Meet the AWP Staff
David W. Fenza
David Fenza joined the staff as publications manager in 1988, when he began to engineer the remaking of AWP Newsletter into the Writer's Chronicle. A graduate of the writing programs at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa, David also earned a master's degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. He has served on the boards of Share Our Strength and the Fall for the Book Festival. He is the author of a book-length poem, The Interlude. After becoming Executive Director of AWP in 1995, David initiated many of the changes in governance and programming to support the four-fold growth in the number of writers, teachers, students, and publishers who now benefit from AWP's projects and services.
Director of Publications
Supriya Bhatnagar has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India, and a BA in nonfiction writing and editing and an MFA in creative nonfiction from George Mason University. Her short stories have appeared in Femina and 4Indianwoman.com. Her memoir, & then there were three..., was published in 2010 by Serving House Books. Essays from this book have appeared in Perigee and Artful Dodge.
Rami Khyami joined the staff of AWP in March of 2014. He has a BS in Banking and Finance and more than ten years experience in complex financial operations mainly gained at international development consulting organizations. In his most recent position, he reduced financial risks and ensured accurate accounting procedures that adhere to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Rami is also currently pursuing an Executive MBA at George Mason University.
Director of Web Services and Systems Administrator
Kate McDevitt received her BS in computer science with minors in creative writing and mathematics from Virginia Tech. Also at Virginia Tech, she worked on her MS in computer science with a concentration in human-computer interaction. Kate has designed and developed Internet andIintranet sites for many educational, governmental, and commercial organizations. She writes genre and young adult fiction. Kate joined AWP in 2006.
Director of Development
Pamela Mills was the Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at George Mason University, before she joined AWP. Pamela's career also includes sixteen years in programming, development, and conference management in public broadcasting with KQED in San Francisco and PBS in Washington DC. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Education from American University.
Director of Conferences
Christian Teresi oversees what has become the largest literary conference and bookfair in North America. Since his appointment in 2008, he has been dedicated to helping the conference expand and celebrate the diversity of contemporary literature. Christian joined AWP in 2003 as a membership assistant and went on to manage WC&C and Career Services. He holds an MFA in poetry from George Mason University and a BA in English from Binghamton University. His poems and interviews have appeared in several literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, the Kenyon Review Online, Sou’wester, and the Writer’s Chronicle. He is the recipient of a 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize.
Director of Membership Services
Diane Zinna received her MFA in fiction from the University of Florida and went on to teach part-time at various Washington, D.C.-area colleges. Prior to joining AWP, she worked in disaster relief for the American Red Cross but always made time to write. She has had stories in Evolution, The Northern Virginia Review, and at Eclectica.org.
Conference Events Coordinator
Abigail Campbell earned her BA in international community development, with a concentration in education, from Oral Roberts University. While there, she organized events for New Hope Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization that aids the children of incarcerated parents, and she traveled to rural India to study micro-finance. She also helped to plan continuing education conferences for the National Association of Managed Care Physicians.
Cristina Colón has a BA in Communications with a minor in English from Regis University. Before joining AWP, she was a Project Manager at Harris Connect, LLC where worked with clients throughout the U.S. to coordinate projects through all stages of production. Her articles and photography have appeared in the Journal of the Student National Medical Association.
Brittany Cooper holds a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland. She received her BA in English from McDaniel College, with concentrations in journalism and creative nonfiction. Brittany’s work has been featured in Contrast and highlighted by the Associated Press.
Daniel D'Angelo received an MFA in poetry from George Mason University as well as a BA in journalism and mass communication and in Asian languages and literature from the University of Iowa. His poems have appeared in The Collagist, B O D Y, H-ngm-n, and elsewhere.
Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson
Conference Registration Manager
Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson holds an MA in English Literature from George Mason University, where he also studied for his BA in the same field. Before returning to the United States to begin his university studies, Lars lived, worked, and studied in Oxford, England and Stockholm, Sweden for nine years. As an undergraduate student, he helped to develop and implement the idea for Connect2Mason, George Mason’s first new media website, and served as Converge Director on the editorial team that won the 2008 ACP Online Pacemaker Award.
Membership Services Assistant
Kenny Lakes holds a BA in history with a minor in political science from Susquehanna University. Prior to AWP, he worked at Global Alliance for Arts & Health as a membership associate.
Leanne Molter received her BFA in Art and Visual Technology with a concentration in Graphic Design from George Mason University. For the last two years, Leanne has been a graphic designer and coordinator of marketing and social media at Marketing Solutions in Fairfax, VA. She has also worked as a photo processor and editor for Stuart Hill Photography, and she freelanced as a designer.
Panneer Selvam Santhalingam
Panneer Selvam Santhalingam is from Tamil Nadu, India. He completed his bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Anna University, India. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Information Security and Assurance at George Mason University.
Atossa Shafaie received a BA in English literature from George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. She served as Fiction Editor for So To Speak. Her short story “Mind the Gap” was published in the anthology Destination Elsewhere by Scribes Valley and won the Dreamquest One Fiction contest. Her short story “Woman to Woman” was published in the anthology Destination Nowhere by Scribes Valley and won first prize short story category in the Coffee House Fiction competition. Her short story “Growing Pains” was published in the Fish Anthology 2012. Her flash fiction has earned honorable mention in the Glimmer Train Flash Fiction Contest.
Associate Director of Conferences
Cynthia Sherman joined AWP in 2012. She has volunteered with several organizations in Northern Virginia, including GRACE Art as a program presenter and as the committee chair for the local World Thinking Day program of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Prior to her volunteering, she spent fifteen years in exhibits and meetings management. In her free time, she stays true to her former flight attendant days and continues to explore the world with her family. She also practices yoga and designs jewelry.
Ronald Goldfarb is a lawyer, author, and literary agent based in Washington, D.C. His firm specializes is legal matters pertaining to writers and publishing. He is the author of ten nonfiction books, including Perfect Villains, Imperfect Heroes: Robert F. Kennedy's War Against Organized Crime. He served in the Justice Department of the Kennedy Administration from 1961 to 1964.