Board of Directors & Staff

Wende Ballew 

Executive Director

 

Wende has a BA in Theatre, an MBA, an MA in American Studies, a graduate certificate in Women's Studies, and is a PhD candidate in Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies at UGA. They has extensive experience as a freelance theatre professional,  arts manager, and educator. As a theatre professional she has worked for Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Aurora Theatre, the Neighborhood Playhouse, and the Atlanta Arts Festival. As an arts manager, Wende worked for the University of West Georgia and Cobb County. Wende has taught at Kennesaw State University and continues to teach and direct Reforming Arts classes inside women's prison facilities in Georgia and facilitate their Theatre Reentry Project. 

 

Stephanie Iasiello, PhD

Board President & Treasurer

Stephanie Iasiello received her PhD in English from Emory University in 2018. Her research interests include contemporary literature of the African Diaspora, slavery, neo-slavery, critical race theory. Stephanie is currently working on a JD at Georgia State University College of Law in order to continue her social justice & advocacy work. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 2012. 

 

Katherine Perry, PhD

Board Secretary 

Katherine Perry is a poet and an Assistant Professor of English at the Decatur campus of Georgia State University’s Perimeter College. She is also a co-founder and coordinator of the GSU Prison Education Project which takes for-credit classes into area prisons.

Erin Gerber

Board Member

Erin Gerber is a sales professional at Better World Books. She began her career in academic libraries before moving to the corporate world. She sees her role at BWB as a way to provide much needed funding to public and academic libraries. Erin hales from Topeka, Kansas where is attended one of the only remaining city universities in the nation, Washburn University. After leaving Kansas she moved to New York to study Women's History at Sarah Lawrence College. Erin was one of the first and strongest supporters of Reforming Arts and is glad to be able to serve on the board.

Royal Grooms

Board Member

 

Joshilyn Jackson

Board Member

Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nine novels, including gods in Alabama, Someone Else’s Love Story, and Never Have I Ever (July, 2019).  She teaches creative writing seminars all over the country and has taught courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Emory University. Her work is greatly influenced by Southern Gothic tradition; she writes page-turners that revolve around women’s issues and faith and justice issues. She lives in Decatur Georgia with her husband and their two children. You can visit her on the web at http://joshilynjackson.com

Lorien Jordan, PhD, LMFT

Board Member

As an Assistant Professor in Family Therapy at Mercer University, Lorien's research and teaching address inequity in communities, while recognizing the resilience of family systems.​ Her program of research is comprised of two intersecting strands. The first is a focus on the intersections of culture, mental health, and social justice. Second, is the production, analysis, and critique of qualitative research methodologies. Both inform the other, as she utilizes a variety of critical qualitative methods to explore engagement with discourses that inform the therapeutic landscape.  

Anna Schachner, MFA

Board Member

Anna Schachner has published short fiction and creative nonfiction in many journals and magazines, including Puerto del Sol, Ontario Review, and The Sun, and she writes about books and literary culture for publications such as The Guardian and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  She is a frequent guest lecturer in Emory University’s creative writing program, speaks at writing conferences and book festivals all over the South, runs a series of writing workshops for veterans, and volunteers with Reforming Arts to teach writing in the Georgia prison system.  Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, she grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and now lives in Atlanta, where she is the editor of  The Chattahoochee Review.

Rob Stewart

Board Member

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