Meet the Team


Martha Joy Rose
Founder, Executive Director

Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MALS with a Master’s in Mother Studies. She is an award-winning artist and activist; SLE survivor and renal transplant recipient. Pursuits have included academia, large-scale community gatherings, music, museums, and media. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts. She founded the Museum of Motherhood in 2003, initiated 501c3 non-profit status in 2005, saw it flourish in NYC from 2011-2014, and then pop up at several academic institutions. She has been organizing international conferences, hosting interns from a wide selection of universities, and has continued to nurture the ongoing evolution of a modern women’s movement. She launched the Journal of Mother Studies, MER, and MaMaZina Magazine. Her writing has been featured in academic and literary journals.

Deborah Gelch
Strategic Advisor

Deborah is a senior executive who combines a deep technical background with general management experience. She has a track record of successfully building and leading collaborative teams with an agile mindset that delivers innovative products and services that achieve ambitious business goals. Deborah is known for an entrepreneurial spirit and drive that enables growth in sales and student recruitment, customer retention, institutional advancement, alumni affairs, analytics, and IT operations. Deborah earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College majoring in Art History and minoring in Astronomy. She has a graduate degree in Non-Profit Management from Lasell University and holds multiple Salesforce consulting certifications. Deborah joins MOM’s team as a valuable contributor and leader who can facilitate next stage practical growth of the museum vision in St. Petersburg.

Kasia Nowacki
Education Coordination and Development

Kasia attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and holds her Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. Kasia’s passion is Leadership Development which she pursues through her work with the Center for Creative Leadership and teaching a Winter Term course, Leadership and Self Discovery Practicum, at Eckerd College. Through working with MOM, Kasia hopes to make the study of motherhood more accessible and more widely known by building online course content for MOM and acting as a liaison to local schools and universities. 

Elena Rodz
Website Manager

Elena Rodz is an artist and curator from Dallas, Texas. She studied painting and film at Washington University in St Louis, Texas. Then went on to receive an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art in 2011.  

After 6 years in NYC, Rodz relocated to Corpus Christi Texas in 2013. She became Curator at the Rockport Center for the Arts. In addition to her nonprofit work, Elena has kept a regular painting studio practice.

Marcile Powers, Education Facilitator

Marcile grew up in Bradenton, Florida. She published her first poem when she was 14, then went on to study filmmaking and was drawn to Avantgarde styles. Marcile earned her BFA in Film with a concentration on directing and now she is the mother of two. She lives in Historic Kenwood, makes art, and teaches non-violent communication, as well as hosting local workshops focused on creativity and healing. In 2022, she published her first book, Transcend Dance. She is passionate about mandala meditation, and creating avenues of empowerment and change for individuals and families.

Raissa Fitzgerald, Researcher and Copy Editor

Raissa Fitzgerald is a College Success Manager at Yonkers Partners in Education. In this role, she supports the persistence of students through their freshman and sophomore years of college. She has volunteered as a mentor at YPIE, as well as at the Hudson River Museum and the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. She has been on the board of the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall since 1997, and runs The Great Birthday Caper, a gift program with local group homes. Raissa graduated from University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Art, from Mercy College with a Masters Degree in English, and from CUNY School of Professional Studies with a Masters Degree in Museum Studies. She has two children, both recent college graduates.


MOM Conference Academic Board

Hughes Miller – PhD. is an AssociateProfessor in the USF Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Tampa/St. Pete, Florida, USA. As a feminist criminologist, she teaches classes on Feminist Pedagogy and Feminist Research Methods, and substantive seminars and undergraduate courses on Politics of Motherhood, Women and Social Justice, and Gender, Crime & Justice. (Current) (not pictured).

Roksana Badruddoja – PhD. Professor, Dr. Badruddoja is a feminine/masculine WOC; an interfaith and cross-cultural womanist; a critical race theorist and decolonial gender scholar, and second-generation Bangladeshi-American. Sociology, Manhattan College, Riverdale/Bronx, NY, current).

Aurelie Athan – Ph.D. is a full-time lecturer and MA Program Coordinator in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. Her newest emerging theory, Reproductive Identity, debuted in the June 2020 Special issue of the American Psychologist-Rethinking Adult Development: New Ideas for New Times. (Current)

Laura Tropp – PhD. is an Associate Dean and Chair, Communication Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY, USA. Dr. Tropp specializes in media and politics and representations of pregnancy, motherhood, and families in popular culture. She teaches courses in communication theory, media history, campaigns and elections, media law and mother studies. (Current).

Gina Wong – Ph.D. is a Psychologist and Professor in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University, Alberta (not pictured). (2019)

Living Board

Nicole Musselman, Living Museum, JourMS editor (2022) – Nicole teaches at USF as part of the English Department as a Ph.D. Student and English Instructor. She is also the mother of a wonderful boy and joins the Journal of Mother Studies as lead editor of the 2022 Journal – Pictured right to left.

Zabrina Shkurti, Living Museum, President (2022) – Zabrina is a Florida native, teaches graduate studies as part of the English Department at the University of South Florida as a PhD Student, and a mother of two boys. We celebrate the first official anniversary of the MOM Living Board and welcome her to the her new position as team member and President! – Pictured right to left.

Tracy Sidesinger, Living Museum, Residency Coordinator (2021, 2022) – Tracy is psychoanalytic psychologist currently practicing virtually from Brooklyn and upstate New York. Her writings and practice focus on gender and sexuality, maternal mental health, spirituality, and the arts. She is also co-founder of The New York Center for Community Psychoanalysis, an emerging nonprofit psychotherapy clinic in Brooklyn which makes psychological care accessible to all as a matter of social justice and equity – Pictured right to left.

MoM Art Annex 501c3 non-profit Board

Zena Marpet, MSN, RN works PT as an emergency room nurse and serves as the Marketing Director at, an online mental health service for healthcare providers. She has a Masters from USF in public health policy. Her undergraduate work at Eckerd College earned her a BS of psychology and human development 2016 and she worked for mental health residency clinic in the San Francisco area (2020). Zena is a certified Emergency Medical Technician nationally registered and served as team leader for the Emergency Response Squad at Eckerd College (2012-2015). Internships have included John’s Hopkins, All Children’s Hospital research assistant, and Columbia Medical Center’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, pediatric emergency center, and Carlton Manor, counselor for children in residence.

Martha Joy Rose has overseen MOM since its inception and has been involved in all aspects of its ongoing success.

Carl Hovey has been involved with the Museum of Motherhood since its pop-up in New York City at East 84th Street in 2011. Carl is a U.S. Navy veteran, father, and ecologically minded farmer who is invested in seeing to the ongoing success of MOM and all its endeavors.

Fundraising Committee

Donna Lewis – Artist, architect, teacher, Donna is a dedicated and inspired learner and traveler. She hails from New York and has facilitated relationships between the High School of Art and Design and an internship program at the museum from 2011-2014. Following an artist-in-residency at MoM in Florida in 2021, and as a long-time friend of Joy, Donna decided to commit to MoM’s fundraising committee. She invites others to collaborate with her on this new adventure. [Find out more here]

Legal Advisor

Larry Dillahunty – Larry and Cathy have have been serving the Tampa Bay community for over forty years as a family-run estate planning practice (and other services) at Dillahunty Law in St. Petersburg. We are so pleased that they have joined our team in the capacity of Legal Advisor.

Humanity depends on motherhood. I can think of no other subject so wildly misunderstood, underfunded, and understudied. We’re here to change that. Together we will put motherhood on the map, dispel the myths that have kept women and caregivers marginalized, and educate using our own strong voices. We believe that by understanding history, we are creating Her-Story. We believe that motherhood is otherhood and that we are all connected as members of one big human family. We are the house that MoM built.

~ M. Joy Rose, Founder and Director

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