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.

 

Nicole Shirilla is a second year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, she was a high school religion teacher and the Assistant Director of the Notre Dame Vocation Initiative. She has her BA and MEd from the University of Notre Dame.

Amy Shorner-Johnson is the assistant chaplain and assistant director of religious life at Elizabethtown College. She is also a mom and wife and advocate. She Is an adventurer at heart and is most grateful for the work of spiritual direction.  

Emery Silva first fell in love with writing, then Jesus, then her sorority, and eventually InterVarsity’s mission to students. She planted Greek InterVarsity at Northwestern University in Chicagoland and enjoyed serving students for 16 years while juggling three kids and a husband. After a stint of MPD coaching, she became the Associate Director of MPD. Outside of InterVarsity, you can find her cooking up a storm for friends and family, biking by the lake, or taking the kids to the library, again.

Ritu (rid'-thoo) Singh is a New Jersey native and the daughter of North Indian natives - specifically from Bengali, Punjabi, and Uttar Pradeshi descent. She has been on staff for 11 years overseeing staff directors, staff, and students in Greater Boston where she attended pharmacy school as a student. In her time in college, she stumbled upon InterVarsity and a calling that has led to both a costly and beautiful life. Currently still residing in Boston, Massachusetts, she is planned to oversee all Focused Ministries in New England and continues to serve as a leader in the SAIV movement. 

Most of her free time has been spent with good friends eating good food and FaceTiming with her cute and maniacal niece. She has travelled a lot and is hoping to visit many more places on her bucket list in the future. 

Jay has been with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 35 years. She is the National Co-Director of Spiritual Formation & Prayer, which includes being the Chaplain to the Leadership Team for the Graduate and Faculty Ministry Team of IVCF. Jay is also a Registered Nurse.

Sarah Wynia Smith completed her PhD in physiology at UW-Madison in 2009. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, studying nitric oxide signaling. In her spare time she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband Brian and son Jackson, exploring California, and playing the trumpet.

Alison Marie Smith works for Greek InterVarsity at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She ​and her husband, Sean, moved to Utah four years ago from the great state of Michigan. She loves reading, running, making meals for her students, and sharing adventures with her husband.

Felicia Song is Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Having trained in History, Communication Studies and Sociology from Yale, Northwestern, and University of Virginia, and taught at Louisiana State University’s Manship School for Mass Communication, her research is oriented around the rapidly evolving digital technology industry and how the adoption of social media and digital devices fundamentally alters the landscapes of family, community, and organizational life. In addition to her book, Virtual Communities: Bowling Alone, Online Together (Peter Lang 2009), she has conducted research on expectant women’s online information-seeking habits and the evolution of “mommy bloggers” as social media professionals. Currently, she is working on a book project that explores how our contemporary digital habits form us and our imaginations about personhood, time, and place. When she is not working, she enjoys children’s chapter books, searching local consignment shops, and watching The Great British Baking Show with her husband and two children. 

Sarah Conrad Sours is Assistant Professor of Religion at Huntingdon College and a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church. She is working on a book on academic integrity, and another on autonomy and bioethics.

Debbie Splaingard has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Organizational Communication from Marquette University. Over the years, she has been a medical grant writer, owner of a personnel consulting business, church staff member, wife, mom and grandmother. She is currently a research associate at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a campus volunteer with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries at Ohio State University.

An editor, writer, and avid library-goer Elisa Fryling Stanford lives with her husband and two daughters in Colorado. She is the author of Ordinary Losses: Naming the Graces That Shape Us. To read Elisa’s blog on why we read stories, go to conversationsjournal.com/2012/05/a-god-of-stories/.

Margot Starbuck, a writer and speaker, is the author of the spiritual memoir The Girl in the Orange Dress: Searching for a Father Who Does Not Fail (InterVarsity Press, 2009) and Unsqueezed (InterVarsity Press, 2010). Her writing has also appeared in Radiant, Neue, Rev!, and Today’s Christian Woman. Margot lives with her family in Durham, NC. You can learn more about Margot at her website.

Sharri Bockheim Steen is a full-time mother and a part-time freelance medical writer for the pharmaceutical industry. She lives near Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and two children. Sharri earned her BS in biology from Calvin College and her PhD in molecular biology from Baylor College of Medicine and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. When Sharri finds a spare minute, she jogs, reads, or writes. She kept a blog of her experiences with breast cancer at http://burnishingbrightens.blogspot.com/

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson writes in Durham, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and children. She taught English in private and public schools before becoming a mother, and then homeschooled her children for several years. After earning her Masters degree in Liberal Studies from Duke University, she returned to teaching full-time, this time as a founding member of the high school faculty at Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill. There she helped to shape the humanities department, writing curriculum for ninth, tenth, and twelfth grade humanities and English classes. In 2012 she left teaching to pursue writing full-time, and is author of the critically acclaimed novel Healing Maddie Brees. She is a speaker and a regular teacher at The Well, a women's Bible study at Chapel Hill Bible Church. She recently released her second book, Wait: Thoughts and Practice in Waiting on God. 

Travis Stevick received his PhD in Theology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland in 2015. He is an ordained elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He lives in Northern Iowa with his wife and two children.

Karen Stiller is a freelance writer and an editor with Faith Today magazine. She is managing editor of Evangelicals Around the World: a global handbook for the 21st century (Thomas Nelson, 2015); and co-author of two books about the Canadian Church (Going Missional and Shifting Stats: Shaking the Church). She’s also an MFA student.

Dr. Storkey is a sociologist, philosopher and theologian who has held multiple university positions. She succeeded John Stott as the Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. She served as the President of the UK aid and development agency Tear Fund for 17 years. She was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Kuyper Prize from Princeton Theological Seminary for excellence in reformed theology and public life.

Linda Stratford received her PhD from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, in History, with emphasis on Art in Society. Her life mission is to stir up thoughtful discussion of the visual arts. She teaches Art History at Asbury College where she also serves as Art Department Chair and a Lilly Scholar. She serves on the Board of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) where she recently edited an issue of the CIVA journal SEEN dedicated to the topic of “Art and Vocation.”

As of Christmas 2017, Adrienne is a third year tenure-track faculty member in special education & teacher preparation at Western Carolina University, living very near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She and her husband relocated from the Atlanta, Georgia region, where she taught high school special education for 12 years before earning her PhD at Georgia State University. Aside from chopping up fallen trees for firewood, her passions include improving interactions between high school teachers and struggling students and equipping teachers to teach diverse students. 

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