Guest Authors

I would like to acknowledge the guest authors who agreed to share their work on Voices from the Margins by providing a little bit of information about their backgrounds.

Although I may have helped with editing some of the contributions, the voices of the authors were carefully retained through dialogue about suggested edits. Please note that the perspectives reflected in their posted work are those of the guest authors and do not necessarily reflect my views.

Cheryl A. Bates.

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 Hi – I’m Cheryl A. Bates. I grew up in a small dairy town in Oregon near the coast. My parents were a school teacher and a logger and they did an amazing job of supporting me and my two brothers with the help of a small farm for raising beef and a garden. Influenced by my mother’s passion for education and travel, I managed to seize the opportunity in high school to live abroad for a year in Brazil. When I returned, my mother and her new husband had moved to Germany so I joined them and attended the University of Maryland, European Division, in Munich and earned an associate degree. I returned to Seattle and completed a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Washington.

Fifteen years later, after working several different types of jobs from purchasing agent at the VA Medical Center to teaching martial arts and competing nationally and internationally, I obtained a master’s degree in social work and a PhD from the University of Alabama. Licensed as an advanced practice social worker in two states, my work focuses on children, youth and families, more specifically providing service to adolescents and youth with sexual behavior problems.

Oh, did I tell you I am gay? Yeah – I am and I find the word l-e-s-b-i-a-n distasteful so I refer to myself as gay when a label is necessary. Currently, I live in Tennessee and teach at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). In addition to teaching, I work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) student group and am involved with developing and implementing a campus wide SafeZone curriculum in which to train, support, and build allies for LGBT students, faculty, and staff at ETSU. Currently, my interests focus on the differing perspectives of sexual minority people especially sexual minority youth experiences in foster care.

Links to Cheryl’s posts:

Ballad of Suicide (October 18, 2014)

No Toys Under the Couch (August 31, 2014)

Stories from My Father: Pilots, Pitchers, and Pigs (June 15, 2014)

In Remembrance of a Dear Friend (June 1, 2014)

Join Us and Live in Peace (March 3, 2014)

Just When I Thought I Was Finally Safe (January 11, 2014)

Miriam Schacht.


Image from Blue Corn Comics’ post on the Harm of Native Stereotyping

Miriam is an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her special interests include Native American and international Indigenous literatures, post-colonial literature and theory, and queer and two-spirit literatures. As a teacher, her courses are demanding but always filled to capacity and receive rave reviews. As the faculty advisor for the Inter-Tribal Student Organization, she plays a crucial role in supporting Native American students and educating the broader university community about contemporary challenges for tribes and Native American peoples. And as a scholar (Ph.D. in English, University of Texas at Austin), she devotes her skills as a critical thinker and creative writer to address oppression.

Links to Miriam’s Posts:

The Indian Who Can’t Grow Up: Tiger Lily and Redface (March 30, 2014)

Belief, Spirituality, Materialism, and Colonialism: Starting a Conversation (April 15, 2014)

Introducing Myself (October 31, 2016)

Open Letter to White People at Standing Rock (November 1, 2016)

Resistance (January 26, 2017)

Cynthia Renee Donner.

“Star Woman”

Cynthia, MSW LGSW, has been an instructor for The College of St. Scholastica’s Undergraduate Social Work Program since 2006, and Coordinators the program delivered at Fond du Lac Tribal Community College in Cloquet. She earned a Bachelors degree in Religious Studies and Social Work from The College of St. Scholastice, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Prior to full time teaching she spent over two decades with several non-profit organizations in the Duluth, Minnesota.  Most of her career has focused on program and community development and organizing.

In merging life-long passion for justice with personal and professional endeavors, she strives to create spaces and opportunities to discover the transformative qualities of relationships based on genuine curiosity and reverence for diverse perspectives and lived experiences.

Links to Cynthia’s Posts:

Just Connections (April 6, 2017)

More or Better? – Revised and Updated (Coauthor, January 15, 2017)

More or Better? (Coauthor, December 15, 2013)



Photo Credit: Vintage Rose

Sara is a pen name to  protect the author’s identity. I can say that Sara grew up on a farm, although she has lived many other places since then. She has encountered many challenges in her life and has been able to meet and overcome them through her resourcefulness, creativity and resilience.

Links to Sara’s posts:

Sara’s Stories (January 31, 2015)

Sara’s Stories – Second Part (February 9, 2015)

Judit Paal:


Judit Paal is from Hungary. She is interested in social environments and human rights in her community. She has collaborated with the artist IMPREINT to organize one of the “Save me” workshops in a school of children with disability.

Link to Judit’s Post:

The Project “Cut-Off” of Impreint and Its Social Reflections (March 17, 2015)

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