Our current board consists of 19 members:
Marilyn Cohen, AME’s Executive Director, was one of the founding members. Marilyn has been actively involved in media literacy education since the early 90s. She also currently serves as the Director of the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, College of Education, University of Washington. Through her work with AME and the NW Center, she has taken a leadership role in organizing conferences and workshops designed to grow the media literacy movement, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, in 2007 she assumed leadership in organizing the nation’s first Media Literacy Research Summit, sponsored by the organization now known as the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Marilyn has also written a number of media literacy-based curriculum materials that have been implemented widely by schools as well as by a broad range of groups and organizations serving young people across the nation.
Michael Danielson, AME’s Chairperson, has been a teacher at Seattle Prep for 22 years. He has been teaching Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship for decades, but most recently in a semester course for 9th graders. He is also the EdTech director helping to train teachers and students in the best use of technology. Michael has been a writer for the Center for Media Literacy and is the current chair of Action for Media Education.
Anne Aliverti is a 23-year teaching veteran for Seattle Public Schools, Anne currently serves as Teacher Librarian at Bryant Elementary. Her interest in media literacy began as a middle school teacher. Collaborating with Marilyn Cohen and others, Anne wrote teaching units on advertising and anti-violence. When she’s not critically reviewing, Anne enjoys walking through the UW campus with her family, gazing up at the gargoyles.
Barbara Burton has worked for 25 years as an applied cultural anthropologist in both the private and public sectors and became increasingly fascinated by the role of visual and social media in shaping and framing contemporary communication. She began work as a Social Studies and Language Arts teacher at Roosevelt High School three years ago and is now deeply immersed in the everyday challenges of planning meaningful curriculum in a media context which is constantly shifting. Whether teaching Human Geography, World History or World Literature, she finds it impossible to teach now without recognizing the significance of digital literacy. She has joined AME to work collaboratively with other educators to improve conditions for the classroom and develop more effective curricula designed explicitly to marry efforts to instill critical thinking skills with digital literacy and citizenship.
Sue D. Cook is an editor for ECG Management Consultants and has spent her career as a developmental / line editor, writer, and graphic designer. Sue was the developmental editor for the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), a five-year grant from the Office of Head Start, and for iBESTT, an online coaching and collaboration tool for behavioral interventions. As a long-time literacy advocate and volunteer, she tutored elementary students, taught adult literacy, and shared computer skills with people of all ages in King County Library classes. She is a past board member of the Northwest Editors Guild. Sue is on the Action for Media Education communications committee and posts on social media for AME.
Ethan Delavan is the Director of Technology at The Bush School, a K-12 independent school. Trained as a drama teacher, Ethan began integrating media and technology into his classes and made the switch to teaching technology full time to middle school students. His latest passion is helping colleagues to bring technology into student experience to further creativity and collaboration. He has served on the boards of 911 Media Arts Center and the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
Lilia Cabello Drain is passionate about helping others develop the tools, knowledge, and power needed to understand the impact of media messages, relying on her professional background in marketing and project management and her education in journalism and media studies. She currently serves as the VP of Marketing and Communications for the Association for Women in Communications Seattle Chapter, as the leader for the NYU Alumni Club in Seattle and works in employee communications for King County. Her previous work experience includes eminent national and northwest organizations such as UNICEF, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Washington State Hospital Association. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband.
Kathryn Egawa is an internationally recognized literacy educator who brings a wealth of knowledge, skill, and passion for media literacy education, the result of 46 years as a teacher, librarian, literacy coach, and consultant in PK-12 schools, as well as higher education. Kathryn served the National Council of Teachers of English as a member of the executive board and as Associate Executive Director. She has supported educators in rural, urban, and suburban school districts to engage with and respond to children as literate learners, through her own presentations and publications as well as through Annenberg-funded projects and the ReadWriteThink digital resource. Kathryn has a PhD. from Indiana University and lives in Seattle.
Elena Ermizina has pursued scientific and professional work interests associated with interpersonal and mass media communications for many years. Elena received her Ph. D. in Sociology from People’s Friendship University of Russia in 2010. The thesis of her dissertation was on the social responsibility television has for children. She has worked in news, advertising, and public relations services. A native speaker of Russian, for more than twelve years she taught university courses on Mass Media, Sociolinguistics, and Media Analysis in the Sociology department at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, in Moscow, and conducted research in media education as well. She also taught elective courses in high school on media literacy education (2009-2012). In 2015, Elena participated in the STARTALK Student Program at the University of Washington Language Learning Center as affiliate instructor. She designed and developed an interactive course for students on media literacy education. Elena currently serves as the Parent Liaison in the Lake Stickney Elementary School for the Mukilteo School District and uses her knowledge and skills working with students and their families. She believes that encouraging and enabling students’ development in the skills of critical thinking and understanding mass media messages is the most important social task in the modern world.
Jenny Gawronski is a doctoral student at the University of Washington in the College of Education. Her research explores the digital lives of student teachers and how they use technology in their learning to become teachers. Jenny also teaches the educational technology courses at the University of Washington’s elementary and secondary teacher education programs. In her previous work, Jenny was a ceramic artist and Assistant Professor of Art and Art Education at Adams State University in southern Colorado. Currently, Jenny lives in Seattle with her wife, their four year-old-daughter, baby daughter, and their two dogs.
Elcin Gurbuz received her bachelor’s in Communications from Istanbul University in Turkey. She worked as a Project Marketing Specialist in various industries and international organizations. Additionally, she worked on the influence of media on children and adults. She created projects related to media literacy, media studies, and entrepreneurship for workshops and student clubs in Turkey. She moved to Seattle in 2017 and worked on digital marketing. She works as a Program Coordinator for university in Seattle.
Barbara Johnson the Treasurer and a founding member of Action for Media Education. Barbara has been working for the last 26 years as a program operations specialist at NW Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, College of Education UW. The center develops media literacy curriculum as a hook to address teen health issues. As part of the center staff, she has traveled the state of Washington doing focus workgroups with parents, teachers, and students to develop effective curriculum that targets a wide range of health issues. The project has trained teachers, community educators, and youth to be facilitators in media literacy curriculum in school and community programs as well as organized statewide media literacy workshops and conferences.
Linda Kennedy is the principal in the media education and consulting firm of LK Media, which specializes in teaching media literacy to parents, teachers, students, caregivers, childcare providers, and community organizations. She has more than 25 years of experience in the media. She started her career as a radio and television reporter in Omaha, Nebraska and after a short stint in Portland, Oregon moved to Seattle to become a reporter, anchor, and producer at KING 5 Television in Seattle. Her news “beats” included consumer reporting, medicine, and the environment. After leaving KING, she directed internal and external communications for Public Health – Seattle & King County. Academically, she received a BA from Macalester College and additional training in media and media literacy. If you talk with her long enough, Linda will work media literacy into any conversation.
Art Land is a journalist and educator. In television news since 1982, he worked at CNN headquarters as an assignment editor and show producer. He has extensive and current experience as a freelance field producer for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Vice News, and Al Jazeera America, among many others. He began his career in local news in Georgia and South Carolina where he also made documentaries, sports programs, and commercials. Since 1994, Art has been teaching journalism and communication at colleges including Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, West Georgia State University, and currently at Lake Washington Technical Institute. His wife, Kristin Fraser, is a producer for Vice News Tonight on HBO.
Cora Mackoff graduated with a degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington and a Masters in Education and Curriculum. She has been a dedicated and inspirational educator for Seattle Public schools for almost four decades, teaching everything from World History, Public Speaking, AP Human Geography, APLA to Modern World Literature. Cora started the Women’s Literature/Studies program at Roosevelt high school in Seattle 18 years ago and it is still going strong. A fierce fan of Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship, she incorporates its lessons to all her students as often as possible. She has worked, along with Marilyn Cohen, Barbara Johnson, and Jennifer Slack, on some of AME’s most iconic curriculums including Creating Critical Viewers,Tobacco and Media, and her favorite, Violence and the Media. She has been a member of AME for over 20 years and continues to apply its mission in her work at Roosevelt high school.
Danni Minteer has press and television experience, both on-air and behind the scenes, from her immersion in local, state, and national politics, and as the Area Director for Jazzercise in Western Washington, which she introduced into the state. With a bachelor’s degree in government and in English, Danni earned a master’s degree in special education after receiving a fellowship that was awarded, in part, from her work for the American Red Cross in service to military and veteran’s hospitals during the Vietnam War. Danni brought media literacy into her English, social studies, and special ed classes. Teaching at the secondary level, she attended conferences sponsored by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). Danni is retired and continues to be absorbed in trying to understand and evaluate the ethics of the digital world, social media, and the neuroscience that draws us in. She hopes to further AME’s goals among her former colleagues in Kitsap County, and in the network of professional and community organizations to which she is committed.
Janith Pewitt is an Evergreen State College grad who has been at Roosevelt High School since 2003. Her teaching has spanned from remedial reading development courses to Advanced Placement Language and Composition. She has served as department chair for English Language Development program since 2011. Believing that informed and critical consumers of information are a fundamental component of participatory democracy, and believing that public schools have the responsibility to foster such consumers, media literacy is a daily practice in her classroom. One premise of media literacy is that how we say things is inseparable from what we say. What’s more—from a social justice perspective—how we say things is often more compelling and almost always more revealing. And it’s that perspective that centers Janith and her work.
Shelby Reynolds has been a leader in Digital and Media literacy for over a decade in her role as the Assistant Director for Instructional Technology and Library Services for the Northshore School District. In addition, Shelby is the 2019-2021 Washington State PTA Leadership Director, serving as a parent advocate on the AME. As a parent of two daughters, Shelby’s passions include the development of critical thinking and information literacy skills to equip students to become active contributors to our global community.
Shawn Sheller is the Vice Chair for Action for Media Education. She is a national board-certified library-media specialist with 30 years of teaching experience in Washington public schools. Over the years, she has worked to ensure quality education for children through her work with educators to achieve their national board certification and other advanced endorsements as an adjunct professor at Pacific Lutheran University. She has also served on an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) library media endorsement review committee. Most recently she was involved with a curriculum review committee for her district and will be a presenter at the 2018 annual library conference sponsored by the Washington Library Association. In her current role, her love of books is paired with leading the technology integration plan at Soos Creek Elementary School in the Kent School District. Her passion for ensuring children are critical thinkers and digitally literate is what brought AME to her attention. This organization’s efforts to ensure that all children are media literate is a worthy goal she is proud to be a part of.