Faculty News

Scott Beal Named Interim Director of Lloyd Scholars for Writing

Scott Beal has assumed the role of Interim Director of Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts (LSWA) for the 2022-23 academic year. The previous Director of LSWA, our beloved Carol Tell, departed in August 2022 for a new role at Yale University after stewarding the program for 17 years. Scott earned both his BA (1994) and his MFA (1996) from the University of Michigan. He joined Sweetland in Fall 2012, and he has taught Writing 100, Writing 120, Writing 200, Writing 201, as well as several courses for LSWA, where he has been teaching regularly since 2014. He oversaw Sweetland’s Chat Café conversation program for international undergraduates 2014-19. Since starting at Sweetland, Scott has published two collections of poems: Wait ‘Til You Have Real Problems (Dzanc Books, 2014) and The Octopus (Gertrude Press, 2016). He has co-hosted the monthly poetry series Skazat! since 2010.

In her tenure as LSWA’s Director, Carol Tell took a program struggling to find its identity and transformed it into a flourishing living-learning community in which students are encouraged to “be creative, whatever your major” through courses, clubs, artist visits, special events, community projects, poetry prizes, and an annual arts and literary journal. As Interim Director, Scott hopes to keep building on that momentum and helping the program continue to thrive.

Faculty Updates

Gina Brandolino

Gina's article, "The Devil Went Down to Norwich: In Defense of the Existence of Medieval Horror," was included in the October issue of the journal Supernatural Studies. Also in October, Gina and Joe Talk about Queer Horror, the fourth issue of the zine series Gina co-writes with Philadelphia-based writer and artist, came out.

Dave Karczynski

Dave and his wife, Amber, welcomed a little Writing Workshop assistant into the world on June 28th. Summer Anne likes crinkly things, her Chihuahua brother, Astro, and waking up at 5 am sharp every day. Every. Day.

Shelley Manis

In October of 2021, Shelley Manis finished the Chicago Marathon--her first!

Simone Sessolo

In May, Simone participated at the Computers and Writing conference at ECU in Greenville, North Carolina. With the DRC Graduate Fellows, he offered a workshop on digital assignments. He loved going back to a conference in person!

April Conway

In 2002, April participated in the Institute for the Humanities Summer Fellowship program, where she worked on a novel titled Hedge Witch. With colleagues Gina Brandolino and Angie Berkley, she discussed alternative assessments on the podcast Behind the Scaffolding. In March, she presented “Studying, Teaching, and Enacting Grassroots Activisms: A Roundtable Discussion" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Her multimodal, personal narrative essay “Creative Caretaking for Oneself" is published in the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics' special issue on Carework and Writing during COVID (Part II).

Staff News

Introducing Sweetland’s Undergraduate Program Coordinator: Beth Baker

Elizabeth Baker has been a teacher for most of her life. She was a reading specialist for elementary and middle school students, she taught high school English and AP Literature, and she was an adjunct lecturer in reading education. Beth holds a BA in English and an M.Ed in Reading/Language Arts. In 2021, she joined the University of Michigan in a student services position. Beth’s strengths include organization, creativity, and relationship-building. Beth joined Sweetland in August 2022 as Undergraduate Program Coordinator. 

Beth and her family have lived in Ann Arbor for twenty years. Beth likes hunting for treasures in bookstores, seeing live theater, and playing board games. She loves to run. She thinks experiences are more important than things, so she tries to welcome life’s adventures. Beth is very happy to be joining the Sweetland staff, and we are extremely happy to have her on board!

Introducing Sweetland's New Academic Program Manager: Jennifer Catey

Jennifer Catey completed the dual-degree program at the University of Michigan, earning a BA degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. Jennifer has spent her career in student services, mostly at UM.

Jennifer started her career in the Department of Psychology in 2002. Her years in Psychology saw her performing numerous duties from managing university vehicles for the Project Outreach program, to managing the Psychology honors program, which included a year when there were 90+ honors students to advise and coordinate the reading of their final thesis projects. Jennifer left Psychology in 2008 for Jackson Community College, where she worked in the Registrar’s Office. However, Jennifer will always be true blue, and in 2009 she came “home” to UM, joining the English department. Jennifer coordinated the undergraduate literature curriculum, performed English major and minor advising, and worked to help the English department to implement numerous undergraduate programs. In July 2022, Jennifer joined the Sweetland Center for Writing as an Academic Program manager. She is excited to be in Sweetland!

Jennifer has been married to Jim for 21 years. When she isn’t traveling or exploring the state of Michigan with Jim, Jennifer is an avid concert attendee and has seen many different musical acts and artists over the years. Jennifer and Jim also own shares in bee hives, and their late summer/early fall are spent bottling and selling honey at a farmer’s market in their hometown.

Thanks to Cheri Thompson, Sweetland's Interim Chief Administrator for 2022

Cheri Thompson served as Sweetland’s Interim Chief Administrator for most of 2022, filling in after Colleen LaPere retired in the spring. Cheri brought to Sweetland considerable expertise in budgeting and accounts, substantial experience in LSA, and admirable skill with administrative processes. Her contributions are very much valued, and she has set in place procedures that will support our work into the future. She returns to her original academic home, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, in January, 2023. In an email announcing this change, she expressed her appreciation of the Sweetland staff:

I have really enjoyed Sweetland and working with all of you. Sweetland is very fortunate to have such a great team of staff and I will miss each of you. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to serve as your chief administrator and to learn more about Sweetland and its great programs and offerings that serve this university.

We are grateful to Cheri for all she has done to keep Sweetland running smoothly!