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.


Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah is Associate Professor of Theology and Bible at Nyack College and Adjunct Professor of Worship at Alliance Theological Seminary. She preaches and teaches for churches, conferences, and other ministries in the United States and internationally. She also encourages Christian women to expand the Kingdom of God through the educational program Empower as well as a rite of passage for Nyack College Seniors. She is the author of The Book of Womanhood, and her writing has been featured by Christianity Today, CBE International, Redbud Writers Guild, and Missio Alliance. Amy loves to exercise, take photos, climb mountains, adventure with her husband and sons, learn languages, and enjoy the beach. Find her on the web at amyfdavisabdallah.com and on twitter @amyfdavisa.

Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones is Assistant Professor of Theology and African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Her scholarship specializes in Mariology and black feminist thought. A graduate of the University of Virginia (BA) and Duke Divinity School (MDiv), Amey Victoria received her PhD in Religion from Duke University in 2016 with a Certificate in Feminist Theory. She is the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from the school in the field of theology and ethics.

Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at The University of Washington. She is also a creative writer and speaker. Her artistic nature is infused in all her roles, which have one common goal — to shift static ideas about identity.

Her hybrid identity as a Nigerian and Black American coupled with her experience as a former middle school teacher influenced her current research project, which explores Black African immigrant youth schooling experiences in the United States. She focuses on how their new experiences with race in America (re)shapes their identity, language, and culture.

Her creative writing and public speaking have fostered public conversations and social impact in relation to identity and race, reaching over 180,000 readers and listeners. She has been featured in ESSENCE Magazine and ZORA Magazine. She has also spoken on TEDx and NPR.

Outside of work, Lakeya loves to visit her favorite people and new places. She enjoys hitting the gym or going for a peaceful walk. When she is not on the move, she is either trying a new recipe or slowly moving through a TV series. She likes to think that she has mastered anti-binge-watching shows. In fact, she considers it an art.

Sarah Akutagawa is based in Santa Cruz, originally from San Francisco, California. She has been working for InterVarsity for 10 years and now serves as the National Director of Diversity after primarily working with international students in Northern California.

Rebecca Alexander earned her PhD in Biological Chemistry at University of Pennsylvania and joined Wake Forest in August 2000 after postdoctoral research at MIT and The Scripps Research Institute. She teaches biochemistry to undergraduate and graduate students. Her research, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses experimental and computational tools to study protein-RNA interactions in protein biosynthesis and viral infection. She has previously served as co-director of the Undergraduate Research and Creativities (URECA) Center and is also co-director of the Center for Molecular Communication and Signaling, a multidisciplinary research center supported by the Provost’s Office.

Katherine Leary Alsdorf is the Founder and Director Emeritus of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work. She received her MBA from the University of Virginia and now travels from her home in New York to work with churches around the country. She assisted Tim Keller in writing Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work.

Peace Amadi is a psychology professor, speaker, children's book author, content creator, and host. She holds a BA in psychology from UCLA and a masters and doctorate in psychology from Azusa Pacific University. As a woman of faith, she uses her various platforms to bridge the gap between mental health and faith for the purposes of engaging a deeper healing journey. As a woman of Nigerian descent, she calls for reflection on how healing is affected by culture and family.

In Peace's personal time, she enjoys creating meaningful moments with friends and family, sweet iced coffees, and digging up stories she'll find some new way to share.

Mary Amendolia earned her Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality from Heythrop College, University of London, with a focus on the visual arts and spiritual transformation.  She trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, England, where she earned a Certificate in Christian Apologetics and an Oxford Diploma of Ministry.  Additionally, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History in Italian Renaissance Art. Currently, Mary is an Associate with Coracle, an organization dedicated to spiritual formation and kingdom action. Mary speaks at retreats, enjoys international travel, learning about other cultures, reading, painting, being outdoors and all things Italian.

Jenn Anderson is a third-year doctoral student in the Michigan State University Communication Department. Her teaching and research focus on how people talk about health and how to design persuasive health campaigns. Jenn became a Christian her freshman year of college, through the Baptist Student Union, and has been seeking God within the context of academia ever since. She and her husband have two wonderful mutts.

Susan Anderson worked for several years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication in 1997. During graduate school, she was an active member of InterVarsity’s Graduate Christian Fellowship group. Now she spends her time balancing parenting, writing, and house-tending. She and her husband Dean have two beautiful (and active!) daughters, Kendra and Carolyn, adopted from Ethiopia and China.

Kathryn Applegate is Program Director at The BioLogos Foundation. She received her PhD in computational cell biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. At Scripps, she developed computer vision software tools for analyzing the cell's infrastructure, the cytoskeleton.

Heather Reneé Ardrey is an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She is a former Intervarsity Graduate Staff Worker. She, her husband Dave, and their two kids live on a two-mile-long island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Heather currently spends her time caring for her kids while waiting for whatever is next in her vocation. In her free time, she can be found scuba diving, painting, or writing. 

Kat Armas (MDiv and MAT, Fuller Theological Seminary), a Cuban American writer and speaker, hosts The Protagonistas podcast, where she highlights stories of everyday women of color, including writers, pastors, church leaders, and theologians. She is the author of Abuelita Faith and has written for Christianity Today, Sojourners, Relevant, Christians for Biblical Equality, Fuller Youth Institute, Fathom magazine, and Missio Alliance. Armas speaks regularly at conferences on race and justice and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Michelle Arnold is a contemporary painter whose faith plays an integral part of her work. During the years she spent living and working in Italy for Gordon College’s study abroad program, she steeped herself in the Renaissance masters, the rhythms of the Catholic liturgy, and the intimacy and beauty of daily Italian life. 

After her return from Italy she received at Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of New Hampshire.

She has taught in the Studio Arts department at several Boston-area colleges, but recently relocated from the Boston area to Ohio. In addition to numerous private collections across the US, her paintings can be found in the collection of the Valparaiso University Chapel, Rivier College, and Gordon College. She is represented by Sloane Merrill Gallery in Boston. Her work can be viewed and purchased at michellepaine.com. 

Sarah Arthur is the author of the recently published A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time (Zondervan).Sarah is a freelance writer, consultant, and speaker. She holds a B.A. from Wheaton College in English and Intercultural Christian Education, as well as a Master’s in Theological Studies from Duke University Divinity School. Sarah has served in full time and volunteer youth ministry for over 20 years and when she isn’t chasing her two small boys around the house or coordinating the youth ministry of Sycamore Creek Church in Lansing, Michigan, she can be found reading and writing YA fiction.


Kelly Aukema is a biochemist doing postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota’s Biotechnology Institute. Her research involves efficiently harnessing the energy of the sun by using light-harvesting cyanobacteria to symbiotically feed a second species of genetically enhanced bacteria, which in turn produce hydrocarbons, a potential biofuel. She enjoys teaching research methods, providing informal career counseling, and mentoring students. Kelly is married to Brian Aukema, McKnight Land Grant Professor at the University of Minnesota. They are the parents of two young boys.

Cheryl Bachelder is the former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a multibillion-dollar chain of more than 2,600 restaurants around the world. She has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, been featured on Mad Money, and received top industry awards. She had prior leadership positions at Yum! Brands, Domino's Pizza, RJR Nabisco, the Gillette Company, and Procter & Gamble. Today Cheryl serves on a number of boards including the CEO Forum, an organization that encourages and disciples Christian CEOs and senior leaders. Cheryl holds a Bachelor’s and Master's of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Jessica Cooke Bailey is a third year postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and studies the genetics of age-related eye disorders. She earned her PhD in Molecular Medicine and Translational Science from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, focusing on the genetics of diabetes and kidney disease. She and her husband recently had a baby girl and they also have two miniature dachshunds. They are active members of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where they especially enjoy helping with the youth activities. Jessica's hobbies are reading, crafting, and sewing. 

Anne C. Bailey, a social historian in the departments of History and Africana Studies at SUNY Binghamton, is dedicated to the study of African American history and African Diaspora Studies. Her research has centered on the history of the Atlantic slave trade and its impact on Africa and its worldwide diaspora. Her books include African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame, which looks at memories of the slave trade from the African perspective, and two works of historical fiction for children. Born in Jamaica, her work has been informed by extended stays in Paris, London, and West Africa. After immigrating to New York City, she studied at Harvard University and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Read more about Anne in this InterVarsity article.

Ruth Bancewicz is a Senior Research Associate at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge (UK), where she works on positive expressions of the science-faith dialogue. Ruth studied genetics at Aberdeen University, and completed a PhD at Edinburgh University. She then spent two years as a part-time postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, Edinburgh University, while also working as the Development Officer for Christians in Science. She moved to the Faraday Institute in 2006 to develop resources on Science and Christianity – a project that generated the Test of FAITH materials, the first of which were published in 2009. Ruth blogs at Science and Belief, and her latest book is, God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith.