MemberAndrea Mendoza

Born in Mexico and educated in the United States, Andrea Mendoza holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and a B.A. from Connecticut College. Her research and teaching areas combine the studies of 20th and 21st century East Asian and Latin American literatures and visual cultures; transpacific studies; feminist and gender studies; critical race studies; and intellectual history. Her current projects focus on developing an intersectional and transpacific approach to comparing philosophical, literary, and cinematic discourses on race and racism in Mexico and Japan and their role in constituting ideas about national identity in the twentieth century. During her Ph.D. and B.A., her research received funding from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

MemberJanelle Peters

Dr. Peters holds degrees from the University of California, the University of Chicago, and Emory University. Her undergraduate thesis on the Dead Sea Scrolls was awarded High Honors. She was one of two recipients in Religious Studies of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for graduate studies (2004-2008). Her research appears in top peer-reviewed journals such as Biblica, JECH/APB, JSP, and Neotestamentica. She has presented at classics and religious studies conferences at universities such as Princeton and Tufts. Dr. Peters has contributed to national magazines such as America. She has taught at Dominican University, the University of St. Francis, Lake Superior State University, and Emory University. In addition to her academic pursuits, she has done environmental work with faith-based organizations (Floresta and La Jolla Presbyterian) in Oaxaca, edited the college newsletter of Revelle College at UCSD (Revellations), fed the homeless with Christian campus organizations at UCSD, served on the Education and Faith Committee of the Catholic Community at UCSD, translated business documents between French and English (San Diego, CA), tutored English and civics for Boat People SOS (Atlanta, GA), coordinated veterans and emergency preparedness programs for AmeriCorps and the American Red Cross (Chicago, IL), taught physical education at a charter school (Los Angeles, CA), worked on a political campaign (Los Angeles, CA), and coordinated research for University of California science research station.

MemberJenny Grant Rankin

Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin is a Mensan and Fulbright Specialist with two doctorates (a Ph.D. and L.H.D) who has delivered approximately 200 keynotes and lectures (such as for University of Cambridge, TED, and national research associations) and served on many panels (like for the NSF and even International Comic-Con). She has written 11 books and over 140 papers and articles. Dr. Rankin’s many media appearances include NBC News, National Public Radio (NPR), O: The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Huffington Post (HuffPost), The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, The San Diego Union Tribune, The Orange County Register, and congressional testimonies to inform legislation. Her honors include winning Teacher of the Year (she previously served as a teacher, assistant principal, district administrator, and chief education & research officer) and being honored multiple times by the U.S. White House (for example, the American flag was once flown over the White House / Capitol Building in honor of Dr. Rankin and her contributions to the field). Her most frequent speaking topics are at, her full bio is at, and her press page is at

MemberTana Jean Welch

Tana Jean Welch is a poet and scholar of contemporary American poetry. She received her Ph.D. in Literature from Florida State University in 2013, specializing in medical humanities, American poetry and poetics, multiethnic literature, posthumanism, new materialism, and gender theory. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine where she teaches courses in literature, writing, and humanities and serves as the managing editor for HEAL: Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature. Her critical work has been published in MELUSThe Journal of Ecocriticism, and Academic Medicine. Her poetry has been published in The Southern ReviewPrairie SchoonerThe Gettysburg Review, and other national literary journals. Her first collection of poetry, Latest Volcano, was the winner of the 2015 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.