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National Steinbeck Center Staff

Susan Shillinglaw at PG LibraryDr. Susan Shillinglaw: Director

Susan Shillinglaw has been Director of the NSC since June, 2015. Previously she served on the NSC board, helped coordinate Steinbeck Festivals, and was NSC Scholar in Residence from 2005 to the present. She spent most of her career as a Professor of English at San Jose State University, where she was the President's Scholar for 2012-13. Shillinglaw also directed the San Jose State University Steinbeck Center for 18 years. 

Shillinglaw has been teaching and writing about Steinbeck for 27 years and has never tired of either man or writer. She has published widely on Steinbeck, most recently Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (University of Nevada Press, 2013) and On Reading The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin, 2014) as well as A Journey into Steinbeck's California (2006; 2011). She also wrote introductions to several of Steinbeck's books for Penguin New American Library editions of Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, A Russian Journal and The Winter of Our Discontent. Other publications include collections of scholarly essays (i.e. Steinbeck and the Environment, 1997) as well as an edition of Steinbeck's journalism, America and Americas and Selected Nonfiction (2002).

Susan Shillinglaw brings to the position an enthusiasm for Steinbeck's legacy and his career. John Steinbeck was engaged with key issues of the 20th century: migrations west; ethnicity; Mexican heritage; ecology and the environment; World War II; Vietnam; and the meaning of the "common good" during the turbulent 1960s. She hopes to draw from these themes in presenting future programs at the Center. She is a resident of the Monterey Peninsula.


David Butler: Director of Finance & Administration

David joined the NSC in 2008 and is responsible for all accounting and HR activities. He was the Chief Accountant at the Natividad Medical Center from 1988-1995 before leaving to become a controller for AdvantaCare, a partnership of local hospitals providing home infusion and home medical equipment. Between 2005-2006, he worked briefly as the Staff Accountant for Kasavan & Pope, a local CPA firm, and then from 2006-2008 as the Controller for Saroyan Construction, an architect and real estate company managing residential and commercial properties.
David is a licensed CPA in Arizona and holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University.


Eric Mora: Marketing Coordinator

Eric is currently the Marketing Coordinator. Eric manages the Center’s social media platforms. Prior to becoming a staff member, he volunteered at the Center as a museum greeter and an administrative staff assistant. Volunteering at the Center instilled in him a deep appreciation for the wonderful community of supporters that National Steinbeck Center has amassed over the years. Eric earned his Bachelors of Arts degree at Cornell University.


Lisa Josephs: Archivist


Lisa Josephs is the National Steinbeck Center's Archivist—and helps with programs and grants. She is responsible for organizing and cataloging the National Steinbeck Center-owned archival materials and managing the archival collection as a whole, which includes both NSC and City of Salinas holdings. She also helps researchers utilize the collection to enhance their research projects with primary-source Steinbeck materials. Lisa is a transplant to Salinas from the East Coast, where she was studying Anthropology, South Asia, and socio-economic class. Moving out of the world of academia, she started at the NSC as a volunteer and quickly became involved in various NSC projects, which led to her hiring as Archivist.
Lisa earned her Bachelor's degree in Linguistics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her Master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amy Thomas: Education & Public Programs Coordinator

 Amy Thomas grew up in Salinas and now works as Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the National Steinbeck Center. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature at Santa Clara University, where she served on staff of the Santa Clara Review. After a time in southern California writing for a real estate education company, Amy is thrilled to return to her hometown and engage her community through the National Steinbeck Center's unique and educational programs.

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