Debra Scala Giokas
Debra Scala Giokas always loved to read and write and visit the library. As a child, she wrote letters to family and friends and poems for special occasions. In college she chose to focus her studies on literature and American history.
After she earned her B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Stony Brook University, she began a career in marketing communications where she writes every day. She has been working in that field ever since, and has been recognized with awards from the International Association of Business Communicators -- Long Island Chapter, the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island, Long Island Business News, and also a Distinguished Service Award from the Town of Islip and a New York State citation for service to her community.
Debra enjoys learning and writing about women in American history. She also loves clothes, yarn (and coffee!) almost as much as words. She attended the Stony Brook Southampton Writer's Conference in 2017 and took a picture book workshop with Emma Walton Hamilton. Then she joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and won the newsletter naming competition for the Long Island Chapter. Her first book was a children's picture book on the American fashion designer, Claire McCardell.
From 2006 until 2012, she taught a marketing course at a Dowling College as an Adjunct Assistant Professor where she earned her MBA, and she still mentors students at her alma mater, Stony Brook University.
Debra's grandmother had taught her how to crochet when she was seven. A few years ago, Debra became a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America. She was included in the June 2018 issue of Woman's Day's "Kindness Project" for creating a "doll that does good," as many were donated to charities. To see her crocheted dolls, please visit her etsy shop, Debra Ann Dolls.
Originally from Astoria, Queens, New York, Debra loves the beach and lives in the friendliest town on Long Island with her husband George and their Maltese dogs, Zoe Ana and puppy Gracie named after Grace Coolidge. George is a journalism professor at Stony Brook University, a writer, and a great cook. His book, a young adult novel, is called NICKEL ICE. They are huge New York Mets fans, participate in 5k races for local charities, and enjoy travelling to historic places in the United States.
These days Debra enjoys sharing what she learned about the first ladies, especially at libraries and museums and historical associations. In addition to presenting at her hometown library and to the Oyster Bay Historical Society and the Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association on Long Island, she presented virtually at the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation in conjunction with the Hebert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, as part of its Third Thursdays of the Month series, and the National First Ladies' Library and Museum.
She was recently appointed a Hutton House Lecturer at C.W. Post College/Long Island University and is a member of the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE).