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.

 

Rachel Ferguson is a professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. She is co-chair of the Lindenwood Honors College, and Director of the Liberty & Ethics Center at the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise. Her research interests include Hume’s classical liberalism, the philosophy of economics, and Aristotelian virtue theory. Like a good Humean, she likes to appeal to/tick off both sides. Rachel teaches political philosophy, game theory, business ethics, honors seminar, and the spring seminar in economic federalism. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Saint Louis University (2008). In the meantime, she had two babies, Asher and Solomon, who now appear to be sentient persons, which is weird. She is married to Mike Ferguson of Mike Ferguson Media. You can learn more about Rachel at her blog.

Jasmine is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she worked for the IFES affiliated Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS) as a national staff worker, briefly as Acting General Secretary and recently as a Board member. She also worked for the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University. Jasmine’s InterVarsity involvement includes leading the Graduate Christian Fellowship at Syracuse University and chapter planting as a volunteer staffworker at SUNY Albany for GFM. She presently volunteers as Staff Development Specialist to South Asian American Ministries. Jasmine has written for The Well and for Mutuality Magazine. She is married to Guy and is mom to Jayathri and Yannik. Jasmine is a WAP Associate focusing on special projects.

Kelly Fields (pseudonym) grew up in Ohio loving forests, flowers, and wildlife. She earned a degree in zoology at The Ohio State University, followed by a Master of Science in Wildlife Science from Purdue University, and a doctorate in Forest Resources from West Virginia University. She served as a professor of environmental biology for ten years before moving to Central Asia in 2014. Now she is putting her professional skills to use as a grant writer and director of communications at an international relief and development NGO. She is passionate about caring for creation, reaching the nations with the Good News, and spiritual formation. She also loves French press coffee, kayaking, and seeing new flora and fauna wherever she travels.

An independent filmmaker and photographer based out of North Carolina, Renée has worked in locations around the US as well as abroad in Finland where she directed and filmed Sisareni, her first international collaboration. Inspired by the work of Andrei Tarkovsky and the films of Bergman and Bresson, the content of her work is primarily experimental and explores the connection between human nature and the divine. 

Currently, Renée is serving as the monastic intern at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York until August 2021. 

She holds a Masters in Theological Studies with a Certificate in Theology and the Arts from Duke Divinity School and a Bachelors of Arts in Cinema and Television from Regent University. 

 

Holly Flora is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the School of Liberal Arts and Professor of Art History at Tulane University. Her work explores the themes of narrative, imagination, materiality, and gender in the devotional art of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy. Before coming to Tulane, Professor Flora worked in the museum world in New York.

Nina Forsythe has an MFA from Bennington and has poems, translations, and reviews in a variety of magazines. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was awarded the 2010 and 2012 Backbone Mountain Review Poetry Prize. She conducts creative writing workshops for students of various ages in western Maryland.

Jessica received her MA in Linguistics from Indiana University and her BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the Calvin College. She taught English as a foreign language in Indonesia with the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and US Department of State English Language Fellow programs. She is pursuing a doctorate in second language studies at Michigan State University. In her spare time, she enjoys trail running with her new dog, creating new crockpot delicacies, and dabbling with guitar and songwriting.

Carrie Francis is at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering. As an undergraduate at Washington University, she interned with and wrote for Lily7, a college women’s ministry. A midwestern farm girl, she grew up among a lot of sheep and now loves finding quiet places (like haylofts or the reference section of the library), deep conversations, discovering new connections in biblical metaphors, playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and listening to country music and Christian pop/rock.

Emily P. Freeman is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Simply Tuesday and A Million Little Ways. Her newest book, The Next Right Thing, offers a simple, soulful practice for making life decisions. Emily is also the host of The Next Right Thing Podcast. She earned her MA in Christian Spiritual Formation and Leadership at Friends University. In her writing and speaking, Emily always seeks to create space for the soul to breathe, offering fresh perspective on the sacredness of our inner life with God. Emily and her husband live in North Carolina with their three children. Connect with her online at emilypfreeman.com and on Instagram @emilypfreeman.

Kayt Frisch earned a BS in mechanical engineering from Calvin College and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently teaches engineering and physics at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. When not doing the new-professor-lesson-planning-thing she enjoys reading, knitting, playing games, and biking.

Claire Galloway is a PhD student in ​the ​Neuroscience and Animal Behavior program ​in the Department of Psychology ​at Emory University in Atlanta. Her research focuses on the ability of newly developed drugs to reverse neural and behavioral dysfunction in a transgenic rat model of Alzheimer's disease. When she's not running experiments in the lab, Claire likes to experiment​, creating​ ​healthy, delicious ​recipes. She is ​also ​an avid bruncher, hiker, and player of obscure board games. 

Sharon Gartland, OTD, OTR, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at UW-Madison where her specialty is in developmental disabilities.  She enjoys the combination of teaching, administrative and clinical responsibilities that makes up her job. She is the former national director of Women in the Academy & Professions and continues to participate in the ministry as a volunteer and frequent contributor. She is married to Craig Gartland, a local church pastor and former long-term InterVarsity staff and leader. Together they have four children who are gradually getting launched into the world as functional adults but continue to store a lot of their stuff in the basement. She believes strong prayer practices and a supportive faith community are key to flourishing in career and family life. 

Stephanie Gehring is trying to learn to garden in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two year old daughter. She holds an MFA in poetry from Cornell and just finished a Ph.D. from Duke in theology last spring. Among her favorite things are yellow-orange roses, improv comedy, and reading good books while going on long walks (which requires less coordination than you might think, unless you are pushing a stroller).

Michael Gehrling is InterVarsity's Director of International Graduate & Faculty Ministry, and also serves as co-pastor of the Upper Room, a Presbyterian (USA) church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his BA from Grove City College, and his MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Michael is single, and is a proud son, brother, uncle, godfather, and friend.

Jean Geran is currently launching a new social enterprise called Each Inc. focused on using new technology to better protect orphans and vulnerable children globally. She spent several years at the State Department in Washington, DC, working on issues including human rights, trafficking in persons, child protection, refugee policy, democracy promotion, and governance. Her academic and professional work has focused on the policy intersection of human rights and sustainable development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Originally from Michigan, she is and now happily back living among friends in Madison, WI, where she enjoys staring at water.

Lynn Gill completed her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at Purdue University. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry before joining InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries in 1999. Since then she has been planting and building graduate student and faculty fellowships first in North Carolina and most recently in southern California and the west. She is currently the Regional Director for the GFM West Region. Lynn lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband David, son James, and daughter Julie.

Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science, specializes in political mobilization and race, as well as competition between minority groups. Her current research focuses on the political leadership of the post-civil rights generation. Gillespie's experience as a pollster and consultant has helped shape her research into what works — and what doesn't — in minority politics today as new leadership emerges.

She recently completed her forthcoming book, Race and the Obama Administration (Manchester University Press, 2019), which analyzes Barack Obama's performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans and compares his performance on racial issues to other recent presidents. She also was the editor of Whose Black Politics? Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership (Routledge, 2009). The book features case studies of prominent Black elected officials largely born after 1960 and asks whether the advent of a new generation of Black political leadership will actually lead to substantive political changes in the Black community.

In addition, Gillespie is the author of The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America (NYU Press, 2012). This book examines the decade-long evolution of African American politics in New Jersey’s largest city and challenges students of Black politics to revise their understanding of the connection between racial solidarity, vote choice, and policy preferences. In addition, Gillespie also maintains secondary academic interests in political participation, inter-minority group competition and evangelical politics in the United States. See andragillespie.com for more information.

Connally Gilliam is the author of Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn’t Expect (Tyndale, 2006). She serves as “Special Counsel” to the Director of the National Metro Mission of the US Navigators (an organization with whom she has worked for 11 years). Prior to that, she taught high school English, college writing and worked at an international public policy think tank. She is a member of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA where she serves as the volunteer director of Local Outreach. She loves to ride her bike, have dinners with friends, paint, and hang out with her nieces and nephews. Read more from Connally at connallygilliam.com .

Deborah H.C. Gin is director of research and faculty development at The Association of Theological Schools. Previously, she served as a faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, and as associate professor of ministry at Azusa Pacific Seminary. She has also held positions as the director of diversity studies and director of the MA in Worship Leadership program at Azusa. She was the former director of Asian American Women on Leadership. She earned an MDiv from Haggard Graduate School of Theology, a master’s of music degree from the University of Southern California, and a PhD in higher education from Claremont Graduate University. She resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, Michael.

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