Carolyn Phillips, Co-Founder

Carolyn Phillips, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2002 and received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of New Mexico College of Nursing in 2011. She is a board certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and is also an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner.

Ms. Phillips’ entire career has been in oncology, as a bedside nurse, nurse practitioner, educator and leader. In addition to her clinical work, she is passionate about research and has conducted two studies looking at the communication between people with cancer and their care teams with the use of survivorship care plans.

In 2015, she received the Innovative Ideas in Healthcare Award from SVH Support in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ms. Phillips used the grant funds to build the infrastructure for a Community Nursing Research Center at the community oncology clinic in Santa Fe. In addition, she piloted her program idea, Songs for the Soul, with a group of seven courageous nurses in New Mexico.

Currently, Ms. Phillips is a PhD student at the University of Texas-Austin, School of Nursing, and is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. Her current research focuses on professional grief, the impact on the care-giver and care-receiver, and interventions aimed to help healthcare professionals process the grief and suffering they see in their work in order to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue. 

 Phillips is also one-half of the Austin-based duo, Hardened and TemperedTheir debut album, The Trailer Sessions, was released on May 19, 2017.


Jane Gillman

Washington, DC native Jane Gillman was raised by a writer mother and classical pianist father, who first instilled in her an understanding of the power of song and its role as a personal and cultural expression. 

Ms Gillman’s life long journey as a musical artist and writer began in high school in the basement of the Library of Congress, home to the American Folklife Center, where storied Director Joe Hickerson introduced her to record collections and reels of microfilm documenting American traditional folk music and its singers. She began performing these songs on guitar and harmonica at 15 at the Red Fox Inn, a folk club just down the road.

The University of Texas’ Anthropology and Folklore Department brought Ms Gillman to Austin. While still in college, she joined the highly regarded band Eaglebone Whistle (Philo Records), and before she graduated, she was a full time musician. Since that time, she has released nine albums of original folk music (Rounder Records; Green Linnet Records) and has toured throughout the world as a songwriter, band member, musical theatre multi-instrumentalist, Musical Director, teacher and adjunct professor.

Recent projects include “I Love Taxicabs at Night,” a music video juxtaposing young urban dancers and traditional mountain instruments; Bad Dino an “urban field recording” featuring 15 original children’s songs performed by over 25 musical artists from the diverse neighborhoods of Austin, Texas; and HooPeru, a video montage of Ms Gillman’s excursion to a remote Andes textile weaving village to deliver hula hoops and supplies for making them, bringing joy to the children of the community.


Maria Stansberry

Maria has almost 20 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience at both fortune 100s, like Amazon and Dell, and Austin start-ups such as Bazaarvoice and Umbel, where she was most recently the Senior Director of Product Marketing.  She earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA in English (Creative Writing) and Psychology from Vanderbilt University.  Her academic background is a weird combination, but she’s found that the power of storytelling—whether in a piece of fiction or a corporate strategy—has the power to change people and organizations.  This was why she was drawn to Songs for the Soul. 

Maria is passionate about continuing to carve out creative career paths.  She currently consults part-time in order to make room for kiddo shenanigans and fun of all sorts.  She and her husband Warren raise their three young daughters, Sadie, Pippi and Clementine in Austin.  She loves dancing and woodworking.



Program Development Director, Vanderbilt Program In Inter-professional Learning (VPIL)