Jerry Davis (President) has been a leader of creative enterprises of all kinds. Since 1991 he has been in the forefront of animated movies, beginning with Pixar’s original TOY STORY. His other projects include Warner Bros.’ IRON GIANT (based on Ted Hughes’ famous novel The Iron Man, Fox’s ICE AGE, and he produced two movies with children’s book author William Joyce: ROBOTS (2005) and EPIC (2013). As Chief Creative Officer for Starz Animation, Jerry Executive Produced EVERYONE’S HERO and SPACE CHIMPS. He’s a former board member of Producers Guild of America and gave his first TEDx talk in 2015 about creative leadership. Jerry was mentored by legendary Broadway producer Alexander H. Cohen and went on to produce four successful off-Broadway shows. He is also a proud published author himself: Little Chicken's Big Day (Simon & Schuster).
Katie Davis (School Director) is the author/illustrator of over a dozen traditionally published books for children, from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels. They’ve sold over 755,000 copies worldwide, which is why she self-published How to Write a Children's Book and How to Promote Your Children's Book, both #1 Amazon bestsellers.
Because Katie’s secret superpower is her ability to teach writers about writing, tech, and marketing their books, she created digital self-led courses and products for writers such as How to Create Your Author Platform (and Market Your Books without Being Pushy), Video Idiot Boot Camp, and Launch Your Book Blueprint. She’s also co-created the largest and first live online conference of its kind, Picture Book Summit. Even though Katie’s podcast, Brain Burps About Books, has just ended its six-year run, it still consistently ranks in the top 10 book-related categories. She has appeared regularly on WTNH recommending children’s books and recently gave her first TEDx talk, The Positive Power of Procrastination (and How to Use it for Good, Not Evil). Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to elementary schools, to university level, including UCONN and Yale, and has keynoted conferences and fundraising galas.
Using her now not-so-secret superpower enabled Katie and her husband, Jerry Davis, to take leadership roles of the 47-year-old Institute of Children’s Literature and its sister school, the Institute for Writers, where, as of this writing, 470,027 people have taken college level writing courses and learned to write for both children and adults.
Pearl Bartelt (Advisory Board) became a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in January 2010. She is currently working on the Roadmap Project; a grant funded initiative involving community colleges. Prior to this she was at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs starting in January, 2005 and retired in January 2010.
Bartelt was educated at The Ohio State University where she received a B.S. degree in education and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology.
She began her career at the collegiate level as an assistant professor at the Community College of Philadelphia. She later served as assistant, associate and full professor at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in New Jersey. Bartelt was appointed dean of liberal arts and sciences at Rowan University in 1991 after serving as president of the College Senate. She became vice president for academic affairs at Central Connecticut State University in 1999 and provost in 2001 before joining AAC&U as a Senior Fellow from 2003-2004. She also served as a visiting senior research fellow at England’s University of Surrey from 1985 to 1986.
She has been a board member of the American Congress of Academic Deans and the International Communal Studies Association, where she previously served as president. She has been president of the Pitman New Jersey Board of Education and is now a board member of the Ardmore Pennsylvania public library.
Bartelt’s scholarship has been in the areas of Communal Studies and Higher Education.
George Olshin (Advisory Board) is a Professor of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He has been at SCSU for over 40 years. In addition to teaching graduate level classes he also coordinates the Interdisciplinary Special Education Program. He has previously held positions as a Special Education Teacher in New York City, worked at the Department of Education for the State of Georgia, and has worked for the US Department of Education in Washington D.C
Dr. Olshin received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Columbia University in New York City and received his Doctorate from the University of Georgia. He has been a consultant to Grove School for over 30 years and currently serves as the President of Grove School's advisory board. He functions as the Grove School liaison with SCSU. Dr. Olshin works with Grove School staff in their professional graduate studies and helps direct their ongoing training in the field of Special Education. He also makes it possible for Grove School graduates who choose to attend SCSU to have an on-campus connection with someone who is very familiar with both programs. All Grove juniors and seniors have an opportunity to visit the SCSU campus to prepare them for the college experience and to ease the enrollment process.
Dr. Olshin spends most of his free time developing and designing new experiential educational courses/activities as well as traveling and reading.
Donald E. Heller (Advisory Board) is Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and a professor of education at the University of San Francisco. He is responsible for the university's five schools, libraries, academic affairs, student life, enrollment management, online programs, international relations, and diversity and community outreach for the university's 10,800 students, 1,200 faculty, and 1,000 staff.