Founder, Executive Director
Kathy has been mentoring young writers since 2003 and is passionate about empowering others to tell their stories. She loves words and loves to teach. She has been pursuing this love all over the place -- from elementary schools in rural Japan to college classrooms in the American South to inner-city high schools in Washington, DC -- and with many different communities: adult literacy learners, refugees, gifted writers, reluctant writers, kids, teens, college students, those who've written many stories, and those who are writing their very first. Prior to founding Shout Mouse, Kathy was the DC Director for Writopia Lab as well as the regional affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards, through which her students have won national recognition every year. Her own writing has earned recognition from places like the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities as well as fellowships to writing programs in Kenya and Prague. Kathy received her BA from Duke University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She has also completed the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Georgetown University. Kathy is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and enjoys running, hiking, reading, traveling, and dreaming big dreams for Shout Mouse and its authors!
Lana is based in Washington, DC after living abroad for 17 years in London, Nairobi, and Paris. She has diverse work experience as a photographer, educator, television broadcaster, and creative director. In 1997, Lana founded Shootback – a youth photography and development project in the Nairobi slums that harnessed the creative voices of young Kenyans so they could tell their own stories. The youth’s powerful photos and words became the basis of a book, an international touring exhibition, a documentary film, and more. Over 15 years later, the project continues, offshoot slum photography and film groups have developed, and many Shootback students are now professional photographers and filmmakers. Inspired by this experience and her creative collaborations with international organizations, local NGOs, foundations, youth, and artists, Lana is thrilled to be working with Shout Mouse to utilize the power of words and images for advocacy, education, and development. Lana earned a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and a Master’s in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London.
Story Coach / Outreach Associate
Sarai Johnson is a 2014 graduate of Howard University, where she earned a BA in Print/Online Journalism and minored in English. She is currently an MA candidate in Literature at American University. Sarai has worked for several newspapers and magazines including The Indianapolis Star, DC Modern Luxury, and the Alexandria Gazette. She loves writing creative nonfiction and fiction, and reading everything. Her favorite authors are Haruki Murakami, Lorraine Hansberry and the writers who work with Shout Mouse.
Hayes Davis holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. He is a former Bread Loaf working scholar as well as a founding member of Cave Canem, a writer's center with a focus on African American poets and writers. His work has appeared in New England Review, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and several anthologies. Hayes teaches English at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, where he also serves as the Upper School Coordinator for Equity, Justice & Community. He is excited to work with Shout Mouse to promote diverse voices within children’s literature!
Marisa Kwaning is a writer, teacher, and editor who is passionate about cultivating and promoting diverse young voices in literature. As an educator, Marisa has developed curricula to strengthen the language arts skills of students from all walks of life. She has also facilitated writing workshops for non-profit organizations as well as for senior military personnel within the U.S. Department of Defense. Marisa is currently working on her first children’s book for middle grade readers: a fiction story, loosely based on her early childhood in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Marisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and Rhetoric from Pepperdine University and a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University. She is thrilled to be a part of the Shout Mouse Press community. You can connect with her online at www.finaldraftwriting.com and follow her on Twitter @FreetownMarisa.
Jennie BERman Eng
Jennie Berman Eng is a 2014 and 2016 Theater J Locally Grown Playwright. Recently, she was the playwright/director of the play, Whenever You’re Near Me I Feel Sick, which was produced by Thelma Theatre for the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Other plays include Don Q, adapted from Don Quixote for young audiences, commissioned by University of Colorado-Boulder, Bethesda (Capital Fringe 2014), Spectacular Women (In Their Natural Habitat) at Theater J, H is for Holy (Intersections Festival, Atlas Performing Arts Center), A Family of Lobsters (LiveArt DC’s Play in A Day), Exit Carolyn at The Drilling Company in New York, and Cherry (Naked Angels’ First Monday reading series, New York.) Jennie is currently the Lead Teaching Artist at Ford’s Theatre. MFA, The New School for Drama. Member, The Dramatists Guild.
Sheila McMullin, poet and feminist, is the Assistant Managing Editor and serves on the Count Committee for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts where she writes the column “Spotlight On!” celebrating literary magazines that publish a diverse representation of writers. She is Managing Editor and Poetry Editor for ROAR Magazine. She is an after-school creative writing and college prep instructor who works for/has worked for various organizations such as Shout Mouse Press, Writopia Lab, Higher Achievement, and Take My Word For It. She volunteers at her local animal rescue and holds her M.F.A. from George Mason University. Find her writing and awards online at www.moonspitpoetry.com and follow her on Twitter @SheAPoem.
Alison received her MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York, and is in process of earning a PhD in English literature at the City University of New York. She currently teaches writing classes at American University, and she has also taught writing at Georgetown University, City College, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Her fiction and essays have been published in several magazines and journals, including The Sun and The Columbia Review. She is excited to be working with Shout Mouse!
Mira is an illustrator residing in Richmond, VA. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Communication Arts with a minor in Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her passion is for illustrating narratives, whether children’s books, adult literature, magazine publications, or animation scripts. Mira is available for illustration projects and welcomes inquiries. See more of her work at www.behance.com/mirako.
Mira's Shout Mouse book credits:
Lucia is a Painting & Printmaking major at Virginia Commonwealth University. She creates paintings, screenprints, etchings, lithographs, and illustrations and has exhibited in numerous shows in the Richmond area. In addition to art, she is a longtime participant in various musical ensembles as a violinist, and enjoys playing guitar and writing creatively in her free time. See more of her work here: http://cargocollective.com/lucialiu
Lucia's Shout Mouse book credits:
Illustrator / Design Intern
Zoë Gatti is an illustrator, graphic designer, web designer and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York and Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing a BFA at Pratt Institute in Communications Design with a concentration in Illustration and a minor in Creative Writing. Her passions include narrative illustration, freelance illustration, medical illustration, animation and photography--both digital and darkroom. You can see her work at www.zoegatti.com.
Zoe's Shout Mouse book credits:
Nathaniel is a Painting major at the Rhode Island School of Design. He enjoys creating art through a range of mediums – drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, sculpting, and printmaking. He is a perpetual learner and loves challenging himself to gain depth in his craft. When not painting and drawing, he enjoys writing poems and short stories. Nathaniel is available for illustration projects and welcomes inquiries. He is excited to be a part of Shout Mouse!
Nathaniel's Shout Mouse book credits:
Cassie is a Baltimore-based illustrator and student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is passionate about art. storytelling, and making children's media diverse and accessible. In her free time, she writes stories and poems for all ages and continues her never-ending quest to pet every dog on the eastern seaboard. Her work can be viewed at cparisillustration.tumblr.com.
Cassie's Shout Mouse book credits:
Leslie is a rising senior in the BFA Painting and Printmaking program at VCUarts. She has exhibited in the Anderson Gallery, interned as an illustrator for Quail Bell Magazine, and is a VCU Teaching Assistant for Honors Rhetoric as well as a Resident Assistant. Though her primary medium is oil, she also loves to experiment with new media and to work with language in poems and short stories. Leslie has a passion to foster understanding, empathy, and love. Besides art and literature, she loves the pursuit of intellectual challenge, the magic of nature, and music. Leslie welcomes commissions. See more of her work at www.lesliepyo.com
Leslie's Shout Mouse book credits:
Jamilla Okubo is a 2016 graduate of Parsons School of Design, where she earned a BFA in Integrated Design, a self-driven interdisciplinary program where she integrated Fashion and Fine Arts. Jamilla is a mixed-media artist and combines collage, painting, and print design. Her work has a consistent theme of exploring the intricacy of belonging to an American, Kenyan, and Trinidadian identity. These identities help her explore the cross-cultural exchange in the African Diaspora and how fashion provides the African Diaspora methods of self-expression, identity, and self-authorship in attempts of reclamation. She has exhibited her work at Busboys & Poets (in Washington, DC), Studio 301 (in New York), Weeksville Heritage Center (in New York), Stanford University, and the Dray Walker Gallery (in London). This is her first time illustrating a children's book and is very excited to work with Shout Mouse! You can see some of her work at cargocollective.com/JamillaOkuboart
Jamilla's Shout Mouse book credits:
Carson McNamara is an illustrator based in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. She’s a Communication Arts student at Virginia Commonwealth University, a bookseller, and an avid reader who thinks all books would be better with pictures. She loves using illustration to clarify and enhance someone’s story, and working on projects with groups like Shout Mouse where illustration can represent all people and be a force for good. You can see her work at carsonmcnamara.com.
Carson's Shout Mouse book credits:
- Drip, Drip: The Story of the Angry Sherbet
Evey Cahall is a DC Native and student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work primarily consists of painting, illustration and sequential art. She admires Shout Mouse's vision and hopes to honor its values of inclusion and accessibility, especially as they relate to the art world, story-based media, and her city. You can see her work here.
Evey's Shout Mouse book credits:
Story and Outreach Intern
Cortney is a student at American University in Washington, DC. She is a chemistry and communications major. Born and raised in Haiti, Cortney plans on using her acquired knowledge to help Haiti flourish. She believes that effective communication can bridge gaps and unite individuals on a level that stretches far beyond one's individuality. She thus plans on using her skills to help Haitian children bloom into the incredible people they are destined to be. In her spare time, Cortney works with the Restavek Freedom Foundation in Haiti. She enjoys being a part of an organization that gives a voice to the voiceless and encourages and enhances how individuals express themselves and interact with each other. She believes that this sort of communication creates ripple effects that can and will change the world we live in.
Story and Outreach Intern
Sarah studies at Brown University, where she intends to double major in English and Theatre Arts. Her work in poetry, short story, and playwriting has been recognized by the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards and Young Playwrights, Inc. She is also passionate about teaching, having worked as a teaching assistant at Writopia Lab DC and Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. When not grappling with the question “What are you going to do with your life?” she serves as poetry editor at Postscript Journal and as staff reader for The Round, a literary magazine based at Brown University. She is thrilled to be part of Shout Mouse!
Story and Outreach Intern
Annie Rosenthal is a DC native and graduate of the District's Woodrow Wilson High School. She is taking a gap year to explore the U.S. before heading to Yale University, where she plans to study the social sciences and journalism. Annie served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Wilson's student newspaper, The Wilson Beacon, and head of the Wilson Players. Her work in journalism and creative writing has been recognized nationally by the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. She loves pop culture, nature, and travel, and is a firm believer in the idea that storytelling changes the world for the better. She is very excited to be working with Shout Mouse!
Board of Directors
Suzanne Greenfield, a longtime school and social justice advocate, currently services as the Director of the Citywide Bullying Prevention program in the DC Office of Human Rights. In that capacity she works with all public and public charter school, nonprofits and city agencies that have youth programming to establish bullying prevention programs that are holistic and supported by research. Prior to joining the Office of Human Rights she worked on education policy issues for youth with special needs. Before that she was at DC Public Schools where she teamed with schools and school leaders to address behavior concerns and create systemic approaches to changing school climates. While at Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she created a national program to support the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools. Her work focuses on combining evidence based programs with strong and supportive relationships to create safer climates for youth.
Laura Hayman joined the Shout Mouse board in 2014. She is employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and management consulting firm, and oversees the firm’s employee volunteer programs, charitable giving activities, and related marketing and communications efforts. She spends considerable time on Booz Allen’s education initiatives.Laura has long been a student of the nonprofit sector, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and education: she holds a BA and Master’s in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice from Boston College. Laura is a member of the Junior League of Washington, and volunteers regularly for literacy-related organizations and events in Washington, DC.
Koye Oyedeji is a writer, researcher and educator focused on fostering emerging writers and promoting diverse voices. He is currently an instructor in the Duke Ellington School of the Arts' Literary Media and Communications Department, where he teaches creative writing and multicultural literature. Koye is dedicated to innovative approaches to teaching and promoting literacy, and in 2012 he was awarded the D.C. Mayors Arts Award for teaching Language Arts. In addition to teaching, Koye applies his passion for Literatures of the African Diaspora to his doctoral research at the University of London, where he is currently focused on the works of emerging Black British authors. He is a frequent panelist for both his research and his pedagogy at conferences such as AWP, MLA, 826National, and the Harlem Book Fair. Koye’s own fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been published widely; he is currently at-work on a novel.
Ben Page is an economist at the Congressional Budget Office, where he specializes in the economic effects of fiscal policy. He received a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.