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Graduate Assistants

 

Elizabeth Garcia is a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee (UTK) in the Literacy Studies program with a specialization in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Liz is the student director of the CCYAL! Liz holds an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and has a passion for diversity in Children’s and YA Lit.  She hopes to study the ways authors of color are influenced (by teachers, other writers, agents, editors, etc.) as they attempt to write and publish books featuring characters of color. Prior to enrolling at UTK, Liz was a full time lecturer and Basic Course Director in the Department of Communication at the University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley where she taught for 11 years. She is a published creative writer and came to Knoxville after serving as Artist in Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2016. She believes we need more and better diverse children’s books and she hopes her research will ultimately help both diverse writers and readers. Contact her at egarcia6@vols.utk.edu

 

 Caitlin Metheny is a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Caitlin’s concentration is in Literacy Education, with a specialization in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. She is a Graduate Research Assistant under Dr. Susan Groenke in the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Caitlin is also one of the co-editors of The ALAN Review. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Caitlin was a middle school Gifted and Talented English teacher for five years. She prioritized bringing diverse and engaging literature into the classroom to motivate and meet the needs of highly advanced readers. Caitlin’s research interests stem from her teaching and personal experiences. She is interested in motivation and engagement for reading YAL, using YAL to tell historically silenced narratives, preparing teacher education students to utilize YAL with a critical lens in their future classrooms, and using YAL as an avenue to promote empathy within adolescents and greater society. Contact her at cmetheny@vols.utk.edu

 

Arianna Drossopoulos is a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee (UTK) in the Literacy Studies program with a specialization in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Arianna is a Graduate Research Assistant and works in the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature under Dr. Groenke. Arianna is also one of the co-editors of The ALAN Review. Her research interests focus on the connections between adolescent reading engagement, motivation, and YAL. Prior to enrolling at UTK, Arianna was a ninth-grade English teacher in a large, urban district in Connecticut where she integrated six multicultural YA novels into her classroom curricula. Arianna has collaborated on research about her classroom work with researchers at the University of Connecticut and had her work published in English Journal. Contact her at adrossop@vols.utk.edu