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.

 

Karen is the National Director of InterVarsity's Women in the Academy and Professions, and lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three boys. Except for some years taken off to raise her sons, she has spent her adult life in and around InterVarsity — originally as a student and campus staff member in Michigan and currently in Atlanta. An entrepreneur at heart, she and some student leaders started the grad fellowship at Michigan State and the MBA fellowship at Georgia Tech. She loves to use her gifts of hospitality and teaching to create a welcoming place for people to connect with God and with each other. Although she rarely has time for it, you can find Karen at her sewing machine when ministry progress gets hard to measure and she needs to see tangible results from her efforts. She loves dark chocolate, good coffee, and British television.

Deborah Haarsma is chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she enjoys researching galaxies and galaxy clusters with her students. She speaks and writes on science and Christianity, including Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design written with her husband Loren, and Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church, an essay collection edited with Rev. Scott Hoezee. When not at work, she can be found tending her rose garden or reading Lois McMaster Bujold novels.

Ashley Hales holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s a writer, speaker, the wife to a church planter in the southern California suburbs and mother to four. Her writing has been featured in such places as The Gospel Coalition, Books & Culture, and Christianity Today. Her first book is Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much (IVP). Connect with Ashley at aahales.com or on social media @aahales.

Tricia Hall is a family physician and a part-time faculty member at the University of Minnesota-North Memorial family medicine residency. She and her husband have three children who keep them running. Tricia also volunteers with a number of non-profit organizations, working on alleviating poverty and healthcare disparities worldwide.

Katelin Hansen (@BTSFblog) is an alumna of the University of Richmond InterVarsity undergraduate and Umoja chapters, and is currently a member of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network at The Ohio State University where she is pursuing a doctorate degree in neuroscience. Katelin is the editor of By Their Strange Fruit (BTSF), an online ministry facilitating justice and understanding across racial divides for the sake of the Gospel. BTSFexplores how Christianity’s often-bungled relationship with race and racism affects modern ministry and justice. Recognizing that racial brokenness hinders our witness to the world,BTSF strives to increase the visibly of healthy and holy racial discussion by approaching justice and reconciliation from a Christ-minded perspective.

Michelle Shappell Harris is pursuing an MFA in creative non-fiction at Ashland University and holds a BS in Elementary Education from Ball State University. After nineteen years working through InterVarsity Link in Gabon and France, she and her family now make their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, were she works at The Reclamation Project, coordinating low-cost translation and encouraging friendships across cultural barriers. She and her husband have two children, a dog, and two cats. Michelle blogs at michelleshappellharris.blogspot.com.

Dorothea Hawthorne earned a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2005 and is currently Assistant Professor of English and Honors at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in central Ohio. She has taught Renaissance literatures at Wheaton College and Baylor University as well as conversational English and American culture in universities in southwestern China.  She and her colleague-husband Kevin have two young energetic boys and are fine-tuning their “work-life-housework-play-worship” balance.  She loves teaching Shakespeare, drinking loose leaf tea with friends, hiking in the woods, praying for others, and singing obscure Advent songs from The Oxford Book of Carols.  Her hope this year is to abide more deeply in Christ.  Dr. Hawthorne is a Harvey Fellow. 

Naomi Haynes received her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.  Her scholarship has examined the relationship between Pentecostal Christianity and social life in urban Zambia.  She is a co-curator for anthrocybib, the Anthropology of Christianity Bibliographic Blog.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and reading novels.

The Rev. Ellen Williams Hensle is the Associate Pastor for Youth and Discipleship at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. She moved to Austin last year after finishing her MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary. Ellen graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as a campus staff minister for InterVarsity. When she’s not pastoring, she loves making music of all kinds and exploring her new home state.

Catherine Hervey received her MFA in fiction from the Sewanee School of Letters. She lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with her husband and daughter, where she contributes to Books and Culture and collects rejection letters.

Jenny Hill (@Bibliophile84) received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Cloud State University and is currently working towards her Ed. D. and administrative license through Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.  She is an elementary school library media specialist.  She blogs weekly about disability and spirituality at http://jwalkinguphill.blogspot.com.

Jennifer Holberg received her PHD in English from the University of Washington. She joined the English department of Calvin College in 1998. Her academic interests include the intersections of faith and literature, 18th- through 21st-century British literature, and gender and literature, including "middlebrow" women novelists. Her book, Shouts and Whispers: 21 Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith, was published by Eerdmans in 2006. She blogs with The Twelve: Reformed Done Daily.

Wendy serves on staff with the Stanford InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries. She comes from an international background having been born in Malaysia and grown up in Australia. After practicing law in Melbourne for ten years, she moved to Oxford in the UK where she studied apologetics and theology. She is married to Jared whom she met in the grad fellowship at Oxford and they now live in Palo Alto, California. In her spare time she rides horses, cooks delicious meals with Jared, and watches Star Trek episodes on Netflix.

Carmen is an Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta. Her husband Danny gave up his job in mission finance to focus on their three kids and keep the household running smoothly so that Carmen can teach, speak, and write. Carmen and Danny have been blazing new trails together since 1998, with ten address changes to prove it. They enjoy camping and playing badminton as a family.

Sally Ivaska is the wife of David, mother of four sons, and proud grandmother of Zadie Marie. She has a master of arts in teaching from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. Her passions — small group Bible study and all things cross-cultural — have taken many forms over the years: hosting international students, coordinating small groups for her church, serving as the International Student Advisor at North Park University, and training African students to study Scripture inductively and write their own discussion materials. Sally is never far from a book or a friend and enjoys life most when her “plate is full.”

Leslie Iwai is an installation artist who draws upon her multidisciplinary background in mathematics, chemistry and architecture to create interactive and material rich environments.

“Two important questions I ask when I am making something are ‘How is it?’ and ‘What is it?’, usually in that order. Through this, I am inevitably led to new connections and uncovered narratives.  One of my favorite seminars in graduate school was Craft and Scholarship where I happened upon the threads between the woven, the engine and the feminine. Between the hardness and softness of these three, my work rests.”

Leslie Iwai lives and works in Middleton, Wisconsin where she makes her art, teaches, untangles knots and occasionally goes to an orchard with her husband.

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