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Guest Speakers


Current 2024 Guest Speakers

2024: Shelley McEuen Howard

A headshot of Shelley McEuen

Shelley McEuen Howard is Chair of the Social Science and Communication Department at College of Southern Idaho where she also teaches English Composition. She earned her PhD from Idaho State University in 2019. Her thesis title is "A Twenty-First Century Perspective on the American Frontier: The Influence and Continuity of Literary and Historical Rhetoric on Current Attitudes Toward Western Landscape and Urban Wild Spaces." She is interested in urban wilderness areas, the intersection of humanities and biology, the importance of community engagement, and has just discovered the joy (and humility) of knitting. She lives in Twin Falls with her husband Kjel.


2024: Tony Tekaroniake Evans

A headshot of Tony EvansTony Tekaroniake Evans is an award-winning journalist and the author of “Teaching Native Pride,” (WSU Press 2020) and “A History of Indians in the Sun Valley Area” (2017) and co-author of “Memory and Destiny, the Life of Glenn Janss.” (2022) He studied Cultural Anthropology and Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and won the Expatriate Scholarship to the Prague Summer Writing Workshop at Charles University in 1996. He has conducted writing workshops in the Sun Valley area since 2004.

His stories have been published in High Country News, Native American Magazine (Smithsonian) and A&E Networks’, as well as Mountain Gazette, Boise Weekly and other publications. He is currently working under an Idaho Humanities Council Research Fellowship to complete his new memoir “Believing in Indians, a Mixed Blood Odyssey” for publication by Basalt Books in 2024. He envisions writing as a spiritual practice and is a citizen of the Mohawk Nation, Kahnawake Band.

Locally, Tony is a veteran reporter/columnist for the Idaho Mountain Express in Ketchum/Sun Valley, where he has published 3,000 articles and won dozens of Idaho Press Club awards. He works as an independent book editor and collaborator. He can be reached at To learn more go to his website at

2024: Anthony Lothspeich

A headshot of the guest speaker Anthony Lothspeich

Anthony Lothspeich is the Writing Program Administrator and Dual Credit Liaison at the College of Southern Idaho. He is currently serving as the chair of the college’s AI in Education committee and a representative on the State AI Resource Alliance. He received a BA in English with a creative writing emphasis and an MA in English with a teaching emphasis from the University of Idaho. Originally from Jerome, he is happy to be back in the Magic Valley and is passionate about leveraging technology to better assist students in meeting the demands of the future.

2024: Jenny Emery Davidson

 A headshot of the guest speaking Jenny Emery Davidson who is also holding a library cardJenny Emery Davidson has served for the past ten years as the executive director of The Community Library in Ketchum, an institution which includes the historic Ernest and Mary Hemingway House and Preserve, and the Wood River Museum of History and Culture. Previously, she worked at the College of Southern Idaho as an English instructor and the director of the Blaine County Center. She earned a doctorate degree in American Studies from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College. In 2010, she lived and taught in Guanajuato, Mexico, through a Fulbright Fellowship. She also has worked in journalism and as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management.

Past Guest Speakers

2023: Gary Marshall


"A Deeper Look at New Standards – Panel Discussion A 5-member panel with various roles in Idaho education will examine the background, implementation, and impact of new writing standards."

Life-long resident of Bonneville County, Idaho. Was a teacher and an administrator in the public-school system for 12 years. Taught at Ricks College/Brigham Young University-Idaho for 27 years in the History/Political Science Department. Served as the second dean of the College of Education at BYU-Idaho and also taught teaching methods classes for history, government, and social studies education majors. Ramona and I have 7 children and 39 grandchildren.


2023: Julia Grafft

julia-grafft_2023.jpg"A Deeper Look at New Standards – Panel Discussion

A 5-member panel with various roles in Idaho education will examine the background, implementation, and impact of new writing standards."

Julia Grafft is a former English teacher, having taught in both the Pocatello and Blaine County School Districts for 16 years before moving to administration. She is currently serving as the Wood River High School Principal.

2023: Karen Pyron


"A Deeper Look at New Standards – Panel Discussion A 5-member panel with various roles in Idaho education will examine the background, implementation, and impact of new writing standards."

Karen Pyron - Retired rural schools teacher and administrator, 40+ years; currently serving as a school board trustee on the Butte County School Board. Active in ISBA, serve on the PSC, and a student teacher supervisor for ISU and WGU.

2023: Whitney Wagoner
whitney-wagoner-headshot.pngWhitney Wagoner is a current assistant principal at Rigby Middle School. She has a BA in 6-12 Secondary ELA Education, an MA in Curriculum Instruction and Innovation, and an EdS in Leadership/Administration. She has served as a Region VI literacy coach for the State Department of Education in Idaho, as well as an instructional coach for Jefferson School District #251. Prior to these roles, she served as an ELA department chair who worked diligently to move her PLC (department) forward.
2023: Dr. Clark Draney


 "A Deeper Look at New Standards – Panel Discussion A 5-member panel with various roles in Idaho education will examine the background, implementation, and impact of new writing standards."

Dr. Clark Draney earned a BA in English and an MA in American Studies from the University of Utah. His masters exam about the role of scientific racism in the literature of the American South was awarded high honors. He continued work in that area for his dissertation with an analysis of race in William Faulkner’s Light in August. Clark earned a doctoral degree at Idaho State University, working on composition pedagogy, language acquisition, and American literature.

Clark is currently the chair of the department of English, Languages, and Philosophy, and has served CSI as a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, as chair of the college’s Curriculum Committee, and currently serves as chair of the college’s Council of Department Chairs. Clark received the Academic Faculty Excellence Award in 2014. Along with Dr. Jette Morache, he also received special recognition from Dr. Mikel Vause and Weber State University for long-standing support of the National Undergraduate Literature Conference.

Clark’s interest in science fiction and fantasy literature began with a loaned copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars, followed quickly by his spending his allowance and the money he earned picking rocks on all eleven volumes of the Burroughs’ John Carter books. Novels and stories by Piers Anthony, Robert Aspirin, Terry Brooks, and Orson Scott Card soon followed. Clark’s list of books to read grows much faster than the list of these he has read. But, as a pillow cover given to him by a colleague says, “lack of bookshelf space is no reason not to continue buying books.”

More a Jack of all trades than a master of anything, Clark studies and teaches (among other things) academic writing, learner autonomy and mastery, American comics, post-apocalyptic novels, the poetry of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, and the history of race relations in the United States. By his death or retirement (whichever comes first), he hopes to know a little more about how we get along… and why we often don’t.

2023: Kimberly Tolson


My curriculum is inspired by games, which means that I use Games-Based Learning in my classes to teach English, film, and literature to my college students. Games offer so many wonderful soft and hard skills that students eagerly want to practice, and I've found that introducing games with learning outcomes that align with course curriculum keeps everyone engaged and excited about the learning process.

Currently, I'm exploring in how I can connect Game Theory and Gamification at the college level to reach my students, particularly in this remote/Zoom-filled era.

2023 Keynote Speaker: Erik M. Francis

 Erik M. Francis, M.Ed., M.S., is an international author, educator, presenter, and professional development provider with over 25 years of experience in education. He is the author of Deconstructing Depth of Knowledge: A Method and Model for Deeper Teaching and Learning published by Solution Tree. He is also the author of Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning published by ASCD. Erik is the owner of Maverik Education, providing professional development and support on how to develop and deliver rigorous and responsive teaching and learning experiences that are standards based, socially and emotionally supportive, and student centered. He is also consistently ranked as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals by the international research organization Global Gurus.

2023: Darlene Dyer


"Aligning Writing Standards with Lessons and Activities - Small Group Practice
Participants will look at various objectives, rubrics, and learning tasks in light of secondary and college writing standards."

Darlene is a SBOE Appointed Idaho Curricular Materials Committee Member.

2022 Speaker: Dr. Jeff Fox

"Unpacking The Past and The Present: Teaching Writing as Civil Discourse"

The arts in general (and literature in particular) are commentary and enlightenment. For instance, writers such as Ellison, Walker, Coates, and Richard Rodriguez explore ignorance, injustice and poverty. More recently, writers Kim Stanley Robinson and Joshua Rothman each assert that writing is an opportunity to shape the reader into action. Dr. Fox, President Emeritus of the College of Southern Idaho (2014-2020), will argue that writing that engages audiences by provoking thought, posing problems, and offering possible resolution is awakening and enlightened awareness.

2022 Speaker: Judy Hansen

“Interconnectedness: Writing for Understanding, Community, and Engagement.”

Hansen, professor emeritus at College of Southern Idaho and co-creator of Passports & Passages, will lead workshop participants to collectively create writing assignments that will help students access rich family lore, find out what they have in common with people in other countries, and see how our collective historyconnects to present day happenings.

2022 Speaker: Caitlin Pankau

"Equity in Education"

This session prepares participants to understand the complexities of equity as it applies to our students and school climate/culture. Pankau, a teacher at Pocatello High School and a member of the NEA Leaders for Just Schools and IEA Human and Civil Rights Committee, which has provided the curriculum for this session, will offer ways to help participants become aware of unconscious biases and how those contribute to inequities in our schools.

2022 Speaker: Emily Teraoka

“Minidoka National Historic Site, WWII Incarceration of Japanese Americans.”

Park Ranger Emily Teraoka will discuss the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans during which over 120,000 people, two-thirds of them American citizens, were by Executive Order forcibly removed from their homes and placed in confinement sites without due process of law. Minidoka National Historic Site in Jerome, one of the ten US concentration camps where Japanese Americans from the West Coast were incarcerated, now preserves and protects this important part of local and national history. Attendees will also be introduced to the new Minidoka educational curriculum (grades 6 – 12 ) covering topics including patriotism and protest; the power of words; power of the press; and standing up for others.

2020: Sian Griffiths

"Helping Students Foster Active Watching"

Sian Griffiths will discuss how students increasingly carry cell phones, laptops, and tablets in our classrooms. While potentially distracting, these technologies provide opportunities for the savvy educator to harness student interest and guide it appropriately. In this session, we will focus on fostering strategies to transform watching (YouTube, TikTok, and similar media) from a passive activity into an active one, engaging the students’ analytical and creative processes. Siân Griffiths teaches creative writing at Weber State University. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in dozens of literary journals. She is author of the books Borrowed Horses, Scrapple, and The Heart Keeps Faulty Time. For more information, please visit

2019: Shane Brown & Camille Barigar

“Beyond the Sentences”

Shane Brown and Camille Barigar of the College of Southern Idaho will explore the cognitive and emotional benefits of the creative writing process using the techniques, activities, and research accumulated during their year-long project of teaching writing in the Idaho State Prison system. Attendees will participate in the same workshopping process used with inmates as well as read the final products of the prisoners and hear their stories.

2018: Dave Stuart Jr.

“More Writing, Less Stress”

We all know and cherish the central, often unsung role that writing plays in the pursuit of the flourishing life. How then do we help all of our students gain greater access to writing proficiency and the opportunities found therein? Too often, we respond to this question with unsustainable practices -- heaping more work upon ourselves, dragging piles of unmarked papers (physical or digital) everywhere we go. There has got to be a better way! Teacher, researcher, and writer Dave Stuart Jr. will help us address this question. In essence, how do we get students writing more, and how do we give them the kind of instruction and feedback they need to write better, without driving ourselves crazy in the process?

2017: Kim Stafford

“Making Literary Citizens: How Writing Befriends the Creative Life”

We ask our students to compose writing, but as teachers we are engaged in a bigger task: we
are making writers. As teachers, we have a chance to make episodic progress on the life-long cultivation of evolving genius from the early grades through college. Stafford, founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute and award-winning author will speak on inviting students to build a personal archive of rich beginnings and view their progress as writers as a narrative through-line from self-directed explorations, to assignments, to letters of application, and then to myriad forms of citizen witness. We will savor passages from student writing, consider ways to invite new student writing, and take a look at our own practice as teachers who write.

2016: Andy Trevathan

“The Mind-Fire: Using Ezra Pound for Teaching, Literacy, and Writing Skills”

Andy Trevathan, Keynote Speaker The mind fire, according to Marcus Aurelius, is that which “reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces – to what is possible. It turns obstacles into fuel.” Dr. Andy Trevathan will discuss how life’s obstacles are the fuel for improving literacy and writing skills within the classroom and beyond. She will present how teaching Pound in a red state became part of her fuel for success inside and outside the classroom

As a first-generation college graduate, Trevathan currently helps others negotiate their own path to education and teaches First Year Writing, Poetry, and other courses at Louisiana State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, where she taught and worked on several community literacy projects. A former high school teacher, she received her Master's from the University of Tulsa and her B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University. She writes and speaks regularly on Ezra Pound, including the 2015 Ezra Pound International Conference, where she presented, "Teaching Pound in a Red State."

2015: Evelyn Funda

“Dodder: A Rural Education”

Evelyn Funda, Keynote Speaker Focusing on how the parasitic weed dodder represented a mystery she had to solve, Funda will emphasize the importance of symbol-making and how researching and interpreting can empower students.

Evelyn Funda is associate professor of English at Utah State University and author of the memoir Weeds: A Farm Daughter’s Lament, which situates the history of her Czech immigrant family’s tenure on a small farm in Idaho within the national context of agricultural history. Weeds was named winner of the David W. & Beatrice C. Evans Handcart Award for Biography by the Mountain West Center. Novelist and memoirist Mary Clearman Blew says that it “is written with a scholar’s exactitude and a daughter’s heart.” Funda is also co-author and editor of Farm: A Multimodal Reader. Funda is currently working on a book of literary criticism entitled Willa Cather and the Czechs, an in-depth study of the novelist’s engagement with Czech culture, art, history, music, and literature.