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Project Team

Permanent Staff


Beverley Park Rilett

Beverley Park Rilett: editor and inaugural director, is an Associate Research Professor at Auburn University in Alabama, home of the George Eliot Archive and its sister projects, the George Eliot Review Online and George Eliot Scholars since 2021.

Until August 2021, she was an Assistant Research Professor in English and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where these projects started. “Dr. Bev” specializes in digital humanities and in 19th- and early 20th-century British literature and culture. Her edition of British Poetry of the Long Nineteenth Century: A Selection for College Students was re-issued in 2019 with an international Creative Commons 4.0 license, which means the digital edition is now free. She has published several articles on aspects of George Eliot's life and works and is completing a revisionist biography. She is honored to be a vice president and North American representative of the George Eliot Fellowship and the digital editor of the Fellowship’s George Eliot Review journal. 

Brad Hughes 

Brad Hughes (2021-present): a web developer at Auburn University Libraries, has assumed the position of Head Developer of the three George Eliot digital projects. Brad also supervises the web development team of student research assistants, including the Computer Science and Software Engineering department's Senior Design project. Recently, he programmed "George Eliot's England," an interactive geospatial exhibit.

Current Research Assistants


Olivia Ainooson

Olivia Ainooson (2022-present) is a second-year Master's student in AU's department of Geosciences. She is helping to build the Alabama Authors project and processes files and metadata for the George Eliot websites.


Sylvan Baker

Sylvan Baker (2022-present) is a first-year English literature Ph.D. student at Auburn University. She currently works as an editor on the Alabama Authors digital archival team. She previously worked as an editorial assistant at the University of Nevada Press.&nbsp


Yuxiang Chen

Yuxiang Chen (2022-present) is a Computer Science and Software Engineering Masters' student at Auburn University. Yuxiang brings to the George Eliot Text Explorer subproject a diverse range of skills and experience in the field of AI, natural language processing, machine learning, and web application development.


 Hailey Fischer 

Hailey Fischer (2020-present) has completed her Master of Arts in English at UNL, advised by Dr. Rilett, and now works for the University of Nebraska Press. Her thesis explored George Eliot's relationships with her siblings, especially her sister, and half-sister. Hailey developed the content for "George Eliot's England," the Archive's born-digital geo-spacial exhibit. She continues to volunteer with the Archive.



Bennett Jetmundson  

Bennett Jetmundsen (2023-present) is a Junior at Auburn University majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics. He researches, adds, and corrects data for the Alabama Authors project.


Caitlin Jones

Caitlin Jones (2022-present) is a Masters' student in English at Auburn University. She has served as an editorial assistant for the Alabama Authors project and currently assists with Dr. Rilett's undergraduate honors class, mentoring students in their projects and organizing communication between the current George Eliot Archive and Alabama Authors teams.


Ravindra "Ravi" Joshi

Ravindra Joshi (2022-present) is a Masters’ student in computer science at Auburn University. His focus of study is virtual reality and augmented reality; since graduating with his bachelor’s in 2010 in India, he has been developing video games. For the George Eliot Archive, Ravi is creating an interactive interface to display a searchable dictionary of scenes and characters.


 Yash Mahajan 

Yash Mahajan (2022-present), an international student from India, is completing a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Software Engineering at Auburn University. Yash is currently using AI and natural language processing to develop a toolkit for the George Eliot Text Explorer subproject.


Zion McThomas 

Zion McThomas (2022-present) is a second year Masters student in History at Auburn University. Her interests include Black Studies, Queer Studies, and Gender Studies. She is also a poet, rapper, and part-owner of a creative collective called Landing Zone. She is currently working to combine This Goodly Land’s geographic content onto the Alabama Authors' website. 


Matthew Nagle

Matthew Nagle (2023-present) is a freshman at Auburn University, majoring in Computer Science. As a developer for George Eliot Archive, Mathew works to incorporate AI technology into the project. Currently, he is using it to generate alt text for all images, to improve our project’s accessibility.


Cara Shade

Cara Shade (2023-present) is a senior at Auburn University, majoring in Medical Laboratory Sciences. Cara is using her graphic design skills to create “postcards” with quotations by George Eliot for use on the Archive’s social media accounts.


Kevien Shelton 

Kevien Shelton (2022-present) is a sophomore at Auburn University, majoring in Computer Science. He currently works to compile data from the Dictionary of Scenes and Characters subproject. He also researches, adds, and corrects data for the Alabama Authors project.


Xianming Tang 

Xianming Tang (2022-present) completed his Master's degree in 2022 in Data Science and Engineering. He continues to volunteer with the project to curate, extract, and clean the files and metadata.


Abraham "Abe" Velasco

Abraham Velasco (2023-present) is completing his master's degree in engineering management at Auburn. Abraham works with the Alabama Authors team as well as the George Eliot Archive team, serving as a form of communication between the two groups. He uses Excel, Python, and json coding languages to clean, manipulate, and manage project data.

Former Research Assistants

Mavis A. Adam-Moses, 2022:
helped to build the Alabama Authors project and process files and metadata for the George Eliot websites.

Dr. Antje Anderson, 2019-21: created interactive maps of George Eliot's trips to Italy as part of their MA thesis in Art History.

Sydney Baty, 2018-19: drafted short biographies summarizing Eliot's relationships; mined periodicals databases to find previously unknown contemporary articles on GE; presented research at an academic conference

Susannah Boyer, 2018-19: located public domain sources of Eliot-related images and verified information for the relationship web summaries

Michaela Brown, 2020: located and added documents to the Archive's Commentary by Contemporaries section; developed content and metadata for its sister site, George Eliot Scholars

Mackenzie Burch, 2019-20: collected data and researched terms and accessibility for our new sister site, George Eliot Scholars, which was integral to her Honors thesis; presented research at an academic conference and poster sessions

Bryan Christman, 2020-21: assisted with the revisions of the Social Network summaries and researched books Eliot read for a new subproject, "George Eliot's Library" 

Shane Clegg, 2019: improved website functionality; created (with Riley Jhi) the  interactive Chronology section of the George Eliot Archive; poster session presentation

Sara Duke, 2017-18: researched grant opportunities, developed the early database of contemporary reviews, presented posters and conference papers 

Megan Ekstrom, 2017-2019: database development and document preparation; researched Eliot's female friendships; presented posters and conference papers.

Grace Erixon, 2019-2020: helped build interactive maps of George Eliot's trips; contributed to the relationship web; general website maintenance.

Rachel Gordon, 2017-19: curated the initial George Eliot portrait gallery; developed the Published Writings database, presented at conferences and poster sessions

Sarah Guyer, 2020-21: transitioned the George Eliot Review files to a new metadata and file storage system, organized and transcribed unpublished manuscript correspondence, and processed George Eliot Scholars submissions

John Harkendorff, 2019-20: web developer focused on the GE Scholars site; improved the website's functionality,  developed the site's contribution interface, and facilitated email outreach to potential contributors.

Abby Heinzen, 2022: helped to develop the George Eliot Archive's Twitter account; also tracked metadata for open-access articles for the Scholars project.

Jorryn "Jojo" Hensley, 2021-22: launched the project's first TweetDeck in 2022, combining quotations, illustrations, and news. The extensive subproject has been a longstanding development.

Riley Jhi, 2017-2020: our first web developer, designed and developed the first iteration of the George Eliot Archive, and created the social network data visualization model, with help from Shane Clegg, the interactive chronology; conference, and poster presentations.

Bailea Kerr, 2016-18: a founding team member, developed the earliest project databases, processed images, researched comparable digital projects and the GEF history, presented at conference and poster sessions

Rose Kottwitz, 2020: prepared metadata for the 896 "Cross Letters" and uploaded them to the Omeka platform; compared a sample set of the Cross letters with Gordon Haight's George Eliot Letters.

Wesley Lowman, 2022: collaborated with the CSSE Senior Design students to create and adapt software for the George Eliot Chronology subproject.

Minh Smith, 2022: an expert in AI and natural language processing. He incorporated this into the TweetDeck launch and helped develop the Text Explorer application.

Mckenzi Marlow, 2021-22: compiled and added articles to the Commentary by Contemporaries section of the Archive and new open-access materials to George Eliot Scholars 

Breanna Martin, 2022: redesigned brochures reflecting the projects' new home at Auburn; also helped launch the Archive's new Twitter feed of compiled quotations.

Kaylen Michaelis, 2020-21: developed the Commentary by Contemporaries section including metadata standards; led the team as assistant editor

Thara Michaelis, 2020-21: developed the Commentary by Contemporaries section; prepared the Journals and Notebooks section for publication, and added George Eliot-related information and links to Wikipedia

Anne Nagel, 2019-20: transposed the "George Eliot Portrait Gallery" section to the Central Online Victorian Educator (COVE) site; researched and co-authored (with BPR) the editorial introduction, "The George Eliot Portrait Gallery: Perspectives on the Writer." 

Harrison Patten, 2021-22: created the first dataset of Alabamian authors for the Alabama Authors project, prior to its launch, modeled on the George Eliot Archive.

Chaohui (Jennie) Ren, 2022: has expertise in UI and UX design and front-end development. She improved the design and accessibility of the George Eliot websites.

Lindsay Roberts, 2020-21: proofread and added to the Social Network summaries; monitored contributions and prepared them for publication on the George Eliot Scholars site.

Maxwell Robeson, 2020-21: edited and contributed to the biographical commentary for "George Eliot's Social Network;"  also helped to edit "George Eliot's Library" 

Kayleigh Ryan, 2020-21: primarily responsible for developing the Image Gallery's Illustrations collection depicting scenes and characters from George Eliot's works

Devyn Sanderson, 2021: collected and processed illustrations of George Eliot's works and scanned fragile primary documents

Tanima Shrivastava, 2020-21: maintained and improved the functionality of the three websites, especially enhancing the navigation options available in Omeka 

Hannah Stefancik, 2021-22: cleaned and standardized Dublin Core metadata for numerous collections within the Archive.

Alexis Stoffers, 2020-21: redesigned our logo to add Eliot's signature; helped develop an early version of the "George Eliot's England" image gallery (completed by Hailey Fischer), designed a print edition of George Eliot in England 

Libo (Donald) Sun, 2022: developed GitHub resources and used React to create a mirror site, ensuring we always have a backup and a sandbox for developers; also updated and debugged the Social Network data visualization.

Rosamond Thalken, 2016-17: a founding team member, scanned and processed documents and images, developed the first databases, and helped organize the initial project; conference, and poster presentations

Hollie Tucker, 2021-22: reorganized the Trello team task board, streamlining the website's tagging system, reworking metadata for the Beinecke Letters project, and editing "George Eliot's Social Network."

Brandon Unverferth, 2020-21: prepared a new digital edition of the George Eliot Character and Scenes dictionary for the website.

Derek Wagner, 2016-18: a founding team member, located and digitized many of the reviews of George Eliot's works by her contemporaries.

Jacob Walker, 2021-22: created a multi-media presentation on the George Eliot Archive and sister projects for the Liquid Galaxy immersive display in RBD Library.