Your Commissioners

The Commissioners on the Cape Cod and Islands Commission on the Status of Women have diverse backgrounds, interests and perspectives. Together, these Commissioners, all unique in their own way, work together to ensure that issues held dear by women on Cape Cod and the Islands are heard and addressed. Read about their eclectic backgrounds here:

Chair: Penelope Duby has been a resident of Falmouth since 2004, retired public health and educational assessment researcher and educator. Worked in public health as coordinator of AIDS education, director of assessment and as a specialist in alternative assessment in the Philadelphia Public schools, and as a trainer for alternative mathematics assessment in Cambridge as a learning and assessment Currently the Chair of SWIFT: Supporting Women in Financial Transition, member of MA Coalition on Equal Pay, serve on the Falmouth Democratic Town committee and convene and coordinate several virtual women’s communities designed to encourage voter registration, voting and civic participation as well as provide status updates on legislation that affects women’s lives. I also moderate a forum on issues of privilege that collects and disseminates resources that may be helpful in diversity training, addressing issues of sexism, gender discrimination, and racism. Received B.S from the Drexel University, M.S.Ed in gerontology and MPH in community public health from Temple University. The three issues that concern me most are the economic security of older women living on Cape Cod, legislative change to address concerns of women such as health, family leave, caregiver policies and access to education and training.

Vice Chair: Marie Doubleday represents Martha's Vineyard

Archivist: Alice Bowen Alice Bowen is a retired Assistant Principal and Math, Computer Teacher from the Worcester Public Schools who retired to Cape Cod ten years ago. She is a Gold Award mentor for the Cape Cod Area for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, is a member of the Cape Cod Branch AAUW, is a Commissioner on the Cape Cod and Islands Status of Women Commission, and serves on the Town of Yarmouth Personnel Board. Alice holds a B. S. and two M.S. degrees from Worcester State College, now Worcester State University, and studied in the doctoral program at Clark University. She resides in Yarmouth.

Recording Secretary: Dr. Susan C. Gardner is the Deputy Science and Research Director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA where she has been employed since 2012. After earning a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in 1995, Dr. Gardner spent 10 years in Mexico conducting research on sea turtle conservation. During that time period she worked as a volunteer and professional doula (birthing coach) in Mexico and developed educational materials both in English and Spanish to help prepare and empower women during labor and maternity. She returned to the United States in 2006 to work at the U.S. Department of State where a particularly rewarding focus of her career was serving as the lead for the Department of State on foreign policy to advance women and girls in science including working with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the U.N. Economic and Social Council. In recognition of her work, Dr. Gardner has received a Meritorious Honor Award and a Superior Honor Award from the Department of State and a Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Media/Outreach: Janet Joakim (emerita) is a retired Barnstable Town Councilor serving full term limits, 12 years and recently finished a degree she began in 1980, a bachelors in Social Justice Advocacy and Public Policy. As councilor she was liaison to the Barnstable Council on Aging and the Barnstable Community Preservation Committee for 12 years and spent many years working with other councilors, school committee members and school and town administrators to bridge the relationship between Barnstable's school and municipal governments and administrations on a team that ultimately created a combined finance office and developed shared policies. She has been concerned about issues involving seniors, struggling families, open space water protection and women and has sponsored related local legislation and advocated at the state and national level. Janet was the chair of a Cape-wide committee to change school funding and once appeared as part of a cover-story for a local magazine profiling powerful women. She has worked on many political campaigns from volunteer to coordinator and is passionate about encouraging women to run for office and is currently a member of the Cape Women's Coalition seeking to achieve that goal. Janet owned a successful website design, development and marketing company for 12 years.

Helen Bresnahan (emerita) has been a CCICSW Commissioner since its establishment. A retired schoolteacher for over 25 years, she received her B.A. in Education and an M.A. in Student Personnel Services from New Jersey City University. Her postgraduate research study was in the vocational choice of 11-12 year old girls. Living as a child on fragile Cape Cod, she was aware of the effects water had on her surroundings. Retiring on Cape Cod, she volunteered for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, an environmental non-profit. In the capacity of volunteer, she tested and sampled river water flowing into the Buzzards Bay watershed. This experience led to her position on the Bourne Pollution Committee and the Study Committee of the Bourne Rotary Land Use Task Force. She was a docent at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Presently, she is Chair of the League of Women Voters of the Cape Cod Area membership Committee, and past Chair of the Legislative Committee. Helen is a ham radio operator (call sign N1HVB) with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service at Falmouth Hospital. Her present interests include housing for incarcerated women with addiction. She lives with her husband in Centerville and is caretaker to her grandson.

Corresponding Secretary: Tracy Johnson 

Treasurer: Joan Walsh Freedman

Liz Rabideau

Tina Games

Deb Bryant 

Laura Innis

Dr. Susan Cushing

Katia Regina Dacunha

Marie Younger Blackburn is the owner of Simply Black & White Events and Creator and Planner of Cape Cod’s Conference for Women entitled Driven. She attended Johnson & Whales University as well as certificate programs at Cape Cod Community College, and is certified in both Public Housing Management and Human Services. Marie is an Alumnus of the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) as well as a current board member of both the Cape Cod YMCA, and the Cape and Islands Wedding Group. She is also Vice Chair of Mashpee SEPAC. Marie's passion for community has earned her the title of Community Outreach Coordinator for the Sand Dollars Chapter BNI. Marie is the creator of the Driven Women Cable Show that will soon air on Falmouth Community Television. She is the former Chair of both the Mashpee Housing Authority and Falmouth Human Services. Marie lives with her husband and young son, 11-year-old Chase, who has Down syndrome, thus making her a staunch advocate for children with disabilities.

From l-r  front row, Tracy Johnson, Susan Gardner, Lauren Scribi, Exec. Dir, Women’s Legislator Caucus and MCSW comm, Susan Cushing, Tina Games, Helen Bresnahan, Emerita, Marydith Tuitt MCSW Commissioner,     Second row,  Joan Walsh Freedmen, Penelope Duby, Katia Regina Dacunha, Debbie Bryant, Laura Innis, Alice Bowen  (missing from the photo, CCICSW Commissioner Liz Rabideau and Janet Joakim, Emerita)
From L-R  Front row:
 Tracy Johnson, Susan Gardner,
 Lauren Scribi, Exec. Dir, Women’s Legislator Caucus and Massachusetts Commissioner, 
Susan Cushing, Tina Games, Helen Bresnahan, Emerita, 
Marydith Tuitt Massachusetts Commissioner,

Second row:
Joan Walsh Freedmen, Penelope Duby, 
Katia Regina Dacunha, Debbie Bryant, 
Laura Innis, Alice Bowen
(missing from the photo, Liz Rabideau, Marie Younger Blackburn, Janet Joakim, Emerita)