Meet the judges

Meet our Youth Story judges!


Film

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi ZouThomas Chengxi Zou is a digital storyteller who advocates for underrepresented communities. He worked as a visual journalist and documentary producer in China. He is now a master’s student at the Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington, and works with local non-profits to address the homelessness issue. 

Amy E. Ryken

Amy RykenAmy E. Ryken, Dean and Professor, School of Education at the University of Puget Sound studies teacher learning, how to create equitable classroom spaces, and partnerships that foster connections between schools and community resources. She has researched industrial sites transformed into public landscapes on Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront to understand visitor perceptions and to inform development plans.

Jamika Scott

Jamika ScottJamika 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

Damico ClarkA 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.

Poetry

William Kupinse

William KupinseWilliam 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.

Erin Tail

Erin TailErin Tail is a young Lakota and Northern Cheyenne writer living on the Puyallup tribal reservation. She is currently a student at the Evergreen State College, and is majoring in Native Studies and Psychology. Erin makes her own poetry chapbooks and mostly focuses on themes that both challenge and yet comfort readers, regarding Native lives, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and dreamscapes. A lot of her spare time is filled with writing, drawing, going to traditional ceremonies, and reading books. She hopes in the future to have a collective of Native writers, and wants to deeply encourage young writers to keep processing their world in a humble way.

Josh Rizeberg

Josh RizebergJosh Rizeberg is a spoken-word poet, slam-champion, emcee, journalist, educator, and community advocate. He has been active in the music, literary, and activist scenes since the 1990’s. Rizeberg has toured North America as a performer and has written for the The Facts, the Weekly Volcano, and the Tacoma Weekly.

Christina Butcher

Christina ButcherBased 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.

Graph

Kendra Feinstein

Kendra FeinsteinKendra Feinstein, Department Chair and Mathematics Professor at Tacoma Community College, teaches courses in statistics, college algebra, and developmental mathematics. She has a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in mathematics from Texas A&M University. As an avid SCUBA diver of more than 20 years, she is concerned about the impact that humans have on marine ecosystems and is interested in efforts to restore the health and integrity of our oceans.

Sandy Salivaras-Bodner

Sandy SalivarasSandy Salivaras-Bodner is a passionate public health professional with over 15 years of experience in analyzing and communicating public health surveillance data. She currently works for the Washington State Department of Health performing statistical analysis, program evaluation, GIS mapping, spatial analysis, and research related to the administration of the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Spatial Analysis from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Apart from analyzing data, Sandy sees a big role in being the interpreter of data and recognizing that data visualization is critical to effectively communicate a message to any audience.

Robin Avni

Robin AvniRobin Avni is a creative strategist engaged in the development of collaborative education projects as well as community cultural programs. She’s had an extensive career in the design and high-tech industries. Robin has served on several national and local boards and commissions including the 4Culture Board of King County, the Bellevue Arts Commission, and is currently a member of the Gig Harbor Arts Commission and the Washington State Arts Commission. She received a BA in journalism with a minor in Design from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She holds a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington.

Thomas Chengxi Zou

Thomas Chengxi ZouThomas Chengxi Zou is a digital storyteller who advocates for underrepresented communities. He worked as a visual journalist and documentary producer in China. He is now a master’s student at the Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington, and works with local non-profits to address the homelessness issue.