Haste's picture
A Franco-British independent scholar, I spent 30 years as a professional musician before gaining a PhD in musicology. I am now adjunct faculty at Aix-Marseille University, teaching courses in Translation and English for Musicians and Musicologists at BA and MA levels; I am also a translator (FR-EN) specializing in academic texts, and transcribing/translating historical manuscript sources. An active independent scholar, invited lecturer and keynote speaker, I publish widely, and peer review for several journals. I joined NCIS in 2012, since when NCIS has been a major factor in allowing me to hold my head up as an independent scholar and, despite my adjunct post, I always use NCIS as my affiliation when submitting conference papers, journal articles and book chapters. I have been active in NCIS since joining the Board in 2014, becoming Vice-President and later Acting President in 2015, and elected President in November 2016. I also serve as Humanities Editor for our peer-reviewed OA journal The Independent Scholar, and as Grant Awards Chair.
Statement of candidacy:

As President of NCIS since July 2015, I am passionate about improving the lot of independent scholars through the opportunities for skills development, mentoring and networking offered by NCIS. Over the last five years I have therefore worked hard to ensure that everyone who volunteers their time for NCIS is listened to, their talents valued, and their input appreciated. I am convinced that, together, we can continue to develop the services provided by NCIS which, due to the serious increase in precarity in the academic job market worldwide, is an ever more valuable resource for the growing number of independent scholars worldwide.

Thanks to an excellent team of Officers and Board of Directors, the last five years have seen many developments at NCIS: we now have a vibrant online community through Twitter (nearly 900 followers) and Facebook (over 1000 followers in 88 countries) and NCIS membership has doubled, with members on every continent except Antarctica. Our financial position is healthy, meaning we can offer more practical help for members through grant support, and we are increasing our grants budget year on year as a proportion of our operating income. We are also developing our digital outreach through webinars and podcasts, resulting in cost-effective means of creating exchanges between geographically distant memebrs with common interests. Our 2019 "30th birthday" conference at the University of Massachusetts was a great success, and we are currently planning for a blended conference in 2022, to be situated geographically at a British university (pandemic permitting) but with plenty of opportunities to present and attend remotely. I am very proud of what our wonderful team of volunteers has achieved, and, if that is the wish of the members, would be proud to serve a third and final term as President, as we continue to take NCIS forward into the 2020s.    


Membership Officer

Groseil's picture
Born, raised, and educated in New York City, I have lived on the Upper East Side since it was Yorkville. Neighborhood parochial school, Hunter College High School, Barnard College, The New School for Social Research (PhD, Anthropology) and Hunter College, CUNY (MA TESOL). My work experience includes such Manhattan icons as Alexanders, Gimbels, and Bloomingdales, as well as various not-for profit organizations and, most recently, teaching as an adjunct at Hunter and the New School after obtaining an MATESOL degree at Hunter. I have been active in tenant organizing and as a union member. Now I am reinventing myself once again, as I focus full time on research and writing as an independent scholar.
Statement of candidacy:

My membership in NCIS was important to my during the years I worked outside academia and dreamt of the life of scholarship.  NCIS became even more significant to me when I became an adjunct professor and discovered that adjuncts were not considered full members of the academic community.  During those years, it was my membership in NCIS that reminded me that I was indeed capable of serious research and writing in the subjects that interested me.  Now I have time to do my own work, and NCIS membership provides me with access to research materials as well as support in a community of independent scholars.
I have served as Membership Officer for the past two years.  I found this a very rewarding experieince, both for the contact with members and in the work with other Officers and Board members to support NCIS.  I enjoyed working with the Membership Committee to  review and evaluate the statements and credentials of potential members.  It is very encouraging to see our membership grow and to welcome independent scholars who are are happy to discover NCIS for access to scholarly publications, support and advice with their writing, and a community of independent scholars.  I have also been very involved, with other Board members,  in the exciting and challenging process of developing new progamming.  I am especially looking forward to helping create online programs, such as virtual conferences.
I believe that this is an exciting time for NCIS, full of potential for growth in membership numbers and activities, and I would like to continue to be part of this process.


Stover's picture
Phil Stover is a historian of religion and conflict. An independent scholar, Phil’s forty-year career included service as a senior administrator in higher education, K-12 public and private education, and a Fortune 500 company providing services to education. He retired from San Diego Unified School District as Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Sweetwater Union High School District as Interim Superintendent of Schools. He served as an Associate Professor of Psychology, teaching courses in the integration of psychology and theology. Phil served his denomination as a licensed and ordained minister and as headmaster of a Mennonite K-12 school. Retired, Phil now lives in Mata Ortiz Chihuahua. Phil has written a 480-page history entitled, Religion and Revolution in Mexico’s North: Even Unto Death . . . Tengamos Fe. This book was awarded a prize in non-fiction by Writers Digest and has been adopted as a textbook at Arizona State University. Phil has published three other books and is finalizing one on the organizational behavior of American public-school districts. Phil’s undergraduate degree is in history and Biblical studies. He holds master's degrees in psychology and education. He has additional advanced graduate study in theology, religion, education, and organizational behavior. Phil is a Ph.D. Candidate in Modern Mexican History at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.
Statement of candidacy:

Phil has brought his skills and experience to the role of Treasurer since being appointed to that position in 2017.  He wishes to continue serving NCIS in this capacity.


Joan Cunningham's picture
Joan Cunningham is a cancer epidemiologist, and member of NCIS since 2014. She has served since 2015 as a non-officer member of the Board of Directors of NCIS and STEM editor for the NCIS journal The Independent Scholar. Joan retired in 2013 from the Medical University of South Carolina where her research focused on breast cancer epidemiology, particularly racial disparities in etiologies and outcomes. Born in Canada, she grew up mostly in Toronto, with one very interesting year in Sri Lanka. Joan holds a B.Sc. (Honours, Biology) and M.Sc. (Biology) from the University of Guelph (Canada), and a PhD (Public Health) from the University of Texas School of Public Health (Houston). Before deciding to embark on a PhD, she worked at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Toronto). Since retiring, she is continuing her scientific endeavors. These build on her previous work, including the use of massage therapy and natural products to ameliorate side effects of anti-cancer treatment. She reviews several manuscripts each year for scientific journals. Non-academic interests include reading historical and literary fiction; community and political volunteering; yoga and Zumba; participating in informal musical endeavors (viola). Concerns include climate change and population growth. Joan lives with her husband in San Antonio, TX.
Statement of candidacy:

An NCIS member since January 2014, I have served (first by invitation) as a non-officer member of the NCIS Board of Directors since May of 2015.  I have greatly enjoyed working with and getting to know the other Board members, and believe my efforts add substantively to the critical work of the Board, and thereby improved how NCIS serves it members.
Specifically, I have contributed the following to NCIS Board and Board-related activities:
· Continuing as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Editor for The Independent Scholar (TIS; NCIS on-line journal). This includes finding suitable peer-reviewers for submitted manuscripts, and mentoring junior members towards publication of their work.
· Co-reviewer of applications for NCIS grants and other NCIS award opportunities (chaired a committee in 2017 and 2018),
· Serving on conference review committee for upcoming NCIS 2019 summer conference
· Assisted substantively with the design and launch of 2016 NCIS Member Benefits Survey, and then analyzed and reported the results
· Served on conference review committee for the NCIS 2015 Summer Conference
· Chaired two sessions of the NCIS 2015 Summer Conference (New Haven, CT), and provided a written summary of every presentation of the conference.
I would like to continue my service to the NCIS membership by remaining on the Board of Directors in a Non-Officer capacity.  This will include continuing as TIS STEM Editor, as co-reviewer of applications for NCIS grants and other awards, and contributing generally to the work of the Board and benefit of the NCIS membership. I enjoy every opportunity to continue using my research design and statistical analysis skills!
As a cancer epidemiologist, I believe I am well qualified for the functions described above.  Before retiring from academia in 2013, I served as a Senator at the Medical University of South Carolina for five years, and by this work came to better understand the professional challenges facing adjunct as well as junior faculty struggling to conduct research and advance their scholarly careers in the current academic tenure and financial environment. 
Since retiring I have continued scholarly work as an Independent Scholar. This includes research collaborations with faculty and non-academic colleagues, publishing in professional peer-reviewed journals, working on additional manuscripts for publication, and continue to peer-review manuscripts for professional journals.
I ask that you consider favorably my self-nomination for a Non-Officer position on the NCIS Board of Directors.


Valerie Abrahamsen's picture
I completed masters and doctoral studies in New Testament and Early Christian Origins at Harvard Divinity School and have remained active in my fields for nearly four decades. I worked as an academic administrator, mainly as a registrar, at a number of colleges in Massachusetts and Vermont and reluctantly retired in late 2017 after my job was eliminated suddenly in 2013 and I was unsuccessful landing a new position. For three years, I conducted research on the survival of the soul after death and self-published my book, Paranormal, in 2015. In October 2015, I launched a website, WisdomWordsPPF, and have been posting evidence-based blogs twice a month in three areas: my scholarly research on women in antiquity, New Testament, and early church history; social justice issues from a progressive, feminist perspective; and insights from Paranormal. I am now giving lectures and leading discussions, retreats and workshops at retirement communities, churches, colleges, libraries, conference centers and other venues, and I volunteer for Estey Organ Museum in Brattleboro, Vermont; Senior Solutions; and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. I sing in the choir of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Brattleboro, and in the Brattleboro Concert Choir.
Statement of candidacy:

It is my pleasure to agree to continue to serve on the Board of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. I have greatly enjoyed working with the other Board members on a number of important initiatives, and I have made some contributions in the following areas:

  • I helped plan and administer the 30th Anniversary Conference in June 2019 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • I continue to serve on the Membership Committee to help vet applicants. Since April 2017, we have evaluated dozens of applicants’ CVs and statements. Communicating via email with the other two members of the Committee has been interesting, stimulating and rewarding.
  • I conducted research on possible venues in the United Kingdom for conferences of the new NCIS-affiliated organizations.

I have been an NCIS member almost from its beginning, recruited by the late Dr. Luise Schottroff. It has been very valuable to me over the years to be able to designate myself as an “independent scholar” – in association with a professional organization – as I have earned my living through academic administration while continuing my research and writing in New Testament archaeology, women in antiquity, and early church history. For several years, I was active in the Boston affiliate of NCIS; we met in each others’ homes on weekday evenings approximately once a month, we took turns presenting our research, and we gave each other helpful feedback. I was honored to present a paper at the 2019 Conference and chair a session. I published a review of a volume about my professional organization, Nicole L.Tilford, ed., Women and the Society of Biblical Literature (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2019), in The Independent Scholar #6. I feel honored to serve on the NCIS Board, a very dedicated group of professionals.


Rehill's picture
Having grown up partly in Canada, Switzerland, and France as part of a childhood on the move, I am fascinated by intercultural expressions and implications. My current research focuses on the literature, culture and history of Francophone Canada, most recently centering on the Métis population. A U.S.-based independent scholar and writer (Ph.D., MFA), my previous work in ecocriticism centered on representations of the Canadian coureur de bois figure as a symbol of the need for accepting compromise and imperfection in the search for sustainable environmental solutions. My most recent academic publications are “‘Minor’ literature of an itinerant culture: Goulet, Campbell, and the Canadian Métis,” Contemporary French Civilization 45, no. 2 (2020), 143–64; and “Writing and Art in Activist Collaboration: A Métis Story of Resistance and Change,” The Independent Scholar 6 (Feb. 2020): 32–38. Among the books I have authored are Backwoodsmen As Ecocritical Motif in French Canadian Literature: Connecting Worlds in the Wilds (Lexington Books, 2016) and The Apocalypse Is Everywhere: A Popular History of America’s Favorite Nightmare (Praeger/ABC-CLIO 2010). My translations include Jean Chalon’s book Thérèse of Lisieux: A Life of Love (Ligouri Books, 1997).
Statement of candidacy:

I discovered the National Coalition of Independent Scholars in 2015, through the Oral History Association of which I was a member while managing an oral history program. I was also in the process of completing a long-overdue PhD, as well as continuing my longtime career as an editor. Gradually I have become more involved in NCIS, while discovering its resources and the camaraderie that arises from being part of an effort to improve the lives of others. I now serve on the editorial board of NCIS's journal The Independent Scholar and coordinate the Writers and Translators page. NCIS has benefitted me by giving me an affiliation and a likeminded community; I would be honored to draw on my background and experience to more fully benefit NCIS.
If elected to serve on the board, I would strive to work with teammates to better understand all the initiatives and history already in place, and to help solidify that foundation while building on it through mutually agreed upon goals. As a relatively recent member, I believe it would be essential to first learn as much as possible about that history before suggesting new possibilities. One example, if appropriate, might be to organize an NCIS Writing Center to help less-experienced scholars or anyone needing help with developing their academic writing in English. I volunteered for such a group while pursuing my PhD at the University of Maryland College Park, but at NCIS I would propose that the service, which is essentially teaching and mentoring, be offered at reduced rates, along lines of the current NCIS Writers and Translators page. In short, I would look for ways to identify more needs of independent scholars worldwide and offer them help and support.


Renee Elizabeth Neely's picture
Renée Elizabeth Neely is a visual artist and archivist. She holds an AB in English Literature and Cultures, Brown University and MLIS in Library and Information Science (specializing in archival practice),Simmons University. Ms. Neely is Project Archivist for The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University. Since 2013 her primary research focus has been the fragmented history of antebellum Maroon communities in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina, USA. She has lectured at Facultad de Ciencias Matemáticas de La Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Brown University, UMASS Amherst, Russell Sage College, University of Rhode Island, Simmons University and The Rhode Island Historical Society. Ms. Neely’s artistic practice aligns with her archival research as symbolically representing historical silences through the mediums of pastel painting and sculpture. As of December 2019, she is represented by StudioHop Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island. Ms. Neely is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island. Publications: Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists; The Independent Scholar; Callaloo, A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters; Archival Outlook; and VIEWS Magazine.
Statement of candidacy:

This moment of global crisis has given us all a chance to reflect on how we want to move forward personally and professionally.  Before this, I would have been content to remain a silent member of our Coalition.  I am running for a position on NCIS’ Board to actively contribute to our collective mission at a time when perhaps our broadest and best capabilities are called upon.  I believe this is an opportunity to support each other and move forward together.


Linda Baines's picture
I am an independent post-doctoral researcher, and a visiting researcher at Southampton Business School (SBS), University of Southampton, where I completed my PhD in 2016, and I now undertake research, and supervise Masters students. My research interests include social responsibility in universities, ethics of innovation, the sharing economy and inclusive entrepreneurship. In a previous life, I worked as a senior manager in the public sector, most recently in the research councils (which fund postgraduate research in the UK and run science and technology facilities). I have extensive experience of commercial management, strategic and business development and planning, establishing spinout companies, preparing and negotiating contracts, procurement, and governance. I also have substantive experience as a trustee and mentor; I am currently Chair of the Board of Irise International and a member of the Steering Committee for FIRE-UK.
Statement of candidacy:

I am a passionate independent researcher who has found her passion and her niche after spending many years doing other interesting things.  I love thinking, exploring, developing and finding patterns and connections in seemingly disparate ideas, and communicating them in different forms and media. Obtaining my PhD confirmed that this is where I belong.  As a member of the Board of NCIS I would contribute my skills and experience gained in UK research and professional spheres to support NCIS members in finding company, support and resources with like-minded others, and offer an alternative perspective and outlook on the issues which independent researchers face.


Crystallee Crain's picture
Crystallee Crain, Ph.D. is a social and political critic with academic roots in sociology, political science, and psychology. She earned her PhD in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. and holds a Master of Arts in Social Sciences (a concentration in Sociology from Eastern Michigan University), and a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Northern Michigan University. She has developed curriculum and taught courses at the university level for over a decade, and specializes in uncovering the layers of institutional inequity and has worked as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant for nonprofit organizations. Crystallee has a passion for evaluation studies that will impact policy reform and positive social change. Well traveled in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia/Oceania, Dr Crain has conducted research in the South Pacific (Republic of Marshall Islands) on domestic violence survivors and plans to conduct and equity based evaluation of LGBTQ people's experiences, policies, and practice in Indonesia in 2020. In 2013 she received advanced training in Health and Human Rights from the School of Public Health at Harvard University. Dr Crain has served as a member of the Alameda County Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission, The City of Portland's Human Rights Commission and is a current member of National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, and the American Evaluation Association.
Statement of candidacy:

It would be a great pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for Independent Scholars. As an activist academic, I believe it’s crucial to have strong partnerships and capacity building strategies as a framework for independent scholarship. I’d like to work with the NCIS team to diversify our membership base and stakeholders, and I believe that the Board can play an important role in developing partnerships for our members and supporting the scholarship of our vast network.


Andrew Lavender Lavender's picture
Jordan Lavender gained his PhD in Spanish Linguistics (SUNY 2017) for his thesis on “Code switching, lexical borrowing, and polylanguaging in Valencian Spanish: An analysis of data from conversational corpora and Twitter”. Dr Lavender is currently working full-time as a Spanish teacher, and actively publishing in sociolinguistics, code switching, bilingualism, and linguistic landscapes.
Statement of candidacy:

I wish to be considered for membership in the Board of the NCIS. I came to learn about the existence of NCIS a few years ago and joined. I had recently graduated with my Ph.D. in 2017 and worked briefly as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colby College. Due to the precarious academic job market, I was unable to continue working in traditional academia. However, I did not stop being a scholar. Being a scholar is part of my life, my identity. It is somethign that I couldn't stop being, regardless of my status in "traditional" academic institutions. When I learned about NCIS, I knew that I had found a group of people that I wanted to learn from and with about how to continue in the path of being a scholar outside of the confines of academia. 
When the NCIS had its research conference in 2019, I was excited (and a bit nervous!) to present research that I had been working on to the conference. I found the group of independent scholars at the conference to be a delightful group of people with similar (yet vastly different) backgrounds and interests. I enjoyed the company and networking with others in the organization. I was able to meet members from various corners of the US, the UK, and other countries, even with whom I could not communicate due to language barriers - but the common bond of scholarship brought us all together. Even after the conference, I have maintained contact with individuals that I met during that time.
The NCIS has helped me to find inspiration to continue in my scholarship and even expand my interests and write about new topics. I have published several articles in The Independent Scholar, which have been useful starting points for future publications in other research journals. I was particularly pleased to publish novel research in both my area of formal expertise and to be in the process of publishing new material that is beyond my formal area of expertise. However, I have found the support and constructive criticism of fellow members and reviewers to be valuable in my growth as an author and scholar.
I want to be considered for the Board to share my ideas and passion for the NCIS with other members. I think that independent scholarship could be a valuable model for the future of academic work in the US and elsewhere as the current models of learning shift in response to economic and other pressures. I want to help this great organization expand and grow in whatever way I can. I am thankful to anyone who supports my candidacy and look forward to serving on the Board, if elected, for the betterment of NCIS for the future of independent scholarship.


Gloria R Montebruno Saller's picture
I was born and raised in Torino, Italy and moved to the USA to obtain my doctoral degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures (USC). I have lived in Italy, France, England, USA, Japan, have traveled extensively, and consider myself a Global Citizen. I am fluent in Italian, English, Japanese, French, and Russian. I taught on university campuses in Southern California for over 20 years before leaving academia and embarking on this journey that independent scholarship has become in my life. I have a passion for learning and for teaching. One of my professional strengths is networking skills. Thanks to my cultural background and my fluency in 5 languages, I can make connections with people and transform these connections into professional relationships. I am also a registered and certified yoga instructor.
Statement of candidacy:

I would like to add my name to the list of candidates for the NCIS Executive Committee and NCIS Board.
My organizational skills and my cultural competencies make me a perfect fit for these positions.
Currently, I am Director and Historian of the American Society of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors. This past August, I organized and produced "The 75th Commemoration Event in Memory of the Vicitms of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombing." Although this event usually takes place at Koyasan Betsuin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, this year, it took place virtually on Zoom . I created the event agenda; I invited guest speakers from the US and Japan; I was able to bring  together members of the global community against nuclear proliferation to contribute to this important event. The video of the event can be screened here
I joined the Advisory Board of the Ronin Institute of Independent Scholarship from  June to September 2020. I was the Lead of the Working Group "Events' and I was in charge of selecting and scheduling seminars for the organization. Under my leadership, weekly seminars took place, and independent scholars were able to showcase their research work and obtain the necessary feedback from the community to move forward with their projects. I created step-by-step guidelines for seminar presentations and coached scholars new to the virtual presentation world on how to be efficient when presenting to an online audience. I moderated most of the virtual seminars and I made sure the institute's schedule would allow for at least 2 seminars per month.
I am a strong believer in mentorship programs; and I do advocate on behalf of young scholars wishing to pursue independent scholarship.


Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge's picture
Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge earned her MA and PhD in medieval history from Fordham University. Since 2013, she has been the producer of, and contributor for, Footnoting History (, a popular history podcast that boasts over two million downloads and over 5,000 subscribers. Her work has been published in Medieval Prosopography and Nursing Clio. She has also presented at multiple international conferences about her personal research interests as well as about podcasting. In October 2020, a collection of essays on independent scholarship (Independent Scholar Meets World) co-edited by Elizabeth, will be published University Press of Kansas. Elizabeth serves on the Lifelong Community Advisory Board as well and chairs the Neighbors Committee for the city of Decatur, Georgia. She teaches history at Woodward Academy, an independent school in College Park, Georgia. For more information, please see:
Statement of candidacy:

I am running for the Board of NCIS. I have been a member of NCIS since 2019 and an independent scholar since 2016. I appreciate being in a group of likeminded individuals who know the struggles of existing in this world of "expanded academia." My goal as a member of the board is to diversify our membership by utilizing social media and internet platforms to attract members who either do not realize this organization exists or who do not believe this organization is meant for them. While all will be welcome who meet our qualifications, I hope to increase our membership of Black and People of Color especially as statistics demonstrate that while a good number of members of these groups achieve degrees of higher education, few make it to the professorate. Additionally, I believe - especially in the time of Covid-19 - that NCIS is perfectly placed to continue to champion the rights of academics who find themselves shut out of research access simply because they do not have the "right" job. I look forward to bringing the collective wisdom of NCIS to the larger community of academia. 

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