Who’s Presenting in 2016? Jen Smith, Heather Kohser & Toni Truesdale


Jennifer Degnan Smith

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith, MA, has worked for over 20 years in the US and Europe in the area of work psychology. She has conducted post-graduate research into women and work-life balance, consulted with organizations to develop their employees and cultures, and taught Leadership and Organizational Behavior to MBA students.

She has dedicated her career to helping individuals and organizations to transform and achieve their potential, in particular, helping women to find their purpose and follow their calling.

Jennifer is passionate about working with organizations and institutions that seek pioneering ways to retain and develop their women. Despite well-intentioned organizational and governmental policies, the gender and wage gaps are still unacceptable. The difficulty is that many of these policies are designed from the same patriarchal perspective that created the problem in the first place, thus a paradigm shift in the understanding of women and work is required.

Jennifer is current pursuing an MA/PhD in Depth Psychology: Jungian and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute to unearth ancient feminine wisdom to help to heal these problems. She is doing this through researching archetypes and the Greek myths including the Eleusinian mysteries, as well as, engaging in active imagination with the wisdom of the soul of place, Terrapsychology.

Jennifer is the mother of two, a painter, poet, Reiki Master, and writer.

Jennifer’s conference presentation is :“Finding the Feminine at MIT: The Great Mother Goddess under the Dome.”

Heather Kohser & friend

Heather Kohser & friend

Heather Kohser

  I am a Pediatric Nurse by night, and a nature nerd writer by day. My presentation, for the 2016  ASWM conference, Heroic Hummingbirds, is based on the book I am currently writing, A Passion for Pollinators. (working title) I am co-founder of The Women With Weeds Project, educating, and promoting “weed-roots” actions to increase habitat for the pollinators that feed us.  As a Goddess woman, and mystic poet, I seek to connect humans with the Divine, through the wonders of all Her creation. I choose to live close to nature, listening to the messages of even the tiniest creatures, trees, plants, rocks and water. I serve as their devoted scribe. I am called to share my passions through written and spoken word, illuminating the stories of our ancestors, and the great diversity of life.  I seek to inspire women today to become environmental heroines, in the epic story of our declining planet.   

Heather’s presentation is Heroic Hummingbirds

“These revered pollinators, native only to the Americas, illumined ancient stories of creation, rebirth, hero’s quests, and communication with the Divine. . .  Hummingbirds have the smallest bodies, but also the largest brains of any bird. It is their incredible ability to hover, that has allowed them to fill a special niche, co-evolving with 8000 species of plants. We will dip our beaks in the nectar of sacred ecology, and discover quick actions we can all take to save the world’s pollinators. Perhaps we are being called, by the perseverance of these fiercely intelligent creatures, to be environmental heroines in the epic story of a declining planet.”


Toni Truesdale

Artist, muralist and illustrator Toni Truesdale celebrates women, the natural environment, and the diversity of the world’s cultures. She is currently working on a series called the “Culture of Women” that depicts commonalities and everyday life of women. She has exhibited in over 30 exhibits, painted many murals and is widely published; she is also an educator of many years working with Native American and African-American populations. She has over 300 images of women many in cards and prints.

History and mythology need to include the unrestricted stories of all women “I develop imagery that shows the natural beauty, spirituality and intelligence in all aspects of the life of sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers in a multicultural world by honoring our commonality through time.

Toni’s conference presentation is Sanctuary: Feminine Centered Dwellings as Areas of Sacred Protection:  “Historically, the homes of women are spiritual places of prayer, safety and sustenance. The female centered house, with the kitchen as the apex of feminine activity, has always held sacred symbology. The hearth, fire, food, and alters are metaphoric examples of the importance of that women have put into their daily life sustaining routines.”

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