Karlan Sick graduated from the University of Kansas in 1960 with French and German majors and a teaching certificate, and attended library school at Columbia University. She has worked at libraries in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and at the New York Public Library, where she served on several committees, including Best Books for Young Adults (twice), Outstanding Fiction for the College Bound, the Printz Award Committee, and the Alex Award Committee (twice).
After retiring from NYPL, Karlan joined LIT’s board as its president and seeks to improve library facilities for all of New York’s juvenile detainees.
Judy Frost’s major interest throughout her life has been words and literature. She’s a lifelong lover of books, especially fiction and poetry. And although she’s worked in many fields, the starting point was always reading and writing.
In addition to Judy’s work as an editor on the journal Greece in Print, as well as on a number of books, including fiction, memoir and scholarly works, she serve on the board of Indigenous Heritage, which seeks to help the San Bushmen of southern Africa (Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia) save their homelands and maintain their ancient culture.
Alexandra Cox received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. She has extensive experience with New York State juvenile facilities, where she has conducted research to assess some of the institutional dynamics that may create obstacles to the meaningful growth and development of the young people in the system’s care.
Since receiving her BA from Yale University, she has worked as a research associate at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Legal Affairs, a mitigation specialist and social worker at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and as a researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she conducted an evaluation of programs in men’s prisons in England and Wales. She also received a Soros Justice Advocacy fellowship to conduct research and advocacy in New York’s juvenile justice system.
Dana Lehrman worked as a young adult librarian in the New York City public schools for over 35 years, and as head librarian at Jane Addams High School in the south Bronx for the last 25 years before her retirement in 2007. She has also served on the board of the Carl Schurz Park Association, a civic group working for the betterment of that lovely East River park; was a teacher-participant in the Lincoln Center Institute bringing the arts to the city’s public schools; and established children’s libraries at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue and Temple Shaaray Tefila. In 2009 she founded ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT, a service that uses her organizing skills to help New Yorkers banish the clutter and gain more living space at home. Dana has been a member of the board of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens since 2008.
Laura Nurse began honing her skills as a therapist by working simultaneously with the Ackerman Family Institute and Union Settlement in East Harlem. There, she directed a multifaceted program of community services working with populations of elementary students through seniors. Then corporate life came calling. NBC/RCA wanted a person to act as “in-house shrink” and thought Laura would fill the bill. While there, she worked her way through several departments, including human resources, financial planning and sales. Since Laura’s retirement in January 2001, she has been doing volunteer work domestically, in South Africa and in Vietnam. She travels often and spends as much time as possible with her new grandchild, Nadia.
Ma’lis Wendt has more than 30 years of increasing management experience in libraries in New York City, including 12 libraries in Staten Island (2 years) and 34 libraries in the Bronx. Ma’lis also served as a member of the Branch Libraries Management Team, participating in setting the mission, vision and agenda for The New York Public Library Branch Libraries, including planning and oversight of new programs and services such as Family Literacy, technology training (Click-On), Community Health Information Services (CHOICES), and was co-founder of the Coalition for Bronx Libraries.
Anica Mrose Rissi is an executive editor specializing in YA and middle-grade fiction at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. She was previously an executive editor at Simon & Schuster and an editor at Scholastic Inc. A Maine native and a graduate of Yale University, Anica now bakes, runs, and flosses in Brooklyn, New York.
Ari Wohlfeiler is a social justice activist and fundraiser based in New York. He currently works as the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator at Jewish Voice for Peace, after five years as the Development Director at Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to ending the prison industrial complex. He has also worked extensively with the California Prison Moratorium Project and Californians United for a Responsible Budget to stop prison construction, and link grassroots movements against mass punishment with efforts to rebuild the social safety net. Ari also serves on the Advisory Board of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project, a legal service organization that protects the due process rights of low-income parents.