Conference on Gendered Violence

EW Lehman Ballroom, hotelVetro, 201 S. Dubuque Street
Monday, October 9th, 2017 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Woman in dark setting, looking to the side

The Public Policy Center hosted a day-long conference on gendered violence on Monday, Oct. 9 at hotelVetro in Downtown Iowa City.

The conference examined domestic violence policies at local, state, national, and international levels, with some focus on recent changes in Iowa, the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Supreme Court decisions, and administration changes.


Monday, October 9th, 2017
Session Details Speakers
8:00 AM Coffee and Registration/Check-In
8:45 AM Welcome and Introductions
  1. Beth Krayenhagen
9:00 AM Panel One: International Domestic Violence Problems
  1. Janet Johnson
  2. Celeste Montoya
  3. Michele Leiby
  1. Kelly Kadera (Moderator)
10:15 AM Morning Break
10:30 AM Panel Two: National Domestic Violence Politics
  1. Carolyn Hartley
  2. Ronnee Schreiber
  3. Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski
  1. Tracy Osborn (Moderator)
11:45 AM Lunch, Networking, and Gallery Viewing
  1. Melissa Kreider
  2. Jessica Pleyel
  3. Rachel Williams
1:00 PM Keynote Speaker
  1. Sarah Super
2:00 PM Panel Three: Local and State Domestic Violence Politics
  1. Kristie Doser
  2. Laura Hessburg
  3. Mary Mascher
  4. Linda Stewart Kroon
  1. Sara Mitchell (Moderator)
3:15 PM Wrap Up
  1. Tracy Osborn
  • Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski

    Institute for Women's Policy Research

    Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski is the Director of the Economic Security for Survivors Project at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. She oversees the development of training, tools, and curricula and provides technical assistance to domestic/sexual violence programs and justice system professionals on strategies to better address the intersections of survivor economic security and safety. Sarah specializes in the creation and implementation of employment focused curricula as well as fostering comprehensive community-based support strategies.

    She has presented at national and regional conferences for domestic and sexual violence advocates and criminal justice professionals. Keynotes include Intersections of Economic Insecurity and Sexual Assault: Consequences of Childhood Victimization and Economic Insecurity and Barriers to Safety and Recovery for Rural Survivors. Sarah has been quoted by local and regional radio, and trade press on local efforts to address the needs of survivors.

    Prior to joining IWPR, Sarah worked at Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) where she advocated for policies that promote economic security for women and girls in the District of Columbia, and designed and facilitated career empowerment programs for job readiness programs, teen empowerment programs, and domestic violence programs. Before working at WOW, Sarah worked in institutional development. Sarah received her B.A. from Colgate University and Master of Public Policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she studied on social welfare programs and workforce development policies.

  • Kristie Doser

    Domestic Violence Intervention Program

    Kristie Fortmann-Doser was named Executive Director of DVIP in April 2004.  She has worked in the domestic violence and sexual assault fields for 31 years. She has a BA in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies from the University of Iowa and is a Certified Domestic Abuse Advocate.  Kristie is currently a member of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Kristie is a former President of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and co-authored & authored statewide Ethical Standards and training materials for domestic violence programs, sexual assault programs, and healthcare professionals.  In addition, Kristie was part of the statewide steering committee that developed Iowa’s Batterer’s Education Program. Ms. Fortmann-Doser’s recent research examines the efficacy of domestic violence shelters and the disproportionate impact of shelter closings on marginalized populations (with specific focus on African American women and women struggling with poverty that have been battered by an intimate partner). Considered an expert in this field, Kristie has presented to area, regional and national audiences concerning the nature and incidence of violence against women, domestic violence and sexual assault.  Kristie Fortmann-Doser has been vetted and provides expert testimony for civil and criminal cases in the Iowa Judicial system, having testified for more than two dozen cases.

  • Carolyn Hartley

    University of Iowa School of Social Work

    Carolyn Copps Hartley, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on legal system responses to intimate partner violence (IPV). She uses the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence, which posits that legal rules and procedures, and agents of the legal system (advocates, lawyers, judges, etc.) act as social forces that can produce positive, therapeutic effects, or negative, anti-therapeutic effects for the mental health and psychological functioning of the non-agents (victims, defendants, witnesses) participating in the system.  Her most recent project, in collaboration with Iowa Legal Aid, examined the long-term effects of civil legal services on battered women. She has also studied criminal court responses to IPV, including defense strategies used in domestic violence felony trials and specialized prosecution programs.  Since 2008, Professor Hartley has also served as the lead faculty trainer for the Iowa Victim Assistance Academy, which trains service providers working with crime victims in the state of Iowa.

  • Laura Hessburg

    Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV)

    Laura Hessburg joined ICADV as Director of Public Policy in October 2014. Laura helps develop and advance ICADV state and federal legislative priorities. Laura works with victim service advocates to educate policymakers about domestic violence issues and the services provided by local programs. She also works to engage groups and organizations in supporting ICADV public policy goals. Laura brings 25 years of public policy experience to this position. Prior to joining ICADV, she worked in Washington, DC for several non-profit organizations seeking to advance low-income women’s access to health care and as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill. Laura received her BA in history from the University of Northern Iowa. 

  • Janet Johnson

    CUNY, Brooklyn

    Janet Elise Johnson is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and Visiting Scholar, Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University.  Her books include The Gender of Informal Politics (2018), Gender Violence in Russia (2009) and Living Gender after Communism (2007).  In the last few years, she has published articles in Perspectives on PoliticsJournal of Social PolicyPolitics & GenderCommunist and Post-Communist Studies, and Signs: Journals of Women in Culture and Society as well as online in The Washington Post’s Monkey CageBoston Review, and The New Yorker.  Her activism on domestic violence includes training judges working with the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium, serving as an expert for US and Canadian political asylum cases based on domestic violence in Russia, and helping to write a resources guide for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

  • Beth Krayenhagen

    University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

  • Melissa Kreider

    University of Iowa Art and Art History Department

    Melissa Kreider (b. 1993) is an MFA student at the University of Iowa and holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Akron. Melissa’s work examines sites of sexual violence against women and how the justice system archives these reports as well as the evidence that is collected. Her work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally. Melissa Kreider is a Graduate Teacher of Record at the University of Iowa, in the Art and Art History Department. She reads more books then she should and owns two cats; a hardened street cat named Asphalt, and a cat with thumbs named Valentino. Melissa is the founder and curator of Don’t Smile, an online space dedicated to showcasing photography by women artists.

  • Linda Stewart Kroon

    Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC)

    Linda was appointed as Director of WRAC in April 2011. She is responsible for overall program development, direction and evaluation, personnel and budget supervision, and external relations for the Center.  She is a Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate and provides confidential advocacy and assistance to individuals experiencing discrimination, harassment and interpersonal violence. Linda holds national certifications as a diversity trainer and bystander intervention specialist, and served as Campus Bystander Education Coordinator for The University of Iowa from 2009 to 2013 under a project funded by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, which launched the UI's Violence Prevention Education effort. She is an officer and member of the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, and an Adjunct Instructor in the UI Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies. Linda is active as a professional development trainer and consultant on issues related to gender and sexual violence, diversity, and social change.  

  • Michele Leiby

    College of Wooster

    Michele Leiby is an Associate Professor in Political Science at the College of Wooster.  Her research focuses on human rights and political violence, gender and conflict processes, and human rights advocacy. Methodologically, her work incorporates large-N data collection and statistical analysis, interview and archival research, survey experiments, and extensive fieldwork in Latin America and the United States. Her work has been published in English and Spanish, appearing in American Political Science Review, International Studies Quarterly, Politics and Society, Revista Memoria as well as in multiple edited volumes. At the College of Wooster she teaches courses on human rights, comparative politics and social science research methods.

  • Mary Mascher

    Iowa House of Representatives, District 86

    Mary Mascher represents House District #86, which includes the Southeast side of Iowa City and the city of Hills.  She is serving her 10th term in the Iowa House of Representatives. She is the ranking Democrat on the State Government Committee and also serves on Education, Human Services and the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

    Mary graduated from the University of Iowa with a teaching degree in 1976 and a Master’s Degree in counseling education in 1982.  After teaching for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, she retired from teaching in June of 2009.

    Mary has been very active in her community. She helped organize the first girls’ softball league in Iowa City and served on its board of directors. Since 1988 she has sung and acted in numerous productions of the Iowa City Community Theater, and also served on their board of directors. She has been a member of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission, the Iowa City Riverfront Commission, and was president of the Iowa City Education Association. From 1992-1997 Mary served on the State Sesquicentennial Commission.

    In 1994, Mary was elected to the Iowa House where she has been an advocate for women, children and families. Mary serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee. Mary was appointed by Governor Vilsack to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence. Mary received the Iowa Counseling Associations’ Legislator of the Year Award in 1996. In 1999 she was recognized as the National Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Friend of Education and in 1998 she was recognized by the Iowa Counseling Association as Legislator of the Year.  In 2003 Mary was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley for their Growing Strong Award and in 2010 The Corridor Business Journal recognized Mary with their Women of Influence Award. In 2011 Heritage Agency on Aging recognized Mary as their Outstanding Elected Public Official and in 2012 Iowa Physicians’ Assistant Society recognized Mary with their Outstanding Leadership Award.  In 2010 Iowa Pride Network recognized Mary for her work with the Roger Wendt Education Award.

  • Celeste Montoya

    University of Colorado Boulder

    Celeste Montoya is Associate Professor of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her PhD in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. Her research focuses on the ways in which women and other marginalized groups mobilize to enact change through social movements as well as policy and political institutions. She is particularly interested in intersectional efforts aimed at combating gendered violence, and has studied initiatives in the United States and Europe, as well as transnational efforts aimed more globally. She is author of From Global to Grassroots: The European Union, Transnational Advocacy, and Combating Violence against Women(Oxford University Press 2013). She has also published in International Organization, Politics & Gender, Social Politics, Publius and Urban Affairs Review.

  • Tracy Osborn

    University of Iowa Department of Political Science

    Tracy Osborn is the Director of the Politics and Policy Group at the Iowa and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science.  Her research focuses on women, politics, and public policy in the U.S. state legislatures and Congress, women’s political behavior, and gendered violence.  She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2004 and joined the political science department at the University of Iowa in 2007.  Currently, her research examines women legislators’ partisanship and policy development in the U.S. state legislatures since 1960, public opinion toward women terrorists and terrorism policy, and antifeminist policy and women’s representation in the U.S. states.

  • Jessica Pleyel

    Domestic Violence Intervention Program

    Jessica Pleyel is a conceptual artist, curator and advocate. Her work is an exploration of the powerful connections of family and communities, and art-based activism’s role within the intersectional feminist community. She investigates how connections between advocates, activists, family and communities form and how individual voices become empowered and brazened when brought together through collaboration. Pleyel explores these and further themes through an interdisciplinary approach of performance, sculpture, storytelling, installation and video. 

    Whether it is repairing and creating a strong relationship with her father, advocating alongside other sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, or searching for the legacy of her Cajun grandmother Beulah along with the five hundred others in the mass unmarked grave in post-Katrina New Orleans, an imperative aspect of Pleyel's work is igniting dialogues on some of the wicked complications in our society.  

    Pleyel's work has been exhibited internationally in galleries such as The Article Gallery in Birmingham, United Kingdom, The Beauty and Brawn Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Feast Arts Center in Tacoma, Washington. She has received awards such as the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, the Obermann Graduate Senior Fellowship, and the Ana Mendieta Memorial Scholarship. She is currently working at the Domestic Violence Intervention Program as a Shelter Services Coordinator.

  • Ronnee Schreiber

    San Diego State University

    Ronnee Schreiber is Professor and Chair of Political Science at San Diego State University. She has published widely on conservative women and politics, and her book, Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics, has been review extensively. Her recent projects include examining how motherhood and ideology intersect in politics, the status of conservative feminism, and how women fare in electoral politics. She received her PhD from Rutgers University.

  • Sarah Super

    Break the Silence

    Sarah Super is a rape survivor, educator, and activist. She founded Break the Silence, an organization that supports survivors of sexual violence by striving to end rape culture and hold perpetrators accountable. Through Break the Silence, Sarah has organized community truth-telling events, public protests and demonstrations, and has gained unanimous approval from the Minneapolis Park Board to build the nation's first permanent memorial to honor survivors here in the Twin Cities. Sarah earned her M.Ed. in human resource development and a dual B.A. with honors in American studies and sociology from the University of Minnesota.

  • Rachel Williams

    UI School of Art & Art History, and Gender Women's and Sexuality Studies

    Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, is  an artist and teacher currently employed as an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. She has a joint appointment between the School of Art and Art History (Intermedia) and Gender Women's and Sexuality Studies. She is originally from North Carolina (the Eastern Coastal Plain), but she has lived in Iowa since 1998, and taught at The University of Iowa since 1999. Her work as a researcher and creative scholar has always been focused on women’s issues, community, art, and people who are incarcerated. She earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University and an MFA (Studio Art) and a Ph.D.(Art Education) from Florida State University.

    American alternative/single creator comics and graphic novels have been at the heart of her creative scholarship for the past few years. Her graphic scholarship has been published by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and the International Journal of Comic Art. Her current projects include a graphic novel about the Detroit Race Riots of 1943, a mini comic about police brutality,and The Prison Chronicles, a series of stories about working in women's prisons.

    While Professor Williams is an artist she is also an academic scholar. Her traditional scholarship has been focused on women in prison. She has worked with incarcerated women since 1994. The prisons where she has conducted research include the Monroe County Jail in Key West, Florida, Jefferson Correctional Institution in Florida, Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, Deerlodge Correctional Institution in Montana, the State Training School in Eldora, Iowa, the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, Iowa, the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa and HMP Holloway in London, England. She has visited and toured numerous other correctional institutions in the US. In 2010 she enrolled in the Inside-Out Prison Education Program through Temple University ( Her scholarship has been published by the Journal of Correctional Education, The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, the Journal of Art Education, and Visual Arts Research. She is also the Co-Editor of the Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers.

    Professor Williams teaches courses about comics and sequential art, women's studies, intermedia, feminist research methods, and civic engagement.

    Her work can be explored at

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