Here you will find members of the BWHT board — the women who work together to “Remember the Ladies.”
Among the ladies we remember is our past president and longtime board member Sylvia McDowell, who passed away peacefully on March 11, 2010.
Click any member’s name to learn more
Jennifer Gregg, President
Diana Lam, Vice President
Michelle LeBlanc, Treasurer
Mia McMorris, Secretary
Mia McMorris came to Boston to pursue her master’s degree. She is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s History MA program. Through the Public History MA program, Mia interned with Boston Women’s Heritage Trail and worked with Mary Smoyer and Katherine Dibble. For her capstone project, Mia developed the Women Feeding Boston Trail.
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Ms McMorris worked as a researcher attached to the University of the West Indies, Mona; History and Archaeology Department. Mia comes from a family of historians and is devoted to telling the stories of women.
Mia recently joined the New England Historic Genealogical Society as a researcher. She is interested in learning more about the women of Boston and New England, while in this position.Email
Michelle Lamarre Jenney
She currently serves as the Secretary for the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). She is an Ordained Deacon at Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge, MA, serving as a delegate for the Samuel Stillman Association, (TABCOM) The Association of Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. Dr. Phillips has a rich legacy of accomplishments and lends her skills and expertise to community involvement, governance, and program development.
Mary Howland Smoyer
Barbara F. Berenson
Erica Hirshler is Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she has worked since 1983. She organized the highly praised exhibition A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940 and wrote the book of the same title. She helped develop the BWHT tour Women Artists in the Back Bay. Erica has a special interest in American paintings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in art and patronage in Boston, and in women artists. She has written and lectured extensively on these topics, and among her publications are essays on Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Edmund Tarbell, Dennis Bunker, and Sarah Sears. She has nurtured her interest in the historical achievements of women since her days at Wellesley College, and she was very pleased to join the BWHT Board in 2002 after working with them to co-produce a walking tour and brochure of sites relating to Boston’s women artists.She recently contributed information about artist Sarah Wyman Whitman for a new book: The Unforgettables – Expanding the History of American Art.
Marie A. Turley
Wilson is a professional photographer, author, multimedia artist, and public historian who first encountered the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail when writing history features for the Boston Globe. A BWHT board member — and later advisory board member — since the mid-1990s, Susan has shared her skills as photographer, editor, art critic, trailblazer, website consultant, video artist, and lecturer for the trail. She helped develop the BWHT walking tour to accompany the “A Studio of Her Own” exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was project manager and photographer for the walking map, “30 Highlights of Boston Herstory,” was photographer and editor for the walking map “Road to the Vote: The Boston Women’s Suffrage Trail,” and produced the video on the creation of the Boston Women’s Memorial.
After earning a B.A. and M.A. in history from Tufts, and teaching history at both the secondary school and college levels, Susan moved into journalism, photojournalism, studio photography, feminist activism, historic consulting to area trails and sites, and authoring accessible, multicultural books on Boston history, which include Boston Sites and Insights, Garden of Memories, The Literary Trail of Greater Boston, and Heaven, By Hotel Standards: The History of The Omni Parker House. Her forthcoming book, Women and Children First: The Remarkable Journey of Dr. Susan Dimock, will be published by McFarland & Co. Publishers in 2023. An Elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, she is the official House Historian of the Omni Parker House and an Affiliate Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women Studies Research Center. Susan Wilson Website Susan Wilson’s YouTube Channel Email
It is with great sadness that the BWHT has to announce the passing of Polly Welts Kaufman on January 28, 2022.
Polly Welts Kaufman was one of the founding members of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. She was the leading author of all the versions of the BWHT guidebook. Polly was the former program director of elementary and middle school libraries for the Boston Public Schools. She lived in Maine and taught history at the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Kaufmann developed women’s history trails in Portland and Brunswick.
Polly was a Fulbright lecturer in American studies in Norway,.She developed a walking trail to statues of named women in Oslo which was printed in both Norwegian and English.
Polly was co-editor of the book: Her Past Around Us: Interpreting Sites for Women’s History. She was also the author of National Parks and the Woman’s Voice: A History; Boston Women and City School Politics, 1872-1905; and Women Teachers on the Frontier.
Sylvia McDowell, past president and longtime board member, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2010. Sylvia was an outstanding scholar of the history of women and African Americans, and a very gracious lady. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Simmons College. She got her first professional job as a medical librarian at Boston University and remained a Boston resident for the rest of her life, going on to work as a librarian at MIT and Harvard.
In retirement, she continued to purse her interest in historical research. In addition to serving on the BWHT board and as its president, she was a member of the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network, the American Library Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Association of Black Women Historians. In 1996, she received the Crystal Stair Award granted by the Simmons College African American Alumnae Association for “her dedication to community service via her sorority and her professional affiliations.” She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and was also a member of several other community and educational organizations in the hope of making the world better.