KU Journal and laptop on a table

Finals Judges

Judges are educated professionals in a variety of positions in academia, corporate, government, and non-profit industries.


Finals Judges


Marta Caminero-Santangelo is a University Distinguished Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Kansas. Her research and teaching focuses on 20th and 21st century U.S. Latino/a/x literary studies. Her books include Documenting the Undocumented: Latina/o Narrative and Social Justice in the Era of Operation Gatekeeper (2016), On Latinidad: US Latino Literature and the Construction of Ethnicity (2007), and The Madwoman Can't Speak: Or Why Insanity Is Not Subversive (1998). She is a child of Cuban immigrants.


Kalin Baca, PhD, MBA is a co-founder and COO of Iconium Engineering Company (IEC). She is a recent 2023 Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU) where she received the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship her doctoral studies. Kalin's research focused on developing ionic liquids (ILs) for the separation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant mixtures, the basis for the technology being commercialized by IEC. Prior to her work at KU Kalin completed a M.B.A. and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2019 and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering from the UNM in 2018.


Joyce Harrison is Editor in Chief at the University Press of Kansas. Because she receives hundreds of inquiries every year from authors who pitch their book projects, Joyce has a great deal of experience determining the viability of ideas and whether or not they're presented well. Joyce has worked in university press publishing for over 30 years, and has acquired books in Appalachian studies, Black studies, German studies, literary studies, music, and religious studies, among other fields. At Kansas, she oversees the Press's publishing programs in military studies, intelligence studies, and general-interest books about Kansas and the region. Joyce has a BA in music from Towson University and an MA in musicology from the Eastman School of Music.