Women of The Word

Meet the Women

Nyack College Writing Center Director Professor Beverley Locke

Professor Beverley Locke
Director of Nyack College Writing Center

Professor Locke is an Instructor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the director of the Writing Center. Having completed two Masters degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University (MA in English, and an MEd in Education), and having developed Nyack College Writing Center’s Program since 2006, she has a solid background in Writing Center Theory and Practices. She has attended several writing center conferences and presented qualitative research on the design of the Nyack College Writing Center. Her most recent initiative, Get Creative! Redesigning the Writing Center through the Use of Creative Arts Events was presented at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) at Hofstra University, NY, in the fall of 2017. Professor Locke believes in the value of team collaboration and presents her work alongside her writing center team. She continues to research writing theories and pedagogies and develop new initiatives for the Writing Center, which serve undergraduate and graduate students at the Rockland, Manhattan, and Online campuses.

Djulie S. Scaff
Character: Martha of Bethany
Rendition: Original Song

Djulie is an international student from Curitiba, Brazil. She is a recent graduate with a bachelors in Music Education at Nyack College; her concentration is piano, and she also enjoys singing and playing the flute and guitar. Growing up in a very musical family, she considers herself to have an eclectic taste for repertoire, which could range from Gregorian Chant to alternative rock. She also developed a strong passion for the arts in general, being herself a proficient illustrator. Her favorite style of illustration is manga, the Japanese style of drawing comics. As for theatre and acting, she admits it is a challenging territory; nonetheless, she enjoys it.

Grace Anger
Character: Naomi
Rendition: Monologue

Grace, a recent graduate of Nyack College with a BS/MS in Childhood Special Education, has worked at The Writing Center since Fall of 2015 serving in various roles. She enjoys unicycling, children’s literature and all things hands-on. Grace treasures the lessons that this season of college has equipped her with. This is her second year participating in Women of the Word, an experience that has challenged her to dig deeper into the Word and rediscover the meaning of her name.

McKenzie Evans
Character: Esther
Rendition: Poem

McKenzie is a graduate of Nyack College, class of ’19, with a B.S. in Adolescence English Education. She loves teaching English, and has had the privilege of working at the Writing Center since Spring 2016. She enjoys thinking creatively while writing and lesson planning, and she enjoys traveling and living in multicultural settings. McKenzie hopes to teach abroad after graduating, and she plans to bring her light and salt with her!

Pattie Jean-Francois
Character: The Samaritan Women & Deborah the Judge
Rendition: Spoken Word

Pattie is a native of the Sugar Hill section of Harlem, NY. Hailed as the hub of the Harlem Renaissance, Pattie developed a love of the arts and words as a young child. Cultivating her passions, Pattie has navigated into a new and exhilarating venture of the art of spoken word. She works as the Assistant to the Director of the Writing Center, holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and is an alumnus of the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling. She currently serves as faculty at Beth Rapha Christian College.

Damali Cooper
Character: Woman with the Alabaster Box
Rendition: Dance

Born and raised in the beautiful island of Jamaica, Damali is the last of both parents. She is a recent Nyack College graduate with a degree in Business Management, loves to serve, and finds great joy in being a leader. She is currently the CFO at her church, serves on the board and teaches Sunday school. She hopes to one day establish a non-profit organization that focuses on inspiring young women. Damali enjoys traveling, Dancing and meeting new people. Damali looks forward to the simpler things in life and lives by Henry Wadsworth’s quote: “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

Cesiah Lopez
Character: Ruth
Rendition: Poem

Cesiah is a junior at Nyack College majoring in Social Work. Originally from San Diego, California and moving to New York in 2012, she is the daughter of her amazing parents who work for the Lord as missionaries and grew up traveling to fulfill the Lord’s calling for her family. She believes that to move forward in any plan God has for our lives, we must be willing to walk away from what we know. “It’s amazing where God will take you when you are willing to follow,” she shares. She lives with 3 roommates and 3 cats in Brooklyn. She works for a nonprofit organization called Not On My Watch Inc., which is an education, training, and advocacy organization combating human trafficking and domestic violence in New York City. Cesiah believes that only Jesus can give us the perfect peace we are looking for. Her favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 43:2.

Shaddai Richardson
Character: Jairus’ Daughter
Rendition: Monologue

Born and raised in the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten, Shaddai Richardson is an undergraduate senior at Nyack College. Although a self-identified extrovert, she enjoys the introverted hobbies such as reading, drawing, and creative writing. After moving to New York, she switched her major to Social Work as she recognized the suffering of many homeless citizens around her. After attaining her master’s degree in Social Work, she hopes to run her own group home for Transitional Aged Youth.

Jessica Leclere
Character: Jochebed
Rendition: Dance

Jessica Leclere was born in Indiana and raised in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Nyack College with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in Marketing. She is a Graduate Peer Writing Consultant and Event Coordinator at the Nyack College Writing Center. Jessica has a love and passion to dance for the Lord. She has had 25 years of experience in dance and graduated with a Certificate in Dance through Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She also has experience in teaching dance throughout her years living in NYC. Jessica has a passion for business/non-profit, writing, and the world of dance. She hopes to make a difference with this culmination of worlds. Through this, she desires to help the needy and to mend and mold the next generation through teaching business, writing, and dance.

Andrea Casteñada
Character: Phoebe
Rendition: Musical Selection

Andrea Casteñada was born in Medellín, Colombia, known to its inhabitants as The City of Eternal Spring. She wrote her first poem at 12 years of age and hid it below her mattress out of sheer fear that someone would find out how she really felt. The combination of the ever-present Colombian regional music styles such as Trova Bambuco Pasillos coupled with her love of poetry helped her develop artistically and to try out all sorts of crazy things until she decided she wanted to sing. When she turned 16 her and her family emigrated to the United States. She now lives in New York, but has never been able to wake up without sensing Colombia’s unique aroma, that mild blend of chocolate and country. She is married to Edmar Castañeda and they have two little angels- Zeudi and Zamir. God is her greatest treasure and she carries Jesus Christ in her soul. She has no other ambition other than to be used by The Master of Life as he so deems and to shine a little light upon the world through her voice.

Dawne Shaw
Character: Mary, Jesus’ Mother
Renditon: Trumpet

Dawne is a junior at Nyack College where she is currently pursuing a B.S. in Music and Arts. She was introduced to music at a young age and started playing the trumpet at 9 years old. She is passionate about music, teaching children the art of music and serving at-risk youths. Dawne also serves as a youth minister at her church (Mount Sinai Cathedral Church of God), and is an active member of different community youth groups. Dawne was given the opportunity to perform for Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration and the recent US Open with the Brooklyn Steppers band. Her passion led her to form her own community group for at-risk teens- the Warrior Drumline team in the Brooklyn Brownsville area. Her group had the opportunity to showcase their talent at a recent ‘Battle in the Apple’ competition. Dawne hopes to continue serving others through her leadership and musical ability.