Staff Bios

Brooke Benton (Assitant Blog Editor) is attempting inner om with this writing stuff. Proud to claim three loud children, a patient husband and a fat black cat as family, she feels blessed to be their mommy– their giver of kisses and baker of cookies. She is ever seeking a good novel and wishing for the sand between her toes, palm trees, the ocean.

Heather L. Harris Bergevin (Poetry Editor) majored in journalism at BYU in the early nineties, and hopes someday to finish up. Most of her ideas appear in the wee hours of the morning, when she can hear herself think for minutes at a time, and when the only sleepy whining is her own.

Jennifer Boyack (Editorial Board) lives in southern California where she was raised. She loved attending BYU and in 1993 she graduated with a BA in English Teaching. A week after graduation, she married her best friend, Andrew. Together they have seven children. Most of her days are dedicated to caring for family and the attempt to tame clutter and chaos. Jennifer adores good books, interesting conversation, and tasty food which explains why she eagerly awaits book club each month.

Michelle Bridges (Graphic Design). When a life-coaching friend of mine wrote Life is a Do-Over, she put forth the idea that in order to have one all you needed to do was simply ask yourself for permission. Well, I did, and at 45, I’m starting over. After nearly 10 years among the red rocks of Southern Utah working as a magazine editor for the local newspaper, I quit my job, sold my house and moved back to the mountains of Utah Valley. Now 18 months later, I’ve settled into my parents’ basement and am working on a new bachelor’s degree in digital media at a new university (Utah Valley University, formally Utah Valley State College), experimenting with new ideas in blogging, podcasting, journaling; rediscovering interests in reading, crocheting, volunteering; and reconnecting with family, nature and myself. So buy into the old cliché, Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. I know, I did.

Melonie Cannon (Editorial Board) When not reading or beading, Melonie tries to catch the unexpected whiff of lilac in the air. She is married to Col. James Uhl of the U.S. Army. They have four beautiful children who all still believe in the tooth fairy.

Katie Child (editorial board) was born and raised in the hinterlands of northern Utah, in the shadows of the watchful Wellsville mountains. She received a B.A. in English at BYU and worked as an editor for three years. She and her husband, Darren, eventually found their way back to her roots in Cache Valley and are now at home there, raising two daughters with a third girl on the way. She enjoys playing the piano, reading, doing contract editing work, and she would love to remember what other hobbies she formerly enjoyed before her children made her latest occupation necessary-keeping the house from the brink of entropy.

Johnna Benson Cornett (Web Design/Webmaster) took an undergraduate degree in Linguistics from UCLA. She taught herself css/html because she likes systems, languages, and color. She recommends Stanford Guidelines for Website Credibilty from the Persuasive Technology Lab, A List Apart and the CSS Zen Garden.

Ashley Dickson (editorial board) is a Virginia native now living in Boston. She graduated from BYU with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Home and Family Living, then spent three years writing and editing for magazines. She's now learning all about libraries while obtaining her master's degree in Library and Information Science. Ashley is happiest when she’s reading at the beach, sweating at the gym, or eating crepes in Paris.

Justine Dorton (Managing Editor) is a PTA Queen. And as deserving as that is of some sort of salary, it never seems to come. She spends a lot of time doing what most moms do, and alternately loves it and hates it (like most moms do). She reads too much, and doesn't make fancy dinners enough. She has five children, a husband, a house full of messes, and a crazy family very much like everyone elses.

Kellie George is a born and bred Australian, currently living in New South Wales. She is the mother to two sons and is hoping to add a dog to the mix at the first opportunity. She loves words (the punnier the better), running, and surprising herself, and has found being a sole parent makes all those things more enjoyable. She expects to lose her mind during 2010 when she starts university again, and is actually looking forward to it.

Sharlee Glenn (Assistant Editor) has an MA in humanities from Brigham Young University. She taught at BYU for a number of years before giving up academia for the writing life. She has published essays, short stories, articles, and poetry in The Southern Literary Journal, Women’s Studies, Irreantum, Wasatch Review International, and BYU Studies. She has also published a novel and three picture books for young readers. Sharlee lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, their five children, a very literary dog named Kipling, an escape-artist cat named Houdini, and a stuck-up beta fish named Flame.

Leslie Graff (Editorial Board) In her pre-diapering days, Leslie earned an MS in Marriage and Family Studies from BYU. This entitled her to mold the minds of impressionable college students in rambling 6 hour lecture courses and travel the world as child life specialist. She now passes the seasons in a quaint Massachusetts town with her husband, Allen, and three young sons. She spends her days encouraging play, championing global causes, and whipping up a mean R2D2 cake. She savors her nights, stealing away to her studio to paint.

Marianne Hale (Editorial Board) Marianne grew up in western Washington among the green and the rain and would love to take her husband, Douglas, and four children (fifth due in May 2008) back there for good someday. She graduated from BYU with a BA in English Teaching. She is using that degree to teach her little ones at home and to begin a new exciting career as adjunct faculty teaching ESL at Yakima Valley Community College, which is only a few blocks from her new home.

Angela Hallstrom (Editorial Board)loves books: reading them, writing them, and teaching other people about them. She has an MFA in fiction from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and teaches creative writing at the BYU Salt Lake Center. She is the author of several short stories and a novel, Bound on Earth, and is co-editor of the literary magazine of the Association for Mormon Letters, Irreantum. She's grateful for a husband who likes to cook, four kids who like to laugh, Diet Coke, TiVo, and her jetted tub.

Emily Halverson (Editorial Board) her husband Jared, and their three preschoolers, Eden, Jacob, and Madeleine (and another boy due in May), are currently living in Provo, Utah, but will move this summer to Nashville, Tennessee. Emily grew up in Penryn, California (with nine siblings she considers her best friends), graduated from BYU with a B.A. in English, and spends her days freelance editing, writing, reading, exercising (preferably all of these outdoors) and becoming a Christian through motherhood, which she adores.

Heather Herrick (Editorial Board) originally from Orem Utah, now resides in the center of the world, New York City. On days she can’t get in a proper bit of exercise she’s glad she gets to carry her strollered son up and down subway stairs, while making sure her daughter stops at every corner and holds the railing while maneuvering those same steps. Heather earned a BA in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and put her husband, Matt, through his graduate acting program by teaching Middle School English in Texas for three years. Now she “stays home” with her kids, writes a lot of first drafts, teaches preschool, falls asleep reading, and loves cooking (especially when she’s alone).

Joy Lansing (Publicity) tries to live up to her name almost every day. Fortunately, other people are who bring her the most happiness, especially her best friend and husband, Ted, and delightful toddler daughter. They live in Virginia and enJOY jogging in beautiful places, reading, and entertaining friends. She is proud to have graduated from BYU (Go Cougars!) in Broadcast Journalism.

Michelle Lehnardt (Editorial Board) never folds laundry and her car is a mess. She runs through the streets of Salt Lake City, UT, takes lots of photos, plays Uno with her 5 fabulous boys and buys way too many dresses for the little princess. Her husband is the most romantic man in the world because he does all the Costco shopping AND hauls it into the house (sorry to make you jealous girls). She writes at Scenes from the Wild.

Michelle Linford (Publicity) lives in Utah with her brilliant husband and three precious children. Her favorite mommy jobs include cuddling and finding creative ways to hide health food and food storage items in meals her kids will eat. In her former, single life, she served a mission, received a BS in Psychology and an MBA, and began a brief but exciting career as a business consultant. Her current goal as she adjusts to having all of her children in school is to sleep as much as possible. She also hopes to do a little more reading, writing, temple attending, and tennis playing.

Melissa McQuarrie currently has a child in college, one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school, so she is enjoying the full spectrum of middle-years parenting. She has a BA and MA in English from BYU and served a mission in Peru. She spent her childhood in Australia and still dreams of roaming through the bush and waking up to the sound of kookaburras cackling.

Marintha Miles lives in the San Francisco Bay are with her husband and 4 children with whom she will be sampling all 175 of Martha Stewart’s cupcakes for family home evening over the next 3 years. She likes going to school on occasion and hopes to run a marathon someday (to burn off all those cupcakes).

Emily Milner (Assistant Editor) lives in Utah with her husband and three kids. She graduated from BYU in Comparative Literature, and enjoys reading, singing, and blowing raspberries on her baby’s tummy. She spent much of the last year nursing a baby while reading the Wall Street Journal.

Shelah Miner (Features Editor) loves nothing better than a good long run. So what’s she running from? Her husband and four kids and their home in Houston, Texas. She has degrees from BYU and Washington University, and taught writing to college students before surrendering to full-time motherhood.

Adri Murdock (Assistant Art Director) graduated with a degree from BYU in Art History and Curatorial Studies, and then promptly spent 4 laborious years working in corporate America. Thankfully, she was able to also work a stint in the 'art' world doing development, marketing, and grant writing for the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, before retiring to her real job of being mommy to two busy children (and one on the way!). She and family currently live in Colorado. In addition to art, Adri enjoys writing, photography, reading, organizing, gardening, making dinner, playdates at the park, reading friends’ blogs and planning parties.

Heather Oman (Editorial Board) lives in the south with her husband, her two kids, and her wiggly black lab. She is a licensed speech language pathologist, but spends most of her days trying to teach her own kids how to say please and thank you. She is a member of the Segullah Editorial Board, and is the founding member of the blog Mormon Mommy Wars.

Catherine Pavia has worked as a technical writer, editor, and college professor. She is currently the art director, events planner, and referee for her 3 children, ages 6, 4, and 3 weeks. She spends a good deal of her time running—be it down the supermarket aisle after an escaped child, around the living room in a heated game of duck-duck-goose, or on early-morning runs/therapy sessions with her neighborhood friends. She earned her BA and MA in English from BYU and just recently finished her PhD in English from UMass Amherst. http://bluestockingmama.blogspot.com

Kathryn Paul (Editorial Board) vanquished the dragon of BYU graduate school as a single mother with three young children. She passionately shared her love of creative writing, literature, public speaking, and storytelling at Timpview High School and the BYU English Language Center. She also taught teacher certification courses for the BYU Linguistics Department and presented her creative teaching methods at numerous seminars and conferences. Kathryn relishes her adventures as a genealogical jetsetter and when she’s not being chased by gypsies in Golkowice or waltzing through waves of golden leaves in Kutna Hora, Kathryn enjoys singing with her husband in the ward choir and teaching primary.

Maralise Petersen (Art Director) lives in Vienna, Austria where she works as a fine art and freelance photographer. While accompanying her husband in his international career, she has applied to three graduate programs on two continents, had the time to attend two of them, learned how to speak (poorly) in another language, and welcomed two sons into her home. For now, she attends the University of Vienna and studies Anglophone literature. She has displayed her artwork at the Amerika Haus in Vienna, Austria, and in the Women of Faith exhibit in Washington, CD. She blogs as the Reluctant Nomad at www.mlphotodesign.com/blog. Examples of her work can be found at www.yessy.com/maralisepetersen.

Dalene Rowley (Editorial Board) Dalene began blogging in 2005 as a legitimate way to avoid housework and to keep a journal of sorts. In her other life she wants to be excellent at a number of things, but in this one she’s settling for baking a mean sour cream lemon pie, keeping most of the points on her quilt blocks in line, being a loyal friend and aspiring to moments of goodness as a wife and mother.

Angela W. Schultz (Emeritus) is a born-again Mormon, a wife, and a mother of 5. Her hobbies include vacuuming, rotating her food storage, potty training, breastfeeding, and homeschooling. Oh, and She’s really good at laundry. She used to be a clinical social worker, and she also has a degree in English. Angie dreams of living a self-reliant, off-the-grid lifestyle, and she loves to belly dance.

Cheri Schulzke (Editorial Board) finished BYU’s music undergrad and English master’s programs in her previous life. Now she keeps busy with four kids, two in junior high and two younger ones who homeschool. Like their mom, they tune out everything the minute they open a book. A native of Oregon and more recently the Bay Area, Cheri has a deep need for trees. She’s also a sucker for good movies and gourmet food. She lives with her family plus three cats in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Allyson Smith (Prose Editor) now calls the Cornbelt home, after thirty years in the mountainous west. She lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband Bryan and their five children. An historian by training, she spends the bulk of her time writing non-history and trying to keep the home front intact.

Kathryn Lynard Soper (Editor-in-Chief) grew up in Silver Spring, MD. When she headed for BYU in 1989, she vowed to remain untouched by campus culture, but had to recant when she married her home teacher, Reed. After earning her English degree Kathy began a fruitful mothering career. Her seven human births have been the most momentous experiences of her life, but she’s also enjoyed her part in giving birth to this journal. She lives with her crazy family in South Jordan, Utah.

Kylie Turley (Advisor) grew up in Cody, Wyoming and can’t quite admit that she’s from Utah, even though she’s lived there since her BYU days. She has one BA (political science), one MA (American studies), five kids, one husband, no pets, one house to clean, one garden to grow, and hundreds of unfinished projects to do. In all her spare time she teaches honors writing at BYU and researches Mormon women’s history.

Annie Bentley Waddoups is a mom, researcher, writer, friend and dustbunny grower who loves asking questions and finding answers. She loves reading, laughing, writing, travel, movies, and Mexican food. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children (11-16) and dog Louie. Annie is a fourth-year PhD student at Tufts University and an adjunct faculty member at Boston University. She is curious about infant development, parent/child relationships, parent beliefs, the training & development of caregivers, and early child development in challenging circumstances.

Melissa Young (Production Editor) Despite her status as a Utah native, Melissa Young thinks that strapping skiis on your feet and heading down a mountain is just plain crazy talk. She may, however, try cross-country skiing someday. Other things on her "someday" list include taking a road trip in an Airstream, getting a motorcycle license (and maybe even a motorcycle), and learning to play the guitar. She loves old-fashioned things like knitting and writing with dip pens, but is also mighty grateful for microwaves, epidurals, washing machines, and computers. She lives in Mapleton, UT, with her husband and four children.