Margo Schlanger is the Henry M. Butzel Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. She founded and runs the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Her teaching and research relate to constitutional law, torts, and civil rights—she teaches several classes relating to the criminal justice system and civil rights issues, and she is nationally known for her prison reform expertise. Professor Schlanger previously served as the presidentially appointed Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She earned her J.D. from Yale in 1993, and served as law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1993 to 1995.
Becky Shiring is the Director of Professional Development and Continued Education at Squirrels LLC. She is an innovative educator passionate about bringing relevant, engaging, and impactful professional development to teachers and schools. Becky specializes in meaningful technology integration and has led workshops both nationally and at the district/school level. Examples of past workshop and presentations include: It’s Techxtrodinary: Free Tech Tools for Teachers, Rethinking Formative Assessment, and Increasing Rigor for ELLs. Becky earned her MA in International Education from The George Washington University and has worked with a diverse set of learners including adults, ELLs and young children. She is the 2015 recipient of the AALPD “Rising Star Award” which recognizes emerging talent and innovative contributions to literacy focused Professional Development. Becky is also a regular contributor to the blog Tech Tips Teachers and the WATESOL newsletter with her column “Gettin’ Techy with Becky”.
Hilary Parmentier is currently an English Faculty member and Department Chair at Florida Keys Community College. In the past five years, she has worked with colleagues to build a stronger communications base for the students, which includes researching and developing a Writing Center for FKCC students, faculty, and staff.
Previously, Hilary worked for eight years as a secondary education teacher in Michigan. She also attended the University of Michigan-Flint to obtain graduate degrees in Education and English. This is where she developed an interest in helping students succeed in high school and beyond.
As a classroom instructor and mentor, Hilary has been able to continue to work with students and faculty to improve writing across the curriculum. She is currently working to develop professional learning opportunities for both secondary education teachers and her fellow co-workers at FKCC. The Writing Center at FKCC has become a dynamic learning environment to help improve learning in all areas of the college.
Alaina Plowdrey is currently the Director of the Key West Education Center for Saint Leo University, an educator and a professional artist. She is an advocate for diverse learning and supervision techniques. Plowdrey’s professional philosophy includes a solid foundation in round discourse where each student and/or employee feels respectfully comfortable in contributing their own voice and experience to the greater whole. Plowdrey’s personal studio art encompasses two-dimensional representational figurative subject matter within an implied conversation between the viewer and metaphysical planes.
Plowdrey, currently residing in Key West, FL, was born in Michigan with an AFA from Delta College in University Center, BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MFA from the New York Academy of Art in lower Manhattan and will begin her Ph.D studies this fall in Philosophy with a focus in the visual arts and critical theory along with an individual research focus on neuroaesthetics from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.
Brenda Imber is an Instructor at the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is an analog gamer.
John Beals, is an Instructional Learning Senior at the University of Michigan Language Resource Center. He is a prodigal gamer.
Val Waldron is the Computer and Video Game Archive Manager at the University of Michigan. She is a tabletop gamer.
Phill Cameron is an Instructional Learning Intermediate at the University of Michigan Language Resource Center. He plays all kinds and genres of games.
Jennifer E. Killham
Jennifer E. Killham, Ph.D., has devoted over twenty years to fostering intellectual curiosity and divergent thinking through gameful learning. Each day, with zest and enthusiasm, she recommits herself to mentoring emerging talent in the games industry and teaching profession. Jennifer serves on the leadership team for the International Ambassador scholarship program, an organization that promotes diversity in the games industry for underserved regions of the world. In her university-level teaching, Jennifer works with early childcare providers to advance the transformative power of games. Together, alongside these dedicated educators, she reinvigorate learners through the power of play. Jennifer’s research combines gameful learning and resilience pedagogy, including the facilitation of an online character play used to develop conflict resolution strategies and the creation of a board game to address affluence and poverty in schooling. She is the author of “Unmasking the Mystique: Utilizing Narrative Character-Playing Games to Support English Language Fluency,” which appeared in the International Journal of Game-Based Learning, and the book chapter, “The Power of Feedback: Teachers and Parents Providing Social Motivations in Game-Based Learning” from the book Game-Based Learning and the Power of Play: exploring evidence, challenges and future directions. When not at work, she is often found playing Kyle Brockman’s hidden role game Witchhunt or liking pictures of pugs on Instagram. Connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferkillham/.
Luke Kane is an Outreach Specialist in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University (MSU). He is the Director of the MSU Media Summer Camps. His focus is to expand the pre-college program offerings in Game Design, Filmmaking, and Web Design, coordinate research in these areas, and further develop their curricula. Luke has worked with youth for over 10 years, doing research, instruction, and mentoring. His area of interest is in examining whether the experience of designing games has a positive impact on students’ computational thinking skills.
Brittany is an award-winning media creator, educator and community engagement aficionado with over seven years of experience. She is passionate about social justice and intersectional feminism. Graduating with her Masters in August from Michigan State University, she is looking forward to entering the professional world and partnering with people looking to make a difference. Connect with her at bsholmes.com or say hello at the Gathering.
Barbara D. Robertson
Barbara D. Robertson, MA, has been involved in education for over 28 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1988 and her Master’s in Education in Curriculum Development concentrating on alternative education in 1995 . Barbara had recently jumped back into the field of K-12 education and is currently developing a teacher training program for Clonlara School in Ann Arbor, MI which focuses on developmentally appropriate education. Barbara has developed a 90 hour professional lactation training as well, and is a speaker for hire on a wide variety of topics including Motivational Interviewing which is a subject she has specialized in for the past 8 years . She is currently an Associate Editor for Clinical Lactation, a journal she helped create. Barbara has free podcasts, a blog, and Youtube videos which can all be found on her website bfcaa.com. She has written many articles and created a phone app for working and breastfeeding mothers. Returning to her first love of education has been exciting and challenging.
Dr. Gersh began her career in education as an English teacher, spending the better part of 17 years in public, alternative settings serving high risk, low achieving young adults. In 2014 she completed a doctoral program at Wayne State University in Educational Evaluation and Research. She has long standing interests in social justice and the arts and has actualized these interests in the form of community-based activist theater, and middle-high school enrichment projects designed to raise awareness around women’s history. Dr. Gersh is a life-long Michigan resident and enjoys art, being outside whenever possible, and cooking prohibitively complicated dishes.
Innovator and futurist. After 15 years of classroom teaching in both private and public schools pk-adult, Carol earned her MA Ed in Curriculum and Technology. Since then, she’s added almost ten years experience as an Instructional Technologist / Trainer and now Director of Educational Technology. Carol is passionate about teaching and learning and always looking for new ways to help teachers and students engage with content in a relevant way that goes beyond the classroom walls. Her current projects (in addition to managing technology integration) include integrating design thinking in all areas of education; from classroom to administration, incorporating ISTE standards across the curriculum (k-12), and developing diocesan-wide k-12 digital citizenship curriculum.
Susanna Hapgood is an Associate Professor at the University of Toledo, Ohio. She loves to learn and is inspired by children’s capacities to think deeply when given an invitation. Susanna currently teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on literacy teaching and learning. Her research interests include the design of texts and experiences that foster young children’s content area literacy, particularly scientific literacy. For many years, Susanna was a children’s museum educator and she also taught English in Japan.
Martha M. Champa
Martha M. Champa is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Toledo, Ohio and an Intervention Specialist at Washington Local Schools, Toledo, Ohio. She is a teacher and is fascinated by her students. Through the years, Martha has taught young people in all grades (except for sophomores in high school): from grade 1 through graduate school. She currently prepares pre-service teachers in literacy at the University of Toledo. To keep herself grounded in day-to-day practice, she also teaches gifted middle school students at Washington Local Schools in Toledo, Ohio. She has been observing the effect of teaching content while incorporating creativity.