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.



Kelly J. Baker began as editor of Women in Higher Education in September 2016. She was previously a freelance writer and editor with a religious studies PhD covering religion, higher education, gender, labor, motherhood, and popular culture. She started writing for Women in Higher Education in 2014.

Kelly is an essayist, historian, and reporter with regular columns at the Chronicle for Higher Education‘s Vitae project, Killing the Buddha, and Sacred Matters. She’s written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Rumpus, The Manifest-Station, Religion Dispatches, Christian Century, Washington Post, and Brain, Child.

She's also the author of Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930,  The Zombies Are Coming!: The Realities of the Zombie Apocalypse in American Culture, Grace Period: A Memoir in Pieces, and Sexism Ed: Essays on Gender and Labor in Academia.

When she’s not editing, writing assignments, hanging out on Twitter, or wrangling two children, a mean cat, and a dog, she’s making progress on a book about zombie apocalypses in American culture and a collection of essays on endings.

Please feel free to email her about possible submissions at kjbaker@wiley.com.



Karen Costa is a writer, speaker, adjunct faculty of college success strategies, and yoga teacher living in Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Syracuse University, a Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University. Karen is also a Certified Academic Coach. Fascinated by the connection between stress management and student success in higher education, Karen recently enrolled in the Foundations Certificate Program studying the Shanker Method of Self-Regulation with Dr. Stuart Shanker of the Mehrit Centre in Ontario. She plans to use this certificate to help more new-traditional students persist and graduate.

Karen’s higher education background consists of experiences in academic advising, first year experience, teaching and learning, faculty development, and student success. She has worked as both an administrator and an adjunct faculty. Karen is passionate about building bridges between various campus constituencies and helping to develop a case for care and support on college campuses. Connect with Karen at www.newtradnow.com or follow her on Twitter @KarenRayCosta.


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.


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, was released in January 2014; her second, LIGHT IT UP, was released in October 2015.


Katie Rose Guest Pryal is a novelist, freelance journalist, and erstwhile law professor in Chapel Hill, NC. She is the author of the Hollywood Lights Series, which includes EntanglementLove and Entropy, and Chasing Chaos, all from Velvet Morning Press. As a journalist, Katie contributes regularly to QuartzThe Chronicle of Higher EducationDame Magazine, 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. She teaches creative writing through Duke University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Connect with her on her website: katieroseguestpryal.com.


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.