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.

 

Heidi Metcalf Little is a Fellow at the Hudson Institute where she researches, writes and speaks about philanthropy and the developing world. With a passion for issues of poverty and domestic as well as international policy, she also currently serves on the Board of Social Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Heidi is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. After many years of globe trotting and being single, she now has her hands full with a new house in a new town with a (relatively) new husband and a precious newborn baby boy.

Lily Liu gained most of her passion for language, culture, and world-changing through her involvement with the undergraduate and international student chapters of InterVarsity at The Ohio State University. She is currently a second year dental student at Harvard University, where she co-leads the Christian Medical & Dental Association. She blogs at savingfais.wordpress.com.

Hillary Lum is currently a geriatric and palliative medicine fellow in Denver, CO. She received a BA in Biology from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and her MD/PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With her husband, Ryan, she volunteered at a faith-based HIV/AIDS hospital in Jos, Nigeria in 2006. She completed her Internal Medicine residency in Pittsburgh, PA. Her interests are in understanding the health care needs that affect older adults at the end of life. She plans to be involved in community-oriented health services research to understand health disparities for this vulnerable population. She loves living simply, in community, and in the city (near mountains).

Gillian Marchenko is an author, speaker, wife, mother, and advocate for individuals with special needs. Still Life: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression is her second book. Her first memoir, Sun Shine Down (T. S. Poetry Press), chronicles her experience having a baby with Down syndrome while serving as a missionary overseas. She and her husband Sergei spent four years as church planters with the Evangelical Free Church of America in Kiev, Ukraine, and they now live with their four daughters in St. Louis, Missouri.

Aleah Marsden is a writer, speaker, and social media and communications director who is passionate about seeing women walk into all the plans God has for them. Her writing can be found in publications like Christianity Today and Books & Culture, as well as a handful of devotionals in the NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World (Zondervan, 2015). Connect with her at AleahMarsden.com, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

Joanne M. Marshall is a former high school teacher and a current associate professor of educational administration at Iowa State University. Her long-term research agenda is driven by the question of how people's internal values and beliefs relate to their public school roles, particularly in the areas of religion/spirituality, moral and ethical leadership, philanthropy, social justice pedagogy, and work-life balance. She holds an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has published articles in The Journal of School Leadership, Equity and Excellence in Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, The School Administrator, and Phi Delta Kappan. She is the lead editor of Juggling Flaming Chainsaws: Faculty in Educational Leadership Try to Balance Work and Family and editor of the Work-Life Balance book series from Information Age Publishing. More information is available at her website.

Camille McCall is an aspiring author who enjoys writing inspirational pieces, screenplays, and poetry. She obtained her BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 from Michigan State University and has since returned to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering. She is currently working on her first book eager to encourage women struggling with relationships, faith, and self-esteem through her own life experiences. Camille loves anything outdoors, but also appreciates curling up for a good movie, or gathering with friends for great outings and engaging discussions.  

Rachel McLaughlin, MD, has long been interested in medical missions and international work. She took her first missions trip to Mexico while in college and has since served at hospitals in Cambodia, Swaziland, Bangladesh, and Kenya. Rachel received her MD at Loma Linda University in California and did her residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is currently serving in Burundi, East Africa, as a professor and clinical faculty at Hope Africa University and Kibuye Hope Hospital. She and her husband, Eric (a family practice doctor), have three children: Maggie, Benjamin, and Tobias.  

Jen Pollock Michel is the award-winning author of Teach Us to Want and Keeping Place. She writes widely for print and digital publications and travels to speak at churches, conferences, and retreats. Jen holds a BA in French from Wheaton College and an MA in Literature from Northwestern University. She is married to Ryan, and they have five school-age children. Their family attends Grace Toronto Church (Canada). You can follow Jen on Twitter @jenpmichel.

 

Grace Ju Miller is a Professor of Biology at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). She has been at IWU for seven years. Before moving to Indiana, Grace and her family lived in Morocco where she taught at an orphanage for two years. Grace was the Seed Bank Director at ECHO (Agricultural Missions Agency) in Fort Myers, FL) for four years, taught at Gordon College for eleven years, and has led a travel course — “Sustainable Tropical Agriculture” — in Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti for 15 years. She has a BA in Art and Botany from Duke University (including two years studying Chinese brush painting in Taiwan), MS in Agronomy from UC Davis, and PhD from Purdue University. She was recently elected as the IWU College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Chair by her peers.

Margarita Mooney is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Faculty Fellow in the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina. She received her MA and PhD in Sociology from Princeton University and her BA in Psychology from Yale University. Her areas of interest include religion, immigration, theory, culture, and economic sociology.

Kindra Morelock is a wife and a mother of three. She is studying Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a concentration in Data Curation. She enjoys baking, reading, spending time with her family, watching British TV, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers. She lives in Chicago.

MaryKate Morse is a professor of leadership and spiritual formation at George Fox University Seminary. She holds the BS degree from Longwood University; MA and MDiv degrees from Western Evangelical Seminary (now George Fox Evangelical Seminary); and PhD in Leadership, Gonzaga University. A recorded Quaker minister and a trained spiritual director, Morse has expertise and research interests in healthy spiritual leadership, leadership development and formation, deep change processes in individuals and in groups, power and influence, team and gender issues, spiritual direction, and prayer. She was a keynote speaker at InterVarsity’s Following Christ 2008 conference. She is married and has three adult children and two grandchildren. She loves being with her friends and family, reading, and meeting new people in new places.

Deborah Risa Mrantz is Founder and principal creative of LOGOS DIVINITY GUILDWORKS and MINISTRIES™. LOGOS DIVINITY GUILDWORKS™ is a faith-based artists guild and Abrahamic interfaith initiative bringing together new models of theology, worship, arts-ministry and pastoral chaplaincy in combined creative enterprise. Deborah’s calling has evolved over thirty years from beginnings in music and fine art apprenticeships to Jewish ecclesiastical work in sculpture, culminating in artistic work within publishing, printing, and multi-sensory digital design. She is an incoming MDIV seminarian at Pacific School of Religion, where her journey into seminary has re-formed these long-held arts vocations within a life of God’s Word and pastoral ministry. Through LOGOSdivinity she fashions liturgical artwork for individual and community religious spaces, monasteries and faith-based retreat-centers, churches and synagogues. 

Jerusha Matsen Neal is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman, currently finishing her doctoral work at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Her focus is on the work of the Holy Spirit in preaching, using Luke's account of Mary's pregnancy and birth of Christ as a primary conversation partner.  This year, her book of dramatic monologues, Blessed, was published as part of Cascade's Art for Faith's Sake series.  Her husband Wes is the pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church, where she worships and serves in many capacities.  She has two children, Mercy and Josiah, who keep her heart full of gratitude and wonder.

Amber Noel, M.Div., has been a teacher, blogger, beekeeper, librarian, and director’s assistant to an international arts initiative. She is currently a happily employed youth minister, and just moved to the wilds of urban Texas from Durham, North Carolina. She tends to spend her free time with animals, odd people, good writing, good food, good jokes, and people who laugh at those jokes. She does excellent impersonations and wishes she could make her money by reading aloud.

Kate Norlander is an assistant director of communication services at a private university in Minnesota. In addition to assisting academic departments and programs with their external communications, Kate edits one of the university’s magazines and writes for many of the magazines and newsletters published by her employer. She and her husband live with their teenage daughter and a small black dog named Vader. In her spare time, she teaches Sunday school, hosts anti-slavery chocolate parties, and attends science fiction and fantasy conventions.

Jamie Noyd, PhD, serves as Campus Ministry Coordinator for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations in Greater Cincinnati. In this capacity she lives in the space between church and academe exploring with students what it is to abide in Christ’s grace as they live out their vocations. Away from campus she enjoys times with family and continues to venture out on literary pilgrimages.

Angie Crea O’Neal is Assistant Professor of English at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, specializing in eighteenth and nineteenth century British literature. She teaches writing and all facets of British literature, but her favorite literary subjects are the Romantic poets and Jane Austen. Angie received her PhD from Arizona State University in 2007. She lives with her girls, Marin and Maeve, and her aging dog, Lucy.

Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist on the faculty of Houston Baptist University, where she is Chair of the Department of Apologetics. She is the author of Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith and blogs on literature, culture, and apologetics. She was a competitive sabre fencer for nearly twenty years and considers a really good cup of coffee to be one of life’s simple pleasures.

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