Toby Emert, Ph.D.

Institute Director Toby Emert, Ph.D., is Professor of English Education and Theatre in ASC’s Department of Creative Arts. He has led teacher trainings in digital humanities and digital storytelling (DST) for more than 250 teachers, with foundation and federal grant support. Before moving to the college setting, he taught English, drama, and public speaking in middle and high schools. He recently directed an 18-month project, “Delving into the Digital Humanities with Secondary Teachers,” funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Charlotte Artese, Ph.D.

Professor of English Charlotte Artese, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of English at ASC where she recently served as department chair. She is the author of Shakespeare’s Folktale Sources and editor of Shakespeare and the Folktale: An Anthology of Stories. Dr. Artese has given public lectures on Shakespeare’s use of folktales and led a workshop for college instructors on using folktales to teach The Taming of the Shrew.

Robin Morris, Ph.D.

Robin Morris, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of History in the Department of History at ASC where she teaches courses in Modern US History, Public History, and Southern History. Prior to teaching at the college level, she worked as a museum educator at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina, and as a middle school social studies teacher in Mississippi. She teaches history using digital tools and has taught workshops on oral history and digital curating. Her book Goldwater Girls to Reagan Women: Gender, Georgia, and the Growth of the New Right was published by UGA Press in 2022.

Nell Ruby, M.F.A.

Nell Ruby, M.F.A., is Professor of Visual Practices in the Department of Creative Arts at ASC and the former director of ASC’s Center for Digital and Visual Literacy. She is also a mixed-media installation artist, integrating manual and digital modes of expression that draw on her expertise in digital illustration tools.

K-12 Professionals

Shelby Coffin, M.A.T.

Shelby Coffin holds an M.A.T. in secondary English education from Agnes Scott College. She co-presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) on “The Laramie Project: Encouraging Reading, Teaching, and Acting for Social Justice Through the History of Matthew Shepard.” She has also presented at several Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) conferences on topics ranging from “The Play’s the Thing: Drama as a Tool for Close Reading” to “To Kill a Mockingbird and Storytelling with Digital Humanities.” She currently teaches English at Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia, and is a member of The Midwives, a national community of artists and mentors.

Jerry Rigdon, M.A.T.

Jerry Rigdon holds an M.A.T. in secondary English education from Agnes Scott College. He has participated in several Agnes Scott professional development programs and has co-presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) conferences. He currently teaches dual enrollment English for Rockdale County Public Schools in Georgia.

Nikki Stevenson, M.A.

Nikki Steverson, M.A., attended NEH Summer Institutes in 2005 (Toni Morrison) and 2010 (Emily Dickinson) and participated in the “Delving into the Digital Humanities” workshop at Agnes Scott College in 2017. She teaches at Duluth High School in Duluth, Georgia.

Rachel Darr, Ed.S.

Rachel Darr earned her B.A. in English and M.A.T. in English education from Agnes Scott College and holds an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Mercer University. She has taught high school for sixteen years in addition to working closely with district curriculum and assessment offices. A former high school English teacher and department chair, she currently works for  Gwinnett County Public Schools as an assistant principal at Pinckneyville Middle School.  

Samantha Swaney earned both her B.A. in Studio Art and her M.A.T. in secondary English education from Agnes Scott College. She has taught high school for seventeen years, working with students at all performance levels. Samantha’s work with students extends beyond the classroom and into the community, serving on the administrative advisory board of Courageous Conversations Rockdale, which seeks to provide a safe space for important conversations among youth and adults from diverse cultural perspectives. She works for Rockdale County Public Schools in Georgia, where she teaches ninth- and tenth-grade English Literature and Composition and AP Seminar/AP Capstone.

Guest Lecturers

Laura Cole, B.F.A.

Laura Cole serves as the director of education for the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, where she teaches students K-12 in camps, residencies, workshops, and more.

Kayla Shipp, Ph.D.

Kayla Shipp, Ph.D., is the digital humanities program manager for the Yale Digital Humanities Lab, where she designs and manages digital cultural heritage and humanities data projects in collaboration with researchers, collections, and community partners. She received her M.A. in digital humanities from King’s College London and her Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her research explores the poetics of code and interactive narrative from the nineteenth century to the present and has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.