About the editors
The Renaissance Woman started out with a group of girlfriends, a night of ideas (and wine) and throwing together loose change to purchase a domain name. We took lunch breaks, nights, weekends and perhaps sacrificed a little sleep to make this idea into a reality. We just wanted to create a space for pure inspiration. A place where you don’t have to feel like “you’re the only one,” a place to read about real-life role models, and a platform to share YOUR story. We are in no way a “she-woman” man haters club, but we do believe it is hard — and more exciting than ever — to be a woman in this day and age. We need to help each other navigate.
Read our bios below to learn more about the editors and founders of the blog.
Becca Burton is a curious storyteller who lives a double life.
In her day job, she is a communications coordinator for a coastal research organization called Florida Sea Grant. Here, she combines her love of marine biology and journalism to help share the stories of marine scientists across the state.
By night, she is a circus arts instructor/performer at S-Connection Aerial Arts in Gainesville, Fla. She performs acts with hula hoops, trapeze, lyra and aerial silks.
Becca’s background is in science journalism. She received her bachelor’s in journalism and minor in marine biology from Florida International University and her master’s in science communication from the University of Florida. She was a freelance reporter for the Miami Herald for two years where she covered the local, environmental and health beats.
“I was ecstatic to help start the Renaissance Woman because I have always sought out the advice of women I find inspirational to learn “how they do it.” I think an outlet like this can only be a good thing for women everywhere.”
When Heather was five her parents asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she replied matter-of-factly “a white, faux fur coat.” Her mother didn’t have one, neither did any of the other girls in her Kindergarten class, where this desire came from no one knew. Her parents learned two things: style is inborn and this girl knows exactly what she wants.
Years later she started a blog entitled “Miss Priss 101.” “Miss Priss” was a term she had been called by someone with a negative tone in their voice, she embraced what was supposed to be an insult, turned that negative into a positive and soon after was given her own column in a local newspaper.
Heather has been a contributor to multiple publications including: Slenderbread Magazine, Brink Magazine, Insite Magazine, and Fashion Parkway.
She currently works full time in public affairs while mothering three poodles. She is a former mentor with Take Stock in Children.
Her goals for the year are to learn to sew and to take up painting even if the outcomes are hideous.
“The idea of The Renaissance Woman” came to me after a lifetime of culminating events. I’ve met so many extraordinary women who juggle so many things at once. We have things to learn from each other, we should help one another instead of always viewing everyone as competition.”
Hannah O. Brown is a journalist, instructor and food enthusiast. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Florida studying interdisciplinary ecology. She has worked as a professional journalist since 2010 in news outlets including the Associated Press, Gainesville Sun, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Poynter Institute and the Lake City Reporter.
She has a master’s in journalism from the University of Florida, has studied oral history techniques at the University of Mississippi and digital photography at the University of Montana. Hannah has a bachelor’s in psychology from New College of Florida, where she studied animal cognition. She has experience as an animal researcher, working with animals such as chimpanzees, manatees, dolphins and lemurs.
Ashley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida, where she studied photography and business. She currently works as a photo editor for The New York Times News Service.
“One summer, on a whim, I bid on the contents of an abandoned storage locker, and got it! I became the new parent of an old Pentax – fully manual, and fully terrifying – camera. It was dusty and still had old film in it. After some trial-and-error shooting, the relic – as my professor called it – proved still functional; and I enrolled in a black-and-white film photography course at Santa Fe College in 2007, the rest is history.”
Since then, Ashley has worked as a portrait and wedding photographer and freelanced for publications around north Florida. In her free time she practices aerial acrobatics and studies yoga.
“I’ve always felt like women are expected to be everything for everyone at all times, and to do it with a smile! There is so much pressure from the world and, most of all, from ourselves. I think we could all use some daily inspiration and empowerment. That’s what the Renaissance Woman is for me.”
Anna Hamilton is a radio producer, oral historian and communications coordinator. She received a BA in Humanities from New College of Florida and an MA in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi.
Anna lived abroad for a year on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, and has since worked for organizations like NOAA, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and NPR. Currently she is a communications assistant at UF’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, and am the project director of Matanzas Voices, a multimedia oral history project sharing the stories of life along northeast Florida’s Matanzas River.