Writer Bios

We couldn't offer The Well to our readers without the generous contributions of our writers. Read through their bios to learn from their stories and click through for links to the articles they have written. If you are interested in writing for The Well, explore our Writer's Guidelines.

 

Amber Noel, M.Div., has been a teacher, blogger, beekeeper, librarian, and director’s assistant to an international arts initiative. She is currently a happily employed youth minister, and just moved to the wilds of urban Texas from Durham, North Carolina. She tends to spend her free time with animals, odd people, good writing, good food, good jokes, and people who laugh at those jokes. She does excellent impersonations and wishes she could make her money by reading aloud.

Kate Norlander is an assistant director of communication services at a private university in Minnesota. In addition to assisting academic departments and programs with their external communications, Kate edits one of the university’s magazines and writes for many of the magazines and newsletters published by her employer. She and her husband live with their teenage daughter and a small black dog named Vader. In her spare time, she teaches Sunday school, hosts anti-slavery chocolate parties, and attends science fiction and fantasy conventions.

Jamie serves with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries as campus minister in Greater Cincinnati at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Northern Kentucky University (NKU). She has spent most of her life in the vicinity of the academy, from being the daughter of a professor to attending college herself. Upon returning to Cincinnati after four years in the Northeast, she took literature classes in her spare time while working as an economic analyst. She eventually earned an MA in English and then couldn’t stop. While serving as a program director for Notre Dame AmeriCorps in Cincinnati, she completed doctoral research in literature and religion, exploring the idea of literary pilgrimage. Through this life journey she has continued to experience and learn how Christ is at the center of all life — even in the university.

Angie Crea O’Neal is Assistant Professor of English at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, specializing in eighteenth and nineteenth century British literature. She teaches writing and all facets of British literature, but her favorite literary subjects are the Romantic poets and Jane Austen. Angie received her PhD from Arizona State University in 2007. She lives with her girls, Marin and Maeve, and her aging dog, Lucy.

Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University. She is a participatory systems modeler and works directly with stakeholders to build models that foster adaptive learning about the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, and to integrate stakeholder knowledge with academic knowledge. Laura holds a doctoral degree in Systems Ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Brown University. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, she now lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband (an economist) and their six-year-old son.

Jamie Ong, Environmental Protection Project Manager at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), has nearly 20 years of experience in wetland and riparian restoration, watershed planning, and green infrastructure design. At NYC Parks, she is piloting innovative salt marsh restoration techniques, managing conceptual planning for urban stream projects, and developing watershed-wide recommendations for water quality improvement, shorefront access, and citizen engagement.

Jamie holds a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University, an MPS in Environmental Science from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and an MA in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University.

She attends Living Faith Community Church in Flushing, Queens, where she enjoys exploring good food and public parks with her husband and two children.

 

Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist on the faculty of Houston Baptist University, where she is Chair of the Department of Apologetics. She is the author of Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith and blogs on literature, culture, and apologetics. She was a competitive sabre fencer for nearly twenty years and considers a really good cup of coffee to be one of life’s simple pleasures.

Sarah Orner is currently pursuing her MFA in creative non-fiction at Seattle Pacific University and works for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES/USA) as a grant coordinator and writer. She enjoys good conversations, being near the ocean, and traveling to new places. She writes, works and lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Kevin.

Diane Paddison has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is the author of Work, Love, Pray. She has held several executive positions for corporations, including two Fortune 500 companies and is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at the commercial real estate firm Cassidy. Diane gathers professional women for connection and mentoring time whenever she travels for business. This passion for mentoring women inspired her to found 4word™, a national nonprofit designed to connect, lead, and support young professional Christian women to fulfill their God-given potential. Diane and her husband have four children and live in Dallas, Texas, and Portland, Oregon.

Kristen Padilla is the marketing and communications coordinator at Beeson Divinity School, editor of the Beeson magazine, and executive producer of the Beeson podcast. She also is the author of a forthcoming book with Zondervan on vocation, scheduled to release in 2018. 

Ellane is an assistant professor of chemistry at Rollins College. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Chemistry and from Columbia University with a PhD in Chemistry. Dr. Park has been named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar and was awarded the scholarship in the area of nanotechnology. She is planning to travel to Durban, South Africa, in spring 2021.

Anita Patrick earned her PhD (2020) in STEM Education through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin. She served in her local Grad InterVarsity chapter as a student leader from 2019-2020. Anita is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Center for Engineering Education at UT Austin. Her research interests include engineering education, identity, equity, and student motivation.

Nancy Pedulla is the Vice President for Leadership and Talent Development for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She has served in a number of roles with InterVarsity including twelve years with Graduate and Faculty Ministries. She holds a BS in Psychology and a MEd in International and Development Education, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Her ministry passions include whole life discipleship, men and women in partnership, leadership development, team building, and coaching. She is passionate about the development of women. She is married to Albert and lives in New Jersey, a few miles from New York City. They have three adult children who give Nancy great delight.

Dr. Suhithi Peiris Fellow, American Physical Society is the Senior Scientist, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida where she is the principal scientific authority in Enhanced Energy Effects responsible for research and development that increases Air Force ordnance capabilities. Since this interview she is also Acting Chief Scientist, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Virginia where she is the principal adviser to the Director in matters of formulation, planning, management and integration of all Air Force basic research programs. She is married to Brett Goodman and travels between her homes in Virginia and Florida. They are members of Cherrydale Baptist church in Arlington, Virginia, and she has been attending Safe Harbor Presbyterian in Destin, Florida. They frequently host guests visiting DC for many weeks of the year, a habit she continues in Florida.

Amy Peterson is a writer, teacher, and postulant for ordination in the Episcopal church. Her work has appeared in Image, Christianity Today, The Millions, Washington Post, The Cresset, Christian Century, and elsewhere. She is the author of Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy (Thomas Nelson, 2020) and Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World. Follow her on twitter @amylpeterson, and find more at amypeterson.net.

Jeanne Petrolle holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Illinois. She is the author of Religion without Belief: Contemporary Allegory and the Search for Postmodern Faith and Dancing with Ophelia: Reconnecting Madness, Creativity, and Love. She has published essays about literature, religion, and culture in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Film Quarterly, Image: A Journal of Art and Religion,Issues in Integrative Studies, and Hektoen International Journal. An Associate Professor of English at Columbia College Chicago, she lives with her husband and son in the Chicago area.

 

A graduate of Baylor University, Anne Pharr has taught English and First Year Seminar at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, since 1998.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Anne serves as program coordinator for the First Year Seminar course and, along with some of her colleagues, developed a college-wide initiative, Partners for Student Potential (PSP), whose mission is to deepen and broaden faculty and staff awareness of the challenges and strengths represented by at-risk students.  PSP activities have included gathering and sharing PSCC student stories at the Walking the Hero's Journey blog as well as interviewing PSCC faculty and administrators about their own college struggles in the Partners for Student Potential podcast.  Besides enjoying family and friends, Anne's passions include writing, music, reading, exercise, Huckleberry the dog, and a great cup of coffee — preferably first thing each morning. More of her writing can be found at her two blogs: shadowwonder (on Christian spirituality) and gritology (exploring how educators and parents can cultivate grit, determination, resilience, and perseverance — and why we should).

 

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