Executive Committee

Dr. Veronica Watson, Convener

Watson, Veronica
Veronica Watson is Professor of English and faculty in the Graduate Program in Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1997. She has published on African American and American literature in a range of books and journals, including African American Review, Mississippi Quarterly, and the Journal of Ethnic American Literature. Her book, The Souls of White Folk: African American Writers Theorize Whiteness (University Press of Mississippi 2013), is the first study to identify the substantial body of African American writing that critiques whiteness as social construction and racial identity as an African American intellectual and literary tradition. It received the CHOICE outstanding academic book recommendation. She is also lead-editor of Unveiling Whiteness in the 21st Century: Global Manifestations, Transdisciplinary Interventions (Lexington Books 2015).

Watson has served as Dean’s Associate for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at IUP; envisioned and helped to launch a number of innovative programs, including a first year reader series, a community engagement initiative, and a statewide writing retreat for faculty of color and women faculty in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education; and currently serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

DR. Brian C. Johnson

BrianCJohnsonBrian C. Johnson earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from California University of Pennsylvania, and completed the PhD in Communications Media and Instructional Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Brian is the co-author of Reel Diversity: A Teacher’s Sourcebook (2008), winner of the 2009 Phillip Chinn Book Award by the National Association for Multicultural Education, and author of We’ve Scene It All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training (2009). In 2015, a revised edition of “Reel Diversity” was released, as was his edited collection Glee’s New Directions for Social Change (with Daniel Faill).  His latest edited project, The Problematic Tyler Perry, was published in spring 2016. In June 2016, Brian added the title “novelist” to his growing list of accolades. His debut novel The Room Downstairs was released by Snow Leopard Publishing.

Dr. Maria Sanelli

Maria Sanelli is Professor of History and director of the Frederick Douglass Institute at Kutztown University.  She is an experienced university leader, curriculum and grant writer, and diversity trainer. She has a wide range of scholarly interests as a researcher, writer, and curriculum specialist. Dr. Sanelli has developed curricular materials related to Military and United States History, Leadership in a Diverse World, Italian Americans, German Americans, and African Americans; conducted research on teaching multiculturalism, inner-city high school students, and teacher education, as well as published in various academic journals on subjects ranging from “Using Local History Sites To Teach Social Studies”” to ” ‘I Could Be Anybody’: Meeting The Needs Of Gay, Lesbian And Bisexual Students.” Her latest book is entitled, Teaching About Frederick Douglass: A Resource for Teachers of Cultural Diversity, co-edited with Dr. Louis Rodriquez and released by Peter Lang Publishers, January 2012.

Dr. shavonne shorter

Shavonne R. Shorter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Bloomsburg University. Shorter specializes in Organizational Communication (Ph.D., M.A.-Purdue University; B.A.-Frostburg State University). Teaching is her life’s passion and her commitment to superior instruction has been recognized through conferral of a Bruce Kendall Award for Excellence in Teaching, Honorable Mention at Purdue University.

Her research focuses on the innately political nature of organizing. Shorter investigates organizing processes in contexts such as education, politics, and within the media.

Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication and presented at conferences sponsored by the International Communication Association, National Communication Association (Top Paper Recipient), Eastern Communication Association, and Maryland Communication Association. In her spare time she is committed to helping students take the steps to achieve their dreams.