Administrative Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Suma Karaman Rosen

Executive Director

Dynamic classroom teacher turned nonprofit leader, Suma’s experience in corporate, nonprofit and educational settings has brought depth to her leadership of InsideOut since 2017. Suma is inspired by the resilient and empowered InsideOut students, and brings this passion to all corners of our work, from managing finances and fundraising, to amplifying students’ voices far and wide.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Lia Greenwell

Operations Coordinator

Lia brings masterful organization to her work as Operations Coordinator, where she focuses on capacity building, marketing, and office-wide systems. Serving as the hub where program and administration meet, Lia is equally skilled in supporting the InsideOut team and providing high quality customer service to external stakeholders. A poet and essayist, her writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Maureen Okasinski

Grants & Evaluation Coordinator

Maureen combines her love of numbers and a passion for arts into key processes such as program evaluation, grant coordination and reporting. A social worker by training, Maureen’s an empathic team player who helps us know that our programs work and enjoys telling the story of their impact.

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John Randolph

Development Associate

With a deep commitment for finding the perfect intersection between donor passion and organizational need, John coordinates InsideOut’s individual and corporate giving, as well as fundraising campaigns. John previously served as a Campaign Manager at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields and a Vista Volunteer with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. He experienced the transformational power of writing as a teen and is thrilled to support InsideOut in sharing that power with students throughout Metro Detroit.

Program Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Alise Alousi

Director of School & Community Partnerships

Alise has grown with InsideOut from the ground up. As a former Writer-in-Residence at Cody and Cass Tech High Schools, Alise learned first-hand how to cultivate and empower student voice. She brings this on-the-ground knowledge and many years of non-profit youth program experience to her work as Program Director, which she held from 2009-2019, and in her new role as Director of School & Community Partnerships. Alise is a talented poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit award.

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Michelle Bolofer

Program Director

A native Detroiter, experienced educator, and lifelong Diversity and Inclusion advocate, Michelle is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for students and communities. As a classroom teacher, corporate educational consultant, and start-up nonprofit director, she has worked to improve educational equity and expand access to resources. With her passion for youth development and community empowerment, Michelle leads the InsideOut program and directs our program vision.

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Shawntai Brown

Schools Coordinator

With a passion for literacy and pedagogy, Shawntai works with Writers-in-Residence and classroom teachers to cultivate impactful and meaningful learning. In addition to attending InsideOut programs as a student and working in the classroom as a Writer-in-Residence,  Shawntai has a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning and has worked as an educator with students of all ages as well as adults. Shawntai is a playwright with the Extra Mile Playwrights and poet whose work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Peter Markus

Senior Writer

Pete found his calling as a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut and has been with the organization since it was founded 1995. In addition to inspiring students in the classroom, Pete partners with schools to create programs that fit their needs. Pete has published widely about the transformative power of writing, co-editing To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and most recently a memoir, Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in the Detroit Public Schools. A Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, Pete is the author of the novel Bob, or Man on Boat as well as five other books of short fiction.

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Jassmine Parks

Lead Teaching Artist

A dedicated educator who excels at creating safe spaces for youth, Jassmine joined InsideOut as Leading Teaching Artist after serving in teaching roles across our programs. Jassmine believes in the power of language to reflect on past experiences, build agency, and create a future in which we exist as our best selves. A Detroit slam poetry champion who has performed internationally, Jassmine’s work has been published through SlamFind, All Def Poetry and Wusgood? Magazine.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Justin Rogers

Citywide Poets Coordinator

Justin’s journey with InsideOut began first as a student at Cody High School where a Writer-in-Residence encouraged his writing and recruited him to join Citywide Poets. Since then, Justin has performed for international audiences and published his writing widely. Justin now coordinates our Citywide Poets program, elevating youth voice through weekly sessions around the city, guest writer workshops, performances, and open mic opportunities for youth.

Writers-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal

Writer-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal was born in Baghdad to Iraqi and Lebanese parents and is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia.

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Poetry Program

Cat Batsios

Writer-In-Residence

Catharine Batsios is from Flint, and currently stays in Detroit. She writes poems about the cities that build her.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Christiana Castillo

Writer-In-Residence

Christiana Castillo is an educator, activist, urban gardener and writer.

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Rachel Cawkwell

Writer-In-Residence

Originally from New York, Rachel Cawkwell is currently a graduate student in English at the University of Michigan.

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Tony DeGenaro

Writer-In-Residence

Tony DeGenaro has an MFA in poetry from the University of San Francisco, and is currently a Ph.D. student in rhetoric & composition at Wayne State University.

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Bayan Founas

Writer-In-Residence

Bayan Founas is an educator and artist currently studying at the University of Michigan to receive a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

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Cal Freeman

Writer-In-Residence

Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs.

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Alana Gracey

Writer-In-Residence

Alana Gracey has worked with vulnerable populations since 2004, dealing with issues of homelessness, intimate partner violence, and human sex trafficking.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Justin Groppuso-Cook

Writer-In-Residence

Justin Groppuso-Cook is a poet, musician, and Metro Detroit native.

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Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr.

Writer-In-Residence

Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr. is a Tejano born writer and musician.

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Rose Gorman

Writer-In-Residence

Rose is the Resident Fellow for the Tuxedo Project literary center, and a member of the the 808 Writers Collective, a residency for queer writers of color.

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Shayla Harris

Shayla Harris

Writer-In-Residence

Shayla Harris is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she studied Creative Writing, and Arts and Entertainment Management.

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Suzanne Honda

Writer-In-Residence

Suzanne Honda is a Michigan-born poet, fiction writer, and educator. 

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Kyle Hunt

Writer-In-Residence

Kyle Hunt is a poet, painter and photographer from West Texas and Middle Tennessee.

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Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones

Writer-In-Residence

Mahogany Jones is a lyrical force, hailed internationally for her work, as a recording and performance artist, arts educator, and US musical ambassador who’s served 18 countries to date.

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Poetry Program

Audra Kubat

Writer-In-Residence

Detroit Music Award winning singer/songwriter Audra Kubat has released 6 albums to critical acclaim in a career that spans over 20 years.

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Wafaa Mustafa

Writer-In-Residence

Wafaa Mustafa is a recent Graduate of WSU, where she majored in English and minored in philosophy.

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Madelyn Porter

Writer-In-Residence

Madelyn Porter, has worked as a professional storyteller/actor for the past forty years, and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.

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Jennifer Quartararo

Writer-In-Residence

Jennifer Quartararo is a Detroit-based writer with Maine roots.

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Kelsey Ronan

Writer-In-Residence

Former Writer in Residence of the Hub City Writing Project, her work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.

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Nia Shumake

Writer-In-Residence

Nia Shumake is a storyteller and educator from Detroit who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016.

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Daniella Toosie-Watson

Writer-In-Residence

Daniella Toosie-Watson is a poet, visual artist and educator from New York. 

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Naidra Walls

Writer-In-Residence

Naidra Walls is a​n​ ​artist, educator, and real estate agent.

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H.R. Webster

Writer-In-Residence

H.R. Webster is a poet and educator from New Hampshire, currently living in Ypsilanti, MI.

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Khila Williams

Writer-In-Residence

As a recent alumni of Citywide Poets, Khila is proud to join InsideOut as a Writer-in-Residence.

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Board of Directors

Teresa McAlpine, President

Director of Marketing Operations
Plante Moran (retired)

Kevin Rashid, Vice-President

Honors College Academic Service Officer
Wayne State University

Laura Stevens, Treasurer

Director of Budgeting and Forecasting
Handelman Corporation (former)

Cindy Myers, Secretary

Executive Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer
Flagstar Bank (former)

Maureen Clinesmith

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA (retired)

Annmarie Erickson

Executive Vice President
Van Dyke Horn Public Relations

Sasha Griffin

Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Detroit

Cory Joyrich

Director of Major Gifts & Corporate Partnerships
Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan

Michelle Krebs

Director of Automotive Relations
Cox Automotive

Dwight Levens

Executive Director
Children Matter Forever (retired)

Linda Spight

Principal
Detroit Public Schools (retired)

Samantha Walls

Senior Attorney
Dykema

Hiring

Writer-in-Residence – Applications now closed for 2020/21 school year.

Citywide Poets Writer-in-Residence – Applications now closed for 2020/21 school year.