From the time Megan Shackelford was a small child, she was drawn to all forms of art. An aspiring art teacher, Megan spends most of her free time drawing, painting and sculpting. Her favorite tools of artistic expression, at least at the moment, are her electronic tablet and pen, laptop and Photoshop, which she uses to practice drawing her own style of anime’. An avid Japanese art lover, Megan enjoys learning about Asian culture and history. Megan is a high school student in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“I’m joining Merlin because I hope to inspire other students to learn about the world around them. I hope to show them that learning isn’t just a boring class that you have to take for a requirement; it can also be an enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to learning more about the environment, check out different cultures of people around the country and the world. I can’t wait to talk to other kids from all over and hear their stories and experiences. And maybe Kevin will let me drive the boat!”
Scott Mellema, Merlin’s Arts & Culture Guide, is a teacher from East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, MI. As a founding member of the school’s theatre department, he teaches the full curriculum of classes from Introduction to Theatre to Varsity Performance. He is also a teacher of American Literature and the director of the school’s annual fall play and spring musical. Scott graduated from Hope College and holds a B.A. in English, theatre (performance and direction), and speech. He also has an M.Ed. from Aquinas College. Scott, an active member of the Grand Rapids theatre community, has sought to use his talents in the performing arts to give back to the community. These endeavors have included projects from abuse awareness with inner city teens to a therapeutic humor project titled Clown-A-Rounds for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
"Where the water flows, life grows. Like a river that is defined by ridges, inclinations, rocks, and the obstacles of its younger path, each city along the waterways of America is a unique reflection of the cultural heritage that forged it. The individuality of these cities is sustained by a continual flow of human expression. We call this expression the arts and they are my passion. I love the celebration of who we are and what we believe, the pure freedom that is artistic expression. I’m joining Merlin to see America; I look to explore the dance, poetry, music, food, theatre, and art that is sung out at each port. I want to find the America that has yet to be seen or heard and celebrate the voice of each city we meet. …and if I’m lucky, there’ll be a few comic book stores on the way too."
Merlin's Environmental Science Guide and History Guide have yet to be cast. Check back soon for updates.