Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University and focuses his work on the teaching of writing, literacy and technology, and teacher education and professional development. A former middle school teacher, he collaborates with K–12 colleagues and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms. Hicks directs CMU’s Chippewa River Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project, and he frequently conducts professional development workshops related to writing and technology.
Also, Hicks is author of the Heinemann titles Crafting Digital Writing (2013) and The Digital Writing Workshop (2009) as well as a co-author of Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Create, Compose, Connect! (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2014), Connected Reading (NCTE, 2015), Research Writing Rewired (Corwin Literacy, 2015), Coaching Teacher-Writers (Teachers College Press, 2017), Argument in the Real World (Heinemann, 2017), and From Texting to Teaching (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2017). His edited collection, Assessing Students’ Digital Writing (Teachers College Press, 2015) features the work of seven National Writing Project teachers. Hicks has authored or co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters and blogs regularly at hickstro.org.
Nancy Loome serves as president of The Parents’ Campaign Research and Education Fund and as co-founder and executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, a Jackson, Mississippi-based network of more than 64,000 Mississippians committed to improving public schools.
Nancy holds a BSBA in Marketing and a M.Ed. in Counseling from Delta State University. For twelve years she directed university career centers, first at Delta State and later at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. She has been active in civic affairs, including service on the Board of Directors of the Joplin (MO) Metro-Area Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a freelance consultant for business and industry in the area of employee development.
In 2004, as a parent volunteer, Nancy began communicating with other parents around the state about legislation affecting public education. In 2006, she incorporated The Parents’ Campaign, a nonpartisan, grassroots, public education advocacy group that has been credited with numerous legislative victories. The Parents’ Campaign’s work on behalf of public school children includes advocating for adequate funding, promoting high standards and fair accountability, fending off school privatization efforts, and helping to win passage of legislation to improve early childhood education.
Loome has served on the boards of such organizations as the Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning, Mississippi Building Blocks, and the Mississippi PTA. She has been widely recognized for her work to improve public education for Mississippi children. Among her numerous awards are Clinton School District and State of Mississippi Parent of the Year Awards, the Rep. Leonard Morris Award for Public Service and Integrity, numerous “friend of education” and advocacy awards, and induction into Delta State University’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Nancy lives in Clinton, Mississippi. She and her husband Jim are proud parents of two daughters, both graduates of the Clinton public schools, and a son who is a student at Clinton High School.
Jason Jones is a member of the Languages and Communications faculty at Northwest Mississippi Community College and the Director of the Writing Centers. He holds both a B.A. in English and M.Ed. in Secondary Education, English from The University of Mississippi and is currently a doctoral student in Composition Studies at the University of Memphis. He is actively involved with both the Mississippi Writing Center Association and the University of Mississippi Writing Project. As a former secondary school educator, he works closely with secondary schools interested in founding or sustaining writing centers.
Sydney McGaha is in her eighth year of education and currently serves as an assistant principal for the Oxford School District at Oxford Middle School. Sydney is a three-time graduate of the University of Mississippi, possessing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master’s of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Secondary English Education, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Sydney is also a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early Adolescence English Language Arts, having taught English Language Arts to students in grades 6-10 for the past seven years. Sydney is beginning doctoral study in curriculum and instruction this summer at the University of Mississippi.
Brad has worked in writing centers since 2005, and he values the important role that centers play in fostering a culture of writing on college campuses, in high schools, and in local communities. His research interests include writing center theory, composition theory, and cultural studies. Specifically, he is interested in the intersection between writing and culture and the formation of writerly identities. Additionally, Brad is interested in writing center architecture and how space, locale, and aesthetics influence writerly engagement and efficacy.
Brittany Franks is an English teacher at Oxford High School in Oxford, MS. After receiving her B.A. in English Education from The University of Mississippi, she began teaching freshman English at Tupelo High School. A year later she found herself moving across campus to teach sophomores, and it stuck. Through more years of teaching, a new city, and a new school, her 10th graders have remained. In 2017, she became a National Board Certified Teacher, and with that newfound confidence (or same old craziness), she decided to take on the implementation of a writing center at Oxford High School after attending a session on writing center pedagogue at TCW 2017. The Writer’s Block was born soon after. Now, her spare time is devoted to convincing OHS’s students of all levels to sit down and have a conversation about writing - even if she has to bribe them with cookies.