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.

 

Mary Ellen Sanger is the Associate Director of the Community Literacy Center since 2015. She has been leading creative writing workshops for over a decade in New York City and Fort Collins, with a focus on under-represented communities. She lived in Mexico for 17 years, and has published short stories, creative nonfiction and poetry in Spanish and English in Mexico, the US and online. Mary Ellen has been a member of the fiction and poetry committees for the PEN Prison Writing Program, and was a post-production coordinator for the Emmy award-winning Mexican documentary “Presunto Culpable” (Presumed Guilty). Her book “Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree: Stories from Ixcotel State Prison” relates stories of the women she met when she was unjustly incarcerated in Mexico. That experience has led her to work closely with confined populations.

 
 

Fall 2019 – Spring 2020 Interns

Jennifer Anderson Shaina Crump Cailin Dendas
Roland Dumavor Angelia Martinez Jamie Moss
Emily Sinkular Joseph Ryan Yibei Zhang

 
 

Jenni Anderson

Jenni is a second year masters student at CSU pursuing a degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Social Change. She loves the ways writing, reading, and language can expand and alter our perceptions and  ways of understanding and being in the world and with each other. The foggy, cold Pacific Ocean is the place she knows to be home, but she also loves hiking in the Ponderosa pines, swimming in the eddies up the Pouder River Canyon, and the afternoon thunderstorms here in Fort Collins during summer.

Shaina Crump

 

Cailin Dendas

 

Roland Dumavor

Roland is an international student from Ghana, and he is in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Social Change graduate program. He is drawn to writing as it is used as a tool to promote social change, especially in empowering the underserved, incarcerated and underprivileged population in the world. Roland is interested in extending the mission and vision of CLC to African settings. Being a member of this year CLC interns excites him very much. In addition, Roland is a second year GTA in the English Department. Besides reading and writing which are his default hobbies, he cools off a hectic day by listening to pure country music, gospel music and/or reggae music.

Angelia Martinez

Angelia completed her undergrad in English (with a concentration in Education) at Colorado State University. She began her Master of Arts in English (with an area of emphasis in Education), this Fall of 2019.  Angelia is very passionate about social justice and social change. She is interested in– and well-aware of, the topics surrounding racial inequality and how this affects both our incarceration rates and prison populations/demographics. Being an educator in our current society is no easy feat. She is dedicated to raising cultural awareness in the classroom, establishing equity and focusing on inclusion and diversity. Angelia plans to do this through culturally diverse vehicles of literature and composition. Working with underprivileged students is her ultimate aspiration and dream job. 

Jamie Moss

Jamie is a senior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in History. Her passion for writing came first from her love of books growing up and later from her love of television and film as a teenager and young adult. She has no idea what she might be up to career-wise a year or even five years from now (much to her advisor’s dismay), but whether she is working on getting published, on getting a script on screen, or on finding any number of miscellaneous writing-related projects to live off of, she will always feel successful as long as her motivations stay grounded in helping and connecting people through her writing. As an intern with the CLC, she is most looking forward to the opportunity to work with underserved kids in local youth centers and promote writing as a healthy outlet for self-expression and personal growth.

Emily Sinkular

Emily is entering here senior year at CSU as an undergraduate student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She hopes to work for the National Parks Service or Department of Interior after graduating (and potentially getting a Masters!). This is also Emily’s fourth year working with the Community Literacy Center. As a freshman, she was drawn to the program as a chance to give back to the community. Spending four years of college working with CLC has given her opportunity to meet dozens of fascinating and strong writers who continue to inspire her long after sessions end. Outside of school, she enjoys long hikes, adventures and good coffee.

Joseph Ryan

 

Yibei Zhang