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.

 

Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections What Will Soon Take Place, Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her guides How to Read a Poem, How to Write a Poem, and How to Write a College Application Essay are used in classrooms across the country. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Saint Katherine Review, and the Paraclete book Light upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011.

Brian is the Communications Director for what is affectionately known as DoIT (Division of Information Technology) at the UW-Madison. When not typing emails, speaking or planning, he can be found encouraging fellowship among colleagues at the UW. Or playing trombone in a few local bands. He and his wife Jacque are members of Door Creek Church.

Eeva Sallinen Simard is the project director (chief of party) at SCOPE Project at World Relief and has more than ten years of experience working with missional NGOs from research to ministry. She is cofounder of BE Development Partners, a consulting firm that trains organizations to develop belonging cultures. Eeva holds an MSc in international politics from the University of Helsinki and an MBA from John Hopkins University, and she is a coconvener of the Wheaton Consortium for Development, Gender, and Christianity.

Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is an Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies at Seattle Pacific University, directing the Reconciliation Studies program. She is also the Associate Pastor of Preaching and Reconciliation at Quest Church in Seattle. She is the author of Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0, A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism and Race (2008), and The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change (2005), coauthored with Rick Richardson. Her newest book Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now is available August 2020.

Scott Santibañez is an adjunct professor and faculty advisor for Graduate and Faculty Ministries at Emory University. He has worked as a volunteer physician with underserved populations for over 20 years, and also has a doctorate from Trinity School for Ministry.

Corianne Payton Scally was a professor of urban planning and public policy at a public state university for ​seven​ years, where she received tenure. After running her own research consulting firm for the past year, she and her husband and two children are relocating to the Washington​,​ D.C.​,​ metropolitan area so she can pursue her passions​,​​​ which include​​ affordable housing and community development policy and implementation​, at a national research organization. 

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach is associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She is an economist who studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies. She’s not ashamed to admit that she met her beloved husband Max on Eharmony. They have three young children and live on Chicago’s north shore.

Sara Scheunemann lives in Marion, Indiana, where she serves as the program coordinator for the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University and teaches spiritual formation practica. During the summer months, she travels to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she is a graduate student in their Christian Spirituality Program. She is a spiritual director and a runner, and she'd rather be found on a hiking trail than just about anywhere else.

Kaitlyn Schiess is the author of The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Our Neighbor (IVP, 2020), and her writing has appeared at Christianity Today, The New York Times, Christ and Pop Culture, RELEVANT, and Sojourner. She has a ThM in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently a doctoral student in political theology at Duke Divinity School.

Taylor S. Schumann is a survivor of the April 2013 shooting at a college in Christiansburg, Virginia. She is a writer and activist whose writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Sojourners, and Fathom. She is a contributor to If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. Taylor and her family live in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

Gweneth Schwab became a child of God as a young woman and was involved with the ministry of IVCF from her freshman year. She now works with the Faculty Ministry of InterVarsity in Illinois, having been a professor of English and Religion as well as a business owner. She has been married for 40 years to Bob, another IVCF alumni.

Debra Schwinn is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology & Genome Sciences, at the University of Washington in Seattle and is a practicing anesthesiologist. After a 21-year career at Duke University Medical Center, Debra moved in 2007 to the University of Washington in Seattle. During her career, Debra has held numerous faculty positions and had the opportunity to train and mentor many students, residents, and fellows. She and her husband, Bob Gerstmyer, have two teenage children and attend Bethany Presbyterian Church in Seattle. In her spare time, Debra plays the violin and enjoys 19th century Russian novels.

Halee Gray Scott, PhD, is an author and global leadership researcher and consultant who focuses on issues related to leadership and spiritual formation. Her book, Dare Mighty Things: Mapping the Challenges of Leadership for Christian Women, is published by Zondervan. She teaches seminary courses in spiritual formation, theology, and leadership in seminaries across the country. She is a regular contributor to Her.Meneutics.com and her writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Christian Education Journal, Real Clear Religion, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Outcomes. She lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband, Paul, and their two daughters. When she’s not writing or teaching, she is usually baking challah bread, running, or doing Crossfit. She blogs at hgscott.com

Luci Shaw was born in London, England in 1928. A poet and essayist, since 1986 she has been Writer in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. Author of over thirty-seven books of poetry and creative non-fiction, her writing has appeared in numerous literary and religious journals. In 2013 she received the 10th annual Denise Levertov Award for Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University.  Her most recent collection, Eye of the Beholder, was released by Paraclete Press in 2018.

Nicole Shirilla is a second year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, she was a high school religion teacher and the Assistant Director of the Notre Dame Vocation Initiative. She has her BA and MEd from the University of Notre Dame.

Amy Shorner-Johnson is the assistant chaplain and assistant director of religious life at Elizabethtown College. She is also a mom and wife and advocate. She Is an adventurer at heart and is most grateful for the work of spiritual direction.  

Emery Silva first fell in love with writing, then Jesus, then her sorority, and eventually InterVarsity’s mission to students. She planted Greek InterVarsity at Northwestern University in Chicagoland and enjoyed serving students for 16 years while juggling three kids and a husband. After a stint of MPD coaching, she became the Associate Director of MPD. Outside of InterVarsity, you can find her cooking up a storm for friends and family, biking by the lake, or taking the kids to the library, again.

Pamela first discovered her love for teaching as a tutor, seeking to demystify accounting for fellow students. In preparation for a career in higher education, she completed a Master's in Accounting & Master's in Business Administration from Kent State University and earned the designation of CPA. She worked as an internal auditor at Banc One Corporation and taught accounting at Kent State University, Hiram College, Baldwin Wallace University, and Wayne College before finding her home at Cuyahoga Community College, a college that shares her passion and dedication to excellence in teaching.

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