Board Members

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Jim Spates

Co-Director

Jim Spates is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. He is the Co-Founder (with Sara Atwood), in 2020, of The Ruskin Society of North America, webmaster of the blog site, https://whyruskin.wordpress.com, a Companion of Ruskin’s Guild of St. George, a Member of the Roycroft Campus Community, and a Member of The Ruskin Art Club in Los Angeles. With another Guild Companion, he has led—and plans to lead more!--various Ruskin tours in the UK and Europe.

For the last three decades, he has lectured regularly in both the UK and U, on various aspects of Ruskin’s life and work. He is the author of many published articles on Ruskin and of the book, The Imperfect Round: Helen Gill Viljoen’s Life of Ruskin. Currently, he is writing Availing toward Life: The Radical Social Thought of John Ruskin, a book dedicated to making Ruskin’s masterpiece of social and economic criticism, Unto this Last, accessible to a new generation of readers.

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Sara Atwood

Co-Director

Sara Atwood’s book, Ruskin’s Educational Ideals, was published by Ashgate in 2011. Further publications include contributions to the Yale University Press edition of Carlyle’s On Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History (2013), Teaching Victorian Literature in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave 2017), John Ruskin and Nineteenth-Century Education (Anthem Press 2018), William Morris and John Ruskin: A New Road on Which the World Should Travel (University of Exeter Press 2019) and Victorian Environmental Nightmares (Palgrave 2019). She has lectured widely on Ruskin, both in the US and abroad, focusing particularly on education, the environment, and language. In February 2019, during Ruskin’s bicentenary year, she gave a lecture at the Houghton Library, Harvard University to mark the opening of the library’s exhibition "Victorian Visionary: John Ruskin and the Realization of the Ideal"; she also presented at the bicentenary conference John Ruskin: 19th-Century Visionary, 21st-Century Inspiration at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. She is joint North American Development Director of Ruskin’s Guild of St. George, a Companion of the Guild, and a lecturer in English literature and writing at Portland Community College.

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Kateri Ewing

Secretary

Kateri Ewing is the author of Look Closer, Draw Better and Watercolor Is for Everyone, and an artist in residence and teacher at the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora, New York. For her artistic and writing endeavors and her contributions to her community, she was honored with the 2012 Mary and Gil Stott Award at Roycroft. Her artwork has also won numerous awards in both local and national exhibitions and is held in private collections worldwide, including The Ruskin Collection at Museums Sheffield in the U.K. She uses her Patreon virtual classroom to interact with her students, worldwide, daily. Kateri is a Companion of The Guild of St. George, and lives in Western New York. Her website is kateriewing.com.

Gabriel Meyer

Member-at-Large

Poet-journalist Gabriel Meyer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has lived and worked throughout the Middle East, the Balkans, and East Africa. He was especially acclaimed for his coverage of the first Palestinian intifada and of the Bosnian war. His reporter’s diary on the civil war in Sudan, War and Faith in Sudan (Eerdmans), won ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year award for essays in 2006. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his work as a journalist by the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at UC Berkeley in 2017. He has published poetry and two novels; a large-scale nonfiction work, The Testimony of Stones, a “biography” of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is awaiting publication. He had been involved with the historic Ruskin Art Club since 1998 and currently serves as its executive director. He is a Companion of the Guild of St. George.

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Ann Gagné

Member-at-Large

Ann Gagné is an Educational Developer at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. She completed her PhD at the University of Western Ontario and has worked at colleges and universities in Ontario, Canada for more than a decade. Her areas of research include the ethics of tactility in Ruskin and Hardy, the use of touch in experiential learning in the nineteenth-century, and the pedagogical application of touch in constructivist learning using instructional technology. Her current project explores the intersection of inclusive pedagogical strategies, the sensory, and accessibility considerations in the Canadian higher education context. Her work has been published in The Hardy Review, Victorians, and the Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies. She has presented at many international conferences on issues of pedagogy, tactility, and Ruskin. She is a Companion of the Guild of St. George.