Meet Our Faculty

Program Director

Nadia Brown,
Program Director & Professor

Nadia E. Brown (Ph.D., Rutgers University) is a Professor of Government, chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and an affiliate in the African American Studies program at Georgetown University. She specializes in Black women’s politics and holds a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Brown’s research interests lie broadly in identity politics, legislative studies, and Black women’s studies. While trained as a political scientist, her scholarship on intersectionality seeks to push beyond disciplinary constraints to think more holistically about the politics of identity.

She is the author or editor of several award-winning books – including Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making (Oxford University Press);  Sister Style: The Politics of Appearance for Black Women Political Elites (with Danielle Lemi);  Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics (with Sarah Allen Gershon, Routledge Press); The Politics of Protest: Readings on the Black Lives Matter Movement (with Ray Block, Jr. and Christopher Stout, Routledge Press); Approaching Democracy: American Government in Times of Challenge (with Larry Berman, Bruce Allen Murphy and Sarah Allen Gershon, Routledge Press). Professor Brown is the lead editor of Politics, Groups and Identities (new window)Professor Brown is part of the #MeTooPoliSci Collective where she spearheads efforts to stop sexual harassment in the discipline. Along with co-PIs Rebecca Gill (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) Stella Rouse (University of Maryland, College Park), Elizabeth Sharrow (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) she is the recipient of a million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation for their project titled “#MeTooPoliSci Leveraging A Professional Association to Address Sexual Harassment in Political Science.” Lastly, Professor Brown is an editor with The Monkey Cage, a political science blog in the Washington Post. 


You-Me Park,
Teaching Professor

You-Me Park co-edited Postcolonial Jane Austen (2000) and a special issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies on US neoimperialism (2004). Her articles have appeared in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Pre/Text, Interventions, Restoration and American Literature, as well as in various anthologies and edited volumes. She is presently completing a book-length study titled War on Women: Militarism, Gender, and Human Rights, which rethinks the connections among militaristic ideology, human rights discourse, and contemporary theories of biopolitics and sexual violence.

April Sizemore-Barber,
Assistant Professor

April Sizemore-Barber’s research is located at the intersection of performance, queer, and Africana studies, and has been published in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, and Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies. has previously held appointments at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently working on her first book, Prismatic Performance: Queer South Africa and the Fragmentation of the Rainbow Nation. Courses taught at Georgetown include: WGST 140: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies WGST 141: Introduction to Sexuality Studies, WGST 201: Feminist Thought 2 WGST 233: The Cultural Politics of HIV

Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano,
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano is a social scientist and gender specialist who has worked extensively to develop research approaches and gender analysis in relation to the feminization of agriculture. She holds an MS and PhD in Agricultural Extension and Social Anthropology from Cornell University, NY and an Agricultural Engineering degree in Plant Science from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her research and applied work has deep roots in Participatory Action Research (PAR) theory and practice while she has been deeply involved on mainstreaming gender in agriculture and conservation-related efforts. Currently, she is a Sustainable Development and Agriculture Professor at the Center for Latin America Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and an Adjunct Professor for the Women and Gender Studies (WGST) and Environmental Studies (ENST) at Georgetown University, in Washington DC. Dr. Biermayr-Jenzano conducts grounded research on women farmers’ work, patterns of discrimination and empowerment, gender and food security, women’s access to productive assets such as land, seeds, seeds systems, as well as their contributions in participatory plant breeding (PPB) and participatory varietal selection (PVS) strategies. Finally, she enjoys working with students in a variety of topics and conducting action-oriented programs and projects with them. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Thomas and son Brandon.

Donna L. Brazile,
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Donna Brazile, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Women’s Studies Program, is Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute. Brazile, a veteran campaign strategist and former Campaign Manager for Gore-Lieberman 2000, has served as Chief of Staff and Press Secretary for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and worked on the campaigns of Carter-Mondale and the Rev. Jesse Jackson among others. In addition to her teaching duties at Georgetown University as a lecturer, Brazile spends a great deal of time speaking on college campuses around the United States and is a regular guest on national television news magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Lydia X. Z. Brown,
Adjunct Professor

Lydia X. Z. Brown is an abolitionist advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. Their other interests include carcerality and institutional violence, asexuality as queerness, algorithmic harm as an accelerating force of systemic injustice, and the ableism-racism nexus of transracial and transnational adoption. Lydia is an adjunct lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Disability Studies Program at Georgetown University. They are also an adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University. Lydia founded the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, a project of collective care, redistributive justice, and mutual aid, and they are currently creating Disability Justice Wisdom Tarot. Often, their most important work has no title, job description, or funding, and probably never will.

Dr. Ashley C.J Daniels
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Ashley C.J. Daniels is a recent graduate of the Political Science department at Howard University. She conducts research in the areas of Black Politics, Black feminist and womanist theory, public opinion, and popular culture. After completing her undergraduate studies at Bowie State University (BSU), where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English, she continued her education by earning a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration. Her dissertation, “Unlocking the Power of the Sister(hood) Vote: Exploring the Opinions and Motivations of NPHC Sorority Black Women Supporting Black Women Candidates” examines how Black sorority women evaluate and connect with Black women candidates.

Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington and Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, the blog, ForHarriet, the PHILLIS Journal for Research on African American Women, and the National Review of Black Politics. She has also presented her research at several national and regional conferences, including the National Conference for Black Political Scientists, the Black Doctoral Network, the HBCU Conference on Retention, the American Political Science Association, and Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital. She is a recipient of several awards including the Organization for Research on Women and Communication, the National Conference for Black Political Scientists, Howard University, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Daniels served for eight years as an administrator with the Delta Research and Educational Foundation. She currently serves as the 2021-2022 Leading Edge Fellow for the National Conference on Citizenship with the Party at the Mailbox initiative through the Black Girls Vote project. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Emerald L. Christopher,
Professional Lecturer

Dr. Christopher-Byrd’s research examines the socio-political position of marginalized women in the United States and abroad. Focusing on interpersonal relationships and institutional violence, Dr. Christopher-Byrd explores how the cultural politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality are translated into public policy and social institutions. An alumna of the University of Delaware, she holds Master of Arts degrees in Education and Human Development (2007) and Women’s Studies (2011) from George Washington University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Language, Literacy and Culture (2015) from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prior to entering the professoriate, Dr. Christopher-Byrd served as a University administrator focused on disciplinary cases involving sexual assault and physical violence.

Sara Collina,
Professional Lecturer

Sara Collina, J.D. (she/hers) teaches courses related to sex and gender public policy in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University, where she recently received The Dorothy Brown Award, a university-wide award for Outstanding Teaching Achievement (May 2020). Students nominate and vote on the slate of nominees to select the award winner.

Sara has been involved in efforts to reform sexual harassment policies at universities and workplaces; in Spring 2018 she worked to improve sexual harassment policies for the Maryland Legislature, which resulted in dramatic policy changes. In Fall 2019 she collaborated with a group of Georgetown undergraduates to develop a first-of-its-kind inquiry-based course on Title IX. She has also worked for trans inclusive policies in Maryland, and in Spring 2019 helped to enact a law adding an x marker (unspecified) to the “M” and “F” required on official state documents such as driver’s licenses. 

Sara is the founder and director of Blueberry Hill Strategies (BHS), whose mission is to help gender justice and health care advocacy organizations thrive. She has been engaged in health care advocacy for more than twenty years and served as Research and Quality Care Director at the National Breast Cancer Coalition, where she spearheaded Project LEAD, a nationally recognized science education course for breast cancer survivors. Sara went on to design a comprehensive patient-stakeholder engagement program for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which has since provided more than $800 million in research funding for patient-centered outcomes research. She currently develops educational programs for patient advocacy groups from around the country, covering a wide range of health conditions, including celiac disease, Sickle Cell Disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of all, Sara is a passionate teacher who believes that most of us dramatically underestimate our ability to learn. She loves to facilitate learning in all its forms.

She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a law degree from Berkeley Law School. 

Theodora Danylevich,
Adjunct Professor

Theodora Danylevich earned her PhD in literary and cultural studies from The George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA in 2018. She is at work on a manuscript that looks at the ways in which disabled and denigrated women in American literature, art, and film from the beginning and the end of the twentieth century compose a “sick archive” that bears witness to the sexist and racist violence of the nation. She teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Georgetown University, where her courses are a part of the university’s Disability Studies minor. She also hold an MA in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown and teaches technical writing. In a previous life, she was a poet.

Brady Forrest,
Adjunct Lecturer

Brady James Forrest is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Georgetown University and a PhD candidate in the Department of English at George Washington University where he also received his Master’s degrees in American Studies and English. His dissertation,“Works of Mourning: Performance and Grief for Minoritarian Worldmaking,” analyzes 20th and 21st century literary and visual works of mourning to put forward melancholia as a structured position and mode of doing that enables an envisioning of minoritarian life into the future. The project traverses a range of generic forms and cultural locations to showcase the ways loss can function as a site of communal worldmaking.

Forrest has presented work at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival, the Museum of Popular Culture Conference, the DC Queer Studies Symposium, the Northeast MLA Annual Convention, and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association Conference. In 2017, he was selected to present his paper titled “Crip Feelings/Feeling Crip” in the Disability and Emotion Seminar Series hosted by the Center for Culture and Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University. A revised version of the presentation is now availablein a special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.

In the 2014-2015 academic year he was chosen as one of three University Archives Diversity Research Fellows at The George Washington University. The fellowship culminated in a public presentation that charted how the LGBTQ community at GW represented itself visually through art, flyers, and advertising from 1971 to the present and the shift over that time from inclusion based on an increasing number of identity categories toward a collective feeling of pride. In 2015 and 2018 he received Summer Research Grants from the Departments of American Studies and English, respectively, and in 2019 he received a Summer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from The George Washington University.

Tricia A. Hoefling,
Adjunct Professor

Tricia A. Hoefling is an Adjunct Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Program, where she currently teaches Sex, Social Justice and The Bill of Rights.  Professor Hoefling also teaches The Law and History of Reproductive Rights at Georgetown Law School, and Reproductive Health Care: Legal, Practical & Ethical Issues for Doctors as a selective course at Georgetown School of Medicine.

Prior to Georgetown, Professor Hoefling taught at Washington and Lee School of Law, practiced law for many years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLC in New York, and worked as a consultant for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a national reproductive rights nonprofit.  Professor Hoefling also serves on the boards of many local and national organizations, including Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, the Board of Regents at Georgetown University, The Miller Center for Democracy at the University of Virginia, the Emily Couric Leadership Foundation, and Village School of Charlottesville. She received her BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her JD from Columbia Law School.

Laura Kovach, M.Ed
Adjunct Professor

Laura Kovach, M.Ed., is the Executive Special Projects Coordinator with The Cloudburst Group. As a federal contractor with Cloudburst, her purpose is to support the Family Violence Prevention & Services Administration (FVPSA) within Health and Human Services. Laura provides technical assistance and consultation for FVPSA and FVPSA grantees who receive funding through the American Rescue Plan. 

She earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and Minor in Women’s Studies, from The Pennsylvania State University in 2001, and an M. Ed. in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Laura worked in Higher Education for over 12 years before returning to the Non-Profit community to pursue sexual assault prevention, training, and consultation. She currently teaches in the WGST program at Georgetown University. Her areas of focus include power-based violence primary prevention, Title IX policy and practice, and campus climate. 

From 1999-2005 Laura worked in the non-profit community where she provided direct support and counseling to survivors of rape, intimate partner violence, and stalking, and educated communities about intervention and prevention strategies on violence issues. She worked at Centre Safe (Formerly the Centre County Women’s Resource Center) in State College, Pennsylvania and My Sister’s Place, Inc., in Washington DC., and served as a representative for both agencies with the local college campus communities.

Safoura Nourbakhsh,
Adjunct Lecturer

Safoura Nourbakhsh is a feminist scholar. Her research and interdisciplinary training travel through many fields and histories, from medieval Persian Sufi literature and histories to contemporary spiritual communities in Iran, women’s literature, gender and sexuality in the Middle East, and women’s rights discourse in Iran. Her Persian translation of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is the first published translation of the book and has been printed six times since 2004.

Safoura’s brand of feminism is informed by her spiritual training and interest in Sufism. She believes Sufi teachings can expand our understanding of the self in relation to the unity of being and can help us see our connections and accept our differences. Safoura is the resident counselor of DC Sufi house and the managing editor of Sufi (a biannual journal of mystical philosophy and practice). She is currently on the faculty of women’s and gender studies at Georgetown University while working on her book on gender and sexuality in Persian Sufi traditions.

Jen Schweer, LPC
Adjunct Lecturer

Jen is a licensed professional counselor in the District of Columbia and a SAVRAA* DC Sexual Assault Counselor who provides confidential services to survivors and those who support them. Additionally, she provides outreach, education, training, and programming around all issues of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence. Jen has been a member of the DC Sexual Assault Response Team and the DC Sexual Assault Victims Rights Amendment Act Task Force. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Georgetown Women’s and Gender Studies Department where she teaches a class on gender violence. Before coming to Georgetown in 2006, she began her work as an advocate and counselor with a community domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center, a place that has helped shape her understanding of these issues and informs her work to this day. 

Elizabeth A Velez,
Professional Lecturer

Elizabeth Velez is the Academic Director of the Community Scholars Program and a professional lecturer in the Women’s Studies Program. She teaches “Feminist Theory” for Women’s Studies. A writer and journalist, she has covered feminist issues for national publications for the past ten years. Professor Velez’s most recent book, The Hell With Love, a feminist anthology of poetry, was published in January 2002. She is currently working on Kiss Off: Poems to Set You Free, an annotated radical feminist anthology of poetry. (Jan, 2003, Warner Books