Cary Brown | Executive Director
Desk: 802-828-2840 | Cell: 802-498-8871 | Email: Cary.Brown@vermont.gov
Cary served two terms as a VCW commissioner before joining the staff in 2012. She has worked as the Director of Girls’ Programs for Vermont Works for Women, a non-profit organization supporting education, training and careers in non-traditional fields for women and girls, and directed the Women in Technology Project, a national award–winning summer technology camp for girls at Vermont Technical College. She has served on the boards of Northern New England Tradeswomen, Turtle Island Children's Center, the New England Association for Cooperative Education and Field Experience, and the Norwich University Alumni Association. Cary received her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Norwich University. She lives in Montpelier with her family, where she is a Justice of the Peace.
Lilly Talbert | Communications & Program Coordinator
Desk: 802-828-2841 | Cell: 802-498-8806 | Email: Lilly.Talbert@vermont.gov
Lilly joined VCW in 2001 and manages media relations, message development, research, writing publications, website development, event planning, and internships as Communications and Program Coordinator. She’s worked in the public relations, marketing, graphic design, and communications fields and previously held positions at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Liquid Studio, and Seventh Generation. Lilly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from U.V.M. in Communication Science and Disorders and has completed certificates in graphic design as well as re-evaluation counseling. Lilly is an avid gardener, book club member, and former Little League coach, always ready for outdoor adventures with her family.
Hannah Elle Lane | Executive Staff Assistant
Desk: 802-828-2852 | Cell: 802-793-9434 | Email: Hannah.Lane@vermont.gov
Hannah joined VCW in 2015 after spending several years as Staff Attorney serving clients in the Northeast Kingdom for Have Justice – Will Travel (HJWT), a Vermont non-profit providing holistic pro-bono representation to low-income victims of domestic and sexual violence. She provided direct free legal services to hundreds of Vermont women and families for matters such as obtaining Relief from Abuse Orders (RFA’s), divorce, child custody, and child support by providing both full representation as well as legal guidance and direction for pro-se clients, as part of HJWT’s Legal Empowerment Assistance Program. Hannah serves on the Board of Directors of Safeline, Inc., and volunteers at the Randolph Area Food Shelf. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Vermont Law School. She lives in Braintree with her husband and their dog, Jack.
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While we like to take credit, on occasion, and quite in jest, for the accomplishments of our former interns, thier Fulbright scholarships, published works in professional journals, national news stories, management roles in women’s issue organizations, and so forth, in reality, we know we really can’t. What we CAN say that we were privileged to benefit from their work, insight, intelligence, humor and energy while they were with us. We can also say that we look forward to voting for them, working with them as colleagues, highlighting the positive changes they have brought about for our society, or watching them being celebrated on national media! THANKS, APPLAUSE AND CHEERS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SERVED VCW AS INTERNS!
Thank you to Miranda Lan, our fall intern from UVM, and now at work assisting Senator Balint. We enjoyed our time with Jordan, who worked with us fall through winter via Montpelier High School's Community Based Learning program. Mehanna Borostyan (UVM) and Summer Colley (St. Michaels) were our interns for summer 2017. Alexis Zona and Caroline Keller served as our legislative interns for winter/spring 2016. Caroline worked on this report, More than Choice? A Review of the Gender Pay Gap, at the Economic and Labor Market Information Division of the Vermont Department of Labor. It includes a section on Why It Matters, as well as recommendations, like: collect more reliable pay and gender data; support pay transparency; and invest in affordable, accessible and quality childcare. Rebecca White (UVM) now works for SunCommon and serves on the Select Board of her town, Hartford. VCW’s former intern, Emily Myers, was awarded the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, established in 1987 to recruit and train the next generation of policy and advocacy leaders on a range of international peace and security issues by providing recent college graduates with an opportunity to work with one of the participating public-interest organizations in Washington, DC. The fellowship bridges the gap between academia and the working world by providing an entree to socially-conscious people eager to learn about and contribute to the world of public-interest organizations. Emily's current projects include a series of research briefs on the intersection of violent extremism, nonviolent action, and other security challenges and subsector reviews of evaluative tactics for the peacebuilding approach to violence reduction and countering violent extremism (CVE). Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude from Union College in 2016, and her honors thesis examined the conditions under which civil war facilitates women’s entrance into the formal political sphere and, in cases where women do enter political bodies post-conflict, how regime type influences the ability of those women to make significant legislative and policy contributions. Ali Shahidy (Norwich) is a women's rights activist from Kabul, Afghanistan whose advocacy work includes: The End Violence Against Women project at WorldPulse, Safe Public Spaces Mentoring Program with the Stop Street Harassment project, as well as online activism and conducting workshops on domestic violence in private schools in Kabul. Alexandria Miller (Norwich). Emmi Hodess (UVM) - see Emmi’s quote below - will attend Antioch University's Comparative Women's and Gender Studies in Europe program, and will focus on biopolitics and bioethics of reproductive interventions. Emily Meyers (Union College)- see Emily’s quote below! Caitlin McPherran (UVM) now holds a PhD from Boston College and was the lead author of a study, published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Developmental Psychology, Children in Low-Income Homes Fare Better in Kindergarten if Moms Work When They Are Babies…watch the NBC news story here. Renee Swain (LSC) is now the Executive Director of Umbrella, a community-based organization serving individuals and families by focusing on safety, intervention, support, and prevention through a stalking, domestic violence / sexual assault, and child care support service in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Alex Stetter (Montpelier High School). Christian Martin (South Burlington High School). Baylee Annis (Norwich) recently returned from living abroad in Wales, UK, playing rugby for Bristol Ladies Premier Rugby. She’s applying for MFA programs in Creative Writing and interviewing with teaching companies abroad. Rachel Beth Kaplan (UVM) is a yoga instructor and massage and craniosacral therapy practitioner in California. Joanne Infantes (UVM) now holds a Masters in Public Administration. Allyson Perleoni (UVM) is a Legislative Assistant at American Academy of Pediatrics in D.C.. Rachel Weston (UVM/MPA) is a former Vermont State Representative newly returned to the states from living in Istanbul, Turkey. Denison Goodrich-Schlenker (Oberlin College) is currently a second-year law student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, pursuing a career in litigation with a focus in the areas of health, gender, and employment. Since her arrival at Berkeley, she’s served as a counselor with the Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic, an intern at the East Bay Community Law Center, and a law clerk at the Center for WorkLife Law in San Francisco, where she focused on issues related to pregnancy accommodation and family responsibilities discrimination in the workplace. Shelby Gillespie (UVM) graduated with a degree in Women and Gender Studies. Surbhi Godsay (UVM) is a graduate student in Human Services Psychology at the University of Maryland. Emily Blistein (VLS) describes herself as a recovering lawyer and was a powerful lobbyist for women’s health in Vermont. She’s also founder of Middlebury’s Clementine store, offering goods to “help feather your nest, celebrate and delight your loved ones, and swaddle your little ones.” Melissa Kalinen (VLS) is the Serials Supervisor at University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Morgan Peele (Kenyon) returned from a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Hangzhou, China, where she examined childcare options and work/life balance issues for working mothers in Zhejiang Province. She’s now a graduate student in Sociology at Indiana University. Oriana Korol (Wesleyan) is a Field Geologist and Filmmaker in Burlington. Lindsay Perlmutter Fitzpatrick (Middlebury) is Policy Research Associate at The Charles A. Dana Center, and a Specialist in Alumni Leadership at Teach For America in Austin, TX. Lillian Wilson (UC Santa Cruz). Katherine E. Smith (Barnard College). Jocelyn Diakon (VLS). Heidi J. Murphy (UVM and VLS). Rebecca Adams (Middlebury) now holds a Masters degree in Human Resources and Employee Relations from Penn State University. Sarah Baynard (VLS) was named a Washington Rising Star, 2014 in Washington Law & Politics. Kristen Huysman (VLS) worked at Department of Justice and at the Vermont Secretary of State's Office. Gwen Papineau is Director of Legislative and Regulatory Communication for the Airport Legislative Alliance and AAAE Regulatory Affairs Department.
“As an intern at the Vermont Commission on Women I learned valuable office skills, researched issues directly affecting Vermont women, and helped develop a comprehensive resource guide that aids women around the state. The women I worked with at VCW were helpful, accommodating, and passionate about their work. I truly enjoyed my internship and it helped shape my future career path. Because of the work I did with the VCW, I became more passionate about the link between politics and women's rights. My time at the VCW helped me gain a deeper understanding of the issues effecting women today and how government agencies and non-profits can work to solve those issues. The experience I gained has also been integral in helping me secure further opportunities at Public Citizen and at the Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights. My internship at VCW was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to students passionate about politics, women's rights, or a career in public service.” Emily Myers (Union College)
“As a Political Science major, I am mostly taught theory and concepts. As an intern, I was able to gain a hands-on experience in the State House and have a better understanding for how to actually work in the political arena rather than just understanding its mechanics. Besides a newfound critical understanding of aspects in the political sector, I have been able to develop a better vision of the work I’d like to do upon graduation. Going into this experience, a goal of mine had been (and still is) to lobby for women’s rights in my future. I had imagined fighting for the ‘basics’: equal pay, pro-choice, rights for domestic violence victims and rape victims, etc. However, this experience helped open my eyes to more opportunities and goals that need to be met for women to achieve full equality. A brief description of a bill may initially not seem to affect women’s rights. However, different angles and sections of the bill do make connections to how they may affect women and it is easy to see how women’s rights are fundamental elements throughout all institutional and societal matters. Unfortunately, there is a lot more that still needs to be done for women’s rights. However, this internship has only provided me with more knowledge and a better ability to facilitate effective change for women in the future and I will be forever grateful for the experience.” Emmi Hodess (UVM)
Above is a partial listing of our interns since 2001. Are you a former VCW intern? Contact us with an update and we’ll add you to the list!
Interested in applying for an internship? Send a resume and cover letter to us.