Jack designs creative writing school programs, collaborations with community organizations, and teaching opportunities for creative writers. He is responsible for the organization’s operations, creating and developing relationships with schools, museums, hospitals, and other organizations, internal staff management and communication, writer and staff recruiting, staff training, and managing writers in teaching placements. Jack serves as the WITS representative for many community partnerships and collective impact initiatives, including Arts Connect. One of his true joys at WITS is leading the WITS summer writing camp programs, where students from all areas of the Houston community come together to experience the power of art and writing. Jack has a B.A. in art history and Spanish from Trinity University and a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
After 37 years in public education, Tina Angelo joined WITS in 2012 to serve as Education Director where she provides professional development to teachers at both campus and district levels. Before joining WITS, Tina taught English in several Houston-area districts and served in the Houston Independent School District as both Manager of Adolescent Literacy and Manager of Response to Intervention. She earned her B.A. in history and English from the University of Texas at Austin and her M.Ed. from the University of Houston.
2017 Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Artist in Resident and 2016 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Idea Fund Recipient, Emanuelee Outspoken Bean, is a performance poet, writer, compassionate mentor, electric entertainer and educator.
Raie Crawford is a Wiley College Alumna from Houston, Texas. As a two-time Houston VIP Slam Champion and 2017-2018 Houston Performance Poet of the Year. Raie is ranked within the top 20 among the Women of the World Poetry Slam and top 25 within the rankings of the Individual World Poetry Slam. In 2018 she released her first book “In Between |Space|” which captures the journey and movement of black bodies in today’s society. With the firm understanding of the impact communication has on minority communities, Raie created A Conversation for Colored Girls (AC4CG), an organization dedicated to creating a space for minority women to come together and discuss the systemic issues in their communities. This organization has cultivated impactful community conversations at several HBCUs and aims to further reach every HBCU in the US.
Patricia Garcia Soto is a poet and educator from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. With a background in critical race studies and multicultural education, Patricia has taught, coached, and mentored students in the U.S. and South Korea. She is an alumna of the artEquity National Facilitator Program and currently resides in Houston, Texas where she oversees school and community creative writing programs with Writers in the Schools. Patricia has a B.A. in English and American Racial and Multicultural Studies from St. Olaf College.
Sonia Hamer works with WITS as the UH CWP Program Associate. In addition, she serves as Gulf Coast Magazine’s Online Nonfiction Editor. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction Magazine’s True Story, The Houston Flood Atlas, Archipelago, and elsewhere.
Alyssa is an artist and designer based in Houston, Texas and joined the WITS team in 2013. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Houston with an emphasis in photography and digital media. In 2012, Alyssa was recognized by the Leigh Bess Boone Foundation for her dedication to the performing and visual arts. In her free time, she runs a small batch hot sauce company.
Meggie Monahan is the Director of Development & Community Partnerships at Writers in the Schools. Meggie joined WITS as a teaching artist in 2010, and she loves working with the WITS team to amplify the voices and celebrate the stories of Houston’s young writers. Meggie received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and her poems have been featured in several journals including Best New Poets, The American Journal of Poetry, Natural Bridge, and Third Coast. Meggie oversees fundraising and manages community partnerships, board relations, and national advocacy through the WITS Alliance. When she’s not at WITS, Meggie teaches big-hearted, empowering, and super-sweaty yoga classes at BIG Power Yoga.
Candace Okin joined WITS in 2020 and serves as its Development and Communications Manager. She brings to her role almost 10 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, having raised over four million dollars in public and private support. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 2010 and later earned a master’s degree in Psychology.
Joyce Sisson – Fransaw is an accountant with over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is responsible for all day to day accounting, bookkeeping and payroll functions for the organization. Joyce started her career in Houston area charter schools and later on the collegiate level where she managed departmental funds. She has managed a variation of donations, endowments and grants including Title I, National School Lunch Program, National Institute of Health and the Welch Foundation. When Joyce is not at WITS, she serves as Treasurer for the Bayou City Houston chapter of the National Women of Achievement, Inc. and she volunteers for a number of educational and community organizations.