Susan is the Creative Director for simply put and our first project: WE COUNT! A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Susan designed for multiple publications before being named the first-ever Creative Director for the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. It was under her leadership that Lincoln Center’s award-winning design department and iconic style were established. Even today the Center's brand reflects the visual and narrative structures she put in place.
Susan left to establish the design department for Juno Online Services, an early tech innovator. While she enjoyed the challenges of new media, she quickly realized that the company's culture neither understood nor valued the importance of design and continuity in their customer interface.
So, when that bubble burst, she formed Panetta Creative, a unique studio focussed on what had become her passion - the intersection of design, education and storytelling. Susan often invites her clients to collaborate beyond usual boundaries of researcher, writer and designer - to center an aesthetic narrative across an entire project. She has created unique visual stories with musicians such as Laurie Berkner and publications including the Long Island Parent Magazine. A researcher by nature, Panetta reviewed the limited font and readablity literature with the What To Expect Foundation and created the unique design and feel of their Baby Basics book and program - creating an evolving accessibility standard for lower-literacy materials that she now uses for simply put projects.
Susan also established and runs the Pulitzer & Panetta Writing and Art Studio with New York Times best-selling author Lisa Pulitzer. Grounded in her educational philosophy, these dynamic workshops merge literary and visual expression, offering children and makers of all ages a chance to write, design and illustrate with confidence.
As the Creative Director of Simply Put she puts all of her many skills and talents to use - doing the research necessary to find and nurture illustrators and designers who may not have connections, backround or commercial experience - and offering them mentoring, creative direction, publication and career guidance within a safe creative space.
Lisa Bernstein was an Innovation Fellow at Bank Street College of Education, when she launched Simply Put, a non-profit publishing and programming organization that reaches neglected audiences in the US and around the world with empowering and engaging parenting, education and health information.
Before launching Simply Put, Lisa was the co-founder and Executive Director of The What To Expect Foundation which she formed with the authors of the best-selling What To Expect pregnancy and parenting series. Together they created award-winning cause marketing campaigns in partnership with Nissan, Clorox, and GSK that disseminated important messages to parents (on car seat safety, healthy homes, the importance of immunization) and raised over $7 million for the Foundation.
She used those funds to publish Baby Basics, a comprehensive pregnancy guide for "neglected audiences" that combines narrative, illustration and evidence-based health information to entertain and engage women who don't expect to find their experiences or concerns reflected in the pages of a book. Baby Basics (in English, Spanish and Mandarin) has sold over 750,000 copies to non-profit agencies that support at-risk families across the US. The book inspired the Baby Basics program, a new paradigm of health education that encourages a woman's personal and intellectual growth during the teachable moment of pregnancy. With extensive training in strength-based educational strategies and the Baby Basics curriculum, thousands of medical professionals, health educators and community workers now help women to actively seek, read and engage with health information to build critical thinking skills and social networks during pregnancy.
In 2014, Lisa led The What To Expect Foundation's partnership with the US Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues to create the $4.8 million Women’s Health Innovation Program (WHIP) to bring prenatal health, literacy and empowerment support to women in Liberia and Bangladesh. Working with in-country teams, she created Big Belly Business Liberia and Babu Barta Bangladesh - books, curriculum and training that help 15 partner health and literacy NGOs in each country run Moms Club groups so women learn to read about pregnancy and meet and help one another. She continues to advise and build this project in partnership with in-country organizations. By 2017 the program had reached over 100,000 families. In 2022 Big Belly Business will be adopted by the Liberian Ministry of Health as their key Community Health Pregnancy and Reproductive Health Strategy.
Simply Put also draws upon Lisa’s expertise in commercial book publishing. A former publicist at Henry Holt and Little Brown Publishers, Marketing Director at The New Press, and Associate Publisher at Workman; she ran campaigns for many titles, including the bestselling What To Expect When You’re Expecting parenting series, the Brain Quest educational program, Studs Terkel, Sue Grafton, Thomas Pynchon, Bill Ayers, bell hooks and Kimberle Crenshaw's first trade book on Critical Race Theory!
Faith is the Director of Research, Culture and Equity. Simply Put's materials are created using a Community Design Model developed over her storied career. Her evaluation of Simply Put: Civics' first project, WE COUNT! ensured Early Childhood Educators could competently and confidently take on the role of "Trusted Advisor," engaging families in complex but authentic conversations to support their informed participation in the 2020 Census.
Before joining simply put, she was a Senior Research Scientist at Bank Street College of Education. There she directed the Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and developed the Center for Culture, Race and Equity.
Prior to 2011, Dr. Parker was Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, where she conducted research/ evaluation, taught child development and social policy, and directed the international and domestic practicum program.
A well-respected researcher with a specialty in early childhood, family engagement, community-based design and programming, she is considered a leader in the intersection of families, education, social justice, and racial equity.
Awarded multiple grants and contracts from the federal Department of HHS and private foundations, Dr. Parker has altogether led projects funded at over $300 million during her career. She has over 25 years of experience in community-based research, where she uses her skills as a mental health professional to develop and implement evidence-based programs for disenfranchised communities, families, and children. She was the scientific director for the first 11 Head Start National Conferences beginning in 1991 and conducted every 2 years, funded by DHHS/ACF/OPRE, to promote evidence-based practice and policy for young children and their families for over 20 years. She created a research-to-practice journal for the National Head Start Association, the NHSA Dialog, and has authored numerous articles and chapters on Head Start, child outcomes, parent involvement, and advocacy strategies for very young children and their families. Since 2001, Dr. Lamb-Parker has been teaching and training internationally. She co-developed the first ever masters-level program in child development in Bangladesh, and gave training and technical assistance to a number of Early Childhood Development NGOs in Liberia and South Africa. Dr. Lamb-Parker presents at national and international professional meetings on community-based participatory research, training, and advocacy focused on the health, mental health, and development of infants and young children and their caregivers in rural black town-ships in South Africa.
simply put media
simply put media
Dr. Faith Lamb Parker
simply put media
OLGA AND ALEKSEY IVANOV
Olga and Aleksey Ivanov are renowned children’s book illustrators and classically trained commercial artists from Russia. This talented husband-and-wife team immigrated to the United States in 2002 and have been in high demand ever since. In all, the two have illustrated over 80 children’s books, three of which have sold more than 100,000 copies.They work and live together with their son Ivan and fluffy Samoyed dog Misha in their artist studio in the foothills just outside of Denver, Colorado. Olga and Aleksey (better known in the publishing business and art world as “O&A Ivanovs”) are very much a team.
Sue graduated with a BFA from Drake University in Art Education with an emphasis in drawing and painting. She then traveled to Florence, Italy to continue her studies at the International School of Studio Arts. Sue has worked as a full time illustrator for over a decade, exploring many techniques and styles. She wrote and illustrated The Twelve Days of Christmas in Iowa, published by Sterling.
Elisa Chavarri is a freelance illustrator originally from Lima, Peru. She did much of her growing up in Northern Michigan, where her family kept their Peruvian culture and Latin roots alive.After studying Classical Animation and Comics at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Elisa made her way back to Alpena, Michigan, where she now resides with her husband,three year old girl, baby boy, cat, and dog.
Soud is a freelance illustrator working in advertising, editorial, and children’s illustration. He has illustrated many books for children and young readers in his native Brazil. He won the Abril Award of Journalism for Best Illustration, and the Highly Commended Seal by FNLIJ (Brazil’s National Children’s Book and Youth Foundation). In the US, Soud illustrated Dionne Warwick’s picture book, Say A Little Prayer, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and won a Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medal.
Chase Walker is a self-taught fine artist, photographer, graphic designer, and illustrator from Liberia a small West African country. Chase's childhood was interrupted by a vicious civil war that forced his family to flee from Liberia to a refugee camp in Ghana. A box of old, donated comic books sparked the creativity that fueled his spirit of exploration - first as he read the stories, but then as he began to copy the illustrations on the ground, with the only tools he had - branches, mud, and his own fingers. Chase has illustrated a series of Liberian children's books and a social marketing campaigns for UNESCO. He also illustrated Big Belly Business, a Liberian pregnancy guide and program funded by the US State Department. In 2013 he received a fellowship to study at the SI Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. Today he lives in Philadelphia, PA.
HUY VOUN LEE
Huy Voun Lee arrived in New York City at the age of six as a Cambodian refugee. She quickly developed a love for art and Origami. Huy has written and illustrated many books for children using her colorful cut paper style incorporating Chinese characters into her books. On many days, she can be found sharing the joys of Origami and art with school children in New York City and visitors of the Museum of Natural History. Huy studied at the School for Visual Arts and lives with her husband on the Upper West Side.
CHARNELLE PINKNEY BARLOW
Charnelle Pinkney Barlow was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY. Growing up, she was surrounded by art daily. Her passion for illustration grew after being introduced to the wonderful world of watercolor. Whatever she’s drawing is usually a dead giveaway as to what she’s currently obsessed with (did someone say donuts?). She received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Charnelle currently lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband.When she’s not drawing, she is baking, sewing or reading with a cup of tea by her side.
JULIA SHAHIN COLLARD
When not illustrating or writing for kids, Julia can be found herding cats, telling puntastic “jokes,” or beating kale. (Yes, beating, not eating. Kale is a Collard’s natural enemy.) She may or may not be part narwhal. Julia Shahin Collard’s art has been published in the Los Angeles Times, as well as exhibited in the Venice Art Walk and other shows. She was honored to have a solo art show at Villa Musica in San Diego in 2013. In February 2014, she was selected as SCBWI's Featured Illustrator, she was the OC Illustrators’ Featured Artist in May 2014, and she won an Honorable Mention in 3x3 Magazine's 2015 Annual Show.
Tajul Iman is a contemporary Bangladeshi American visual artist based in New York. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), from Chittagong Art College (Bangladesh) in 1979. He has been living in the USA since 1981 working as a graphic designer in several Architectural signage and graphic design companies and a cover designer at Tailor publishing company in Dallas. Tajul has also worked as a software interface designer and illustrator at NASA, Johnson Space Center in Houston. Today he works at Alison’s Montessori Educational Material company as an Artist, Illustrator, Graphic designer, product developer, and researcher. He has participated in several group painting exhibitions in the USA. Also achieved Singer/Performer & Writer in Bengali Literature.
Sarah Jung is an Illustrator and writer based in Baltimore Maryland. She has a BFA in illustration, book arts, and creative writing from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Drawing from her Korean Heritage, Sarah is inspired by her culture and continues to make stories and illustrations based on her upbringing.
bio to come