Stephanie Scott is a public relations specialist in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Office of Alumni Relations and Development. In this role, Stephanie researches, writes, and designs communications targeting alumni and friends who provide philanthropic support to the college. These communications include gift acknowledgments, impact reports, and institute and center updates. Stephanie also serves as the copy editor to Associate Dean B. Richard Page and the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies office.
Bellamarie is the Executive Director of the ACRES Project, a growing community designed by adults with autism for adults with autism. The ACRES Project (Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Central Pennsylvania. This unique team consists of people with autism, educators, parents, and community members working together to meet the social, vocational, and residential needs of adults with autism. ACRES provides a nurturing environment to help individuals build a foundation for a productive, independent life.
By fostering social, vocational, and self-advocacy skills, ACRES helps individuals optimize their potential to develop practical life skills, increase social capacity, and transition to work and independence. Bellamarie welcomes the opportunity to speak with students about the role that writing plays in the ACRES curriculum and how it empowers members to find and express their unique voices, as well as about the importance of considering accessibility and accommodations in writing.
Nena is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Invent Penn State, an initiative started by President Barron intended to drive job creation, economic development, and student career success. In her role she leads brand identity, website development, online technologies, print, media relations and social media strategy and execution for Invent Penn State, LaunchBox, and numerous programs that support student, faculty and community innovators, makers and doers in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. She previously held similar brand, program, product and service building roles for the Sheetz Corporation (convenience restaurant) and AIRWALK International (snowboarding, skateboarding, active casual footwear and apparel).
Heather is, among many other wonderful things, a scholar, writer, blogger, wife, and mother of two girls. She graduated from the University of Virginia and then went on to finish her PhD in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She teaches college writing courses—both Freshman Composition and Advanced Writing—at Penn State. She serves on the staff of Cru with her husband, who is the Executive Director of Graduate Student Ministries at Penn State. She is also the author of six books that encourage writers and teachers to reflect on spiritual principles in everyday life: How to Write with Flair; Live with Flair: Seasons of Worship and Wonder; Seated with Christ; Guarded by Christ; Included in Christ; and Chosen for Christ. Additionally, Heather runs a vibrant, active blog titled Live with Flair (inspired by her first book How to Write with Flair), in which she explores the ways that we can make every day joyful and meaningful just as we can make a sentence beautiful with the right verb and punctuation. Heather would be delighted to talk with students about her writing habits, securing an agent and working with publishers, and marketing, among other topics.
Ali is the author of Where Hope Lives, a debut memoir that tells the story of Ali’s entry into the adrenaline-fueled world of firefighting, within which she reflects on the fire storm of opposition to her gender and competence that took place in a small Pennsylvania town. Today, Ali is a firefighter, emergency medical technician, a self-published author, a business owner, an inspirational speaker, a mental health advocate, a suicide prevention instructor, a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor, and a sexual assault and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder survivor. Cultivating her voice after experiencing trauma has given Ali the opportunity to let people battling their own trauma find their voice too.
In 2012, Ali founded Hope Lives Publishing, a company that she created with goal of offering grounded and passionate authors a platform to bring their stories to the page. Additionally, Ali facilitates the Where Hope Lives Empowerment Workshops, a four-part interactive program that is designed to cover different topics including mental health education, overcoming obstacles, self-advocacy, and the importance of seeking help if it’s needed. Ali has presented to numerous conferences and organizations on topics including PTSD, post-traumatic growth, empowerment and resilience, social justice, gender equality, rape culture, mental health, suicide prevention, entrepreneurship, and self-publishing. Ali also runs an active blog at aliwarrenhope.tumblr.com.
Cody is a technical communicator and statistician who wants to help people collect the right data and analyze it to make informed decisions. His specialities include statistics, technical communication, statistical reliability, JMP, SAS, and writing for translation.
Andrew currently works for Parsons. He has held a number of roles in engineering and EPCM consulting companies over the last 30+ years; he credits clear and effective communication as the catalysts for his mobility, both horizontally and vertically. He has held both technical and business management roles, domestically and internationally, in the areas of engineering, contracts, finance, accounting, HR, safety, and quality.
As a guest speaker, Andrew is most interested in focusing on career communication topics related to job search, reading and interpreting position requests, resumes, cover letters, interview tips, and working in global teams. He is open to answering any questions from students and wandering in any of the directions toward which they are interested in steering the conversation. Because Andrew lives in South Carolina and works in North Carolina, he joins classes remotely via video conferencing.
Karen is a Professor in the School of Visual Arts and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Penn State. She has received a National Art Education Foundation grant (2017-2018), a National Science Foundation grant (2010-2012), and two Fulbright Faculty Scholar grants for research in Finland and Austria, as well as other grants for research in Uganda and Ecuador. Her work focuses on transdisciplinary creativity, inclusion, eco-social justice art education, feminist art pedagogy, data visualization, transcultural dialogue, and cyberart activism. She engages in feminist theory and methodologies and creates virtual spaces to raise issues of the politics of representation, identity, and social disparity. By problematizing cultural inscriptions and highlighting contextualized signifiers that people use to invest meaning in images, she explores social and personal transformative possibilities through virtual interactive environments and 360-degree video immersive experiences. Karen would be a fantastic candidate to speak on any topics related to strategies for transcultural web-based discourse, issues of diversity, and advocacy.