WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network)

is a community promoting women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women.

Board & Staff

Board of Directors

March 2015 - March 2016       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Executive Committee

MarieDoerner2Marie Doerner, M.Ed. – Treasurer

Program Chair, Disability Support Programs and Services, San Diego Continuing Education, San Diego Community College, San Diego, California

Term 2011-2014 (2nd Term) - extended to 2015

Marie Doerner was looking for authentic learning experiences for her students and found Women’sPerspectives in 2007. This led to attending the WE LEARN conference and joining the board in 2008. She is a Learning Disability Specialist who teaches reading, writing and math, as well as, supporting students in their mainstream classrooms. She loves her home in San Diego and misses her family in Australia. She continues to work with the San Diego Council on Literacy to bring students to each conference since 2007. Last summer, she decided to work on her drawing and is currently on a mission to draw a years’ worth of hearts. She also used her drawings in a book for her new grand-daughter.



Stacie Evans, M.A. - Chair

Literacy Advisor, New York City Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, Brooklyn, NY

Term: 2010-2013 (2nd Term) - extended to 2015

Stacie Evans has been involved with WE LEARN since attending the first conference in 2005 and joined the Board of Directors in 2007.  Stacie lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  She has taught reading, basic education and GED classes.  As an adult educator, Stacie made publishing student writing a priority, so she was happy when WE LEARN began publishing Women’s Perspectives in 2006 and has been a reader on the Women’s Perspectives selection committee.   Stacie is a writer.  She writes stories, essays, and poetry.  Her work is included in both of WE LEARN’s anthologies: Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience, and Our Stories, Ourselves: EmBODYment in Women’s Literacy Learning.  She is currently writing and drawing a comic about her experiences with racism.  She is also a knitter.  You may have seen her at a WE LEARN conference working on a pair of colorful socks or a lace shawl. 



Shellie Walters - Secretary

Adult Student Leader / Vice Chair for the Student Advisory Council for ProLiteracy, Sumner, WA

2nd Term: 2014 - 2017

“I am a student that started with my local program in 1999 reading at a fourth grade level and then got involved with WE LEARN and then started working on Women’s Perspectives. I am now on the board and my role is the secretary. I have come a long way and I am currently in my second year of college.



GCBplayGeraldine Cannon Becker

Associate Prof. of English and Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, ME

Term: 2014-2017

Geraldine Cannon Becker is faculty advisor for SAGES (the Student Association for Greater English Studies).  This group advocates literacy for all ages.  She has worked with the Maine Humanities Council through "New Books, New Readers" programs, and leads reading circles and arts-based workshops in community ABE centers.  Geraldine has been on the Women's Perspective's selection committee since the second issue. She became a member and presented at her first WE LEARN conference in 2005. As well as academic papers and creative non-fiction, Geraldine writes poetry, personal narratives, and some short fiction.


JK-DowdyJoanne K. Dowdy

Professor, Adolescent/Adult Literacy, Kent State University, Kent, OH

Term: 2015-2018

When Joanne Dowdy was a very young student at Newtown Girls' R.C. School in Port of Spain, Trinidad, she had the great fortune to study with Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Shephard, and Miss O'Brien. These women featured in Joanne's seventh book, In the Public Eye (2009) and continue to be the beacons of light on her educational path. Joanne is now a Professor of Adolescent/Adult Literacy at Kent State University in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies.  Her published research includes documentation of the experiences of Black women involved in education from adult basic literacy to higher education.   Joanne's formal performance career did not stop when she left The Juilliard School in 1987. Rather, she took a long time to formulate a one woman show called "Between Me and the Lord," which she performed in Atlanta, Trinidad, and Cambridge in 2000. The second installation of the play was presented at Kent State University in March, 2009. "Between Me and The Lord 2" is an expanded document that represents five chapters of Joanne's life.


JayeJonesPic2015-2Jaye Jones

Director at Adult Learning Center, Lehman College, New York, NY

Term: 2015-2018

Jaye Jones has been the Director of the Adult Learning Center, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Social Work at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY for almost three years. She entered the field of adult education 10 years ago as a volunteer ABE tutor at Literacy Chicago. During her time there, she led reading discussion groups and did research with women literacy learners who had experienced trauma. Jaye first presented at the WE LEARN conference in 2007 and had a chapter about the reading discussion group published in Empowering Women Through Literacy which was edited by Mev Miller and Kathleen P. King.
Jaye's commitment to women's literacy and empowerment has been reinforced by her work with learners in the Bronx, where she teaches adults who are in a high school equivalency ("GED®") program and students attending college. She writes mostly non-fiction about education, social work and feminism, and the importance of emotionally responsive learning spaces for women literacy learners.


Gabby-cutGabriele Strohschen

Associate Professor, DePaul University - School for New Learning (SNL), Chicago, IL

Term: 2015-2018

Gabriele Strohschen, a native of Berlin, Germany, has worked with disenfranchised communities in Chicago for three decades.  She started in the field of adult education as a student in a basement, where volunteers taught English classes for immigrants. Today, she teaches at DePaul University and continues to work within the communities through her collective Community Connexxions.




Mev (Mary Evelyn) Miller, Ed.D. - Agent for Service of Process

Advisor-Consultant / Web Team Leader / Newsletter Editor

  • Life Skills Manager, Community Kitchen Culinary Arts Job Training Program, RI Community Food Bank, Providence RI
  • Independent Educational Consultant in ABE Professional Development, Cranston RI


Past Board Members

Alicia Pantoja. Pennsylvania, 2008-2012, [2 Terms]
Alison Cunningham, Connecticut, 2003-2005 [Founding Member]
Amelia Onorato, Massachusetts, 2005-2011 [2 Terms]
Anna Fernandez-Buehrens, Massachusetts, 2004-2010 [2 Terms]
Catalina González, New York, 2011-2013
Cathy Kozlowicz, Wisconsin, 2005-2007
Dana Huber, Minnesota, 2003-2009 [Founding Member and 2 Terms]
Diana Hunter, California, 2008-2011
Geraldine Cannon Becker, 2014-Current
Karen Wyman, New Mexico, 2009-2010 
Laurie Bargstedt, New York, 2010-2012
Laurie Sheridan, Massachusetts, 2009-2011
Lorna Rivera, Massachusetts, 2003-2008 [Founding Member and 2 Terms]
Marie Doerner. California, 2008-Current, [2 Terms]
Meghan Doran, Massachusetts, 2006-2009
Michele Sedor, Massachusetts, 2009-2010
Nancy Howard, Rhode Island, 2003-2009 [Founding Member and 2 Terms]
Sally Gabb, Rhode Island, 2003-2005 [Founding Member]
Shellie Walters, Washington, 2010-Current, [2 Terms]
Stacie Evans, New York, 2007-Current, [2 Terms]