Stephany has over ten years of experience in the herbal field, although her children might tell you over twenty based on their upbringing. She began her career as a self-educated folk healer, selling ointments and herbal blends in her community. She eventually decided to pursue a conventional education culminating in a Bachelor’s degree from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont where she studied clinical herbalism, ethnobotany and ecological design.
At Goddard, Stephany embraced the philosophy of the college’s health arts and science program that bridging nature, culture and healing is a necessary aspect of an integrated approach to wellness. Having this perspective has allowed her to meld the historical practice of community healers with the modern scientific research in a unique manner. Her thesis, “Reviving the Bean Feasa: Building Resilient Communities through Folk Healing” is a culmination of that work and is available to HANE students upon request. After a brief break from school, she will be returning to Goddard in February to finish her Master's degree.
In addition to working as a healer in her community and offering a local apprenticeship program, Stephany is part-time learning facilitator at Kirkwood Community College where she teaches continuing education classes on herbal self-care and preparation. She also presents at various herbal conferences, including the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference and the Traditions in Western Herbalism conference. Some readers might recognize her as the friendly face behind the registration table at TWHC, as she is also the event manager for that conference. In October, Stephany will be presenting at her first AHG Symposium.
Stephany has maintained her own website at www.naturallysimple.org for over ten years now. She writes for various herbal publications including The Essential Herbal Magazine, Plant Healer Magazine and Natural Herbal Living Magazine.
Stephany’s personal passion is gardening. She is certified through Iowa State University as a Master Gardener-her amateur interest in gardening is what led her to study ecological design in college. Part of her senior project including the design and implementation of her own ecologically designed teaching garden, Faoi na Fuinseoige, which she lovingly refers to as “Faoi”. When she is not busy in her own garden, she devotes her volunteer time to various community gardening initiatives including a local edible food forest and a school garden project.