Dr. Amy Rutstein-Riley

Amy Rutstein-Riley, PhD, MPH, is the Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Principal Investigator of The Girlhood Project (TGP) at Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. Amy teaches courses in girls’ and women’s studies, sociology, qualitative research methods, and adult learning and development. She is the Co-chair of the Women’s Studies Steering Committee and Women’s Center where she has initiated programming focused on women’s health, sexual assault prevention, and most recently, a leadership enrichment and development study group for core women faculty.

​The work closest to Amy’s heart is The Girlhood Project, a multilayered community-based service learning and research program focused on the exploration of intersectional girlhoods in the context of intergenerational feminist girls’ groups. As TGP enters its 10th year, Amy has mentored over 170 undergraduate and graduate students and is currently writing about the emerging girlhood scholar model, a central component of TGP. Amy can be found presenting locally, nationally and internationally about this unique program. Amy’s current research areas include girls’ and emerging adult women’s health and identity development, relationship-centered teaching and mentoring, feminist pedagogy, and leadership development of women faculty. Throughout all academic and professional roles, training and opportunities, it is the relationship between feminist theory, pedagogy, and praxis that is the essence of Amy’s work with her students and faculty peers.

Principal Investigator

Kathryn Van Demark

Kathryn Van Demark is a 2016 graduate of Lesley University where she studied Holistic Psychology and Wellness.  She is also a certified Yoga teacher, dancer, contemplative practitioner and embodiment enthusiast.  Kathryn has worked and volunteered for Girl-serving organizations since being a teen herself.  In 2017, Kathryn completed a term of service with Americorps before launching into online and adult education.  She currently serves as the Creative Director of Embodied Awareness, LLC and it's non profit arm, the One Body Collective.  


Kathryn participated in The Girlhood project as a student in 2015, returned as a teaching assistant in 2016, became a guest facilitator in 2017, and will be conducting independent research and co- facilitating the high school girls' group in 2018 and 2019.  She sees the identity development and social consciousness that occurs in the Girlhood Project as crucial work for future leaders.  This course continues to deeply inform her work and life. 

Program Organizer

Lisa Hurtubise

Lisa Hurtubise is an assistant principal at Belmont High School. Her work focuses on developing knowledge, voice, and leadership skills in adolescents through educator relationships with students. Lisa holds a Masters in Teaching Secondary English from Boston College and a Masters in Administrative Leadership from Endicott College. She has worked with girls and women in education for 17 years. The Girlhood Project has reinforced her belief that a progressive pedagogy of identity development leads to academically competent and confident learners.

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Cheryl Weiner

Cheryl Weiner is a doctoral student at Lesley University.  Her work focuses on adolescent girls' socio-emotional development, with a particular emphasis on Jewish girls.  Cheryl holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University.  She has worked with girls and women through a variety of contexts for the past twenty years - as a group facilitator, instructor, researcher and program manager.  The Girlhood Project has enriched Cheryl's life by helping her to understand her racial identity and her relationship to power.  

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