the AWARD PANEL
The Award Panel includes a diverse range of views, backgrounds and literary experience necessary to deliberate the merits of all nominated authors. The Award Panel will grant awards at its discretion and the decision of the Award Panel is final.
English Professor, Ball State University
Bio and photo forthcoming
Professor of English, DePauw University
Joe Heithaus has been teaching at DePauw University for 20 years. A poet, he won the “Discovery”/The Nation Prize in 2007 and is known in Indiana as an “Airpoet.” He and the other poets whose poems were selected to be included in stained glass windows in the new Indianapolis International Airport have published two books of poetry: Rivers, Rails, and Runways and Airmail. His own book of poetry, “Poison Sonnets,” came out in 2012. His work has appeared in a number of journals including Poetry, Indiana Review, the Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner and the Southern Review. He earned an MFA and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
Executive Office Manager, City of Carmel
Sharon Kibbe is the Executive Office Manager for the City of Carmel. She was formerly a Donor Fund representative for The Glick Fund, a fund of CICF, as well as the Executive Director for the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Family Foundation. Sharon is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Business. She currently serves on the Carmel Christkindlmarkt Committee and is the Secretary for the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations and the Cable & Telecommunications Commission in Carmel.
Sharon and her husband, Mark, reside in Carmel and have 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren.
Children's Librarian, Allen County Public Library
Christi Miller is a children’s librarian at the Dupont Branch of the Allen County Library. An avid reader since childhood, she loves sharing books with people of all ages through storytelling, readers’ advisory, school visits and book clubs. She is passionate about public libraries and their tradition of free access to information for all.
Christi earned a B.A. in English from the University of Houston and an Master’s in Library and Information Science from Indiana University.
Owner and Proprietor, Village Lights Bookstore
Nathan Montoya is owner and proprietor, with his wife Anne Vestuto, of Village Lights Bookstore in Madison, Indiana. He holds a BA in Psychology/Religious Studies, a BA in Biology, and an MS in Ballet from Indiana University. As a dancer, he trained with the Harkness Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and the Martha Graham School, and, in New York City, performed with the Martha Graham Ensemble and the Pearl Lang Dance Company. He taught master classes through Germany and the United Kingdom and performed with the dance companies of the opera houses in the German cities of Detmold and Giessen, where he also served as ballet and modern dance master and resident choreographer. He served for 17 years as a professor in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Montoya now happily identifies as a bouquiniste, specializing in world religions, science fiction, poetry, literary fiction, and antiquarian tomes. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.
Ann Moreau was the school librarian at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Indianapolis for 10 years. She also served as the executive director for the Indiana Library Association (now the Indiana Library Federation) and the Indiana Library Trustee Association. She represented the Association of Indiana Media Educators at General Assembly. Ms. Moreau was the director of constituent service for Governor Evan Bayh and the director of constituent communications for Senator Birch Bayh.
Ms. Moreau and her husband, Bill, have three children and four grandchildren.
Media Specialist, St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School
Marcia Murphy is the Media Specialist at St. Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville, IN. She has held her position at Guerin Catholic since its opening in 2004. Prior to that she was the Director of Children’s Services at the Anderson Public Library (1994-2004). Before moving to Indiana she was a Reference/Children’s Librarian at the Champaign Public Library, Directer of the Frederick Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library. She received a B.A. in design from University of Southern Illinois and an Master's in Library Science from the University of Illinois.
She loves telling stories and promoting the art of storytelling. Her secret addiction is directing musicals at Guerin Catholic and including as many students as possible. Her other passion is St. Theodore Guerin, the first saint of Indiana. She especially loves taking small groups of people on pilgrimages to St. Mary-of-the-Woods where St. Theodore Guerin’s earthly remains rest.
Her proudest achievement is her family. She and her husband David have seven wonderful children who continue to teach them about life.
Rick Nelson is a retired public relations executive who held positions with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, The American Legion, Hudson Institute and the United States Army. He serves on The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation Board of Directors. He is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and has taught graduate and undergraduate public relations courses at Ball State University and IUPUI.
Mr. Nelson served with the 1st Armored Division in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He earned a BA in English from The Citadel and an MA in Public Relations from Ball State University. He is the author of “Big Foot Stalks The Citadel,” which appeared in The Citadel Cadet Stories 1964-1994.
Mr. Nelson and his wife, Judy, reside in Indianapolis. They have two adult children.
Assistant Curator, Indiana State Museum
Kisha Tandy is an Assistant Curator at the Indiana State Museum. In this position, she researches, collects and presents content and exhibitions related to Indiana’s cultural heritage, in particular African American history. Her publications include “Art Intersects History: A Glance at Some Work of Indiana African American Artists” (Black History News and Notes, in Traces, Spring 2012) and REPRESENT: Celebrating Indiana’s African-American Artists (Expectations, Spring 2012). She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in American History and a Master of Library Science from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.