Karuna Writer's Residency


The Staff

Steph Spector  Founder

Steph Spector

Steph has been volunteering at animal shelters and sanctuaries across the country ever since she was a young girl. She has collaborated with a number of organizations including the New York City Poetry Festival, the O, Miami Poetry Festival, the Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program at Carilion Clinic, and Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center. She has led writing workshops at homeless shelters in New Jersey and Virginia, and was a former managing editor of the Roanoke Review. Steph is the education and communications specialist at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. She also teaches grammar classes and proofreads for Gotham Writers Workshop.

Joan Smith-Reese  Sanctuary Director

Joan Smith-Reese
Sanctuary Director

Originally of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Joan is the executive director of Animal Care Sanctuary. The Board of Directors hired Joan to preserve the trust of Lesley Sinclair for generations as well as begin to secure statewide and national recognition for the sanctuary.  Joan was the president and owner of Keystone Home Health Services, Inc. which she formed in 1992. She also founded the non-profit Keystone Hospice PA.  Joan is a member of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Guthrie Healthcare Services. She has a BA in Social Work from Lycoming College and an MA in Holy Spirituality in Health Care from Chestnut Hill College. She has one son, Drason, who is presently serving our country at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. Joan resides in Waverly with her three senior dogs, Leroy, Daisy and Buster.