Writer bios

We've heard from many women that mentors are essential to their flourishing, both personally and professionally. We've assembled a team of mentors to answer your questions about life, work, and relationships as a woman in the academy and professions. Read their perspectives in our Dear Mentor column.

Christy Moran Craft is an Associate Professor of Student Affairs in the College of Education at Kansas State University. Her research is focused on issues related to religion and spirituality in higher education, including the experiences of evangelical Christians in secular higher education.

Chandra Crane works for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries, is pursuing her MDiv at Reformed Theological Seminary, and is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian in Jackson, Mississippi. Growing up in a multi-ethnic family in the Southwest and now transplanted to the Deep South, Chandra is passionate about diversity and family. She is married to Kennan, a civil engineer, and they have two young daughters. Chandra enjoys reading, napping, and defying stereotypes.  

Andy Crouch (MDiv) is the award-winning author of Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing. He is the executive director of Christianity Today. Andy is married to Catherine Crouch, an associate professor in the Department of Physics at Swarthmore College and a contributor to The Biologus Forum. They have two children.

Catherine Hirshfeld Crouch is Associate Professor of Physics at Swarthmore College, where she has taught since 2003 and was awarded tenure in 2009. Dr. Crouch has extensive expertise in both the optical properties of nanoscale materials and pedagogical best practices for college and university science. She earned her PhD. at Harvard University and continued at Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow with Eric Mazur until beginning her position at Swarthmore. She has published more than thirty peer-reviewed research articles and regularly involves Swarthmore undergraduate students in her work. She has also spoken and written about the intersection of faith and science in a number of settings including the Q conference and InterVarsity’s Following Christ conference for graduate and professional students. She is married to Andy Crouch and together they are raising their children Timothy and Amy. 

Julie M. Dahl is a wife and mother of two wonderful boys. She directs the Spanish Language Program for the Division of Continuing Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison and has a passion for all things related to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking cultures.

Emily A. Dause received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Messiah College and her M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State University.  She is a public school teacher and a freelance writer. Her writing appears in PRISM MagazineTeaching Children Mathematics, and her blog, sliversofhope.comYou can also follow her at Facebook or on Twitter.

Vicki Dearing graduated from Auburn University in 1987, and from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in 1991. Presently, she is a part-time professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been married for 17 years and has two children. She is active in her church in various ministries, sits on the board of directors of Quigley House (a domestic violence shelter), and enjoys other community-related activities.

Lisa Clark Diller (PhD, Chicago) teaches early modern history at Southern Adventist University. She enjoys traveling with her husband Tommy, gardening in the “yarden” of her 100-year-old house and learning how to be about the business of the kingdom of God while at work in her urban Chattanooga, Tennessee, neighborhood.

Susan DiMickele is the author of Chasing Superwoman: A Working Mom’s Adventures In Life and Faith .(A preview of the first chapter of the book can be found here.) She has authored articles in both secular and faith-based publications and blogs daily. Susan has been a trial lawyer for nearly 15 years and a mother for more than 9 years.

Emily Dolan is a graduate student in literature at the University of Connecticut. Her dissertation is focused on the role American women writers played in the shift from sentimental literature to realist literature following the Civil War. In her spare time she enjoys playing the piano, drinking tea at Starbucks, and watching bad BBC mini-series.

Ann is a writer, doctor, and homeschooling mother of four in Colorado. She writes about faith, medicine, and the opportunities to minister in the liminal spaces where what we think we know has been stripped away. Someday she hopes to find time to finish a cup of tea before it gets cold. Ann blogs at Learning As We Go.

Rachel Douchant (Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2008) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.  She also directs the Liberty and Ethics Center and co-chairs the Honors College.  Rachel has two sons, Asher and Solomon.

Janine Giordano Drake is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Great Falls (Great Falls, Montana) where she teaches US History, Global History, and Political Theory courses. She is coeditor of The Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the American Working Class (Illinios Press, 2016) and finalizing a manuscript on the demise of Christian Socialists in the US in the twentieth century. It is tentatively entitled, They Have Stolen Jesus From Us: Christian Socialism and the American Protestant Churches, 1880-1920.

Hannah Eagleson loves to tell stories, and she loves to think about them. She has a PhD in English literature from the University of Delaware, and she writes literature curriculum for educational presses. She also writes poetry and is working on a children's novel about a dragon who runs a teashop in eighteenth-century London. When she has spare time, she likes to play her harps and travel. 

Dr. Kim Gaines Eckert is a licensed psychologist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she maintains a private counseling practice and teaches as an adjunct at Lee University is the Clinical Director of the Lee University Play Therapy Center. Dr. Eckert holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan, as well as a master's and doctorate from Wheaton College (IL). She is the author of Things Your Mother Never Told You: A Woman's Guide to Sexuality (InterVarsity Press Books, 2014), and Stronger Than You Think: Becoming Whole Without Having to be Perfect. A Woman’s Guide (InterVarsity Press Books, 2007) and blogs at drkimeckert.com.

Gretchen Ellis is a freelance writer and copy-editor. She has a master’s degree in Theology from Wheaton College and a master’s degree in Hebrew Bible from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also runs her own online crafting business out of her home. She currently lives in Madison with her husband Ryan, their two cats, and a house full of books. She is a lover of learning, tea, and deep conversations. 

Lauralee Farrer is president and principal filmmaker of Burning Heart Productions ; an artist in residence of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts ; and the senior editor of Fuller’s Theology, News & Notes. The film Praying the Hours — a decade-long endeavor — is her current project combining a feature-length drama alongside a series of eight half-hour episodes that personify the Benedictine hours of prayer through story.

Pat Feldhake lived and worked at Cedar Campus, Inter Varsity’s training center in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, for twenty years. She currently serves as the K-12 guidance counselor in two rural schools in Cedarville and Pickford, Michigan. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Wheaton Graduate School. She loves living in the wilds of the U.P. in a log home built by her husband Marty, and enjoys skijoring with her dogs, swimming, and hiking.

Jasmine Obeyesekere Fernando is from Colombo, Sri Lanka where she worked as a national staff worker for the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS) and recently served on its Board. 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 worked as a volunteer staff worker for IVCF's Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM) at the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany and is transitioning to a volunteer role as Staff Development Specialist to South Asian American Ministries. She is married to Guy, an Associate Professor in Accounting at SUNY Albany and is mom to Jayathri and Yannik.

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.

Nina Forsythe, acting director of the Frostburg State University Center for Creative Writing in Frostburg, MD, 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.

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.