BAWiP’s 2023–2024 MENTORSHIP COHORT
Barbara Yien is Director of Content Development at Macmillan, where she develops courseware for college-level STEM disciplines. She began her career working on sociology and nutrition books at Wadsworth. She then shifted to STEM at Pearson, where she specialized in first edition textbooks/courseware for microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and other applied sciences. She was also Executive Editor at No Starch Press, an SF-based publisher of bestselling books about hacking/cybersecurity, Python, and LEGO. She enjoys ghost stories and hot sake.
Frances Baca is Principal of Frances Baca Design and Consulting in Berkeley, California. Her work focuses on book design, creative direction, and business consultation for both established and emerging publishers. She also writes about cookbook design as the Design Editor for Stained Page News. Frances studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and her work has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, the Society of Publication Designers, the Association of University Presses, Graphic Design USA, the New England Book Show, and Bookbuilders West.
Julia Sadowski (she/her) is the Associate Publicity Director at North Atlantic Books (NAB), a non-profit healing-focused press. Before joining NAB in 2017 as associate publicist, she was the events coordinator at Books Inc. in Berkeley, California, where she had the privilege of hosting events that celebrated authors from the Bay Area and across the country. Before joining the book industry, Julia worked for two education non-profits as an Americorps member: Reading Partners in San Francisco, CA and City Year in Baton Rouge, LA.
Christina Dedios (she/her) is a Vallejo native of multiethnic Filipino and Black background and is passionate about the multiracial and BIPOC communities. After earning her BA from Whittier College in English, she worked in the corporate retail and law industries before getting her first opportunity in publishing – an internship at North Atlantic Books, where she now serves as one of the Board of Directors. She went on to complete the Columbia Publishing Course in New York and worked in the subsidiary rights department at Scholastic, Inc. before landing back home in the Bay Area in the contracts department at Chronicle Books. In her free time she can often be found staying active, relishing in good food, drinking boba, or mediating disputes between her cats, Cala and Lou.
Serina Beauparlant is the Managing Editor for the Applied Sciences list at Pearson Education. Shortly after graduating from Grinnell College, Serina got her start in college publishing at Wadsworth Publishing/Cengage. After a three-year stint as a sales rep in upstate New York, she became an acquisitions editor in sociology and anthropology at Wadsworth and later at Mayfield Publishing. During her long tenure as an acquisitions editor, Serina has signed and developed best-selling textbooks including those by sociologists Maggie Anderson & Patricia Hill Collins (Race, Class and Gender, now in its 10th edition) and Susan Ferguson (Mapping the Social Landscape, now in its 9th edition) and by biologists Erin Amerman (Human Anatomy & Physiology, now in its 3rd edition) and Nora Hebert et al (Practice Anatomy Lab, a virtual anatomy study and practice tool, now in version 4.0).
When Serina is not hunting for authors or working closely with her team at Pearson, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking and rooting for the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox with the hope that these two teams don’t ever face each other in a World Series.
Jolene Torr is Assistant Director of Marketing at the University of California Press. She has worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years, having worked for small presses, art museums, and in advertising. She began her publishing career at City Lights where she managed publicity for poetry, literature in translation, fiction, and nonfiction and later worked for Kaya Press, a literary publisher of the Asian diaspora. Prior to joining UC Press, Jolene worked for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. She is a lover of art, cats, poetry, and horror movies.
Raya Rahman is the co-founder of Guba Books, a bilingual children's book publishing company that operates in the San Francisco Bay Area and Dhaka, Bangladesh. In addition to running a small press, Raya also works as an educational content creation specialist for The Asia Foundation, an international NGO, on their early literacy digital library called Let’s Read. In 2022, Raya was awarded the PPN Distinguished Service Award for her work in the publishing field.
Jyoti Arvey is an Editorial Assistant at University of California Press, assisting with titles in Technology Studies and Economics, as well as Premodern History, Religion, and World Lit in Translation. They got their start in the book world as a bookseller at Dog Eared Books Castro (now Fabulosa Books), and have been involved in the Bay Area queer art scene as a writer and performer for many years. They have worked as a freelance editor and translator for artists, writers, scholars, and small businesses. In their free time, they can be found making herbal medicine and taking long walks with their dog Romi.
Originally from Poland, Aleksandra (she/they) has worked in publications for museums and other cultural institutions for a number of years. She moved to the Bay Area two years ago, while co-founding and remotely running a small independent publishing house based in Warsaw. The press, called Współbycie (Interbeing), publishes poetry, essays, non-fiction and speculative fiction that decenters privileged perspectives and speaks to the interconnected nature of the human and more-than-human world. Her interests revolve around book design and production, including craft techniques such as bookbinding and marbling. She loves to knit, hike and hang out with redwoods.
Rayyon (she/they) works as a librarian and is passionate about amplifying stories of queer Black and Indigenous voices. Rayyon is originally from New Orleans. They are excited about having the opportunity to learn more about the publishing world as they aim to increase access to diverse voices and books. Their dream is to support Queer Black, Indigenous, and Brown authors and creators by amplifying their stories and visibility. Rayyon lives with their partner and cat and loves watching reality tv.
Kathryn Li (she/her) is a graphic designer, illustrator, and San José native. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2021 with a BFA in Illustration and a Concentration in Literary Arts & Studies, and was most recently the 2022–23 Children's Design Fellow at Chronicle Books. She has also worked with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Barefoot Books, Astra Books for Young Readers, and San José Strong. While her reading glasses are at rest, she thinks about interactive fiction, birds, and dessert.
Neva Ryan lives in San Francisco and is currently working as a Marketing Assistant at New Harbinger Publications. She majored in poetry at UC Santa Cruz and has been pursuing publishing for the past 3 years, interning at City Lights and getting involved with BAWIP.
Nora is an Editorial Assistant at the University of California Press. She helps manage and acquire book projects for the World History, American Studies, and Middle East Studies lists, as well as the Art History list. Formerly a bookseller, cookbook editor, and small-time published writer, Nora loves to be steeped in the world of words, books, and publishing. In her free time, you can find her hiking, bicycling, chit-chatting, watching movies, and, of course, reading.
Sadie is a young professional working in a non-profit by day while studying for a doula certification and practicing as a "ceramicist" at night. Sadie graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Sociology and has since worked at various social justice organizations in the Bay Area, such as The Alliance for Arts Education for Alameda County. She loves all things art, especially when the art produces a story that can resonate through time. When thinking about the future, she aspires to exercise both her analytic and creative abilities in publishing as part of the editing and/or marketing staff.
Bri James is an illustrator (who writes) for kids and food people. She is known for her vibrant and joyful artwork which celebrates both ancestral wisdom and everyday life. She has been featured in the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and Eater, among others. Bri is currently the Children's Editorial Fellow at Chronicle Books and has just inked her first publishing deal with New York publishing house, Union Square & Co. Her project Young Historians Club is forthcoming January '25. Bri is a graduate of Emory University and Duke University, School of Law. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, daughter, cairn terrier, and trio of chickens. You can find her online at brijames.com and on Instagram @artish.reader.
Yvelise A. Cabral
Yvelise A. Cabral is a Spanish Bilingual/Bicultural Early Childhood Educator with over 20 years of experience in the field. She brings extensive experience as a practitioner and holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, along with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development, both from San Francisco State University. Yvelise is originally from the Dominican Republic and a NYC transplant. She aspires to become a children’s book author and is currently working on several picture books and short stories for young readers.