Michelle Murrain received her B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics from Bennington College, and her Ph.D. in Biology from Case Western Reserve University. She was an HIV/AIDS educator and advocate in the early part of the HIV epidemic in Cleveland, OH, and was part of training hotline workers that staffed the first statewide HIV/AIDS Information hotline. Michelle taught at Hampshire College from 1989 through 1999, as Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology. She conducted studies primarily on the AIDS epidemic, particularly as it affected women and people of color. She was also involved in AIDS education and advocacy during the first half of the 1990s. She was involved in several grant-funded projects to enhance in-service science education for educators in the region, particularly in terms of use of technology in the classroom. She helped organize two conferences on technology in education, in 1998 and 1999.

In 1995, Michelle started a consulting practice that served the non-profit and educational sectors, primarily in the areas of developing database-driven web-sites, the implementation of Open Source software, and strategic technology planning. She was a nationally recognized leader in the nonprofit technology field. She was on the steering committee of the Non Profit Open Source Initiative (NOSI), and was a member of the boards of NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network, and of Aspiration, an organization that fosters software development in the nonprofit/NGO sector. Michelle has written many articles and reports for scholarly journals, educational and nonprofit audiences, and the public.

Michelle is a published poet, and a writer of speculative fiction. In 2005, Michelle wanted to explore theological issues, and incorporate them into her life and work. She went to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, and received her Certificate in Theological Studies in December of 2006. In 2014, Michelle co-founded Conscious Girlfriend, with her partner, Ruth Schwartz, a service that helps lesbians and queer women have conscious, fulfilling relationships.

Curriculum Vitae



2005-2006 Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA 94709
Certificate of Theological Studies

1991-1993 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003
Graduate Courses in Epidemiology and Public Health

1981-1987 Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
Ph.D. degree in Biology, May 1987


1977-1981 Bennington College, Bennington, VT 05201
B.A. degree in Natural Science and Math, June 1981


Positions Held

Co-Founder, Conscious Girlfriend, 2014-present
Science Fiction Writer, 2006-present
Technology Consultant to Non-profit organizations, 1996-2014
Associate Professor of Biology, Hampshire College, 1995-1999
Acting Director, Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, Fall 1998
Acting Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Hampshire College, Spring 1996
Assistant Professor of Biology, Hampshire College, 1989-1995
Post Doctoral Fellow, Colorado State University, 1987-1989



Honors and Fellowships

Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, 1997-1999
James E. Blackwell Distinguished Black Scholar, 1992
Graduate Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University, 1981-1987



Selected Grants Awarded

Co-Prinicpal investigator, NIH Science Education Partnership Award, 1995-1998. For dissemination and evaluation of Hampshire’s partnership programs for pre-college science.
Co-Investigator, NIH/ADAMHA Science Education Partnership Award, 1991-1994. For an educational partnership program between Hampshire College and the Holyoke and Chicopee school systems.



Academic/Professional Publications

Murrain, M. Open Office: Open Source Productivity Application. Lasa ICT Hub Knowledgebase. August, 2007
Murrain, M. Database Options for the Macintosh. Lasa ICT Hub Knowledgebase. July 2007
Murrain, M. Still Searching for the Holy Grail of Data Integration. NTEN Connect, June 2007
Murrain, M. Open Content for Nonprofits. Third Sector New England e-bulletin. May, 2007
Murrain, M. Let’s Talk: How Open APIs Can Change How Nonprofits Manage Data. Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. March, 2007
Murrain, M. with R. Cowan, R. Silvers, A. Schneiderman, A. Hickman and J. McClelland. Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A primer for Nonprofits. Non Profit Open Source Initiative:2004
Murrain, M. and Verclas, K. “Using Open Source Software in Your Nonprofit Organization” Dot Org Media #11: February, 2004
Murrain, M. and Cohen, D. “Infrastructure Outsourcing for Nonprofit Organizations” Dot Org Media: Adopting Technology Series: 2003
Murrain, M. “Open Source Database Technologies”, TechSoup, April 2002
Chase, J. Bruno, M. Murrain, M. and Chase, C. School/College Partnerships: Inquiry Based Science and Technology for all students and Teachers, 1997
Murrain, M.and Barker, T. (1997) Investigating the Link Between Economic Status and HIV Risk. The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 8(4):416-23.
Murrain, M.(1996) Differential Survival in Blacks and Hispanics with AIDS. Ethnicity and Health., 1(4):373-82.
Murrain, M. “Caught in the Crossfire:Women and the Search for the Magic Bullet” in Gender Politics of HIV, Jennifer Manlowe and Nancy Goldstein, Eds. 1997 NY:NYU Press
Murrain, M. “My perspectives on Internet Resources for Health” in Dr. Tom Linden’s Guide to Online Medicine by Tom Linden, MD and Michelle Kienholz. NY:McGraw-Hill, 1995
Murrain, M. “Women of Color and AIDS: Gender, Race, Class and Science,” in Race and Ethnicity in America: Meeting the Challenge in the 21st Century, Gail Thomas, Ed. NY:Taylor and Francis, 1995
McNeal, Ann P. ; Murrain Michelle, “Tips on Writing a Library Research Paper.” College Teaching 43(1):1995
Murrain, M. (1994) What Womanist Science Would Look Like. The Womanist, 1(1):17-18
Murrain, M. (1993) Different Rates of Opportunistic Infections in Women with AIDS. J. Women’s Health. 2(3):243-250
Fletcher-Cruz, E., Koteen, E., Murrain, M., and Palladino, D. and “Women and AIDS: a Crisis in Western Massachusetts” a Report of the Western Massachusetts Women and AIDS Working Group, 1992
Murrain, M. “How AIDS Drugs Work” Positive Woman, December, 1991
Murrain, M., A.D. Murphy, L.R. Mills and S.B. Kater. (1990) Neuron-specific Modulation of Regenerative Outgrowth and Intracellular Calcium within the CNS of Helisoma. J. Neurobiol. 21(4):611
Mattson, M.P., M. Murrain, and P.B. Guthrie. (1990) Localized calcium influx orients axon formation in embryonic hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Dev. Brain Res. 52(1-2):201-9
Mattson, M.P., M. Murrain, P.B. Guthrie, and S.B. Kater. (1989) Fibroblast growth factor and glutamate: opposing roles in the generation and degeneration of hippocampal neuroarchitecture. J. Neurosci. 9(11):3728-3740
Murrain, M. and R.E. Ritzmann. (1988) Analysis of proprioceptive inputs to DPG interneurons in the cockroach. J. Neurobiol. 19 (6):552-570



Book Reviews

The Equity Equation:Fostering the Advancement of Women in the Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, for College Teaching, 1997
Handbook of Black American Health, for Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995



Invited Lectures

“Briding the Gap Between Social and Scientific Aspects of the AIDS Epidemic” Keynote Speech, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health HIV/AIDS Trainers Conference, Fall 1996
“Race, Class and HIV Risk” Swarthmore College, Spring 1996
“Caught in the Crossfire: Women and the Search for the Magic Bullet.” Brown University, Fall 1995
“Women and AIDS: Gender, Race and Class.” Framingham State College, Spring 1995
“Gender, Race and AIDS clinical trials.” Connecticut College, Fall 1994


Selected Conference Presentations

Norvig, L., Bates, J., Koltermann, M., Murrain, M. Building and Supporting Drupal Websites, NTEN NTC 2012
Murrain, M. Bates, J., Booth, I., Craner, J. Advanced Drupal Users Salon
Murrain, M.
Sustaining and Supporting Open Source, NTEN NTC 2004
Murrain, M. How to Decide to Implement Open Source Software, NTEN Boston, 2004
Murrain, M. Technology on A Shoestring. NTEN Roundup, 2003
Murrain, M. Open Source for Nonprofits: Is open source software an effective solution for the nonprofit sector? NTEN Roundup, 2003
Murrain, M., Bruno, M. and Campbell, D. Computers in Science Education, a pre- and in-service course for teachers. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, March 1997
Murrain, M. Wright, P. and Campbell D. Technology Resource Teams: Providing Training and Support for Teachers. Education Trust, November, 1997
Murrain, M and Goodman, A. “The Biology of Poverty” – an Undergraduate Course on Social Inequalities in Health, American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 1996
Murrain, M. HIV/AIDS and Socioeconomic Status: The Ignored Co-Factor. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, October 1995
Murrain, M. Expendable Women:Gender, Race and AZT. National Women’s Studies Association Conference, June 1995
Murrain, M. Class Race and Science: Implications for HIV Prevention in Women. Reversing the Trend:Strategies for HIV Prevention Among Minority Women. Texas A&M University, April 1995
Murrain, M. Survival of Women with AIDS: An Analysis of CDC Data. American Psychological Association: Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women’s Health: Creating an Agenda for the 21st Century, May 1994.
Murrain, M. Women and AIDS: Race, Gender and Science, Dissenting Ways of Knowing: Challenging Global Scientism, April 1994
Murrain, M. Scientific Research and the Burden of AIDS on African-American Women, in the panel: “The Cultural and Biological Dimensions of Global Change and Its Impact on Women in the African Diaspora,” 13th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, July 1993
Murrain, M., An Analysis of Epidemiological Data on Women and HIV: Implications for Practice and Policy, AIDS: The Second Decade — Update on Women and HIV, May 1992
Murrain, M., The Epidemiology of Opportunistic Infections in Women and Men with AIDS. Fifth National Forum on AIDS, Hepatitis and other Blood-Borne Diseases, April 1992
Maguire, E. and M. Murrain, The Effects of Low Molecular Weight Growth Factor on the Regeneration of an Identified Neuron in Helisoma trivolvis. East Coast Nerve Net, March 1992
Murrain, M., E. Koteen, and D. Palladino, Women and AIDS. Provisions II: Regional AIDS Conference, November 1991
Murrain, M., L.R. Mills and S.B. Kater. Visualization of Intracellular Calcium in Helisoma Neurons In Situ. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. Vol 14, part 1, p583, 1988.
Murrain, M. and R.E. Ritzmann, Characterization of proprioceptive inputs to DPG interneurons in the cockroach. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. Vol 12, part 2, p858 1986.
Murrain, M. and R.E. Ritzmann, Characterization of thoracic interneurons in the cockroach: Morphological and physiological analysis. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr., Vol 11, part 1, p164 1985.

Teaching activities training, June 2008
NinthBridge/EngenderHealth — “Linux Servers”, Summer 2002 (with Jamie McLelland)
Intec Netcourse (project of the Concord Consortium) Moderator, 1999-2000
Longmeadow Schools — “Microsoft Office for Teachers and Administrators”, Fall 1999 (with Paul Wright)
Springfield Public Schools Professional Development Program — “Advanced Internet: Web Page Design,” 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000
Springfield Public Schools Professional Development Program — “Applying Internet Skills in the Science Classroom,” Spring 1996
Springfield Public Schools Professional Development Program — “Science in Cyberspace,” Summer 1996
University of Massachusetts, Social Thought and Political Economy Program — STPEC 492H, “African American Health Issues,” Spring 1996
SEPA Summer Teacher Training Workshops, Hampshire College — “AIDS: An Interdisciplinary Perspective,” Summer 1994
Howard Hughes Pre-College Science Workshop, Hampshire College — “Environment and Health: The Effect of Lead on Childhood Behavior,” Fall 1993
SEPA Summer Teacher Training Workshops, Hampshire College — “Drugs in the Nervous System” with Ann McNeal, Summer 1992
Grass Foundation Neurobiology Exchange Program, Brock University — Guest taught a week of Neurobiology Lecture and Laboratory, Spring 1991
Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Five College Neuroscience and Behavior Program — Supervised student research, Summer 1991
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Program at Hampshire College — Taught and supervised student research, Summers 1990, 1991
“Women in Science,” Women’s Studies Program, Colorado State University, Fall 1988
Invited Lecturer: “Neurobiology: Discovering the Cellular Machinery of the Mind, ” Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Colorado State University, Spring 1989


Other Activities

Board of Directors, NTEN 2007-2012
List CoManager – UUBF-L (UU Buddhist Fellowship) 2003-2005
Board of Directors, Aspiration 2004-2005, 2008-2013
Steering Committee, Nonprofit Open Source Initiative 2001-present
Advisory Board, Public Interest Technology Project 1994-2000
Steering Committee, Five Colleges Women Studies Research Center 1994-1996
Coordinator, Hampshire College Feminist Studies Program 1994-1995
Co-Editor, Feminists in Science and Technology Newsletter 1992-1995
Western Massachusetts Women and AIDS Network
Co-Chair 1993-1995
Founding member 1991-1995
Board of Trustees, Institute for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies 1991-1996
AIDS/HIV Information Trainer and Consultant 1985-1999
Co-Moderator, Sci.Med.AIDS Usenet Newsgroup 1993-1999
Sci.Med.AIDS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Maintainer 1994-1999
List Manager — Minority Health Internet Mailing List 1992-1999
Board of Directors, Cleveland Gay and Lesbian Community Center 1985-1987