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.

 

Bob Trube is Senior Area Director for InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry team in the Ohio Valley (Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania) and leads the ministry to graduate students and faculty at The Ohio State University. He resides in Columbus, Ohio, with Marilyn and enjoys reading, gardening, choral singing, and plein air painting. 

Kathy Tuan-MacLean serves as Associate Director for InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries (GFM), supports the Boston Faculty Fellowship as its campus staff, and just celebrated her 25th year with InterVarsity. Kathy has a PhD in Human Development & Social Policy from Northwestern University. Her dissertation was on “The Interracial Friendships of White & Asian College Students,” a topic that capitalized on her passion for racial reconciliation. She’s married to Scott and has three children — one in college, the other two in high school. Her latest adventure in the blogosphere can be found at kmactuan.wordpress.com.

Dr. Turley’s work aims to improve the connection between education research and policy/practice. In 2011, she founded the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) between Rice University and ten Houston area school districts, representing almost three quarters of a million students. HERC’s research agenda is jointly developed with district leaders, and research findings are shared directly with decision-makers, with the ultimate goal of improving educational equity. In 2015, Dr. Turley founded the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), which supports, develops, and connects RPPs throughout the country. There are currently 30 member partnerships representing cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. To date, she has raised over $25M in research grants for this work. Dr. Turley has served in various elected and appointed positions in national associations such as the American Educational Research Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. She also served on the Texas State Board of Education’s Long-Range Plan for Public Education Steering Committee. She completed her undergraduate work at Stanford University (1996) and her graduate work at Harvard University (1999, 2001). She was a first-generation college student, originally from Laredo, Texas.

Steve Turley has been with GFM at Rice University since 2010, advising the Rice Graduate Christian Fellowship and the Jones (MBA) Christian Fellowship, and cultivating a Christian faculty network in greater Houston. He holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In addition to GFM work, he has served as a lecturer in History at Rice University, and as Adjunct Assistant Professor in History at Fuller Theological Seminary - Texas. His first book was published in 2014 by Asghate, Franciscan Spirituality and Mission in New Spain, 1524-1599: Conflict Beneath the Sycamore Tree. Steve married Ruth Lopez in 1994, and they now have two sons together. Ruth serves as Associate Professor of Sociology at Rice.  

Jen Underwood lives in West Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, six kids (three biological, one adopted, and two international students), and a dog. After many years of teaching (middle-school through college), she is now working on a theology degree, blogging at jenunderwood.org, writing magazine and news articles for a Christian high school, and freelancing in any spare time. On her list of "likes" are interesting and thought-provoking books, walking in the woods, knitting, breadmaking, and spending rare moments of quiet with her husband. 

Global Technology Executive, People Developer, Transformational Leader, Storyteller, Engineer and self-proclaimed Global Citizen, Janeen Uzzell is on a mission to use her strengths, influence and voice to lead causal work that changes lives, communities and the world.

A seasoned leader, Janeen has more than 20 years of corporate, strategy, business development and start-up experience. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of The WIkiMedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia (the #5 website in the world), and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites.

Beyond her professional achievements, she is a Board Member for the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, an advisor for the National Believers in Business Collegiate Organization and a founding member of her former church. She has 11 nieces and nephews that she says help her stay grounded and not take herself too seriously.

Michelle Van Loon is the author of four books, including Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith. She writes for Christianity Today's CTWomen and maintains her own blog, Pilgrim's Road Trip, on the Patheos Evangelical channel. For more about Michelle, see her site: MichelleVanLoon.com.

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Church and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra currently serves as Contact Director for the Justice Conference, is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.

Laura Veltman is Professor of English at California Baptist University in Riverside, California, where her teaching and research focuses on 19th and 20th century American literature. In her free time, she plays with her nine-year-old and five-year-old while reminding herself that the housework will wait.

Christine is the Divisional Director for the State of Indiana with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and has been on staff with InterVarsity for 19 years. She received her Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and holds a BS in Elementary Education from Butler University. Christine has a passion for combining leadership development and spiritual formation in mentoring and coaching. Christine is married to Kurt and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Leslie Walker, MD, graduated from Wheaton College and the University of Michigan, where she received her MS in Neuroscience and her medical degree. She did her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been in solo practice since 2000, with particular interests in treating mood and anxiety disorders in women, work/family balance issues, and life transitions. Leslie also teaches psychiatry residents at Case Western Reserve University Hospital. She chairs the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. She and her husband, an academic physician, live near Cleveland and have two children.

Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. After eight years with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries, she now serves as Co-Associate Rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes regularly for The Well, CT Women (formerly her.meneutics), and Christianity Today. Her work has also appeared in Comment Magazine, Christ and Pop Culture, Art House America, and elsewhere. She is author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (IVP). She and her husband Jonathan have two daughters.

 

Amy is a working on her PhD in genetics at Duke University. Her research focuses on how genes and environment affect an animal’s ability to endure stressful conditions. She is originally from Georgia, where she graduated from the University of Georgia (and will always cheer on the Dawgs).

Leonie Westenberg is a lecturer in theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. She is currently writing her thesis on Mary as a type of the Feminine Genius. Her interests include literature, living the liturgical year, and women in education. Leonie lives in Sydney, Australia. She has seven sons and one cat. Leonie is a regular contributor to blogs and to several books on home education. She writes textbooks for middle school students, encouraging a love of literature and the development of critical thinking skills. Leonie blogs at Living Without School.

Amy Whisenand is a ThD candidate in New Testament at Duke Divinity School. Her research focuses on the role of singing in moral formation according to the letter to the Colossians. Before coming to Duke, she studied for her BA at Whitworth University, taught English at a vocational school in Germany on a Fulbright grant, and completed her MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Stephanie White is a member of the English Language and Literature faculty at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. She teaches writing and rhetoric while researching composition pedagogy and service-learning. She and her husband Andrew have a darling baby girl and very helpful neighbours.

Heather M. Whitney is assistant professor of physics at Wheaton College. After graduating from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, with a BS in physics and performing and visual arts, she received an MS in medical physics, an MS in physics, and PhD in physics from Vanderbilt University. Heather and her husband Joshua live in Wheaton, Illinois, where they enjoy running, cooking, and being unabashed nerds together.

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