Saturday, August 26, 2017

Meet the Diverse Books Club Team!

Readers, today I am absolutely thrilled to introduce you to the full Diverse Books Club team. This group of bookworms volunteered to hit the ground running when I asked for help in launching this new venture, and I am so, so grateful for each and everyone one of them. We have a lot going on behind the scenes already, and we can't wait to officially launch the DBC on September 1st!

Allow me to introduce you to our DBC team!

Madeleine Riley, Lead Moderator

Hi, friends. I think you're familiar with my background already, but just in case you're new to both the DBC and Top Shelf Text, I thought I'd introduce myself too. I'm Madeleine, bookworm, cat lady, loyal New Englander, and imperfect human who could use a little more diversity in my reading life. I hold a B.A. in psychology and a Master's in Elementary Education, and during the day you can find me at school, where I get to hang out with some pretty exceptional second graders in my work as a special education teacher. I'm here to learn and grow, and I am indescribably grateful for these people you're meeting here. 
Spoiler alert: these are some great humans.

Jordan Calhoun, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction Moderator

Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. His writing has been published in the Huffington Post, Vulture, AfroPunk, and more, but he is most often found as a writer and editor at Black Nerd Problems. Learn more at

Chelsey Feder, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction Moderator

Chelsey Feder is a high school English teacher, bibliophile, and INFJ. Through teaching, she has discovered the power of literacy as a force for social change. Chelsey currently seeks her M.A. in English at Valdosta State University. Her hobbies include: cooking with no recipe, looking before leaping, and hardcore introverting. You can find Chelsey on Instagram @hereadsshereads.

Sara Voigt, Young Adult Moderator

After graduating from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with a Masters in Business Administration and spending 8+ years in finance, marketing, and business, Sara switched careers and became a middle school English teacher where she found her true passion. She taught 8th grade English for several years and loved creating a community of readers within her classroom. Currently, she assists teachers in implementing instructional technology in their classrooms as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT).

When she is not working, Sara is always looking for a mud run to join--the more obstacles the better. In addition, she loves spending time with her family and particularly enjoys family movie nights where there is an abundance of ice cream, candy, and snuggles. She is a complete bookworm, and reads every chance she gets. Her favorite books include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Outsiders, the Harry Potter series (She's a Gryffindor!), and most recently Castle of Water (swoon!). 

She can be found on Instagram @meaningfulmadness and on her blog

Cailee Dela Cruz, Young Adult Moderator

Cailee is a 22-year-old writer and student from Canada. She is an avid creative currently penning her first short film. When she isn’t reading, Cailee also spends her free time making music and singing. She loves reading stories from all genres, and is looking forward to exploring diversity in literature with you!

Lori Luhrman, Children's Literature Moderator

Lori is a wife, mom, adoption advocate, and book blogger who loves all bookish things (even the really nerdy ones - like tote bags - in fact, she especially likes tote bags). Unfortunately, her passion for reading wasn't fully realized until after she graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Mathematics; she has since spent the last ten years making up for all that wasted time on math! Lori is an INTJ who follows the rules she likes and ignores the ones she doesn't. When she's not racing around after an almost three year-old you can find Lori blogging about books, motherhood, and adoption at The Novel Endeavor. You can also follow her on Instagram @thenovelendeavorlori.

Lorraine Magee, Children's Literature Moderator

Lorraine Magee is a teacher, education activist, literacy blogger and an avid reader! She teaches third grade in her hometown of Natick, Massachusetts - in the very classroom where she was a third grade student! Lorraine is currently pursuing an M.Ed. as a reading specialist at Lesley University. She volunteers extensively with She's the First, an organization that supports girls around the world who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. Lorraine is passionate about issues facing children around the world, and she is thrilled to learn with the Diverse Books Club!

RuthAnn Deveney, Recommendations Moderator

RuthAnn Deveney (RA for short) will be serving as the Recommendations List Moderator, taming the many member recommendations of all types for easy access and selection. She has a background in technical writing, and the prospect of creating a system for organizing (and reporting fun stats on) this bookish information is a perfect nerdy challenge. RA works in learning and development in the finance industry, and she lives with her husband and their dog in the adorable small town of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong reader and writer, and on Wednesday afternoons, you can find her volunteering at the local library. RA's favorite author is Madeleine L'Engle, and she tends to write book reviews that are way too involved at Goodreads. You can find RA on Twitter and Instagram at @DefinitelyRA.

Morgan Hoit, Author Research Moderator

Morgan is a 20-something reader who lives in New York City and works in the theater industry as the assistant to a Broadway producer.  She loves all things book related and began blogging about her books and her life three months ago, combining her affinity for reading with her obsession with NYC as @nycbookgirl.  When not reading, Morgan can be found spending time with her friends and family, watching a new play or musical, drinking coffee, or exploring the city.  Morgan is committed to promoting diversity in literature and on stage and is so happy to be a part of the DBC team!  

Alexandra Rodriguez, Related Resources Manager

Alexandra is an English teacher, lover of literature, chronic illness warrior, and book blogger.  She has taught with Teach for America in Tulsa and Indianapolis, leading her to gain a passion for diverse literature.  She volunteers extensively with Dysautonomia Support Network, a national non-profit geared toward awareness of dysautonomia and other invisible illnesses.  Alexandra is currently working on her Masters in English from Southern New Hampshire University.  She is passionate about using literature to show not only what makes us unique but to celebrate our commonalities as well.  She is excited to join the DBC team and to change all of those diverse books from her TBR to her read list.  

Gina Jadelis, Twitter Account Manager

Gina is currently in her senior year at Marist where she is studying Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Fashion Merchandising. On campus, she is the president of the Emerging Leaders program, an Orientation Leader, and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma. She was also a Head Coach at the Marist Insitute for Public Opinion during her sophomore and junior years. During her junior year at Marist, Gina studied abroad in Florence, Italy where she had the opportunity to immerse herself in Italian culture and travel to nine different countries in four months. Gina has a passion for reading biographies and non-fiction in order to learn and understand the world better, but she also loves a great novel that takes he away from reality. 


Like I said, this team is working so hard already to make the DBC happen before we officially open our forums on September 1st. You can read all the details on the DBC here and join our Goodreads group here. If you're on Instagram, follow us @diversebooksclub and if you're on Twitter, chat with us @diversebookclub.

Note: The opinions expressed by members of the DBC Team do not reflect the opinions of our various employers. This venture is a personal one, but also one that is close to our hearts.


  1. So great to meet everyone. Love the passion and differing interests that had led each of you to your roles. Excited to read with you all!

  2. What a phenomenal team! Can't wait to learn with and from all of you!