Institute for Women’s Leadership Staff

Rebecca Mark

Rebecca Mark, is the Director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership and a Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute (2006-2008), chair of the English Department, and Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Academic Equity at Tulane University.

Professor Mark is a scholar and professor whose research addresses Southern U.S. writing and cultural representations of trauma. Her books include: The Dragon's Blood: Feminist Intertextuality in Eudora Welty's Fiction (University Press of Mississippi, 1994), and Ersatz America: Hidden Traces, Graphic Texts, and Mending of Democracy (University of Virginia Press, 2014). Professor Mark received the Public Humanities Achievement Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council for directing the civil rights conference Unsettling Memories (2004), the Weiss Presidential Fellow for teaching in 2014, and the Greenberg Family Professor in Social Entrepreneurship 2014-2018.

Currently, as Director of the IWL, Professor Mark is editing a volume for Rutgers University Press entitled Junctures in Women’s Leadership: Feminist Knowledge Production which will be published in 2024-2025. She received her BA from SUNY-Purchase: American Literature and her PhD from Stanford University: American Literature.

Lisa Hetfield
Associate Director and Director of Development

Lisa Hetfield is the Associate Director and Director of Development of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University (IWL). Hetfield has worked at Rutgers since 1990, when she joined the university as the Director of Development for Douglass, the women’s college at Rutgers. In that role, she worked to raise over $11 million for the 75th Anniversary Campaign for Douglass.

She began her work with the Institute in 1995 and since that time has directed fund-development activities, raising over $9 million for leadership programs, research, and endowments. She is a cofounder of several leadership programs at the IWL, and is co-editor of Junctures in Leadership - Business, a book of case studies published by Rutgers University Press in 2016.

Hetfield holds an Master of Arts in women’s and gender studies from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Carnegie-Mellon University.

mary trigg
Mary K. Trigg
Associate Professor, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Faculty Director, Leadership Scholars Certificate Program

Mary K. Trigg is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. Trained in women’s history and American Studies, her scholarship focuses on the history of feminism and social movements in the United States; motherhood studies and women, work, and family; and women’s/feminist leadership. Trigg is also Director of Leadership Programs and Research at the Institute for Women’s Leadership, and is the founding director of the Leadership Scholars Certificate Program. In her time at Rutgers she has also served as Associate Director of the Center for Women and Work.

Trigg is the author or editor of three books: the edited anthology Leading the Way: Young Women’s Activism for Social Change (Rutgers University Press, 2010), the monograph Feminism as Life’s Work: Four Modern American Women through Two World Wars (Rutgers University Press, 2014), and Junctures in Women’s Leadership: Social Movements (co-edited with Alison R. Bernstein, Rutgers University Press, 2016 which was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title). Trigg also served as consulting editor for the three-volume biographical dictionary Great Lives from History: American Women (Salem Press, 2016). She is currently series editor for Junctures: Case Studies in Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University Press.

Trigg’s current book project Of Mothers and Time: Temporality and Experiences of Motherhood in the United States, 1920-1960 considers the ways that diverse mothers resisted linear concepts of time that valorized time discipline, productivity, and scientific motherhood. Trigg has her Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University, her M.A. in American Civilization from Brown University, her M.A. in English from Carnegie-Mellon University, and earned her B.S. cum laude, from the University of Michigan, Natural Resources.

Sasha Wood Taner
Program Director and Research Coordinator

Sasha Taner is Program Director and Research Coordinator at the Rutgers’ Institute for Women’s Leadership. Sasha is a Ph.D. candidate, ABD, in Global Affairs at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers-Newark, where she completed her Master’s of Science in 2005. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies with a certificate in women’s leadership. Her research interests include women’s leadership studies and intergenerational mentoring, first-generation and immigrant narratives post U.S. higher education, and feminist knowledge production using oral history, interviews, and multimedia platforms to highlight women’s activism and leadership globally and locally.

Sasha has worked for over twenty years in the field of education in public and private schools both locally and abroad. Her contributions to the community have included aiding resettlement processes of asylees internationally, supporting refugee families locally, and serving for over eight years women and children survivors of domestic violence.

emily haran
Emily Haran
Director, Administration and Communication

Emily Haran is the Director of Administration and Communication for the Institute for Women’s Leadership. She supervises the social media team and coordinates all digital content for the Institute, including the website and monthly newsletter. Emily is a two-time graduate of Rutgers University, earning her Master of Arts in Communication and Information Studies and her Bachelor’s degree in Communication. She’s interested in women’s leadership, education, social media, and graphic design.

Nishi Shah photo
Nishi Shah
Program Coordinator, Alison R. Bernstein Media Mentoring Program and Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair Programs

Nishi Shah is the Program Coordinator for the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies and the Alison R. Bernstein Media Mentoring Program. She transitioned into this role from running the Global 16 Days Campaign under Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

Prior to working at Rutgers, Nishi graduated with her MA in International Relations (2020) and her BA in Politics (2019), both from New York University. Her research focused on women in the Middle East and in South Asia by drawing parallels between fiction and reality. During her time at NYU, she also studied abroad in Tel Aviv, double minored in Religious Studies and Dance, and was on the board of NYU’s Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International chapter.

Additionally, Nishi has worked with the Syrian Emergency Task Force to bring support and awareness to women and orphans who have been displaced by the Syrian revolution, as well as with YaLa Young Leaders to help youth throughout the Middle East participate in citizen journalism via social media. Nishi is a New Jersey native and a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and traveling.


Institute for Women’s Leadership
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
P: 848.932.1463

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