Craig Svonkin

Craig Svonkin, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His expertise is in amusement parks and children’s literature.

In addition to teaching, Svonkin is an executive director of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. He has quite a few publications including “A Southern California Boyhood in the Simu-Southland Shadows of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room” published in the Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Parks and Their Influence journal and “From Disneyland to Modesto: George Lucas and Walt Disney,” chapter 3 in Myth, Media, and Culture in Star Wars: An Anthology. Svonkin has also done many presentations including “Theorizing Multicultural and Multiethnic Children’s Fantasy” at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in 2008 and “Muggles & Giants & House-Elves, Oh My!: Harry Potter, Liberalism, and Evil” at the National Popular Culture Association Conference in 2003.

Svonkin is often called upon to share his expertise on pop culture topics related to amusement parks, Disney, Sesame Street and The Muppets. He is a member of Children’s Literature Association, Modern Language Association, Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Popular Culture Association and Oceanic Popular Culture Association. His research interests include American literature, children’s literature; and American film and visual culture.

Svonkin received his doctorate in English from University of California, Riverside in 2008, a masters in English from California State University, Los Angeles in 1997 and a bachelor’s in English from University of Southern California in 1986.

Lisa Abendroth

Lisa M. Abendroth is a professor in the Communication Design program at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She led the program as coordinator from 2000 to 2018. Her research focuses on public interest design and the social, economic, and environmental impacts created with, and within, the contexts of underserved people, places, and problems. Her pedagogy is committed to community-centered design practices that embolden access and equity.

Abendroth is a SEED Network cofounder, a SEED Evaluator coauthor, and a recipient of the SEED Award for Leadership in Public Interest Design. She is also a contributor to the Public Interest Design Institute. Abendroth is a coeditor of two books in Routledge’s Public Interest Design Guidebook series: Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook: SEED Methodology, Case Studies, and Critical Issues, published in 2015; and, Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies, published in 2018.

She has earned degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Abendroth lectures, curates, exhibits and publishes her work nationally and internationally. She was named a 2019 AIGA Fellow.

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