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Lynd Ward Prize Judges

The Lynd Ward Prize is selected by a diverse panel with graphic novel expertise, including individuals with significant ties to Penn State University.

2022 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Sophia Alexander is an undergraduate student at Penn State University majoring in Graphic Design. Inspired by art in its many forms, she aspires to create a better world through design. Her attachment to graphic novels is closely tied to her passions in the art world. She hopes to write and publish a graphic novel of her own someday.
  • Christopher Heaney is an Assistant Professor of History at Penn State, where he regularly teaches using graphic novels and histories as primary and secondary sources. His favorite feature to edit in The Appendix, an online journal of narrative and experimental history he co-founded, was the “Not-So-Funny Pages,” a series of experiments in historical storytelling using comics.
  • Dina A. Mahmoud is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature and Visual Studies at Penn State. Her research examines the reception of Arabophone, Francophone, and Anglophone comics on civil conflicts from the SWANA region. She also uses comics in her literature classes, and plans to incorporate Arabic comics in her advanced language classes.
  • Liz Schoppelrei is a Dual-Title Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Pennsylvania State University. They also hold a graduate minor in German. Their research and teaching focus on representations of queer community, queerness, and transness in graphic novels, comics, speculative fiction, novels, poetry, and poetry slam. 
  • Carol Tilley is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to teaching future librarians, she is a comics scholar, focusing on comics history and readership. She is a past president of the Comics Studies Society and was a judge for the 2015 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards.

2021 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Karen M. Lambert has been a librarian in the adult department at Schlow Centre Region Library since 2010. She evaluates print and online published trade reviews, and purchases and maintains graphic novel collections for the teen and adult libraries. She is also a co-coordinator of BookFestPA, which promotes local comic book creators and illustrators. 
  • Charlotte Land is an assistant professor of education with an emphasis on language and literacy studies at Penn State University. Her research and teaching focus on reading and writing at the intermediate and secondary grade levels. Part of her work on critical and culturally sustaining literacy teaching has included thinking with teachers and young people about expanding definitions of “what counts” as quality literature or writing. She has also had the pleasure of working with various groups of young people in creating graphic novels/comics of their own. 
  • C. Victoria McCrary is an undergraduate student at Penn State University and a passionate reader, creator, and game designer. Her love for the arts began at an early age and continues to refine throughout her educational journey. 
  • John Shableski is a publishing industry veteran who has created grant programs, industry awards, and graphic novel-centric professional development programs for national and international trade shows, conferences, and conventions. He currently serves as president of Reading with Pictures, an organization dedicated to getting "comics into schools and schools into comics." His ultimate objective is to help struggling students discover their joy of reading. 

2020 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Irenae Aigbedion, Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Literature, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Megan Baughman, Undergraduate Majoring in English, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Jason Griffith, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Voices from the Middle Columnist and Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Education, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • James McCready, Actor, Writer and Musician; Information Resources and Services Specialist with the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Penn State University Libraries (University Park, PA)
  • Colette Slagle, Dual Degree Doctoral Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

2019 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Steven Herb, Director Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book and Lead Founder of Penn State’s Lynd Ward Prize in 2011, Penn State University Libraries (University Park, PA)
  • Maria Burchill, Head of Adult Services , Co-coordinator of Bookfest PA, and Co-leader of the Pennsylvania Humanities' Council sponsored Teen Reading Lounge, Schlow Regional Library (State College, PA)
  • Brian Alfred, Artist, Musician and Curator; Creator and Host of the "Sound & Vision" podcast; Summer Program Teacher in Tokyo; and Assistant Professor of Art and Arts/Design Entrepreneurship Teaching Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Alise Deveney, Undergraduate Majoring in Film with Minors in English and Theater, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Robyn Engel, Project Architect, IKM Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)

2018 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Camila Gutierrez, Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Literature, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Paul Karasik, Author and Cartoonist (Martha’s Vineyard, MA)
  • Lars Stoltzfus-Brown, Doctoral Candidate in Mass Communications, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Matt Tucker, Undergraduate in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Joseph Michael Valente, Author and Associate Professor of Education and Co-director of Penn State’s Center for Disability Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

2017 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Amy Madison, Adult Services Librarian and Co-organizer of BookFest PA, Schlow Centre Region Library (State College, PA)
  • Stephanie Orme, Doctoral Candidate in Communications, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Jessica Sensenig, Sophomore Majoring in English and Telecommunications, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Emily Steinberg, Painter and Graphic Novelist and Teacher of Painting and the Graphic Novel, Penn State Abington, (Abington, PA)
  • John C. Weaver, English Teacher, Williamsport High School, (Williamsport, PA)

2016 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • John McComas, Penn State alum with a BA in English and Full-time Staffer at the Comic Swap (State College, PA)
  • Kendra Boileau, Editor-in-Chief and Acquiring Editor for the Press’ Graphic Medicine Book Series, Penn State University Press (University Park, PA)
  • Collin Colsher, Creator of the “Real Batman Chronology Project” with an MFA in Cinema Studies, New York University (NYU) (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Dustin Perna, Undergraduate Majoring in Advertising and Public Relations, Penn State University Press (University Park, PA)
  • Beth Theobald, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State’s Beaver Campus Library (Monaca, PA)

2015 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Brandon Hyde, Undergraduate Majoring in English, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Joel D. Priddy, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Veronica Hicks, Dual Ph.D. Candidate in Art Education and Women's Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Brent Book, Penn State alum and Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church (Boalsburg, PA)
  • Jonathan E. Abel, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Japanese, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

2014 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • J. Harlan Ritchey, Freelance Illustrator, Designer, Videographer and Library Assistant, Engineering Library, Penn State University Libraries, (University Park, PA)
  • B. Stephen Carpenter, II, Professor of Art Education and Professor in Charge of the Art Education Program, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Michelle N. Huang, University Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Benjamin Schreier, Malvin and Lea Bank Assistant Professor of English and Jewish Studies, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Kaity Watts, Senior Majoring in English - Publishing and Creative Writing and Minoring in World Literature, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

2013 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Adam Haley, Ph.D., Lecturer in English, College of the Liberal Arts,
  • The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Sadie Buckallew, Senior Majoring in Communication Arts and Sciences, College of the Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Amanda Clossen, Learning Design Librarian, Library Learning Services, Penn State University Libraries (University Park, PA)
  • Michael Jay Green, M.D., M.S., professor of humanities and medicine, College of Medicine;
  • J. Jeff Ungar, rare books cataloger, Cataloging and Metadata Services, University Libraries.

2012 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • Susan Squier, Julia Greg Brill Professor of Women’s Studies, English, and Science, Technology and Society in the College of the Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Glenn Masuchika, Information Literacy Librarian in Library Learning Services, Penn State University Libraries (University Park, PA)
  • Henry Pisciotta, Head of the Architecture Library and Assistant Head of the Arts and Humanities Library, Penn State University Libraries (University Park, PA)
  • Esther Prins, Associate Professor of Education in Adult Education, in the College of Education and Co-director of the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy and the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • John Secreto, Owner of Comic Swap (State College, PA)

2011 Lynd Ward Prize Judges:

  • John Meier, Assistant Librarian, Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Jarod Rosello, Graduate Student in the College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Jean Sanders, Associate Professor of Art, Visual Arts Department, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Scott Smith, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Jerry Zolten, Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and American Studies, Penn State Altoona (Altoona, PA)