Vanessa was born in Los Angeles, California. She has her BA in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, her MS in Nonprofit Management from the University of Pennsylvania and her MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. She is currently a research assistant at Harvard Divinity School, a proctor at Harvard University, and the co-host of the podcast, Harry Potter & The Sacred Text. She is working on a book about sacred texts, but don’t ask her about it. It’s stressful. Ask her about the romance novel she’s working on. She won’t shut up.
Ariana is from Santa Monica, California. She has her BA in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. Her research interests are Internet-mediated identities, cultural memory, and the phenomenology of illness. She produces the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and is working on the upcoming podcast When We All Get to Heaven, which tells the story of how a LGBTQ Christian congregation responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1980s and 90s San Francisco. She currently has blue hair.
Chelsea is from central Massachusetts and lives in Cambridge. She holds a BA from The University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she studied Philosophy, Music, and Sound Recording Technology. She also holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College. Her thesis, a memoir titled “Bass Player” was the basis for her own musical memoir podcast Dear Young Rocker, which both tells her own story of using music to navigate the pain of an anxious, angry, and isolated adolescence and provides advice for young people who feel the same. She mentors and teaches music at Girls Rock Campaign Boston, and her rock band Banana performs regularly in the Boston area.
Brigid is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She has her BA in Applied Anthropology from Hendrix College and her MTS from Harvard Divinity School. She currently works as Assistant Director of Education at Temple Israel of Boston. In addition to managing program operations, she teaches teenagers about the Holocaust through film, literature, and pop culture. Her current class is titled "Harry Potter and the Holocaust" and she is the co-author of the article "Should ‘Harry Potter’ Be Included in the Canon of Holocaust Literature?".
Maggie Needham is a youth worker, writer, and tea-drinker from Chicago. She is a program coordinator at Open Books, a literacy non-profit, where she builds and facilitates communities of young readers and writers. (This mostly involves reading a lot of novels written by teenagers.) She has a BA in English from Saint Louis University and served a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Before joining the team, Maggie created the Chicago discussion group for Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.