Meet the HerStories Project team!

headshotJessica Smock is a writer, educator, former teacher, researcher, and mom to a young son and toddler daughter. She lives in Buffalo with her family and earned her doctorate in educational policy and development from Boston University last year and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University. She writes about parenting, education, and books at her blog, School of Smock.  You can find her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest. Her writing and expertise have been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Parent.Co, the Brain Child website, Scary Mommy, iVillage, the Chicago Tribune, and Babble.

In high school, college and in her early twenties, Jessica was passionate about journalism and writing and worked at local and college newspapers as a reporter and editor. After earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching, Jessica was a teacher and curriculum writer for more than 12 years. She primarily taught English, particularly focusing on developing a writing workshop program for her students. Her favorite part of the school year was creating an end of the year book of her students’ best writing. As a Teaching Fellow at Boston University, Jessica was an instructor in writing and research methods.

Jessica’s dissertation research was about the experiences of urban adolescent girls at elite New England boarding schools. She became fascinated by the role that these girls’ social lives — their friendships, their relationships with teachers, their dating lives — affected their overall experience.

While Jessica has left academia for right now, she still enjoys reading nonfiction and research. She likes writing about anything from feminism to fiction, from toddler tantrums to teaching.

headshot2Stephanie Sprenger is a freelance writer, music therapist, and mother of two young daughters. She writes about the imperfect reality of life with kids at her blog, Mommy, for Real. Her work has been featured on various websites, including Brain, Child, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Mamalode,,, and Scary Mommy. Stephanie is co-producer of Listen To Your Mother Boulder, and she was honored to be named one of BlogHer’s 2014 Voices of the Year.

Stephanie is a board certified music therapist, and teaches early childhood music classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. She is in the process of creating a music-therapy based curriculum for educators and therapists who work with young children.

In her spare time, (haha) she enjoys practicing yoga, playing piano and guitar, snuggling with her two little girls while having an intense Frozen singalong, and occasionally singing grown-up songs. She is also an avid reader whose ideal day would involve a few good cups of coffee, some quality time with friends, a massage, a good book, and a glass (or two) of red wine.  Stephanie’s longterm goals include writing a few books, crafting the perfect witty bio, and taming her neuroses. She can usually be found in front of her computer, behind her guitar, or underneath a pile of laundry. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest, but don’t expect to find her pinning any clever craft ideas or homemade baked good recipes.

FULL RES - Badzin-03 copy-1Nina Badzin is our HerTake friendship advice columnist. Nina is a contributing writer for,, and Great New Books. Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward, and have been syndicated in The Times of Israel as well as Jewish newspapers across the country. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children. Contact her on Twitter @ninabadzin and on her blog. Do you have a question about modern friendship or relationships? Ask her here.

???????????????????????????????Allie Smith is our Assistant Editor. Allie is a wife, mother of four, and freelance writer living in the suburbs of Atlanta. She’s a columnist for My Forsyth Magazine, a book reviewer for Chick Lit Plus, and a contributor to The Family Legacy Center.Her work has been published on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Full Grown People, and several other publications. She is a contributor to our anthology Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience. Allie has a bad case of wanderlust and can often be found surfing travel websites and planning her family’s next epic road trip. She blogs about parenting, autism, travel, and books at The Latchkey Mom.

Lauren ApfelLauren Apfel is our Developmental Editor. She is a writer and mother of four (including twins). She is originally from New York, but now lives in Glasgow, Scotland (thanks to the Brit she married). A published classicist turned stay-at-home mom of four (including twins), Lauren thinks less about the Greeks these days and more about parenting, the tragedy and comedy alike.She blogs at and is the debate editor for Brain, Child Magazine.