Growing up with a family of educators, the last thing Christina Blanch wanted to do was teach. That is, until she taught her first class and fell in love with the the profession. She began teaching classes on campus at Ball State University while finishing her Master’s Degree in Anthropology. After graduating, she took a position to teach college level Anthropology classes in the correctional education system. These circumstances introduced Christina to new set of challenges – teaching to different audiences. When that program ended and she went back to teaching on college campuses, the lesson was clear. In order to teach well, one must teach to your students. With this knowledge, she decided to enroll in graduate school and focus on the use of non-traditional methods to teach traditional students. Currently, she is teaching subjects, such as gender, using comic books as the textbooks. Additionally, she is working with Ball State’s iLearn division to create a MOOC for the humanities. In the summer of 2013, she will graduate from Ball State University with her doctorate in Educational Studies. All of the experience from teaching and innovative classroom experiences is what prompted Christina to bring Jeff and Nathan together to form CAPE. She lives in Indiana with her two awesome kids, her boyfriend, and two cats. In her spare time she is working on her own online comic, The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood – soon to premiere on Thrillbent.com.
JEFF BARBANELL, M.Ed.
Jeff Barbanell, M.Ed., CLU, CLTC, LUTCF brings his professional working advisory board, business, and academic experience to CAPE (Comics Association of Professionals and Educators) and RWP (Reading with Pictures). A regular presenter at New York Comic Con, WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con International, he continues to refine his work on “Comics as a Transitional Medium to Teach English Language Learners” to develop a range of lesson plans addressing content areas that integrate sequential art. Jeff also contributed “Shooter’s Marvelesque” to Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes published by Sequart Literacy & Research Organization. In pursuit of his Masters for Arizona State University, Jeff was embedded with 2nd – 8th grade students and student teachers in Osborn and Scottsdale school districts where he demonstrated the value of comics in the field. James Barbanell (a well-respected sports writer for Newsday) told Jeff he received comps from Marvel & DC from his friend, Al Plastino, which were passed on to Jeff, sparking this life-long interest.
NATHAN WILSON, Ph.D.
Nathan Wilson is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Kansas. He attended Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where he received a B.A. in English and Ethnic Studies. He completed a Master’s degree in History at Oklahoma State University, pursued doctoral work at the University of New Mexico, and eventually earned his Ph.D. in American History from Oklahoma State with a dissertation on the representation of Native Americans in the comic book industry.
Since then, he has taught history the University of New Mexico, Fort Hays State University, Central Michigan University, Oklahoma State University, and was recently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa where he offered courses in the American West, Native America, and American Popular Culture. Currently, he is a freelance writer and editor who has contributed articles, essays, and reviews to both scholarly and commercial publications, including ICv2, Graphic Novel Reporter, The Comics Journal, the Oklahoma Gazette, The Great Plains Quarterly, the multivolume Critical Survey of Graphic Novels from Salem Press, and others. He is the author of the Modern Masters Volume 26: Frazer Irving. Additionally, he has completed a co-written manuscript on American Indian Removal and is contracted for a third book on comic studies. In 2011, he moderated a panel on comic scriptwriting in the digital age with Eisner Award winners Matt Fraction and Mark Waid at C2E2, as well as moderating the Spotlight Cameron Stewart panel and presenting original research on American Indians and race in comics at the Comic Studies Conference panel both at San Diego Comic Con.