2014 Conference Team
Jenna Morton-Aiken (Chair) is a second-year PhD student studying Rhetoric and Composition at URI. She earned her MA in Creative Writing: The Novel from Brunel University in London, England, and her BA in Political Science from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. She is interested in rhetoric/writing teacher training, pedagogy, and writing assessment, and has enjoyed elective courses at URI in Education and English (creative non-fiction and poetry). In addition to her academic work, Jenna has business experience and most recently served as the Business Manager for an executive recruitment consultancy in London. She lives in Wakefield with her amazing husband Anthony and darling daughter Elizabeth.
Kara Watts (Director and Vice Chair) is a second-year Ph.D. student in English at URI. She received her M.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College in 2010, where she focused on European Modernism with a secondary interest in Shakespearean drama. Her current areas of research include the British Modern novel and narratology, studies of reading and readership, and critical theory. In the past year, she has presented work at NeMLA, The Dorothy Richardson Conference at the University of London, and the American Conference for Irish Studies (New England). She currently teaches in the Writing and English departments at URI, and previously taught as adjunct faculty member at Colby-Sawyer College in NH.
Other members: Jenna Morton-Aiken (Chair), Beth Leonardo, Ashton Foley
Marketing & Outreach Committee
Hazel Gedikli (Director) is a first year MA candidate in the Department of English at the University of Rhode Island. Specializing in Literature and Culture, she is interested in American studies, postmodernism, popular culture, and Women studies. She holds a BA degree in Foreign Language Education from Bogazici University, Turkey, and she is a Fulbright alumnus. Previously she taught English and Turkish, both as foreign languages, at various language levels. With a background in linguistics, she loves learning new languages and learning about new languages and cultures.
Other members: Jillian Belanger, Marcy Isabella
Jenny Platz (Director and Vice Chair) is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Rhode Island. She earned her M.A. in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University in 2011 where she concentrated on the representation of women in 1970s exploitation films. Her scholarly work has appeared in the 2012 issue of Enthymema, titled “Return to the Grindhouse: Tarantino and the modernization of 1970s Exploitation Films”. Her current interests include gender and the body in video games, the representation of the female eating disorder body in film and literature, and the adaptation of J.D. Salinger’s works.
Other members: Rhiannon Sorrell, Brittany Kennerson
Diane Quaglia Beltran (Director) is a 2nd year MA candidate in Writing and Rhetoric, who is happy to help with your technical needs for the conference.
Other members: Derick Ariyam, Michele Meek
Programming and Logistics Committee
Krysten Manke (Director) is currently a second year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, after completing her Master’s in 2012. Her research interests include pragmatism, feminism, and digital citizenship. When she is not heading logistics committees, Krysten enjoys finding new ways to explore multimedia, cross-genre writing both for her own projects and as a pedagogical tool. She looks forward to seeing how interdisciplinary ideas cultivate in this year’s conference, and is excited to watch prospects develop for future projects.
Other members: Gabe Romaguera
Art & Design Committee
Holly Tran (Director and Vice Chair) is a first-year master’s student in Cell & Molecular Biology from Middletown, RI. She is studying the function of alternative polyadenylation in male germ cells and its role in male infertility. Outside out her academic studies, Holly specializes in portrait photography and publication design.
Undergraduate Volunteer Coordinator
Carly Barone joins the conference team this year as an MA student in the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences. She specializes in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and her current focus is the anthelmintic efficacy of plants and forages as natural alternatives for treating parasitic infections in sheep and goats.