Award-winning Little Academy faculty have experience teaching college classes, workshops for adults, study abroad sessions, teach-ins, and just about everything in between. You’re in good hands.

Chris Maier, M.F.A. — Dean 
Founder of Made By Little, Host and Producer of Little Salon DC
Chris Maier leads the charge at Made By Little, a boutique creative agency that works with brands, campaigns, and communities to craft compelling narratives, curate one-of-a-kind experiences, and bring perspective to places. Based in DC, Chris brings 15 years of advertising/communications experience that stretches from strategy to storytelling, from print to web, and from video to in-person experiences. He’s worked closely on local, national, and international projects for organizations including MasterCard, Under Armour, Haier, Sony, The Princeton Review, Knight Foundation, and Gates Foundation. He’s also founder and producer of Little Salon, a monthly arts and culture series in Washington, DC that offers a one-of-a-kind experience curated to give DCers a non-pretentious dose of the creative talent that surrounds them. A native of central Pennsylvania, he earned a BA in English literature from Dickinson College and an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Little Academy is the newest branch of the (growing) Little tree, all of which work together to showcase creative & collaborative experiences.

Dr. Shannon D. Mancus, Ph.D. — Chancellor & Academic Director
Shannon Davies Mancus received her M.A. and Ph.D. from George Washington University. Her forthcoming first book examines the political implications of the modern environmental movement. Her teaching experience includes a range of classes including “Film and Politics,” “US Media & Cultural History,” and “Introduction to the Arts in America,” and Modern American Cultural History. She has also worked as a teaching artist for the Manhattan-based Women’s Project, helping at-risk teenagers write, develop, and perform anti-violence theatre pieces. She is also the Director of the American Studies Film Club. She has presented at national and international conferences, as well as taught overseas in Florence, Italy. Her teaching has been awarded with George Washington University’s highest honor for undergraduate instruction.

Kimberly Pendleton, Ph.D. Candidate — Chancellor & Creative Director
Kimberly Pendleton is a PhD candidate in American Studies at George Washington University. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, religion and international humanitarian work. Kimberly holds a B.A. from Georgetown University,  as well as a M.A. in American Religious History from Yale Divinity School. Her dissertation explores the ways that religious ideology and humanitarian intervention overlap, and the impact of their intimate connection on international productions of gender and sexuality. Her teaching experience includes U.S. and transnational religion, globalization and imperialism, humanitarian work and representations of global crisis, and gender/sexuality studies, among others. Her work has won numerous fellowships and grants.

Whitney Shephard, M.A. — Faculty
Whitney Shephard is the Racial Justice Program Coordinator at the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC. She has a B.A. from U.C. Irvine in English and African American Studies, as well as a M.A. from George Washington University in American Studies. Her publications include “The Death of Race: Living Posthumously in a Post-Racial Society,” forthcoming from Bucknell Press, as well as an “Introduction to Negro Poetry and Drama: Revisiting the Voices of Early African American Figures” from Westphalia Press. She has a strong background and familiarity of humanities, social justice initiatives, non-profit management, and policy studies, and has worked in the academic, activist, and non-profit sector for many years. 

Michael Horka, Ph.D. Candidate — Faculty
Michael Horka is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at the George Washington University.  His interests include ecocriticism, critical theory, and American religious history.  Michael’s dissertation,“Apocalyptic Natures: The Ecological Politics of Science Fiction,” considers how science fiction has been involved with struggles over what counts as “nature” and how these debates have been central to the apocalyptic stylings of U.S. politics since the 1970s.  Before attending GW, Michael was a lay ecclesial minister to young adult Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit and a category manager and buyer for a small business association in Michigan. His teaching has been awarded with George Washington University’s highest honor for undergraduate instruction.

Tony Mancus, M.F.A. — Faculty, Academic Advisor
Tony Mancus holds an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona and has taught at the University of Arizona, the University of Scranton, Hunter College, Queensborough Community College, Montclair State University, and George Mason University. He is the author of a handful of chapbooks of poetry, including City Country – winner of the inaugural Seattle Review chapbook prize, and his poems and reviews have been published in Verse, Barrelhouse, Beltway Quarterly, Public Pool, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky and elsewhere.