Meet the judges

Meet our Youth Story Contest judges for 2018!


Tracy Rector

Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole) is a producer, director, activist, and co-founder of Longhouse Media. She has made over 400 short films, and is in production of her fifth feature documentary. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, National Geographic, Toronto International Film Festival, and in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. She is a current Firelight Media Lab Fellow, a former WGBH Producer Fellow, Tribeca Grantee, and Sundance Institute Lab Fellow. In 2016, Tracy was awarded the Stranger Genius Award. Tracy lives in Tacoma.

Silong Chhun

Producer, designer, and musician Silong Chhun was born during the Khmer Rouge Regime and immigrated to America, settling in Tacoma, WA. Silong plays piano, bass, guitar, & produces beats, was the frontman, producer, and engineer for rap group The 2nd Language, & provided music production for the award-winning documentary Cambodian Son. Silong & his father founded the Sinn Sisamouth Foundation and Silong works with artists and djs in Cambodia and throughout the world, producing beats and mentoring. In 2013, Silong launched Red Scarf Revolution, giving voice to once silenced art, culture, and language, and memorializing the darkest tragedy in the history of Cambodia with designs that represent the resiliency of the Cambodian people.

Amy E. Ryken

Amy E. Ryken, Dean and Professor, School of Education at the University of Puget Sound teaches courses focused on classroom teaching and learning in nearby nature. Amy’s research include understanding and improving teacher learning, and partnerships with school and community resources. She researched industrial sites transformed into public landscapes on Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront to aid city officials in development plans through an understanding of visitor perceptions.  She is author of the Environment and Learning blog. Publications include “Engaging children’s spontaneous questions about social diversity,” for Multicultural Perspectives (2015) and the co-written “Because it’s a girl cake!: Fostering dialogue about gender identity in elementary classrooms,” in Northwest Passage: Journals of Educational Practices (2012). Ryken is author of the book “Are you a boy or a girl: Conversations about gender in elementary classrooms” (2011).

Jamika Scott

Jamika Scott, Tacoma native, is a children’s advocate, activist, and writer. Her passion for writing has been burning since childhood, but she was drawn to film writing by a mentor in college and has been at it ever since. As a co-founder of the Tacoma Action Collective, she works toward building an equitable city as a community organizer, and often incorporates her love of film into her social justice work.

Damico Clark

A SeaTac area video producer, Clark started his production venture doing music videos by cofounding a collective named the Digggers, a platform for independent rap artists and their videos.
This fall, he’ll be premiering his directorial debut, Monk: a short film following a jazz musician who’s on a soul search during a weekend visit home.


William Kupinse

William Kupinse is associate professor of English at University of Puget Sound, where he teaches British and Irish literature, ecocriticism, and creative writing. His poems have appeared in The Fourth River, Green Letters, Cascade, and Cimarron Review literary journals. Kupinse was Tacoma’s Poet Laureate from 2008–09. A collection of his poems, titled Fallow, was published with support from the Tacoma Arts Commission in 2009.

Josie Emmons Turner

Emmons Turner was the 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate. Her work has been published in national journals and has been included in the Floating Bridge Review, In Tahoma’s Shadow, California Quarterly, and the Backstreet Review. She has founded and/or managed a variety of cultural organizations and is currently teaching senior and sophomore writing classes at Clover Park High School. She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing through the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Christina Butcher

Based out of Tacoma, Washington, Christina writes and produces multimedia content professionally across Washington state’s South Puget Sound. She’s also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where she worked as a Chinese-Mandarin linguist for six years. She holds degrees in anthropology and Chinese-Mandarin language studies, as well as a certificate in storytelling and content strategy.


Coming soon!