Melissa Booth Hall
Melissa Booth Hall is Managing Director of the SFA. She holds a J.D. from Northern Kentucky University and a B.A. in English from Centre College. In 2003 she volunteered at the SFA’s Fall Symposium…13 1/2 gallons of pimento cheese and 1000 deviled eggs later, she was hooked. Since joining the SFA’s staff, Melissa has led field trips and Summer Symposia, organized countless Potlikker Film Festivals across the region (and beyond), and served as operations manager for many many Fall Symposiums. These days, Melissa manages people and programs for the SFA.
Mary Beth Lasseter
Mary Beth Lasseter is Associate Director of the SFA. She earned an M.A. in Southern Studies and an M.B.A. from the University of Mississippi, and holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She became involved with the SFA as a symposium volunteer in 2000, but now focuses on publishing and systems. Mary Beth hails from South Georgia, but now calls Mississippi home.
John T. Edge
John T. Edge serves as Founding Director of the SFA. He fundraises and leads creative efforts. John T holds an M.A. in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. A columnist for Garden & Gun and Oxford American, Edge is a winner of the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation. He teaches in the low-residency Narrative Nonfiction MFA program at the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism and serves as an editor in residence at Rivendell Writers’ Colony in Sewanee, TN. In the spring of 2017, Penguin published The Potlikker Papers, a food history of the modern South. He’s now on the road with Wright Thompson writing and producing True South for the SEC Network. As SFA Founding Director,
Pihakis Documentary Filmmaker
Zaire Love is an award-winning filmmaker, music maker, and writer whose mission is to honor, amplify, and archive the stories and voices of the Black South concentrating her work in Memphis, TN, and Mississippi. Her artistry is an ode to being Black and Southern in America because the Black South has always had meaningful “cornbread” to share. Zaire is a graduate of Spelman College [BA], Houston Baptist University [M.Ed], and the University of Mississippi [MFA]. In addition to her work with SFA, Zaire is currently making and creating with her studio, Creative Cornbread.
Sara Camp Milam
Sara Camp Milam is the SFA’s managing editor. She has a B.A. in Spanish from Princeton University and an M.A. in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. She began volunteering for the SFA in 2009 and joined the staff full time in 2012. Before finding her way to SFA World Headquarters, Sara Camp was a middle school Spanish teacher and an associate editor at The Oxford American magazine.
Claire Moss is SFA’s development officer and is charged with annual giving campaigns and individual gifts. Claire holds a BS in social work from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in social work from Louisiana State University. Prior to joining SFA’s world headquarters, she spent the majority of her career in the nonprofit sector in both executive and development roles. She moved to Oxford with her family in the summer of 2017.
Annemarie Anderson is SFA’s oral historian. She received a master’s degree in oral history from the University of Florida in 2017, as the first graduate of that program. She also earned her bachelor’s degrees in English and history from UF.
Associate Professor of Southern Studies
Image Editor, Gravy
Bita Honarvar is Gravy’s image editor. She is based in Atlanta and holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University. Bita worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 16 years, first as a staff photographer and later as the photo editor. Since then, she’s freelanced for national publications and organizations. She is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and serves on the board of the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the longest continuously-operating photojournalism conference in the U.S.
Richie Swann is Gravy‘s designer. He is based out of Charleston, South Carolina and has a B.S. in Graphic Communications from Clemson University. Richie has worked for national publications Garden & Gun and Southern Living as well as several regional titles. He has also been a part of several book projects, most notably Saints of Old Florida and the Lil Bit Lit children’s book series.
Marketing and Content Strategist
Olivia Ware Terenzio is SFA’s marketing and content strategist. A Mississippi native, she returned to her home state in 2018 after a decade in San Francisco, where she wrote about food and restaurants for Williams-Sonoma, OpenTable, and national publications. Back at the University of Mississippi, she turned an eye toward the ever-changing food cultures of the Global South as an SFA Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellow and earned an M.A. in Southern Studies. She has a bachelor of science degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.