Abby PalkoAbby Palko


Abby provides executive leadership for the Women’s Center and oversees all aspects of the Center. She develops and sustains partnerships across the University to establish a shared vision for the Center and lead in its implementation. She represents the Center and the University regionally and nationally. She earned her B.A. in English and French at Chestnut Hill College, her M.A. in English at Rutgers University, and her Ph.D. in Literature with a graduate minor in Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to UVA, Abigail served as the Associate Director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame, where she taught Introduction to Gender Studies and a variety of electives, administered the graduate Teaching Apprenticeship, supervised academic internships, and oversaw the undergraduate curriculum and day-to-day activities of the Program. She also worked closely with campus partners from Student Affairs on sexual assault prevention initiatives and volunteered at the local GLBT Center. Her engaged scholarship aims to improve the circumstances under which women mother, and is the co-Chair of the Feminist Mothering Caucus of NWSA. She has published numerous articles on contemporary mothering practices and on representations of mothering in Irish and Caribbean literature. She is currently co-editing two collections of scholarly essays: Mothers, Mothering and Globalization and Cultural Representations of Breastfeeding. Her monograph, Imagining Motherhood in Contemporary Irish and Caribbean Literature, is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan.


Counseling Staff

Charlotte Chapman

Charlotte Chapman

Director of Counseling & Chair of Programs

Charlotte teaches and supervises graduate counseling students in their internship, the trauma counselor position, and the Body Positive program. As the Chair of Programs, she supervises all of the Program Directors at the Center. Charlotte is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Charlotte earned her M.A. in counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also taught as faculty in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She lives in Afton, VA with her husband and two dogs.

Margaret EdwardsMargaret Edwards


Margaret provides individual and group counseling to UVA students, staff, and faculty. Her work focuses on helping clients who have experienced interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and stalking. She also works with clients on issues such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, career and relationship concerns. Margaret earned her M.A. and Ed.S. in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Virginia, as well as an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Cathy EricksonCathy Erickson

Counselor in Residence

Cathy works with clients primarily on issues related to interpersonal violence and sexual assault. She provides individual and couples counseling to UVA students, staff, and faculty. Cathy also works with clients on issues such as anxiety, OCD, depression, eating disorders, grief, and relationship concerns. Cathy earned her M.A. in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. She is working to complete her remaining hours to become a licensed professional counselor.

Latoria WhiteLatoria White

Counselor in Residence
Case Manager

Latoria provides counseling and case management services to students, faculty, staff and community members including advocacy, crisis intervention, safety planning, and coordination of care/services on grounds and in the community. She earned her M.A. in Clinical/Community Psychology from Norfolk State University. Before  joining the counseling staff here at the Center, Latoria worked at Region Ten CSB, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, and the Shelter for Help in Emergency. She completed the Community-based Doula program through Mother Health International where she will be supporting, advocating and serving women of color throughout their journey of pregnancy to help reduce racial disparities, improve perinatal outcomes and strengthen and empower women and families.

Hannah TribleHannah Trible

Part-time Counselor in Residence

Hannah works with clients on issues such as anxiety, depression, career and relationship issues, and the developmental process of emerging adulthood. She also helps assist the Body Positive program in planning  events. Hannah earned her M.A. and Ed.S. in clinical mental health counseling from JMU.


Programs Faculty & Staff

Claire KaplanClaire Kaplan

Director, Gender Violence and Social Change
Director, Men’s Leadership Project

A native Californian, Claire has been a feminist social justice activist for longer than she’d like to admit, holding her position as Director of Gender Violence and Social Change since 1991. She is active on several committees across Grounds to help ensure that the University is a fair and safe place for all students, faculty, and staff. She provides Survivor Support Network trainings for UVA faculty and staff. Claire earned her B.S. from University of California, Davis, her M.A. from the University of Southern California, and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She lives outside Charlottesville with her partner, their teenaged daughter, and their beloved pets.

Jaronda Miller-BryantJaronda J. Miller-Bryant

Program Director, Engaged Scholarship & Global Outreach
Associate Program Director, Young Women Leaders Program

Jaronda earned her B.A. in Psychology/Military Science from Spelman College. She earned her M.S. in Counselor Education with a Concentration in School Counseling and Dropout Prevention from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in Sociology with Concentrations in Race and Ethnic Relations and Educational Stratifications from Northeastern University. Jaronda teaches the required internship course, Front Lines of Social Change. She moved from Ludowici, Georgia to Charlottesville, Virginia.

Sarah JenkinsSarah Tucker Jenkins

Mentoring Coordinator, Young Women Leaders Program

Sarah earned her B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.A. in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Florida Atlantic University. While in North Carolina, she was a research assistant for the book, Transforming Scholarship: Why Women’s and Gender Studies Students Are Changing Themselves and the World by Dr. Michele Tracy Berger and Dr. Cheryl Radeloff. Before coming to UVA, Sarah served as the Ohio University Women’s Center Program Coordinator.

Amy_2Amy Chestnutt

Coordinator, Body Positive

Amy oversees the Body Positive interns and maintains partnerships across the University to support our work. She provides workshops to student groups and teaches Gender, Body Image, and Activism with Karlin Luedtke, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality. Amy received her BA from UVA in 1997 and her Master of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Previously, she worked in cancer prevention and education at the American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mary EsselmanMary Esselman

Editor, Iris Magazine

Mary works with the Student Editor and Iris interns to develop, write, and edit material for the magazine. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Georgetown University, and has taught at Georgetown, American University, and the University of Virginia. A freelance writer and editor, Mary has co-edited several anthologies of “literary therapy,” including The Hell with Love: Poems to Mend a Broken Heart, and the forthcoming How Did This Happen?: Poems for the Not So Young Anymore.



Sarah SteeleSarah Steele

Office Coordinator
Legal Clinic Supervisor

Sarah earned her B.A. in Linguistics and Russian, and her M.A. in Russian Literature and Slavic Linguistics from the University of Virginia. She is currently earning her M.Ed. in Social Foundations, also from the University of Virginia. Before coming to the Women’s Center in 2011, Sarah worked as an English and Russian language instructor, teaching in both Virginia and Russia. In her free time, she likes hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Leigh Ann CarverLeigh Ann Carver

Director of Communications and Advancement

Leigh Ann leads the Center’s outreach efforts at UVA and keeps all who are involved with and support the Center’s work informed of its current programs and future plans. She earned her B.A. in Political Economy from Tulane University before earning  her J.D. from the University of Virginia. Leigh Ann has worked to promote educational organizations, nonprofits, and small business in the Charlottesville area throughout her career.

Tricia CrawfordTricia Crawford

Business Manager

Patricia is responsible for managing all of the budget, finance, and procurement processes, as well as human resources activities of the Center. She first came to the University in 2005 and accepted her position at the Women’s Center in 2012. Patricia brings with her a wide range of experience as a Regional Director in the hospitality industry and business owner.

Carol GilbertCarol Gilbert

Advancement Coordinator

Carol is a Virginia native and earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia. She lives in Crozet with her husband Michael and their two children, Robert and Elizabeth.

Alison Kuhn

Alison Kuhn

Communications Coordinator

Alison helps to produce and manage the internal and external print and online documents needed by the Women’s Center, as well as works with interns in managing the Center’s social media networks. She earned her B.A. in Media Studies and Women & Gender Studies from UVA.


Graduate Assistants & Fellows

Jack ThormanJack Thorman

Graduate Assistant, Men’s Leadership Project

Jack earned his B.A. in History and M.Ed. in Social Foundations from the University of Virginia. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. in the Curry School of Education. His area of expertise is higher education and is particularly interested in higher education and health care, multiculturalism in higher education, and leadership development in complex organizations.

Dannele_2Dannele Ferreras

Oleda D. Casscells Fellow, Young Women Leaders Program

Dannele provides administrative support to YWLP and is a teaching assistant for the course “Issues Facing Adolescent Girls.” She is a student in the M.Ed. Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program housed under the Curry School of Education. Prior to enrolling at UVA, she was an early childhood research technician at the University of Alabama and a manager of Chain Reaction, a non-profit dedicated to building the service-learning and leadership skills of high school students in Pensacola, FL. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College. Dannele is passionate about youth development, improving the quality of youth programs, and working to ensure that all youth are given the opportunities and resources to reach their full potential both in school and outside of school.

Kimberly Smith

Kimberly Smith

Greer Fellow, Women, Girls, and Global Justice

Kimberly supports undergraduate interns and coordinates events for the Women, Girls, and Global Justice program. She graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.A. in Arts and Sciences before earning her M.A. from Alabama. Kimberly is currently obtaining her Master’s in Higher Education Administration.

Nora Arkin

Nora Arkin

Graduate Assistant, Body Positive Program

Nora works closely with Body Positive team to facilitate Body Project/Reflections groups. She is also writing an evaluation of the project’s impacts from last year. She received her Masters of Education from the University of Virginia and is currently working on her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Nora is passionate about working with the Women’s Center team and the University to increase body satisfaction and promote a body positive community at UVA.