Pamela Monk is a storyteller, teacher and writer.
She spent 17 years in the Ithaca (NY) City School District where she taught middle school science and language arts, and oversaw her middle school performing arts program. During her Ithaca years, she was a founding member of Odyssey Storytellers. In 1999 she joined the faculty of Penn State’s Donald P. Bellasario College of Communication in the Journalism Department where she teaches courses in feature writing for online publication. Her interests have led her to create a variety of theatre events that involve song parody, storytelling and audience participation. Her plays have been produced in PA and NYC, and her writings have been published in a wide variety of outlets.
She is the founder of State of the Story, a personal narrative storytelling initiative that began in 2012 in State College, PA. A sampling of her work can be found at https://pamelamonk.contently.com/.
Teresa Hamilton is an Assistant Teaching Professor of English at Penn State University, writer and storyteller.
A professionally trained journalist, with over 15 years of experience teaching writing at high school and university levels, Teresa began writing stories at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, where she earned a BA in Mass Communications with emphasis in Print Journalism. She received her MS in News and Editorial Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed secondary teaching certification in Journalism and English including graduate work in 20th century American literature at Eastern Illinois University.
Storytelling has always been part of her life. She listened to her grandmother, mother and father tell stories about family members she never met and stories about family whose faces have slowly faded from her memory. Her stories about family, Black Southern living, human behavior and education are used in the freshman honors course and advance business writing course that she has been teaching for 8 years. Teresa is a co-founder of State of the Story.
Alyse Horn-Pyatt, a Penn State University graduate, brings her talent, experience and interests to Storyburgh as managing editor. While reporting for and editing PSU’s student-run newspaper The Daily Collegian, Alyse studied print journalism and minored in philosophy.
Since college, she has served as managing editor for The Northside Chronicle and, among other organizations, has worked with New Sun Rising, Work Hard Pittsburgh and teQ Magazine.
Spending much of her childhood outdoors, Alyse said it has been natural to see her journalistic interests transition towards focusing on environmental issues. Her life interests remain broad, however, but she said journalism allows her to keep a balance.
“I look at it like I have attained my childhood goal of being a ballerina on Monday, a veterinarian on Tuesday, a teacher on Wednesday… because each story allows you to step into the shoes of the people you are writing about.”
Mary Beth Spang
Mary Beth Spang earned her Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard and is now a therapist in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with youth ages 18-25 living with mental illness, helping them to transition into a more independent lifestyle equipped with coping skills for managing their mental health. Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder herself, she also writes about her personal experience living with and managing mental illness. Her writing has appeared in The Mighty, Disability Disclosed, and Germ Magazine.
Will Halim was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, lived in the Bay Area and Pasadena in California, educated in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at UC Berkeley, worked in banking, software consulting, semiconductor and is currently a nonprofit entrepreneur.
He can recall sitting on the balcony of his aunt’s house as a child and watching the people below. He was curious; where were they going? What were their stories?
These thoughts stuck with him, and later in life he wanted to expand on how humans could learn from each other through storytelling. In 2015, Will founded Storyburgh with the intention to connect people, nonprofits, and other mission driven organizations to share knowledge and amplify human experiences through words and images.
Will’s storytelling medium is photography, which he pursued in high school and in Los Angeles until he moved to Pittsburgh with his family in 2010. In LA he experimented with paparazzi, glamour, fashion and street photography, but Pittsburgh has honed his eyes to capture and expose the interconnection between us all.
His photography works have been exhibited in LA and Pittsburgh galleries as well as in The Westmoreland Museum of American Art and The Butler Institute of American Art.