Devon hails from the Lone Star State and has a master’s degree in Global, International, and Comparative History with an emphasis on the Cold War from Georgetown University. She earned her cowboy boots and her bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Texas. Previously, she has worked for the Smithsonian in Washington, DC and the State Department in the European Affairs Bureau. Devon currently works as a project managing editor for Gibbs Smith Education. She loves dogs, baking, and the appropriate use of a semicolon. Her hobbies include scuba diving, finding funny Internet memes, and consuming massive amounts of BBQ and Mexican food.
Seth is a vegan kosher potato farmer from Idaho who starts every morning by belting out “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” He is known to his coworkers as Super Seth because he wears a worn and much-loved Superman sweatshirt on a regular basis and has mad graphic design skills. Seth curates his Simpson Legos collection whenever he has a minute. The Simpsons are joined by a number of larger action figures that occupy every open surface in his office. Seth also keeps a dog at work in the form of an orange pillow with ears called Orange Julius. A talented gardener, Seth makes his own hot sauce and shares it with coworkers, who respond with a scorching thank you. Seth has worked to advance our digital presence here at Gibbs Smith Education, recently creating a very cool Lewis and Clark app. The parents of two sons and a daughter, Seth and his wife are expecting a new little boy next month. They plan to name the baby Attakullakulla after a historic Cherokee chief.
Diane is our Converse-wearing Production Manager and Photo Editor and has been working with our team since 2010. She has a BS in English and photography, and she hails from the Beehive State. On any given day, she can be found doing anything from researching images to creating a program schedule, working with printers, or getting away from it all and going on a walk. Previously, she managed an office for an archaeological company where she compiled reports, occasionally went into the field, and learned much of the early human history of Utah and Nevada.
Diane is the proud mother of two kids and two dogs. She loves gardening and experimenting with gluten-free baking.
Ian generally has no idea, but is always trying to find out. He is one of those digital product owners who got there from the humanities, and loves translating the world of technology to the rest of us. He is the Director of Digital Development for Gibbs Smith, Publisher, where he manages digital projects, builds partnerships with software companies, and develops digital strategy, overseeing that work for Gibbs Smith Education as well. He is also Walter’s owner, and tries to take all the credit for Walter’s ideas. (He’s not always successful. Walter is wily.)
Ian is originally from Milwaukee, where the first paid job of his life was the geographically appropriate title of “keg hauler” at a music festival. He went to school in Boston, getting a BA in history and philosophy and then an MA in history from Tufts University. While in Beantown, he worked at American Experience, the historical documentary television show produced by WGBH. Ian also served as chief research assistant to Peniel Joseph, performing integral early research work on his Stokely, the first major biography of the civil rights and Black Power leader.
Outside the hallowed walls of Gibbs Smith, Ian is a hiker, cyclist, musician, camper, and traveler. He reads a lot of history in his spare time, some occasional fiction, and increasingly, a lot of books about dogs.
Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee; no wait, that was Davy Crockett. How about a log cabin in Illinois? No, that was Lincoln. Oh wait, I got it! From the northernmost of the Carolinas, Pilot Mountain is where Donald Jennings hails. His illustrative art and design career began there, on early Saturday mornings, as he recreated his favorite cartoons. His deep desire to collect cartoon toys started there as well. Not sure if there is a correlation or not, but we have our research scientists looking into it. Starting in North Carolina and finishing in Utah, Donny finished his degree and met his lovely wife. He is the father of five wonderful children.
At the office, Donny is known as MacGyver, Mr. Fix-It, or the PPS (Professional Problem Solver). No matter what he is called, Donny is always willing and able to a fault. His ability to troubleshoot problems in a quick manner has endeared him to all. There is no challenge he won’t take on. He also is a pretty awesome guy, which helps!
Donny enjoys animated movies, well-designed toys, and eye-catching games. Donny dislikes writing bios of himself.
Hailing from the East Coast is our Editorial Director, Charlene. She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, but moved up and down the coast for college and career, starting with a BA in journalism from Northeastern University. Fancying herself the next Barbara Walters, she scored a coveted internship with CNN in Washington, DC, and has the audition tape to prove it. A budding journalist, Charlene went on to work as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor for such riveting publications as Package Printing and Converting and The Single Audit Information Service. A strong desire to study and teach history led her to the University of Delaware, where she earned an MA in US History Education. She landed her first teaching job at Archmere Academy, the alma mater of Vice President Joe Biden, and later taught at the Baldwin School near Philadelphia. In 2008, she packed up her wagon and headed west to Utah.
Charlene began as an editor at Gibbs Smith Education in 2008 and became Editorial Director in 2012. In addition to editing, she has co-authored several titles, including The Washington Journey, The New Mexico Journey, The South Carolina Journey, and Tennessee Through Time: The Early Years. She says that her work at Gibbs Smith is “the perfect blend of teaching, history, and creativity.”
When not in the office browbeating her coworkers or inspecting which direction the toilet paper rolls, Charlene spends her free time training for marathons and half marathons, chasing small animals, cooking tasty dinners (no connection to chasing small animals), testing local microbrews, and searching for a decent Philadelphia hoagie or cheesesteak.
Avery Anne Pince-Hyder earned two bachelor’s degrees in history and women’s studies and anthropology. Her research has focused on identity, race, gender, and science, and their effects on policy, immigration, and education. Her love of books and history envelopes every part of her life, from overspending on rare books to her wedding in an historic Carnegie library. It has taken her to archives at Weber State and Brigham Young University; to the Archives Nationales and the National Library in Paris, France; and to the great ruins of Delphi in Greece and the Library of Celsus at Ephesus in Turkey. In her spare time, she daydreams about Colorado’s mountains and California’s beaches, inhales non-work related books, consumes gallons of iced coffee, and is on the continuous hunt for the best vistas at the end of Utah’s trails. She lives in Ogden, Utah with her surfer-gone-academic husband, Andrew, and their two children.
Courtney was an editor with the company for 17 years before turning freelancer, and she still loves developing history programs for kids. The combination of reading and writing about history, getting to geek out on grammar, and shifting between the big picture and the details has kept her coming back for more. Beyond writing and editing, she can be found in the classroom teaching poetry to the elementary set or making plans for poetry outreach programs. She has a BA and an MA in English. She loves going to museums, cooking, painting, and snuggling with her two kids. Someday she will grow a fabulous garden.
Reide has been a part of the Gibbs Smith Education team since 2013. She is the marketing and sales guru, and is a compulsive multitasker. The condition of her desktop often reflects that of her brain, which is in a constant state of incredibly organized chaos.
Reide is your go-to person for product, state adoption, and market information, and is always happy to add a sizeable dose of sarcasm and a touch of humor to your day. She was born and raised in Hawaii, but has been in the beautiful state of Utah for the last decade or so. Reide prefers to be outdoors in the mountains, but settles for a simulated cave-like experience in her office during work hours. She favors dogs over humans (but really, who doesn’t?) and enjoys dabbling in the arts and home renovations.
Walter is (we think) a dachshund-terrier mix who spends most of his time with his adopted human, Ian. He’s a rescue pup with a heap of personality and a sweet, loving soul. He accompanies Ian to the office a couple of times a week—initially because his debilitating separation anxiety annoyed Ian’s neighbors, and then because his awkward affection never allowed a dull moment around the office. Walter is (probably) around six years old, and (again probably) originally hailed from the mountainous Uinta Basin in eastern Utah. He likes Salt Lake City much better, with all of its amenities: a loving home, neighborhoods full of amazing dog buddies, dog parks, hiking trails, camping trips, and rawhide treats. He is currently scheming for a way to steal back the limelight from Ian, who has been hogging all the credit for Walter’s engaging, lively, and cutting-edge edtech work.
Karen Williams came to Gibbs Smith early in 2015 after earning her BA in English, starting work on a Thursday and giving the accounting department heartburn because she was too excited to wait until Monday. She promptly learned the names of all the cats before the humans, and soon became Deputy Animal Wrangler for the Gibbs Smith barn’s small flock of sheep, clutch of chickens, and clowder of cats in addition to her duties as the trade department’s Editorial Assistant.One year later she ‘temporarily’ joined the education team as a pinch-hitter Assistant Photo Editor, and has loved splitting her time between the two departments ever since.With nine cats at work and only one at home, Karen maintains that she is only a “nine-to-five crazy cat lady,” and a regular pet owner the rest of the time.