Disabilities. I taught in both Wisconsin and Colorado and in the 90s returned to graduate school at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). I received a Ph. D. in Secondary Mathematics Education in 2003 and in the same year became faculty in Childhood Education (which I preferred for various reasons over Secondary Education) at the City College of New York. I was tenured in 2008 and I retired from City College in 2014.Read more

Dorothy Woodman (Board member)

I have a diverse background. Prior to beginning graduate studies in 2002 I held a number of positions in various sectors: as the head of a children's department in a public library, as a communications and fundraising officer in an international development NGO, and as a piano teacher.

I am the mother of 3 grown children -- I juggled working outside the home with co-parenting.

I have been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, high risk pregnancies, breast cancer, and colitis. Thus, as is often the case, biography and professional work overlap.Read more

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