Kelly Birkett is an Earth and Physical science teacher at Hayfield High School, and she lives in Stewartville, Minnesota. She has been teaching science for 13 years, six of which occurred in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, which is located in a suburb of Philadelphia. Kelly received her BSED in Earth and Space Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she also did a bit of graduate work in the physical sciences. In the near future, Kelly hopes to begin to pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership or school counseling.

Melissa Brandt is the Students In Transition Coordinator for Rochester Public Schools. She holds an MA in Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Heidi Burns has spent the last fourteen years teaching composition and introductory literature courses at various universities and colleges in the Midwest. She completed her graduate work at Iowa State University and has been a loyal Cyclones fan since. Her passion for student learning is the driving factor in everything she does in the classroom. She can be reached at

Mike P. Cook  is an Assistant Professor of English Education at Millikin University, where he teaches and coordinates courses for the English Education program. He has done research and presented on using graphic novels, multimodal texts, and gaming as literacy sponsors in middle and high school ELA classrooms. His work involves engaging all students by integrating relevant reading, writing, and technology to produce fully-literate 21st century digital citizens and preparing pre-service English Language Arts teachers to provide effective and meaningful literacy instruction and to be intentional agents of change. His publications include Minnesota English Journal, the Journal of College Literacy and Learning, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @mikepcook.

Luke Daly writes and teaches creative writing and composition in Western New York. Recent poetry appears in Subtropics, Comstock Review, and Architrave Press.  His teaching philosophy centers on helping students experience threshold concepts of writing.

Matthew Gremo is a Junior English Education major with an endorsement in English as a Second Language.  At Millikin, Matthew acts as the president of English Club, Sigma Tau Delta, the Alumni Relations Chair for Delta Sigma Phi, a Resident Assistant for Blackburn Hall, a student worker for Millikin’s English Language Center, a writing consultant for Millikin’s Writing Center, and an editor for Millikin’s Premier Writers.  Outside of traditional academics, it is Matthew’s goal to discover new ways of integrating gaming and graphic literature into the English Language Arts classroom.

Mary Jo Kerekes teaches technology-related business classes at Fairmont Junior/Senior High School as a community expert.  She has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico and is currently working toward her Minnesota teaching license at Winona State University.

Barbara Lehman is Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University, where she taught children’s literature and literacy courses at the Mansfield Campus for 28 years. Her scholarly focus is on global and multicultural literature, and her most recent book, Creating Books for the Young in the New South Africa: Essays on Authors and Illustrators of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (co-edited with Jay Heale, Anne Hill, Thomas van der Walt & Magdel Vorster), was published by McFarland in 2014. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in South Africa in 2004-2005 and most recently lived in Taiwan in 2015.

Michael MacBride is an adjunct English/Humanities/Literature instructor teaching within a 90-mile radius of Shakopee, Minnesota. He’s a 19th-century American Lit guy by formal training, a self-taught “Comics” guy, and a lover of Latin American literature. He teaches a little bit of everything. Michael can be reached at

Ryan Morgan is a Junior English Education major with Middle School and Special Education endorsements at Millikin University. Special Education is a particularly fond interest of Ryan’s and will be the focus her James Millikin Scholars Research Project over the next two years. On campus, she is an editor for both Millikin’s Premier Writers and Collage, and is a writing consultant at the Millikin University Writing Center. She participates in the Long-Vanderburg Scholars program and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Tau Delta (VP), and Phi Kappa Phi.

Adrienne Rische is an undergraduate communication arts and literature teacher candidate at Winona State University. Her focus is on working with multicultural youth and families and continually works on school and community based projects that address issues of equity.

Jennifer Simpson is an Assistant Professor in the Leadership Studies department at University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Simpson has been a “Reading First” state trainer, and presented at state education conferences including the Kentucky Association of School Councils and the Kentucky Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts. She has participated in the Kentucky Leadership Network for Language Arts endeavor to incorporate literacy in all content areas since the inception of Senate Bill 1. In 2009, she was recognized by the Kentucky House of Representatives for her work in literacy in Kentucky.  She has also been published in regional, national, and international journals on leadership, and literacy topics.

Jongsun Wee is an associate professor in the college of education at Winona State University, Winona, MN. She teaches literacy education methods and children’s literature classes and her research interests include multicultural children’s literature, literature discussion, and teacher education. She can be reached at