The Drawing Board is what you come back to when you need to refresh and enliven.


Owner, Editor-in-Chief, Head Writer/Researcher

Nakita Valerio is an award-winning writer, researcher, and Muslim community organizer based on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. She serves as the Research Director for the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies (I-RSS), as well as the Editor-in-Chief for the RSS Journal and the Edmonton Heritage Council’s ECAMP collection. Nakita is the founder and facilitator of The Nusaibah Collective (a holistic study group for sisters) and is a student of Arabic, tajweed and calligraphy. Her graduate studies were in Islamic-Jewish historical studies at the University of Alberta and she continues to act as an academic strategist/mentor for students in the arts. Nakita serves as an advisor and research fellow to the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta and is the sponsor for the Fatima Al-Fihri Graduate Award in Islamic Studies.  She is currently writing a creative non-fiction book and a novel.

Senior Writer/Researcher

Elisabeth Hill is a writer, researcher and editor living in Edmonton AB, on Treaty 6 territory. Originally from Victoria BC, Elisabeth studied Art History and Medieval Studies at the University of Victoria before moving to Edmonton to complete a Master’s degree in History at the University of Alberta. She has worked as an interpreter, curatorial assistant and programming coordinator at the Art Gallery of Alberta, as a contracted writer and researcher for the Government of Alberta Heritage Resource Management Branch and as a Research Assistant at the University of Alberta. For her graduate studies in history, Elisabeth received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Walter H Johns Fellowship and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship from the University of Alberta, and the Leilani Muir Graduate Research Scholarship from the Edmonton Community Foundation and Field Law. In addition to The Drawing Board, Elisabeth’s writing has appeared on The Wanderer, in the De Gruyter’s Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, and in the Edmonton & District Historic Society newsletter, of which she is volunteer editor. She is currently beginning a second Master’s degree, in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Alberta.


Erin Newman is a therapist by day, and a writer by night. She is also a parent, student, advocate, artist, and teacher. Erin has a Bachelors of Arts degree from MacEwan University, and a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta, and is a PhD hopeful. As a registered provisional psychologist, she is a strong advocate for mental health, in particular the well being of children, youth, Indigenous people, and those who have barriers to accessing mental health services. Erin’s writing, teaching, and practice is grounded in attachment theory, and she firmly believes that relationships form the basis for human development. In her spare time, Erin can be found spending time with her active 4 year old, gardening, dancing with her arts group, and attempting to strike the crucial balance between the excitement of life’s offerings and the necessity of relaxation and rest.


Morgana Folkmann is a journeyman carpenter, beekeeper, avid gardener, and writer. She is a University of Alberta graduate with a major in Comparative Literature, and a minor in Creative Writing. In addition to creative writing, she has a passion for rigorous and methodical journalism that asks the questions that haven’t been asked. Morgana contributed to MacEwan University’s student newspaper, The Griff, and CJSR FM 88.5 environmental news program: Terra Informa. She currently lives and works in Parkland County on an acreage with her partner and ten chickens. Morgana is an adventurer who is constantly researching and exploring around her in order to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable world.

Student Writer and Copyeditor (Intern)

Romaisa Hameed is a University of Toronto undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. She has an interest in politics, both at home in Canada and globally, as well as academic writing. Romaisa is passionate about social justice, specifically issues regarding economic inequality, human rights, and mental health awareness.