Meet the Community Literacy Staff!

jacobi 2Tobi Jacobi is a composition and literacy specialist in the CSU English Department and the current director of the Community Literacy Center. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public writing, composition and literacy theory, critical pedagogy, and prison writing.

Her recent research focuses on understanding the complexities of moving adult literacy beyond the GED, the ethics of community-university relationships, and incarcerated women writers as activists. In addition to co-editing a special issue of Reflections: A Journal for Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy on prison literacy, she has published essays on community service learning and activism in the writing classroom and on the ethics of university-community collaborations. She is currently co-editing a collection of essays entitled, Word by Word: Women, Writing, and Incarceration with DePaul University Professor, Ann Folwell Stanford and completing a series of articles on prison literacies.

For her, work with the Community Literacy Center interns and community writers represents literacy in action, a concrete way to enact a commitment to challenging the uneven power relations that attempt to “fix” the life experiences of some people through limited access to education. Like Bell Hooks, Adrienne Rich, and Gloria Anzaldua before her, she believes that language has the power to cause ruptures, pain, joy, and hope-and that our work at the Center can contribute to moving literacy beyond pages with red marks.

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 Interns

Dominique Garnett SpeakOut! Alina Lugo
Dominique Garnett SpeakOut! Alina Lugo
shelley.curry cropped Lizzy Temte Sarah Van Nostrand
Shelley Curry Lizzy Temte  Sarah van Nostrand

Dominique Garnett

Dominique Garnett is a graduate student at Colorado State University in the Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language department. She majored in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011. Dominique first began working in ESL as a volunteer in 2012. She worked with a non-profit community organization called Literary Works in Chicago, helping a man from Lagos learn to read and write English. After a 10 month stint traveling the country working as a Corps Member in AmeriCorps NCCC, she moved to Colorado and continued working as an ESL volunteer at Emily Griffith School in downtown Denver. Dominique is very excited about her new role as a Community Literacy Center intern and the challenges and rewards that await her as she develops relationships with literacy groups in her new home of Fort Collins. (First Semester Intern).

Alina Lugo

After volunteering with the SpeakOut! Program for a year as a facilitator, Alina Lugo is excited to now be an intern at the CLC. She is a senior studying Sociology with the Criminology concentration. In addition, she has declared two interdisciplinary minors in 1) Linguistics & Culture and 2) Latin American & Caribbean studies. For fun, her interests include: languages, fish keeping, and DIY crafts. As an intern, she hopes to be able to expand her involvement with the CLC, working specifically with youth and how to further enrich their programs. In the future, she hopes to make a positive, long-lasting impact on society whether through academic research, public service, or both.

Shelley Curry

Shelley Curry (newly minted) is a Graduate student in the Literature department at CSU.  She comes to Denver (and commutes to Fort Collins) by way of Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY where she studied English Education.  Through life’s many surprises, she found herself working in charter middle schools with the mission of chipping away at the ever growing education gap.  After teaching math for five years, she has renewed her love for literature and drive to use literacy to create social justice. Outside of school, Shelley is an avid runner and hiker who loves the beauty and tranquility of the Colorado wilderness, but also loves to travel to unfamiliar countries and cultures.

Lizzy Temte

After volunteering for SpeakOut for 2 semesters Lizzy is thrilled to start as the new intern. She is a senior at Colorado State University soon to graduate this spring semester and is curious to see what comes next. Lizzy is a psychology major with a concentration in clinical and counseling. In her spare time she enjoys reading, drawing, any activity that has to do with music and snowboarding (when available). (Second Semester Intern)

Sarah van Nostrand

Sarah is a second year graduate student in the TEFL/TESL program at Colorado State University. Upon graduation, she hopes to teach English to the growing refugee population back in her home state of Vermont. She is excited to learn and grow from this internship opportunity, and she is looking forward to collaborating with her peers to promote literacy in and around the Fort Collins community. Some of her outside interests include backpacking, skiing, kayaking, and knitting.


Dianne Bacorn

Larimer County Detention Center

Gwen Bell

Turning Point Center for Youth and Family Development

Matthew Cooperman

CSU English Department (Creative Writing)

Pattie Cowell

CSU English Department (Literature)

Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala

CSU English Department (ESL/Linguistics)

Gordon Hadfield

Faegre & Benson, LLP

Tobi Jacobi

CSU English Department (Rhetoric/Composition)

Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

CSU English Department (English Education)

Marilyn Thayer

Community Organizing to Reach Empowerment (CORE)