"Recess!" combines the efforts of an award-winning radio station, faculty
and researchers from the University of Florida community; teachers, librarians,
media specialists, and others working directly with children; and artists,
performers, and writers from around the country who are creating works
for children in print and other media.
Dr. John Cech
Creator, Producer and Host
Professor Cech is the Director of the University
of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture. He
is the author of books and plays for young people, as well as fiction
and criticism for adults, including Angels and Wild Things,
an exploration of the work of Maurice Sendak. John Cech has probably
never come across a subject that did not interest him greatly.
Professor Cech’s office phone: (352) 392-6650, ext. 285; email
Favorite childhood book: The Wonderland of Knowledge
Henri Pensis is the Station Manager of WUFT-FM. He handles the
editing and distribution of "Recess!" and hosts
WUFT's "Music of the Twentieth Century." In addition, he is an accomplished
Favorite childhood book: The Mushroom Planet Series by Eleanor
Richard Drake is the host of WUFT's morning classical program,
"Fanfare," and is North Central Florida's "Voice of the Arts." He
is also a classically trained singer.
Favorite childhood book: (Hasn't told us yet).
Eve is a teacher, an editor of works in the sciences and the humanities,
and a translator most recently of fiction by a Russian emigrée
writer. Eve is responsible for the editing of the program and website
content, for coordinating communications, opportunities, and ideas
of every variety, and for keeping the program in a state of calm
steady "flow." She says the extra large coffee she always
has on her desk helps achieve that tranquility.
Favorite childhood book: The Snowmaiden.
Fiona Barnes is a specialist in post-colonial literatures,
and currently serves as the Associate Director of Writing at the
University of Florida. She is also an actress and the mother of
Favorite childhood book: The Secret Garden.
Lauren Brosnihan is a graduate student in the Department
of English at the University of Florida. Her academic interests
include twentieth century Anglo-Irish and British literature. She
has been an academic reference and instruction librarian.
Please see her website for more information: http://www.nwe.ufl.edu/~brosniha
Favorite childhood book: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Ramona Caponegro is a PhD student in the Department of
English at the University of Florida. Her academic interests include
children's and young adult literature and culture and American literature.
She is the Associate Coordinator of Events in the Public Sphere
for the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature
and Culture and the assistant producer of Recess!.
Please see her website for more information: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/caponera
Favorite childhood book: The Story of Ferdinand by Monro
Leaf, Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
Jim Haskins was a professor of children's and adolescent
literature at the University of Florida. He has written books, too
numerous to mention here, on distinguished African Americans in
history, sports, and entertainment.
Favorite childhood book: (Too many to list).
Lola Haskins poetry
has appeared in The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, Prairie
Schooner, Southern Review, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. The most
recent of her eight collections is Desire Lines, New and Selected
Poems (BOA, 2004). Two prose books are forthcoming in 2007: Not
Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life (Backwaters
Press), and Solutions Beginning with A, fables about women with
images by Maggie Taylor (Modernbook). For more information, please
Favorite childhood book: (Not yet submitted).
Kenneth Kidd is an Associate Professor of English at the
University of Florida. He teaches courses on children's literature,
children's film, psychoanalysis, and gender studies. His book, Boyology
and the Feral Tale, was published by the University of Minnesota
Press; and, with Sidney I. Dobrin, he has co-edited Wild Things:
Ecocriticism and Children's Literature, from Wayne State University
Press. Currently, Kenneth serves as the Graduate Coordinator for
the Department of English. Recently, against good judgement and
in a masochistic spirit, he bought a house and now spends much of
his time spreading mulch, arranging for pest control, and watching
"Trading Spaces." Special interests include collecting 1950s furniture
Favorite childhood book: (Gotta ask)
Barry Stewart Mann is an actor, writer, educator and storyteller
based in Atlanta, Georgia. He teaches drama workshops and performs
educational programs through Young Audiences of Atlanta, the Georgia
Council for the Arts, and Atlanta's Alliance Theatre (where he is
on the Acting Faculty). Barry was named the 1999 Storyteller of
the Year by the Ohio Creative Arts Institute. He's the author of
numerous articles and essays on literary, historical and social
topics. Among his many dramatic credits, Barry has been seen on
such television programs as One Life to Live, The Dr.
Ruth Show, and A & E's Short Stories. He is the father
of two young sons.
Favorite childhood book: Horton Hears a Who, Dove, and
My Side of the Mountain
Cathlena Martin is a PhD student at the University of Florida,
Department of English, specializing in children's literature and
culture and digital media. Please see her website for more information:
Favorite childhood book: Archibald the Blue-Dotted Squirrel
Michelle Martin is a professor of children's and adolescent
literature at Clemson University. Her current research focuses on
African American children's picture books. Her book, Brown Gold:
Milestones of African American Children's Picture Books, 1845-2000,
was published by Routledge Press in 2003.
Shelley Fraser Mickle was born in 1944 and grew up in Arkansas
and Tennessee and graduated from the University of Mississippi in
1966. She is the author of three novels: The Queen of October,
a 1989 New York Times Notable Book; Replacing Dad,
now a Hallmark Channel movie; and The Turning Hour, about
teenage suicide. Her collection of humorous essays is titled The
Kids Are Gone; The Dog is Depressed & Mom's on the Loose.
She has also been a commentator for NPR's "Morning Edition."
Shelley is the mother of two grown children, and lives with her
husband on a farm in Alachua, Florida.
Visit her website: http://www.shelleymickle.com
Favorite childhood book: (Hasn't told us yet).
Susan Raab is president of Raab Associates, Inc., the first
agency to specialize in marketing and promoting children's books.
Susan is the author of An Author's Guide to Children's Book Promotion,
and she is Marketing Advisor to the SCBWI and is a feature columnist
for their national publication, The Bulletin. She serves
on the national Board of Advisors for the Children's Center for
Literature and Culture.
Malini Roy is a graduate student in the Department of English
at the University of Florida. Her academic interests include everything
to do with Romanticism. She enjoys Indian classical music and murder
Favorite childhood book: Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
Rosie Russo is the Director of Children's Services for the
Alachua County Library District.
Of all those in public service, Rosie wins the "Ms. Congeniality"
award, hands down, year in, year out!
Favorite childhood book: (We don't know.)
Kevin Shortsleeve grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, on Cape
Cod. He received a B.F.A. in filmmaking from Emerson College in
Boston. He is the author of five books of verse for children, including
Thirteen Monsters Who Should Be Avoided, which was listed
as a Kid's Pick of the List by the American Booksellers Association.
His essay, "Edward Gorey, Children's Literature and Nonsense Verse"
appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of The Children's Literature
Association Quarterly. Kevin has lectured on writing for children
in the United States and in Great Britain. He is currently living
in Oxford, England.
Favorite childhood book: (can't remember)
Julie A. Sinn is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida
specializing in children's and young adult literature. Before moving
to Florida, she taught junior high and high school students in Archie,
Missouri, a town of around 700 people and one grocery/video store/restaurant.
Now, when she isn't researching for her dissertation on the Little
Golden Books, she is marveling at the availability of midnight
sushi deliveries and 2 a.m. pizza. Please see her web site for more
Favorite childhood book: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury,
although The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
runs a close second.
Rita Smith is the Curator of
of Florida's Baldwin Collection of Children's Literature, one
of the leading historical collections of its kind in this country,
numbering more than 90,000 volumes from Dr. Mather to Dr. Seuss.
Favorite childhood book: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
Koren Stembridge provides lively commentaries for "Recess!"
when she is not dividing her time between her duties as a mother
and as the Quality Services Manager of the Boston Public Library.
Koren is a terrific singer, dancer, and a gifted comedienne.
Favorite childhood book: Busy, Busy World by Richard Scary
Laurie Taylor is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida
specializing in new media and video games, which also tend to be
the topics of her commentaries for "Recess!" She developed
and continues to consult for this website.
Please see her website for more information: http://www.nwe.ufl.edu/~ltaylor
Favorite childhood book: Andrew Henry's Meadow by D. Burns.
Harun Karim Thomas is a Ph.D.
student in the Department of English. His academic interests include
literary theory, new media studies, African American studies, and
gender issues. He spends much of his free time watching his beautiful
daughter, Jaiden Melesse, blossom and playing drums.
Please see his website for more information: http://www.nwe.ufl.edu/~hthomas
Favorite childhood book: (No report yet)