Jenson-Elliott, Cynthia L(ouise) 1962-
JENSON-ELLIOTT, Cynthia L(ouise) 1962-
PERSONAL: Born October 10, 1962, in Philadelphia, PA; daughter of William (a physician) and Norma (a homemaker) Jenson; married Chris Elliott (an engineer), July 24, 1993; children: Ronan (son), Ania. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Bowdoin College, B.A. (history), 1984; San Diego State University, M.A. (education), 1996. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Contemplative." Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, reading, swimming, natural history.
CAREER: Writer and teacher. Cuyamaca Outdoor School, outdoor educator; Girl Scouts, USA, education program coordinator. Affiliated with International Center for Children and Families. Volunteer for Empty Cradle, San Diego Rescue Mission, Escondido Humane Society, La Jolla Quaker Meeting, and St. Mark's Preschool.
(With Linda C. Wood) Cheetahs, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1991.
East Africa, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2001. Southern Africa, Lucent Books (San Diego, CA), 2002.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A young adult novel, various magazine articles.
SIDELIGHTS: Cynthia L. Jenson-Elliott told CA: "Living with families in many East African tribes as a college student opened my eyes to the beauty of differences and the astonishing similarities of people all over the world. I love the people of Africa and their hope and strength in facing difficulties." With this attitude, it comes as no surprise that Jenson-Elliot has written about the people and land of Africa in such nonfiction titles as East Africa and Southern Africa, part of Lucent's "Indigenous Peoples of Africa" series. In these books she provides information on the geography of each area and the history, cultures, religions, and lifestyles of the peoples in eastern and southern Africa. She also comments on the problems faced by peoples in these regions and discusses possible solutions. Writing about East Africa for School Library Journal, Ajoke T. I. Kokodoko described the amount of information Jenson-Elliott supplies as "substantial," dubbing the work a "solid resource."
Although Jenson-Elliott has a distinct affinity for African people and culture, her interests are far ranging and include natural history and gardening. Though she has described herself as an "at-home mother" to her children, she remains active in her community as well. She has worked as an outdoor educator for the Cuyamaca Outdoor School and the Girls Scouts, USA, as well as with humanitarian organizations such as the Humane Society and the San Diego Rescue Mission. Jenson-Elliott explained to CA: "As a generalist … interested in a variety of subjects, I hope to write about a range of subjects, from the sciences to parenting, to fiction."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
School Library Journal, July, 2002, Ajoke T. I. Kokodoko, review of East Africa, p. 137.