Esteemed Author Dr. Juhanna Rogers Works with Creative Writing Students

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Cazenovia creative writing students are currently working with Dr. Juhanna Rogers, motivational speaker, artist, educational activist, author, playwright and more.

Dr. Rogers is the current visiting author at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia. The school is able to provide this educational experience through an awarded grant in partnership with CNY Arts.

A Newark, New Jersey native, Dr. Rogers talked about her experience growing up in a diverse and resource-rich environment. She used her upbringing to set the foundation for her teaching on creative storytelling.

“One of the most important pieces of creating stories, characters and creative writing is understanding where people come from,” she said.

The group of creative writing students explored what it’s like to live in Cazenovia as well as what tourists and people visiting from out-of-town say about the village. Descriptors ranged from “close-knit” to “natural beauty” to “historical.” Dr. Rogers challenged the group to think about how their environment affects their writing.

One student commented on her experience as a foreign exchange student, saying, “I never thought to specify the environment in my writing before coming here, the nature, the trees.”

Dr. Rogers received her bachelor’s degree in Integrative Arts from Penn State University and her master’s and doctorate from Indiana University. She is a contributing writer for various blogs, has published poetry in the Divine Feminist (anthology) and has made appearances on the BronxNet and The Today Show. In 2019, she became the creator, executive producer and host of Behind the Woman in partnership with WCNY/PBS.

Her commitment to social justice, education and the arts shined through as she shared pieces of her own work in addition to work of artists that she admires with the Cazenovia group.

“Juhanna brought a fresh perspective to the class that allowed them to understand someone from outside of Cazenovia’s background, influences and experiences, while also hearing about how she felt about being immersed in Cazenovia’s culture,” said Cazenovia English Teacher Wendy Everard. “It was an invaluable experience”

More information about Dr. Rogers’ work can be found at www.juhannarogers.com.

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