About us

To provide women on campus with practical ideas and insights to be more effective in their careers and lives. We want women in higher education to gain the power they need to win respect, influence others, sell ideas and take their rightful place in leading society.

Our goal is to enlighten, encourage, empower and enrage women on campus as well as to win the acceptance of women in higher education and our larger culture.



Autumn A. Arnett is a professional storyteller and editor, whose work centers around issues of equity and access in education. She is the author of Let’s Stop Calling It an Achievement Gap, and a former editor for U.S. News & World Report, Education Dive, HBCU Digest and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Grio and Complex Magazine. She has moderated and served on numerous panels around issues of access, opportunities and outcomes for African-American students and is a passionate advocate for historically Black colleges and universities.

Autumn is a professional member of the American Consortium for Equity in Education, an adviser for the Education Writers Association, and a member of/mentor for the National Association of Black Journalists. She also serves as an advisor for the Education Writers Association and the American Council on Education’s race and ethnicity project. She is a copy editor for the Journal of African American Males in Education and a contributor to the National Association of Black Journalists’ NABJ Journal. Autumn is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University.



Lois Elfman is an award-winning writer and editor whose work often focuses on higher education. She has examined complex contemporary issues, including gender equity, best practices for military veterans, innovative approaches to higher education, transgender issues, the enduring value of arts education and LGBTQ inclusion for publications such as Women in Higher Education, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and HBCU Digest.

An avid sports fan and women’s sports advocate, she co-founded Women’s Basketball magazine and has served as WNBA editor for HOOP, the official magazine of the NBA. Taking full advantage of the variety that freelancing allows, Lois has also done her fair share of celebrity interviews and has written extensively about fashion and jewelry. You can follow her on Twitter @LoisElfman.


Mary Lou Santovec is a long-time contributor to the Women in Higher Education newsletter. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and did graduate work at UW-Madison and at the University of Notre Dame in adult education and nonprofit management.

Mary Lou spent a decade in higher education as a college admissions officer for three diverse private colleges. She’s the author and co-author of three books: one on spelling, one on public gardens, and one on miniatures. Prior to joining Women in Higher Education some two decades ago, Mary Lou was the editor of three higher education newsletters on recruitment, quality principles and administration.


Lee Skallerup Bessette is the assistant director for digital learning at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University. She is also the editor of The National Teaching and Learning Forum

Her writing has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher EducationInside Higher EdDiverse Issues in Higher Education, and elsewhere. You can find out more about her writing and podcasting at readywriting.org


Doris Green is a lifelong explorer, writing about mysteries in many guises and environments—from how to thrive as a first-generation college student to how to re-imagine a career in “retirement.” She has taught eighth grade English, edited and published nationally distributed higher education newsletters, marketed nonprofit organizations, served as a university communications specialist, and co-published a magazine for Wisconsin community bankers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She a memoir/family history book, Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery (2018) and Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels (2000).
Amanda Rutstein lives and works in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She holds a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington and an MFA in creative writing and poetry from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Most important, she is the endlessly proud mother of her spectacular son, Jamie.
Lisa Mednick Takami, Ed.D lives and works in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. She is the author of American Mind, Japanese Mind: Cross-Cultural Reflections from East and West (1999) and Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education: Impacting the Campus Climate for Diversity (2017).
Lisa holds a BA in French & History, an MBA in International Management, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her articles have appeared in publications in the U.S. and Japan. Lisa has been a writer for Women in Higher Education since 2014.   


Kelly J. Baker is the former editor of Women in Higher Education and The National Teaching and Learning Forum. She is a freelance writer with a religious studies Ph.D. with bylines at The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Chronicle for Higher Education‘s Vitae project among others

She's also the author of five books notably Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930 (2011), Grace Period: A Memoir in Pieces (2017) and Sexism Ed: Essays on Gender and Labor in Academia (2018). You can find her on Twitter or her site.


Karen Costa has over 15 years of higher education experience and formerly served as the director of student success at Mount Wachusett Community College. Karen is currently an adjunct faculty member teaching college success strategies to online students at multiple institutions. She is also involved in various faculty development initiatives including serving as a facilitator for the Faculty Guild.

In addition to her work for WIHE, Karen's writing has also appeared in Inside Higher Education, The Philadelphia Inquirer, On Being, and Faculty Focus. Karen graduated with honors from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She holds a Master of Education in Higher Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University. Karen is also a certified yoga teacher. She lives in Massachusetts with her family. To learn more about Karen, check out her site: www.karencostawriter.com


Nyasha Junior is a religious studies professor. She is the author of An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (2015) and Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible (2019) and the co-author of Black Samson: The Untold Story of an American Icon (2020).

Nyasha writes, teaches, speaks, and frequently tweets on religion, race, gender, and their intersections. Visit her website nyashajunior.com and follow her on Twitter @NyashaJunior.  


Amma Marfo is a thoughtful yet incurably silly independent higher education professional, writer, and editor based in Boston, MA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida.

Amma is an avid and prolific writer; she writes often for her own blog (“The Dedicated Amateur”), is a contributing editor to the Niche Movement Blog, and guest blogs in a variety of other places (IdeaBlend EDU, NASPA SLP-KC and TKC blogs, The Good Project). Her first book, The I's Have It: Reflections on Introversion in Student Affairs (2014) and Light It Up (2015).


Katie Rose Guest Pryal is a freelance journalist and erstwhile law professor in Chapel Hill, NC. She is also the author of Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (2017), The Freelance Academic: Transform Your Creative Life and Career (2019), and Even if You're Broken: Essays on Sexual Assault and #MeToo ( 2019). As a journalist and essayist, Katie has bylines in Catapult, The Chronicle of Higher EducationDame Magazine, Quartz, and more.

Katie earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship, her law degree from the University of North Carolina, and her doctorate from UNC-Greensboro. Connect with her on her website at katieroseguestpryal.com and via all social media @krgpryal.