Meet Ellie

Ellie joined the INCLUDAS team as the Summer 2023 Research Intern. We are so excited to have her with us!

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

I think it would be how caring I am. I work at a daycare, so a lot of my personality and personal effort is directed toward caring for people a lot.

What’s the most significant thing that’s influenced you as a person?

My overall education has influenced me the most. I’m very bookish, and I think all of my interests have been based around a lot of stuff that I learned in school. I was really driven by that direction of knowledge and watched a lot of academic videos in my free time. I want to become a professor later on, and that interest wouldn’t have sparked without the things that happened at school for me.

What makes you proud of yourself, and what are your aspirations?

I’m really proud of getting to where I am right now. I live in New York, I attend a really nice college, and I enjoy doing my research. It feels like all my hard work has come into play to where I am right now.

I really want to go into academic research and literary scholarship, and get a doctorate in English, going down the professor route. However, I am also interested in working in children’s publishing long-term. Overall, my aspiration is just to be content with whatever I’m doing and just enjoy life as it is.

Why are you interested in working in publishing?

I’ve always loved reading for the same reasons everyone loves reading: it’s fun, and there’s no activity like it that makes time go by so fast, to be so engrossed you never want to come out of it. I’ve gotten to a point where I really love language and how people use language to show different things in different ways.

I wanted to work in publishing because I love books so much. I specifically want to edit books. I’ve never really wanted to be an author, and I’ve always preferred working with the things that are given to me and tweaking things to make them work. Publishing is a really important industry for future building and teaches so much to children.

Why is disability diversity in stories important to you?

I work with kids during the day, and I see how they interact with each other. When someone is neurodivergent and they don’t really understand certain things, the lack of understanding from other children can impact them and lead everyone down a less empathetic path. Introducing children to diversity and inclusion is so important for making a new generation more accepting. 

I find it really interesting when authors write from the perspectives of characters who are neurodivergent. The way they use language alters how the reader understands the character and shows how they see the world differently. It’s an interesting way to communicate a different mode of experience and bridge the gap between our differences.

What’s your role at INCLUDAS, and what’s been the most fulfilling part about being on the INCLUDAS team?

I am a research intern, so I’ll be assisting with finding studies for INCLUDAS to be a part of regarding how children relate to disabled characters, how disability in the media can affect how they see disabled people, and how children understand disability in general. It’s also been exciting to look at behind-the-scenes work in publishing, like the illustrations of books that INCLUDAS is working on. It’s very cool to see the different stages of a manuscript and be able to give my feedback on cover design ideas.

Any advice for those wanting to work in the publishing industry?

Keep up with the literary trends that come out. Read as many books as you can. It’s important to get a better grasp of the publishing world in general and see what people are looking for in their stories.

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