Presenters

2010 Gathering presenters: Gregory Maguire, Nancy Willard, Salman Rushdie, and Luong Ung
Nancy Isenberg

Nancy Isenberg

Nancy Isenberg, the author of White Trash: The 400 year-old Untold History of Class in America, is the T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her historical nonfiction including Fallen Founder (a biography of Aaron Burr), Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America, and Madison and Jefferson, and The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality, have been widely reviewed and praised. She has won The Los Angeles Times book prize, the Oklahoma Book Award for Nonfiction, and other awards and citations for her work.

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former USSR, and came to America in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the US government in order to get Ilya treatment for deafness. His most recent book, Deaf Republic, will be released in March, 2019. He also is the author of Dancing In Odessa, which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Whiting Writers Award, Lannan Fellowship and other honors. That book was translated into Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Romanian, Russian, French and several other languages, and various editions appeared all over the world. Ilya has also co-edited Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) which is widely used as a textbook in universities in the USA and abroad. He has also co-edited and translated a number of other critically acclaimed volumes. Ilya currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Chris Boian

Chris Boian

Chris Boian is spokesperson and senior communications officer for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Based in Washington DC, Chris engages with journalists, policymakers, scholars, companies, non-profits, faith leaders, philanthropists, social media influencers, athletes, celebrities, refugees and anyone else interested in an ongoing public conversation about the causes of and solutions for forced displacement of human beings around the world. Chris hails originally from Colorado but left the United States in 1985 to spend the next three decades living and working around the world as a journalist for the International Herald Tribune and Agence France-Presse. He is a member of the National Press Club, the advisory board for the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism and has lectured on international affairs, media and refugee issues at the Sorbonne, The George Washington University, Denver University, Moscow State Institute for International Relations and the London School of Economics. Chris speaks five languages.

Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine, best known for Ella Enchanted, a novel that won a Newbery honor in 1998 and was made into a motion picture in 2004, has written 24 books for children. Her first historical novel, Dave at Night, takes place in 1926, is loosely based on her father’s childhood in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York. She is currently working on a historical novel that reaches into her ancestors’ distant past, to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. She will talk about this novel (due for publication for older children in 2019) about a 15th Century Refugee Crisis, what brought it about, and the genesis of European anti-semitism.

Milad Yousufi

Milad Yousufi

Milad Yousufi is the first Western composer influenced by the culture of Afghanistan, where he was born in 1995, during the Afghan revolution. He also is a pianist, vocalist, conductor, poet, painter, and calligrapher. At age 12, after Taliban rule ended, he taught painting and studied at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, where he later taught piano, music theory and a course on Sibelius. As a teenager he was offered the opportunity to study in Germany, where he won a piano competition. He has traveled and performed since in Europe and the United States, where he won a full scholarship to the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York. He has performed widely in the USA, including at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the New England Conservatory. He has composed music for the New York Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, The Refugee Orchestra Project, the Kronos Quartet, Music Worcester, and others.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll, like Barak Obama, began her career at Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors, went on to work as a copywriter, an appearance agent for children’s authors and illustrators, and an events coordinator for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. She received her MA in literature from University College, London, and currently does stand-up comedy and live talk shows. She also is a wife, mother, quilter, and professional grudge holder. Her ancestors arrived in this land, uninvited, 385 years ago.

Sonya Sarner

Sonya Sarner

Sonya Sarner has been Program Manager at Catholic Social Services for 14 years.  Before that she was a case manager at CSS, her first job in the US.  She is an accredited representative through the department of Justice, whereby, as a non-lawyer, she can practice immigration law and represent clients before USCIS.  She has an MS in genetic science from the University of Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine in Bulgaria.  Recently she earned the “2018 Health, Hope and Wholeness Hero Award” from the PA Department of Human Services.

Bonnie Alco

Bonnie Alco

Bonnie Alco holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from The Pennsylvania State University. She has followed a career in international education and language acquisition with experience at USIA in the Fulbright Program, at Marywood where she directed the international office and created an intensive English program for incoming international students.  She completed her professional life as a professor at the University of Scranton in linguistics. Bonnie is a member of the Elk Mountain Ski Patrol.

Marilyn Pryle

Marilyn Pryle

Marilyn Pryle is an English teacher at Abington Heights High School in Clarks Summit, PA. She also organizes the ELL Conversation Group for local refugees at the Lackawanna Children’s Library. She is the author of several books for teachers, most recently Reading with Presence (Heinemann) and 50 Writing Activities for Meeting Higher Standards (Scholastic). Marilyn has also taught in Boston, Philadelphia, and Nepal, and was recently named Pennsylvania’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Erin Keating, Ed.D

Erin Keating, Ed.D

Erin Keating, Ed.D is the Chief of Leadership Development and School Operations in the Scranton School District. Formerly, she was the principal of the Wyoming Valley West Senior High School, in Plymouth, PA. In the Scranton School District, Erin works with student support systems to ensure all students are academically, emotionally and behaviorally prepared for school. As part of these responsibilities Erin has engaged with multiple initiatives to support refugee and migrant students.

More to come!

More to come!

Updates will be added as more presenters are added to our event.