Meet Albion's 2017 Big Read Team


Albion's Big Read Student Leaders are rising 8th, 9th, and 10th graders who call Albion home. These students independently led and facilitated community-wide book discussions throughout October 2017. They are role models for their peers, neighbors, and the greater Albion community. We joyfully celebrate the open hearts and minds of the following 2017 Big Read Youth Leaders:
* denotes students who returned as Albion Big Read Leaders for another year

Ta'Liyah Austin
Carl Bates*
Emmylou Roberts Christensen*
Ta'hlia Davis
Jamiyah Funderburg
Ivan Green
Za'Riah Kemp

Tyland Martin
Aja Metz
Marshall Nicholson

Aaliyah Roberts
Malena Solis
Ja'Kobe Steward
Fred Steward*
Ta'Jyanna Steward*
Belevia Stovall
A'Veion Washington*
Nashanti Weatherall
Jason Whetstone*
Niya Williams

College Volunteers

Our summer training program would not be possible without the outstanding support, leadership, and commitment from volunteer student mentors at Albion College. The work our college mentors offer is entirely volunteer based. These students apply and interview for their role in Albion's Big Read, and we deeply value their hard work and dedication. We celebrate the leadership and commitment of the following 2017 college volunteers:

Emily Allison, Albion College Student

Richard Annorat, Albion College Student

Marley Guy, Albion College Student

Emily McCaleb, Albion College Student

Anna Moore, Albion College Student

Alex Tung, Albion College Student



We would like to wholeheartedly thank our generous supporters and donors. Albion's 2017 Big Read would not be possible without the support from these amazing organizations and individuals. Click the green text of the donors below to learn more.

Walk the Beat - Albion

Albion College English Department

Sandy and Paul Pimintel

Libby Roberts

Rosemary Smith Zander

St. Paul's United Methodist Church

Lubaway Masten & Company, Ltd.

Gerald and Eddie Williams

John and Kathryn Fitzsimmons

Conrad and Peggy Sindt

John and Susan Cease

Ed and Ginnie Edwardson

American Association of University Women (AAUW), Albion branch


The Guido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation

Cronin Foundation

Albion College

Marshall Community Foundation

John and Karen Vournakis

Barbara Weiskittel

Merck Foundation

Albion District Library

Arts Midwest

Franke Center for the Arts

Marshall Public Schools

Albion Community Foundation

Team 1 Plastics



Support finds its way to Albion's Big Read in a variety of ways. Our 2017 partners host events and lend their space and time throughout the Summer Youth Leadership Program and the month of October. Thank you, 2017 Partners!

Association of American University Women
(AAUW), Albion Branch

The Bohm Theater

City of Albion

Kids N Stuff Children's Museum

Albion Branch

Schuler Arts

Sigma Tau Delta,
Albion College's English Honors Society

Sisters Influencing Society

Stirling Books and Brew

Albion College

Albion College Astronomy Club

Albion College Department of Anthropology & Sociology

Albion College Department of Art

Albion College Department of Ethnic Studies

Albion College Department of Political Science

Albion College's Black Student Alliance

Albion District Library

Albion Historical Society

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Psi Kappa Omega Chapter



In addition to local youth and college students, Albion's Big Read is made possible through the generous efforts of a committee made up of college and community leaders. Albion's Big Read Committee chose the Big Read novel, True Grit, and continues to meet to design events and programming, collaborate with countless local organizations, and further the progress of Albion's coming Big Read. We would like to thank the following members of Albion's Big Read Committee for their irreplaceable support of our program this year:

Big Read Youth Leaders group  shot 2.jpg

Kimberly Arndts, President of the Albion District Library Board and Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship at Albion College

Jamie Bernard, Head of Youth Services, Albion District Library

Harry Bonner, Executive Director, Kids at Hope and Substance Abuse Prevention Services

Laura Brownell, English teacher, Marshall High School

Nels Christensen, Associate Professor of English, Albion College

Madeline Drury, Assistant Director of Albion's Big Read

Mandy Dubiel, Director of Admissions, Albion College

Mae Ola Dunklin, Albion NAACP, Board of Trustees, Albion College, and retired Albion educator

Joni Parks,  Principal and Assistant Superintendent, Albion Community School

Jess Roberts, Director of Albion's Big Read and Professor of English, Albion College

Mary Slater, Owner, Albion Heritage Bed & Breakfast, member, Albion Sister City Committee, and secretary, Friends of the Bohm Theatre Board of Directors

Cindy Stanczak, Director of Albion District Library

Rhiki Swinton, Admissions Counselor, Albion College and Albion College Graduate, class of 2016

Keena Williams, Director of Intercultural Affairs and President's Special Adviser for Global Diversity, Albion College