Jack joined WITS in 2004. He designs creative writing school programs, collaborations with community organizations, and teaching opportunities for creative writers. He is responsible for recruiting, training, and managing writers in teaching placements and leads the WITS summer writing camp programs. 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 joined WITS in 2012 to provide professional development to both writers and teachers. Before joining WITS, Tina taught English in several Houston area school districts and also served as the Manager of Adolescent Literacy and Response to Intervention for the Houston Independent School District. Tina earned her B.A. in English and history from the University of Texas and her M. Ed. from the University of Houston. Active members of the Houston Greek community, Tina and her husband Gus have two children, Alexis and Jimmy (both former WITS students).
Bean ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2012 and appeared at TEDxHouston in 2013. His one-man show “Converse” went to Theatre Row in New York City in November 2013, as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival. Bean coaches the WITS youth poetry program, Meta-Four Houston. He recently co-authored a peer-review article on performance poetry in Children at Risk’s Journal of Applied Research on Children. Bean has taught with WITS since 2010.
Maryann has been a writer-in-residence with WITS since 2008. In the summer of 2015, she joined the program team and works collaboratively to place and support writers, meet with school and community leaders, and manage The Menil Collection and Arboretum projects. She also assists the program team in creating ideas for writer meetings, the WITS Collaborative, and WITS Arts in Medicine. Maryann taught in the Houston Independent School District for 15 years as a classroom teacher and a literacy coach. She has a B.B.A in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University, became a Certified Public Accountant, and earned her post-baccalaureate teaching certification from the University of Houston. She studied the teaching of writing at Columbia University’s Reading and Writing Project. Maryann’s essays, poems, and short memoir pieces have appeared in The Sun, Teachers & Writers, Reflections (short personal narratives), M. D. Anderson’s Cancerwise blog, and Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston.
Meggie joined the WITS community as a writer-in-residence in 2010. Her work with the WITS program team includes training and supporting writers, managing the WITS Digital program, facilitating summer internship opportunities, and developing programs with community partners. Meggie has a BA in English from Catholic University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston where she served as nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. A certified yoga instructor, Meggie teaches at BIG Power Yoga in Houston.
Patricia Garcia is a poet and former teacher from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She attended St. Olaf College where she received her B.A. in English Literature and Race and Ethnic Studies. Before moving to Houston, Patricia coached performance poetry and most recently, worked with students at an international school in South Korea. Patricia is passionate about Multicultural Education and utilizing poetry to empower youth. In addition to her work with the program team at WITS, she works as a social justice advocate for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community of Houston.
Loyce Gayo is a Tanzanian born creative, aspiring scholar and teaching artist based in Houston, TX. Gayo’s work is influenced by her experience in the African Diaspora and celebrates the journey of a people dispersed. Gayo was the slam champion of the UT Spitshine poetry slam team who won the 2014 Collegiate Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). Her work has been featured on Button Poetry, Write About Now, Badilisha Poetry, Fields Magazine and PBS. She teaches creative writing for Writers in the Schools, Houston and founded a creative writing and performance initiative for East African youths called Paza Sauti.
Jonathan Meyer is a writer and educator originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and a BFA from Emerson College in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. He is the recipient of the 2017 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction, the 2017 Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation Prize in Fiction, and other honors and fellowships. His work has appeared in Gulf Coast, The Switchgrass Review, The Boston Phoenix, and elsewhere. Prior to working for WITS, he taught writing and literature at the University of Houston.
Development & Communications Team
Alyssa is an artist and educator from Houston, Texas. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Houston with an emphasis in photography and digital media. In the fall of 2012 Alyssa was recognized by the Leigh Bess Boone Foundation for her dedication to the performing and visual arts. Currently, she enjoys making and exhibiting her work and is a regular contributor to a local zine.
Analicia Sotelo is a previous WITS writer who earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Houston and her BA from in English Literature from Trinity University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, The Boston Review, The Iowa Review,The Antioch Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Nonstop Godhead, was recently selected by Rigoberto González for the Poetry Society of America’s 2016 Chapbook Fellowship. Analicia has received scholarships from Squaw Valley and Image-Text-Ithaca, and is the 2016 Disquiet International Literary Prize winner in Poetry.
Stephanie writes grants and assists with donor relations and the Celebration of Story benefit and is passionate about the WITS mission. She is a native Houstonian and long-time appreciator of this city’s literary community. Stephanie earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Film Studies from University of Houston. Before joining WITS Stephanie worked at a local performing arts non-profit assisting with patron relations.
Angela So is a Cambodian-American writer who earned her MFA in fiction from The Ohio State University and BA in English from the University of Houston. Her prose has been published in Glimmer Train, Day One, and The Pinch. Angela has received fellowships from Kundiman and Vermont Studio Center. As part of the WITS team, she writes grants, assists with marketing campaigns, and manages social media.
Mimi is excited to be on the WITS team, writing social media posts and coordinating internal and external communications. Originally from New York, she holds a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University and worked with New Haven-based educational non-profits before moving to Houston. In her free time, she loves to hike, climb, and cook.
Angie manages all financial aspects of the organization, including receivables, payables, payroll, budgets, and financial reports. She also oversees the annual audit and tax return preparation. A native of Wisconsin, Angie lives in the Houston area with her husband and two cats.