Our Acquisitions Editors are dedicated to building relationships and publishing high-quality educational resources. With years of expertise in academic publishing and a desire to create outstanding learning resources, Cognella Acquisitions Editors represent the perfect balance of knowledge and passion.


Kassie Graves – Director of Acquisitions and Sales – Social Work and Human Services Acquisitions

Kassie joined Cognella in 2015 as the Director of Acquisitions and Sales. In her role, Kassie manages Cognella’s specialist acquisitions editors, field acquisitions editors, and the sales team. Kassie also leverages her personal knowledge within the fields of social work and human services to sign engaging and effective texts in the discipline. Kassie brings a wealth of knowledge to Cognella with over 20 years’ experience in the publishing and marketing industries. Prior to joining Cognella, Kassie served as Associate Director, Publisher, and Acquisitions Editor for SAGE Publications. She holds a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and an M.B.A. from California Lutheran University.

Carrie Montoya – Manager of Revisions and Author Care

Carrie joined Cognella in 2016 as the Acquisitions Editor for Revisions, overseeing new and revised editions of existing Cognella titles before being promoted to Manager of Revisions and Author Care later that year. In her current role, Carrie continues to specialize in identifying, signing, and developing new editions of Cognella titles, while also overseeing a team dedicated to providing the highest level of care to Cognella authors. Prior to Cognella, Carrie worked at SAGE Publishing, starting as an editorial intern for the College Editorial Department, assisting with both editorial and ancillary development. She was promoted to Editorial Assistant and then Senior Editorial Assistant for the Human Services, Social Work, and Counseling list. Carrie holds a B.A. in English from California Lutheran University and a Certificate of Professional Editing from University of California – Berkeley.

Specialist Acquisitions Editors

Todd Armstrong – Communication and Media Studies and Popular and Cultural Studies

Todd joined Cognella in 2016 as a Senior Specialist Acquisitions Editor with focus in communication and media studies and popular and cultural studies. Todd boasts more than 30 years working in the academic publishing industry for companies such as SAGE Publications, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall/Pearson, Cengage Learning, and W.W. Norton. Having worked in production, sales, marketing, acquisitions, and management, Todd has a thorough understanding of the full breadth of the academic publishing business. He holds degrees in English and history from The College of William & Mary.

Jim Brace-Thompson – Sociology, Family Studies, and Gerontology

Jim is a Specialist Acquisitions Editor with concentration in sociology, family studies, and gerontology. Jim received a combined B.A. in writing seminars and German from Johns Hopkins University, his M.F.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts, and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Institute at Harvard University. A publishing professional with over 34 years of experience in editorial acquisitions, Jim previously worked for the University of Massachusetts Press, Cengage Learning, and SAGE Publications.

Seidy Cruz – Latin American Studies, Chicano Studies, and Ethnic Studies

Seidy is a Specialist Acquisitions Editor with focus in Latin American studies, Chicano studies, and ethnic studies. She has worked for Cognella since 2002, serving as Senior Acquisitions Editor for several years before transitioning into her current role. Seidy holds a B.S. in political science and a minor in French literature from the University of California, San Diego. After graduation, Seidy worked at San Diego Dialogue, a think-tank focused on issues affecting the border region. Her passion for inclusive communities and sound public policy led her to work at the Institute of the Americas. She now feels fortunate to combine her love for academic publishing and her drive to bring awareness to issues affecting Latinos and Latin American Studies in her role with Cognella.

David Miano, Ph.D. – History and Religion

David is a Specialist Acquisitions Editor with concentration in history and religion. David earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. His doctoral thesis, Shadows on the Steps: Time Measurement in Ancient Israel, became his first published book. His research embraces the history of the ancient Mediterranean world and Near East, including Greece, Rome, Egypt, Israel, Mesopotamia, and Persia. He currently teaches at the State College of Florida, Manatee. He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Association of Ancient Historians, and the Society of Biblical Literature. David is also the founder and executive director of Schola Antiquorum, a national nonprofit academic society dedicated to the study of ancient history.

Laura E. Pasquale, Ph.D. – Psychology and All Related Fields

Laura is a Specialist Acquisitions Editor with focus in psychology and all related fields. Laura earned her B.A. in psychology from State University of New York at Binghamton, her M.S. in psychology from Villanova University, and her Ph.D. in human science with an emphasis in organizational systems from Saybrook University. Laura brings 25 years of service in healthcare, psychology, and publishing to her role with Cognella. Her extensive experience in the field includes clinical practice and program development; organizational culture, sustainability, and system change; teaching adults in academic and professional settings; and serving as an author and editor for published works in healthcare, management information systems, organizational development, and performance improvement. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

Mary Jane Peluso – Criminal Justice, Criminology, Homeland Security, and Security

Mary Jane is a Senior Specialist Acquisitions Editor with concentration in criminal justice, criminology, homeland security, and security. Mary Jane brings a strong knowledge base in her fields of specialty to Cognella, having created similar lists for other notable publishers including Charles Scribner’s Sons, Macmillan, John Wiley & Sons, Pearson, Yale University Press, and Elsevier. Most recently, Mary Jane worked as a consultant and freelance acquisitions editor for CRC Press, Academic Press, and Logistics, Inc. She holds an M.A. in English literature from Holy Names University and a B.A. in English from the City University of New York. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

Field Acquisitions Editors

Jennifer L. Codner – Midwest Region

Jennifer joined Cognella in 2016 as a Senior Field Acquisitions Editor. She began her academic publishing career in 1994 when she took a job as a generalist sales representative with Thomson. Jennifer then served as a marketing manager for South-Western College Publishing before being promoted to acquisitions editor, overseeing tax, accounting, and business communication lists. She later worked at CCH Incorporated as an acquisitions editor managing tax, accounting, and law publications. At Cognella, Jennifer helps instructors develop texts within the Midwest region. She holds a B.S. in hotel and restaurant management from Ohio University.

Jennifer McCarthy – Southeast Region

Jennifer, a former Teacher of the Year nominee at the high school level, couples a hands-on background in academia with extensive experience in higher education publishing to serve as an Acquisitions Editor for Cognella. With more than eight years with the company, Jennifer has collaborated with countless professors to transform initial concepts for textbooks into fully-developed, meaningful resources for the modern classroom. Jennifer works in Cognella’s Southeast region.

Mieka Portier – Southern California, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest Regions

Mieka is a Senior Acquisitions Editor with nine years of experience in the academic publishing industry. Mieka first joined Cognella as an Acquisitions Editor on the University Readers Custom team, partnering with professors, departments, and programs to create customized course materials. In her current role, Mieka works with authors and editors in Southern California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Hawaii to publish engaging readers and thought-provoking original manuscripts. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Davis.

John Remington – Northeast Region

John brings an abundance of knowledge and expertise to Cognella with more than 36 years’ experience in the academic publishing industry. Over the course of his career, he has served in a number of capacities, including sales representative, sales manager, bookstore liaison, and technology specialist with Pearson, Key College, and Content on Demand. Since 2010, John has served as a Senior Acquisitions Specialist with Cognella and, in doing so, has discovered a passion for the editorial side of higher education publishing. John oversees Cognella’s Northeast region.

Angela Schultz – Midwest and Southern Region

Angela is a Senior Field Acquisitions Editor managing Cognella’s Midwest and Southern region. Angela began her career in higher education publishing in 1998 with Macmillan, where she worked on technology-related trade books. Over the course of her career, Angela has honed her skills across the industry, gaining experience in developmental editing, marketing, cover design, copyediting, and in-depth editing. Angela holds a B.S. in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Kristina Stolte – Western Region

Kristina joined Cognella in 2013 as a Senior Acquisitions Editor. She brings 18 years of experience in acquisitions and sales across all disciplines to her role with Cognella. Kristina is responsible for acquisitions in Cognella’s Western region. She holds a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from Washington State University.