Board Members 2015-2017

Laurie Maffly-Kipp, co-president


Laurie Maffly-Kipp joined the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in 2013 and is the Archer Alexander Distinguished University Professor. She earned her B.A. from Amherst College in English and Religion, summa cum laude, and completed the Ph.D. in American History at Yale University. Before coming to Wash University, she taught for twenty-four years at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as chair of the department of Religious Studies. Prof. Maffly-Kipp’s research and teaching focus on African American religions, Mormonism, and religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas. Her publications are many and include: Religion and Society in Frontier California (Yale University Press, 1994), where she explored the nature of Protestant spiritual practices in Gold Rush California; articles on Mormon-Protestant conflicts in the Pacific Islands, African-Americans in Haiti and Africa, and Protestant outreach to Chinese immigrants in California. Most recently she authored Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories (Harvard University Press, 2010). Currently she is working on a survey of Mormonism in American life that will be published by Basic Books. She is also the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a grant for a collaborative project on the History of Christian Practice from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., fellowships at the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Professors. Her work in African American religion was honored with the James W.C. Pennington Award from the University of Heidelberg in 2014. Prof. Maffly-Kipp is a past president of the American Society of Church History and is serving in 2015-16 as the president of the Mormon History Association. As a co-president of the Association of Women Faculty, she hopes to increase the sense of community of women across campus and to highlight areas of women’s concerns and achievements.


Monika Weiss, co-president

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Monika Weiss joined the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts in 2011 where she is Associate Professor and Faculty Affiliate in the Performing Arts Department, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Monika Weiss is a Polish-American internationally recognized artist whose multidisciplinary practice explores relationships between body, history and collective memory and evokes ancient rituals of lamentation. British art critic Guy Brett wrote that Weiss “provides an alternative experience of space and time, which is not end-driven but steady and enduring, deepening a human presence. The artist explores the prostrate body as a paradoxical sign of resistance to oppressive and militaristic cultures. Her work is remarkable, individual counterpoint between technological media (film projection) and the ancient activity of drawing. Sound, meticulously composed by the artist lifts the silent filmed actions into another emotional register”. Monika Weiss’ solo museum exhibitions include the 2005 retrospective at the Lehman College Art Gallery, CUNY: Five Rivers, reviewed in The New York Times, as well as Sustenazo, commissioned by the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland (2010), and subsequently shown at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile (2012), the Frost Art Museum, Miami (2014) and Goethe Institute, New Delhi, India (2015). Her work has been critically discussed in various international publications such as Drawing Now: Between the Lines of Contemporary Art (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007) and Forms of Classification: Alternative Knowledge and Contemporary Art (Miami: Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, 2006). Weiss’s own artist writings appeared in publications such as New Realities: Being Syncretic (Springer, Vienna/NYC, 2009) and Cairo: Images of Transition (Columbia University Press, 2013). Born in Warsaw, Poland and based in New York City since 1999, since 2011 Monika Weiss divides her time between her studio in New York and her second home in St. Louis. As co-president of the Association of Women Faculty, she hopes to work towards building an archive of the collective histories of women on this campus and to collaborate on ways to improve and celebrate diversity, equality, opportunity and empathy.



Jennifer Arch, councilor-at-large

Jennifer Arch

Jennifer Arch received her Ph.D. in 2002 from Washington University’s department of English and American Literature, and has taught here ever since. Her dissertation examined how reading Chaucer’s prose might affect analysis of his poetry; her editions of the four extant prose texts are forthcoming in The Norton Chaucer. In her current writing project, she considers why Chaucer wrote in prose at all, and what both the extant and lost texts mean when considered as a body of work separate from the verse. She is also working on an edition of Middle English versions of Edmund of Abingdon’s Speculum Ecclesiae. At Washington University Jennifer has taught various courses in both literature and writing, including History of the English Language, Writing and Medicine, Medieval Allegory, The Sentence in English (Reed-Kellogg sentence diagramming), Literature and Medicine, Argumentation, Chief English Writers, and Early Texts and Contexts. Her interest in literature and medicine arose first from her interest in medieval uses of medical terminology to explore the limits of human agency—or rather, fate versus free will. Because two of her courses are part of the Medical Humanities minor, she looks forward to examining further how literature and medicine inform one another across time and genre. While the Association of Women Faculty is most concerned with the problem of the underrepresentation of women among the tenured faculty, Jennifer believes AWF could also address difficulties arising from the reverse situation in the non-tenured faculty: Women outnumber men in non-tenured teaching positions, but the University’s policies governing these roles are, at a minimum, unclear. Therefore, she welcomes the opportunity to serve on the AWF board.


Dr. Patricia Kohl, councilor-at-large


Dr. Kohl is Associate Dean for Social Work and an associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. Her scholarship is focused on understanding children’s experiences within the context of families and their environment, and on adapting, implementing and sustaining evidence-based interventions to improve the quality of care provided by child- and family-serving agencies.  Through her research, which is informed by several years of clinical practice with children and families, she seeks to close the gap between research and community based practice. Her intervention and implementation research is informed by analyses of large datasets to examine how characteristics of parents, such as substance abuse and mental illness, influence parenting behaviors, child emotional and behavioral health, and the safety of children. She is currently carrying out a randomized control trial to determine if Pathways Triple P results in better behavioral and safety outcomes than treatment as usual (TAU) for children in the child welfare system and to evaluate how the cost-effectiveness of Pathways Triple P compares to TAU. She has recently adapted and tested an evidence-based parent training program to increase father participation, as well as to improve father-child interactions. She is Faculty Director of Child Well-Being at the Center for Social Development, and is affiliated with the Center for Mental Health Services Research and the Center for Injury and Violence Prevention. Dr. Kohl has received financial support from the Institute for Public Health at Washington University, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. She teaches Social Work Practice in Early Childhood, Social Work Practice with Children in Families and International Child Welfare. Dr. Kohl is excited to be serving on the AWF board given her commitment to issues of gender equity and the advancement of women into academic leadership positions.


Patricia Olynyk, councilor-at-large

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Patricia Olynyk is director of the Graduate School of Art and Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. In addition to teaching and administrative leadership, Olynyk recently launched an Art I Science Fellows Program that convened faculty and graduate students from multiple disciplines across campus and which culminated in a symposium at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute. She has also taught at the University of Michigan in the School of Art & Design in Ann Arbor, where she became one of the first artists in the US to be appointed as a research professor to a scientific unit. She completed her undergraduate work in Canada at the Alberta College of Art and Design and received her MFA degree with Distinction from the California College of the Arts. Olynyk later spent four years as a Monbusho Scholar and also a Tokyu Foundation Research Scholar in Kyoto, Japan. As former Chair of the Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF), the International Society for the Arts, Science and technology (Leonardo/ISAST), Olynyk co-founded the affiliate NY LASER program in 2008.  NY LASER is a program that convenes monthly in New York, which promotes cross-disciplinary dialogues between artists, scientists, theorists, and curators. Olynyk’s own research and creative work explores the dialectics of mind and body, human and artificial, and sensing and knowing. Her work often investigates the ways in which culture and institutional structures shape our understanding of science and the natural world. Her multi-media installations employ photography, printmaking, sculpture, microscopy and biomedical imaging technologies to explore the perception and affect of visual systems of knowledge.   Olynyk’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Brooklyn Museum, the Museo del Corso in Rome, the Saitama Modern Art Museum in Japan, the Universität der Künste in Berlin, and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York. Notable projects include: Sensing Terrains at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C, Dark Skies at the Art I Sci Center’s California NanoSystems Institute at U.C.L.A., and Eureka Poem at the Jordan Hall of Science, Digital Video Theater.


Leila Sadat, councilor-at-large

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Leila Sadat is an internationally recognized human rights expert specializing in international criminal law and justice. The Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law and director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute since 2007, she is a dedicated teacher and prolific scholar, publishing more than 75 books and articles in leading journals and academic presses throughout the world. In December 2012, she was appointed Special Advisor on Crimes Against Humanity by International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Earlier that year, she was elected to membership in the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. In 2011, she was awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Paris, France—the only woman to receive such an honor. In 2008, she launched the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, an international effort to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a global treaty addressing their punishment and prevention. The draft treaty is now available in seven languages and is currently being debated by the UN International Law Commission and governments around the world. From 2001-2003, Sadat served on the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom. Sadat holds or has held leadership positions in many professional associations and learned societies, and, prior to joining the faculty at Washington University Law, practiced international commercial law in Paris, France, for several years. Sadat clerked for Judge Albert Tate, Jr., U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and for both the French Conseil d’Etat and the Cour de Cassation. Sadat earned her bachelor of arts from Douglass College, her JD from Tulane Law School (summa cum laude), and holds graduate law degrees from Columbia University School of Law (LLM, summa cum laude) and the University of Paris I – Sorbonne (diplôme d’études approfondies). Leila Sadat is excited about working with her colleagues to help empower women faculty so that they can achieve their fullest potential as members of the Washington University community.


Kedron Thomas, councilor-at-large

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Kedron Thomas joined the AWF Board in 2015.  She received a BA in political science from Vanderbilt University in 2001, MA in anthropology from Harvard University in 2007, and PhD in anthropology from Harvard University in 2012.  She is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology.  Her research examines the globalization of trade and legal regimes, cultural dimensions of entrepreneurship and business, and the production of fashion.  Since 2006, she has conducted fieldwork in Guatemala on the manufacture and sale of knock-off fashions and the efforts of intellectual property proponents to regulate the trade.  She is also involved in research in the United States and United Kingdom on the fashion industry’s evolving engagement with the politics of environmental sustainability and labor rights.  Her publications include Securing the City: Neoliberalism, Space, and Insecurity in Postwar Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2006), on state and local responses to rising crime rates in Guatemala and how those responses relate to larger processes of economic and legal reform, as well as a forthcoming book, Knock It Off: Intellectual Property and the Regulation of Style, due out in 2016 with University of California Press.  Kedron’s leadership in AWF reflects her concern with social justice, including gender equality, and a firm commitment to the notion that institutional change can be a powerful vehicle for realizing and supporting new forms of community.  She is interested in the intersections of gender, race, and class on campus and appreciates AWF’s mission of advocating for and advancing the interests of all women faculty.


Jessica Wagenseil, D.Sc., councilor-at-large


Jessica Wagenseil, D.Sc. joined the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Washington University in August 2013 where she is Associate Professor. She was an Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Saint Louis University from 2009 – 2013. She got her B.S. in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego in 1998. She received her D.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis in 2003 under the guidance of Dr. Ruth Okamoto for studying the mechanical properties of bio-artificial tissues. Dr. Wagenseil did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine from 2003 – 2008 with Dr. Robert Mecham focusing on elastin assembly and the mechanical properties of arteries with reduced elastin amounts. Dr. Wagenseil continues to study cardiovascular mechanics, specifically focusing on cardiovascular development, extracellular matrix and microstructural modeling. Her work is important for determining clinical interventions for matrix-related diseases and for designing better protocols for building tissue engineered blood vessels. Her work spans physiology and engineering and has been published in journals ranging from Circulation Research and the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology to the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering and Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Wagenseil has received funding from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wagenseil is the Director of PhD studies for the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department and is focused on increasing the total number of applicants, as well as the number of applicants from underrepresented groups, including women, in Engineering. Dr. Wagenseil recently participated in the Women Faculty Development Institute at Washington University. Dr. Wagenseil is serving on the board of the Association of Women Faculty to help increase the diversity of the faculty across the University, School, and Department. Dr. Wagenseil also wants to foster professional interactions with women faculty in different Schools and encourage multidisciplinary collaborations in teaching and research.