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.

 

Sarah Orner is currently pursuing her MFA in creative non-fiction at Seattle Pacific University and works for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES/USA) as a grant coordinator and writer. She enjoys good conversations, being near the ocean, and traveling to new places. She writes, works and lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Kevin.

Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Holly studies religion/spirituality, health and mental health, and is especially interested in whether and how mental and behavioral health therapists discuss their client’s religious/spiritual beliefs in treatment. She developed and validated the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale in addition to other instruments to measure the integration of clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment, has written for numerous academic journals, and her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, Business Standard, Baptist News Global, and more. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health.

Holly lives in Waco, Texas with her husband, Cory, and the couple has two children, Callie and Oliver. She loves to read, paint, meditate, learn about others’ stories over a cup of coffee, and most of all, spend time with her loved ones.

Diane Paddison has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is the author of Work, Love, Pray. She has held several executive positions for corporations, including two Fortune 500 companies and is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at the commercial real estate firm Cassidy. Diane gathers professional women for connection and mentoring time whenever she travels for business. This passion for mentoring women inspired her to found 4word™, a national nonprofit designed to connect, lead, and support young professional Christian women to fulfill their God-given potential. Diane and her husband have four children and live in Dallas, Texas, and Portland, Oregon.

Kristen Padilla is the marketing and communications coordinator at Beeson Divinity School, editor of the Beeson magazine, and executive producer of the Beeson podcast. She also is the author of a forthcoming book with Zondervan on vocation, scheduled to release in 2018. 

Ellane is Associate Professor and Department Chair of chemistry at Rollins College. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Chemistry and from Columbia University with a PhD in Chemistry. Dr. Park has been named a Fulbright US Scholar and was awarded the scholarship in the area of nanotechnology.

Anita Patrick earned her BS in Bioengineering from Clemson University (2012) and her PhD (2020) in STEM Education through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin. At UT Austin, she served in her local Grad InterVarsity chapter as a student leader from 2019-2020. Anita is currently a post-doctoral researcher in Psychology at Spelman College. Her research interests include engineering education, career decision-making, student motivation, and cultural identity. In her free time, Anita enjoys creative writing, drawing, and studying foreign languages (especialmente español). 

Nancy Pedulla is the Vice President for Leadership and Talent Development for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She has served in a number of roles with InterVarsity including twelve years with Graduate and Faculty Ministries. She holds a BS in Psychology and a MEd in International and Development Education, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Her ministry passions include whole life discipleship, men and women in partnership, leadership development, team building, and coaching. She is passionate about the development of women. She is married to Albert and lives in New Jersey, a few miles from New York City. They have three adult children who give Nancy great delight.

Dr. Suhithi Peiris Fellow, American Physical Society is the Senior Scientist, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida where she is the principal scientific authority in Enhanced Energy Effects responsible for research and development that increases Air Force ordnance capabilities. Since this interview she is also Acting Chief Scientist, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Virginia where she is the principal adviser to the Director in matters of formulation, planning, management and integration of all Air Force basic research programs. She is married to Brett Goodman and travels between her homes in Virginia and Florida. They are members of Cherrydale Baptist church in Arlington, Virginia, and she has been attending Safe Harbor Presbyterian in Destin, Florida. They frequently host guests visiting DC for many weeks of the year, a habit she continues in Florida.

Amy Peterson is a writer, teacher, and postulant for ordination in the Episcopal church. Her work has appeared in Image, Christianity Today, The Millions, Washington Post, The Cresset, Christian Century, and elsewhere. She is the author of Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy (Thomas Nelson, 2020) and Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World. Follow her on twitter @amylpeterson, and find more at amypeterson.net.

Jeanne Petrolle holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Illinois. She is the author of Religion without Belief: Contemporary Allegory and the Search for Postmodern Faith and Dancing with Ophelia: Reconnecting Madness, Creativity, and Love. She has published essays about literature, religion, and culture in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Film Quarterly, Image: A Journal of Art and Religion,Issues in Integrative Studies, and Hektoen International Journal. An Associate Professor of English at Columbia College Chicago, she lives with her husband and son in the Chicago area.

 

A graduate of Baylor University, Anne Pharr has taught English and First Year Seminar at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, since 1998.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Anne serves as program coordinator for the First Year Seminar course and, along with some of her colleagues, developed a college-wide initiative, Partners for Student Potential (PSP), whose mission is to deepen and broaden faculty and staff awareness of the challenges and strengths represented by at-risk students.  PSP activities have included gathering and sharing PSCC student stories at the Walking the Hero's Journey blog as well as interviewing PSCC faculty and administrators about their own college struggles in the Partners for Student Potential podcast.  Besides enjoying family and friends, Anne's passions include writing, music, reading, exercise, Huckleberry the dog, and a great cup of coffee — preferably first thing each morning. More of her writing can be found at her two blogs: shadowwonder (on Christian spirituality) and gritology (exploring how educators and parents can cultivate grit, determination, resilience, and perseverance — and why we should).

 

Alison Pichel is a wife and mother of two young children from the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. She works in an elementary school as a reading interventionist. Currently, Alison is pursuing her Master's in Literacy Education from Hamline University. She worships with a beautifully diverse community at Southview Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Alison is especially blessed that her children (usually) sleep through the night, her husband cooks, and Christmas in Minnesota will be snow-covered.

Anna Plantinga is a doctoral student in biostatistics at the University of Washington. Her research is focused on developing new ways to test whether and how the microbiome, or the community of bacteria living in and on a person, affects health. In her spare time she enjoys playing viola, hiking, and drinking tea.

Mary Poplin is a professor of education at Claremont Graduate University. She received her PhD from the University of Texas in 1978. After many years of what she calls “searching the spiritual net,” she became a Christian in 1993 and now works to integrate her faith and her work in the university. Her most recent educational research has focused on studying high performing teachers in low performing urban schools. She writes also on the need to merge the imperatives of social justice and accountability in order to decrease the achievement gap between students in different racial and economic groups.

Kaya works as Biblical Research and Ministry Specialist at Glorify Performing Arts, a non-profit, Christian ballet company in Pennsylvania. She holds an MTS and Certificate in Theology and the Arts from Duke Divinity School. She received her BA from Grinnell College, where she was a student leader in her InterVarsity chapter from 2015 to 2019. Kaya enjoys studying languages, ancient and modern, and dancing incessantly to meditate on theological concepts or to connect with her friends and community.

Cynthia Prescott is Professor and Chair of the Department of History and American Indian Studies at the University of North Dakota. Her publications include Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory. She seeks to provide context for local debates about controversial monuments through her website, public presentations, editorials, and a classroom role-playing game. She lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, with her husband, two daughters, and a pandemic puppy.

Christen Price moved from the Midwest to Washington, DC eleven years ago. Christen is a human rights lawyer who works to influence courts and legislatures toward protecting human dignity and equality for sexual exploitation survivors, through legislative advocacy and litigation, particularly with respect to sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse, and pornography. She attends an Anglican Church on Capitol Hill, where she serves on the parish council. She received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and a BA in philosophy from Cedarville University.

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