We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2017 Teacher and Librarian Scholarships! Each year we award individuals who are making a positive impact upon readers in their communities. We hope that participation in our literary community will inspire fresh engagement with literature in schools and libraries around the country.
Scholarship winners receive a full waiver of the Seminar registration fee and are provided financial assistance toward lodging costs.
We had many strong applicants this year, and have selected the following qualified recipients. Thank you to all who applied and congratulations to our winners—keep up the good work!
Amelia Blanquera is a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow in the Columbia University School of the Arts and a Teaching Assistant in the Writing Center at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She is also an adjunct instructor at the NYU School of Professional Studies, where she teaches creative writing in the Access Program. As a nonfiction writer, she is writing about the legal battles of the late 1990s that resulted in the preservation of New York City’s 600+ community gardens.
Alissa Landram Boyd is an Adult Services Manager at Live Oak Public Libraries, the Savannah, GA, organization she has worked with for more than seventeen years. Her professional passions include musical storytelling, community partnership opportunities, and emphasis on the importance of public libraries as community fixtures. She holds an undergraduate degree from Armstrong State University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina.
Maria Bragonier is a public Waldorf high school teacher. Her twenty-five-year career in education has included teaching at-risk students in Los Angeles, working with Alzheimer’s patients in Wisconsin, and now her pioneering work as an educator developing one of the first Waldorf high schools in America. Maria has found that literature and the examination of human values, diversity, and power are at the heart of her vocation and life.
Sherilyn was raised on a Native American reservation in northern Minnesota. After completing college at the University of Minnesota, she returned to the reservation and worked as a teacher and librarian at the local Bureau of Indian Affairs school. After fifteen years in central Florida, Sherilyn returned to northern Minnesota where she manages the Bemidji Public Library. Sherilyn is a foster parent to four children, and is committed to helping her community and Tribe.
Jenny Emery Davidson
Jenny Emery Davidson is the executive director of the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho. Previously, she taught in the English department and served as an administrator for the College of Southern Idaho, a community college. She holds a doctorate degree in American Studies from the University of Utah.
Lisa-Erika James is a tenured high school teacher with the New York City Department of Education and has taught Theater, Spanish and English for fourteen years. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from Columbia University’s Theater Directing program, and as a professional theater director she has directed over forty productions.
Kristin Kelly is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Georgia. Her current research concerns the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially as reflected in the poetry and prose of combat veterans. She has contributed to journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine;War, Literature and the Arts; and The Examined Life.
Kristie Betts Letter
Kristie teaches Hamlet to teenagers in a public school and plays a mean game of pub trivia. Her fiction has been recognized by Best American Small Fictions 2017, and published in journals including The Massachusetts Review, Washington Square, The North Dakota Quarterly, and The Southern Humanities Review. KT literary represents her work.
Rachel Luria is an Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Wilkes Honors College, and two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project. A recent Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, her work has appeared in The Normal School, Harpur Palate, Saw Palm, Dash Literary Journal, and others. She is also a co-editor of the anthology Neil Gaiman and Philosophy.
Carmen Marroquin was born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a public school English Teacher in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Her goal is to ignite a passion for literature in her students.
Kristine Mietzner has taught basic skills at a California state prison, memoir writing at adult schools, and facilitated writing groups in Northern California. Her writing has been published in Your Life is a Trip, Litro New York, and the anthology,Something That Matters: Life, Love, and Adventures in the Middle of the Journey.
JC Moya teaches World Literature, International Relations, and Comparative Politics at Immaculata LaSalle High School in Coconut Grove, Florida. His focus on African studies, gender studies, and comparative genocide form a unique and memorable curriculum for his students. JC spent part of this summer in Rwanda, conducting research on the ongoing process of post-genocide justice, reconciliation, and reconstruction.
Kelly Navies is an oral historian and librarian. After a productive career in the Washington DC Public Library as a Special Collections Librarian/Oral Historian, she recently joined the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as a Museum Specialist, Oral Historian. Navies is also a published poet who studied with June Jordan as a student at UC Berkeley.
Kimarlee Nguyen grew up in Revere, Massachusetts, and received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. She is a full-time English teacher at The Brooklyn Latin School. Recently, she received her MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Her fiction has appeared in Drunken Boat, Hyphen Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Flash Fiction Magazine.
Adeline Oka is a prison educator, writer, editor, and communications strategist, with extensive international work experience in the legal, education, media, and non-profit sectors. A recipient of the Fulbright grant, Adeline holds a master’s in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a bachelor’s in English and Political Science from Amherst College.
Amanda Pauley works as a Circulation Specialist on the Access Services team for McConnell Library at Radford University. She completed a master’s degree in Liberal Studies in 2008, and a MFA in Creative Writing in 2014, both at Hollins University. She also writes and publishes short fiction and is a member of the New River Valley Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist program.
Julianne Tillis is a Youth Services librarian for Cabell County Public Library in Huntington, West Virginia. She is also a writer, book review blogger (amongtheauthors.com), and the leader of the Wicked Wordsmiths of the West writing group.
Jacqueline Trimble lives in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is an Associate Professor of English and chairperson of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. A current Cave Canem fellow and recipient of a 2017 literary arts fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, she is also the author of American Happiness, published by NewSouth Books.