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.

 

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.

Beverly Staub Tuthill Vergason was born in 1923 in Binghamton, New York. She graduated from Nyack Missionary Training Institute in 1949. She served as pastoral assistant (under Pastor Grace Lang) in the Ozarks Mountains in Arkansas (1949-1950). She pastored the Christian Missionary Alliance chapel in Meridale, New York (1950-1953). Bev married David Tuthill in 1951 and is mother to David, Jr. and Beverly. She is a grandmother and great-grandmother. Bev has the gift of evangelism and has led many to Christ. She was a guest speaker in area churches until her late eighties. She married Leon Vergason in 2003. Bev lives in Treadwell, New York and has a ministry of intercessory prayer. 

 

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. 

Jeanne Murray Walker (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is a poet and playwright whose work has been widely published and performed. She heads the creative writing program at the University of Delaware, where she has been a professor of English for forty years. She also serves as a mentor in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Seattle Pacific University and on the boards of Shenandoah and Image magazines.

Her poems and essays have been published in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, The Christian Century, Blackbird, Image and several hundred other journals. Her scripts have been performed in theaters across the United States. They are published by Dramatic Publishing Company, and they are archived in North American Women's Drama. Walker is coeditor (with Daryl Tippens) of Shadow and Light: Literature and the Life of Faith and author of a memoir, The Geography of Memory. She is the author of seven books of poetry in addition to Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems.

Walker's work has been honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, the Glenna Luschei-Prairie Schooner Prize, many Pushcart nominations, inclusion in Best American Poetry, and inclusion in the 100-year anniversary anthology of Poetry magazine.

Photo by Vondel Stevens

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.

Bethany Williams is a teacher, encourager, advocate, writer, and consultant. After teaching high school English, she focused on her four young children at home while volunteering as a Court Appointed Family Mediator and Court Appointed Special Advocate and also finishing her Masters of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Children at Risk. She is happily a Methodist clergy spouse, adoptive and biological mom, and treasures a little knack for eliciting laughter in church small groups.

Chief Financial Officer DeeDee Wilson is joining InterVarsity from Operation Mobilization USA (OM) where she was the CFO. Prior to OM, DeeDee served in leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies, including as the CFO of Nike Europe, and was named one of CFO Magazine’s “Top 25 Women CFOs to Watch.”   DeeDee is passionate about Christ’s mission on campus. She has been a member of InterVarsity’s Women’s Advisory Council and her daughter serves as a campus staff minister with InterVarsity in New England.

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