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.

 

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 Associate Professor of History at the University of North Dakota. Her latest book, Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory, will be published in 2019 by University of Oklahoma Press. You can explore those monuments for yourself at her website, Pioneer Monuments. She lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, with her husband, two daughters, and an overly friendly dog.

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.

Paula Frances Price has worked for Greek InterVarsity in Athens, Georgia, for ten years. She trains sorority and fraternity students to lead Scripture studies in their chapters and helps them figure out how to follow Jesus in college. She and her husband have a one-year-old daughter who keeps them on their toes.

Karen Swallow Prior is professor of English at Liberty University, Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More — Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist. She lives in rural Virginia with her husband and various dogs, horses, and chickens.

 

Joy Qualls is an associate professor of communication studies and associate dean of the Division of Communication at Biola University. She is married to Kevin, a licensed professional counselor, and they are parents to two children.

Dr. Ramachandra holds both a Bachelor’s and Doctoral degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of London. He is the Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), a global partnership of over 150 university-level Christian movements.
 
Vinoth was the founder General Secretary of Sri Lanka’s Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS) & Regional Secretary for IFES South Asia before transitioning to the senior leadership team of IFES.
 
Vinoth has also been involved with the Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka, as well as with the global Micah Network (a network of development and justice organizations) and A Rocha (a world-wide biodiversity conservation organization). He is also on the International Advisory Council of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, based in Cambridge, England. He is the author of several essays, articles and books including Gods That Fail, Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues that Shape Our World, and Church and Mission in the New Asia. Vinoth was married for almost twenty years to his Danish wife Karin, who passed away in 2018.

Writer. Dancer. Tea Drinker. Idea Wrangler. A happy resident of State College, Pennsylvania​,​ and a graduate student in English and Creative Writing at Bucknell University where she is working on a book about her year in Bulgaria. You can find more of her writing and consulting work at danamray.com.

Gayle Reed, a former psychiatric nurse, received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin--Madison under graduate advisor Dr. Robert Enright, internationally known leader in research on forgiveness and co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. Dr. Reed's own research on forgiveness has demonstrated that a forgiveness recovery program resulted in psychological benefits for women with a history of spousal psychological abuse and childhood sexual abuse.  This research has been featured in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and on the Jane Pauley show (NBC). Gayle currently is adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has a forgiveness therapy consulting practice.  Gayle loves bible study, quilting, knitting, walking, her three adult children, and her adorable grandchild Samaria.

Caryn Reeder is professor of New Testament at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, but she spent the 2013-2014 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. She's researching and writing about the realities and rhetoric of women, children, and warfare in the biblical and classical worlds. 

Michelle Reyes (PhD) is the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and Co-Executive Director of Pax. She is also the Scholar-in-Residence at Hope Community Church, a minority-led multicultural church in East Austin, Texas, where her husband, Aaron, serves as lead pastor. Michelle's work on faith and culture has been featured in Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Missio Alliance, Faithfully Magazine and more. Her forthcoming book on cross-cultural relationships is called Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures (Zondervan; April 27, 2021). Follow Michelle on Twitter and Instagram.

Ciara Reyes-Ton is a biologist, editor, and freelance writer who is passionate about science communication and outreach to diverse audiences, whether that be to the general public, religious communities, or the students she teaches. She has a PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and is currently a Lecturer at Belmont University. She has served as managing Editor for God & Nature magazine, and currently is an Editor for Peaceful Science blog.

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