Twenty-First Century Team Members

Researcher, Writer, Metadata Analyst, Data Encoder

ABOUT:  Jackie Chaisson is a contributor to the AWOTC project.  Originally from the west coast, Jackie has lived in Massachusetts for over twenty years and spent over a decade working in the financial industry before transitioning into higher education.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, tabletop gaming, and watching anything DC/Marvel/Star Wars/Star Trek-related with her husband. She finds bookbinding to be wonderfully meditative and occasionally crafts buildings and terrain for gaming.  Every so often, she uploads a video to her YouTube channel New England Backyard. Jackie is owned by two dogs.

CONNECTION:  Jackie met MaryKate at Quinsigamond Community College, where she took Dr. McMaster's introductory Humanities course.  She enjoyed it so much that she took her Creative Writing­­ course the very next semester. They quickly became good friends.

QUOTE: “I love falling into research rabbit holes, following those breadcrumbs wherever the books and databases take me. History is full of fascinating experiences, virtuosities, and connections that are worth the effort to learn, share and preserve. Sometimes, it's ugly and heartbreaking, or weird and funny, or hopeful and breathtakingly beautiful. I feel honored to be a part of such an impressive group of people who are ensuring digital immortality for A Woman of the Century.”

Administrator, Researcher, Writer, Editor, Metadata Analyst, Technology Consultant

ABOUT:  Lauren Del Vecchio is a contributor to the AWOTC project. She has a background working in software technology and a deep interest in history.  As a resident of Maine, Lauren has a special interest in Maine history and has focused researching the Maine women in AWOTC.  For more about Lauren, see her LinkedIn page

CONNECTION:  Lauren was MaryKate's student at Anna Maria College and started contributing to the project in a Women's History course. Lauren resides in Maine with her husband and cat.

QUOTE "For so long, there wasn't space for women in history projects. When we tell women's stories and achievements, we expand our perspective. We get to learn about the tremendous impact women have had and how they amplified the impact of those around them. This project is about sharing forgotten stories and learning from the incredible women of the past."

Researcher, Writer, Metadata Analyst, Data Encoder

ABOUT:  With a master’s degree in education with a concentration in English, Mallory is trained to read between the lines of history and educate AWOTC readers.   After teaching in Abu Dhabi for three years, Mallory now works at CAPS Educational Collaborative as a reading specialist and is also a certified dyslexia therapist.  

CONNECTION:  I graduated with my undergraduate degree from Anna Maria where I was in many of MaryKate classes as well as her work study.  I was born and raised in Orange, Massachusetts where I currently reside with my husband and two sons.  

QUOTE:  “This project is important because it honors the amazing women, who paved the path for all women since to follow their dreams and become women to be the change in our world.”

Writer, Researcher

ABOUT:  Robbin Miller contributes to the AWOTC project as an interested researcher and biography writer.  As an educator, writer, counselor, and advocate, Robbin enjoys learning about America’s famous women from all backgrounds who contributed to the fields of science, technology, humanities, civil rights, and social justice.  In addition to five children's picture books, Robbin has published her memoir about playing Little League with boys after it became legal for girls to play in 1974.  She wrote Breaking Barriers: A Girl's Dream to Play Little League with Boys to inspire girls to play baseball and stand up to the obstacles that they might encounter in life.  When she isn’t working, Robbin volunteers as a producer and host of "Miller Chat," a video program on Shrewsbury, MA’s Channel 28 that focuses on issues affecting families and persons with disabilities. 

CONNECTION:  Robbin teaches courses in Social and Community Services at Quinsigamond Community College and met MaryKate at their weekly Zoom meetings.  She resides in Massachusetts with her husband, son, and therapy dog, Woody. 

QUOTE:  “The A Women of the Century project provides valuable information about famous women who will inspire girls to develop courage and grit to promote social causes.” 

Writer, Editor, Researcher, Metadata Analyst, Data Encoder

ABOUT:  Alana Osher is a contributor to the AWOTC project.  She is a hospice volunteer inspired by Dame Cicely Saunders and her associate Florence Wald, the women who are credited with launching the modern hospice and palliative care movement.  Both women were independent thinkers with fortitude and determination to change the way that terminal pain was managed.  Female heroines in historical fiction and nonfiction have always captivated Alana, so the AWOTC project truly resonates with her.  Alana lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with her husband and has three grown sons. 

CONNECTION:  Alana has known MaryKate since childhood. She has watched MaryKate’s dedication and determination move this project from incubation to verification, taking advantage of emerging technologies to bring these women of the century to life in a contemporary way/medium. 

QUOTE:  “These women’s lives are like unique patches of a beautiful quilt that, once sewn together, represent a blanket of strength of mind and resolution for all of humanity to see!”

Administrator, Writer, Editor, Researcher, Graphic Designer, Data Encoder

ABOUT: Amy Ravitz is an active contributor to the AWOTC project. With over two decades of experience in research, writing, and editing for publication, the former international trade attorney knows the importance of finding fact-based narratives to draw readers’ attention. For the AWOTC project, Amy has drafted and edited biographies and created the Postcards from the Past exhibition that follows Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s travelogue through Europe. Amy also enjoys leveraging her studio art degree to create graphics for our social media accounts. When she is not working on AWOTC projects, she researches and writes for her travel and retirement resource website and serves her community in various church leadership positions.

CONNECTION:  Amy has known MaryKate for over 35 years since their college days. Originally from Massachusetts, Amy currently lives in North Texas with her husband (whom she met through MaryKate) and their two sons.

QUOTE: “This project is about honoring the industrious women of the nineteenth century, including many whose names have never graced the history books. The story of their lives, however, still has the potential to inspire us if we take the time to discover them. I would encourage anyone who loves history, research, and writing (especially former educators and current or former history majors) to join the team.”

Researcher, Writer, Metadata Analyst

ABOUT:  An ardent bibliophile, Patricia Tirone (Trish) studied English literature in college and worked in the library.  In addition to researching and writing AWOTC biographies, Trish has started and currently leads a book club and a Bible study, the latter for her church’s “Daughter Of The King” chapter (a women’s religious organization started in 1885).  In 2013, Trish was honored to win a Barbara Delinksy writing contest and received free books to share with her book club members.  When not reading or writing, Trish can be found volunteering for her church’s pancake shrove Tuesday dinners, mission team, gift bags for new members, Christmas gifts for the needy, birthday cards for parishioners, fellowship, and outreach for community needs.

CONNECTION:   Trish is MaryKate’s first cousin.  Twenty-five years ago, MaryKate used Trish’s house in New York as her base from which to research Moses Dresser Phillips.  Trish grew up in Wallingford, CT and currently lives in Malta, New York with her husband of over thirty-seven years.

QUOTE:  “We need to look backward and learn from women in history to go forward today.”

Researcher, Writer, Editor, Metadata Analyst, Transcriber, Data Encoder

ABOUT:  Emily Williamson is a contributor to the AWOTC project.  She has researched, drafted, edited, and posted biographies to the AWOTC website. Emily has a passion for history and is always searching for new projects to be involved in. She enjoys reading historical novels and biographies.

CONNECTION:  Emily has known MaryKate for over eleven years, as she was a student in many of her classes at Anna Maria College.  Since then, she has continued to assist with the AWOTC project in various ways. She was raised in Spencer, Massachusetts and still currently lives there. 

QUOTE:  “The AWOTC project is an informational contribution that educates those that have a passion for history, more specifically innovative women in the 19th century.”