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@Oxford. Amherst. Stanford. Dublin.

Elective Leaders

Beyond our core curriculum, students at the Great Books Summer Program get the opportunity to explore personal areas of interest in our electives classes. Working in small groups with highly-talented teachers, each week everyone gets to choose a literature and an art elective to expand their horizons and to share their creativity through self-expression.

Our Elective Leaders for bring many different talents and numerous accomplishments to camp to share a wide variety of activities and passions with students. From sculpture to performance art, from jazz to photography, students get a chance to learn about and participate in a wealth of activities—many for the first time!

The Elective Leaders are both instructors and facilitators in this process as they nurture budding talents and encourage their students to try something new and fun. 

Learn about our Elective Leaders : 

Nicole Erhardt- Visual Art Elective Leader

Nicole Erhardt is a poet, visual artist and critical theorist. She is currently in the American Studies MA/PhD program at UMass Amherst, studying contemporary poetry and political theory and the ways in the which creative and critical works overlap. She enjoys art that pushes the boundaries of form and expectation (i.e., books that are art objects, paintings that are poems). 

Jonathan Volk - Creative Writing Elective Leader

Jonathan Volk is an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers, where he also teaches creative writing. He has work published in Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, Caketrain, and elsewhere. His honors include the Harvey Swados Prize in Fiction and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize. 

Olin Johannessen - Music Elective Leader

Portsmouth, NH native Olin Johannessen currently holds the position of Grades 6 - 12 Director of Choral Activities for the Portsmouth School Department. Prior to his appointment, Johannessen received his Master's degree in Composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also received a Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance. 

Alex Demers - Theater Elective Leader

Alex Demers is an actor and theater creator and educator based in Los Angeles, California. A Massachusetts native, Alex made his way westward after his undergraduate studies at Skidmore College (BS, Theater: Performance and English: Literature / Creative Writing) and 5 years as an actor/director/writer in NYC. He holds an MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he founded his theater company, Things from Before. Alex is thrilled to return to Great Books, having camped out at Amherst and Stanford where he helmed the Theater Elective in summers past. 

Kaitlyn Burd - Creative Writing Elective Leader

Kaitlyn Burd graduated from Kenyon College in 2015, where she studied English and now lives and teaches on the southern coast of Spain. Her work has been featured in Clockhouse Review, Cleaver Magazine, Atticus Review, and elsewhere. She has also worked on the staff of Paper Darts Magazine

Maia Nichols - VIsual Art Elective Leader 

Maia Nichols is an artist and writer currently based in Los Angeles, California. She holds a BFA is Visual Art and a BA in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is currently a Masters candidate in the Aesthetics and Politics program in the Department of Critical Studies at California Insititute of the ARts. She has performed in Bangalore and her work has been exhibited in Oakland, Vancouver, Santander, and Berlin. She is also a RYT-200 certified yoga instructor from Yoga Garden in San Fransisco. 



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