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.

 

Global Technology Executive, People Developer, Transformational Leader, Storyteller, Engineer and self-proclaimed Global Citizen, Janeen Uzzell is on a mission to use her strengths, influence and voice to lead causal work that changes lives, communities and the world.

A seasoned leader, Janeen has more than 20 years of corporate, strategy, business development and start-up experience. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of The WIkiMedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia (the #5 website in the world), and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites.

Beyond her professional achievements, she is a Board Member for the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, an advisor for the National Believers in Business Collegiate Organization and a founding member of her former church. She has 11 nieces and nephews that she says help her stay grounded and not take herself too seriously.

Michelle Van Loon is the author of four books, including Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith. She writes for Christianity Today's CTWomen and maintains her own blog, Pilgrim's Road Trip, on the Patheos Evangelical channel. For more about Michelle, see her site: MichelleVanLoon.com.

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Church and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra currently serves as Contact Director for the Justice Conference, is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.

Kendall Vanderslice is a baker and writer on the intersection of food and faith. She is a graduate of Wheaton College (BA Anthropology), Boston University (MLA Gastronomy), and Duke Divinity School (Master of Theological Studies). She writes for Christianity Today, Christ and Pop Culture, Religion News Service, and Faith & Leadership and is the author of We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God. Kendall lives in Durham, North Carolina with her big-eared beagle named Strudel. Find her on Instagram at Edible Theology Project and sign up for her monthly newsletter at EdibleTheology.com.

 

Laura Veltman is Professor of English at California Baptist University in Riverside, California, where her teaching and research focuses on 19th and 20th century American literature. In her free time, she plays with her nine-year-old and five-year-old while reminding herself that the housework will wait.

Beverly Staub Tuthill Vergason was born in 1923 in Binghamton, New York. She graduated from Nyack Missionary Training Institute in 1949. She served as pastoral assistant (under Pastor Grace Lang) in the Ozarks Mountains in Arkansas (1949-1950). She pastored the Christian Missionary Alliance chapel in Meridale, New York (1950-1953). Bev married David Tuthill in 1951 and is mother to David, Jr. and Beverly. She is a grandmother and great-grandmother. Bev has the gift of evangelism and has led many to Christ. She was a guest speaker in area churches until her late eighties. She married Leon Vergason in 2003. Bev lives in Treadwell, New York and has a ministry of intercessory prayer. 

 

Tirzah Villegas is a painter and creator whose spiritual practices inform her art. Currently a student at Duke Divinity School, Tirzah is focusing on the study of a decolonized Christianity and aesthetic as it pertains to spiritual liberation and liberation practices. Before deciding to attend divinity school, Tirzah had an array of jobs that inform her current theological lens, some of which include bartending, hog farming, youth workforce development, program director for a necessity-driven entrepreneur nonprofit, and interpreting. She is most interested in creating spaces that allow for people across a variety of spiritual disciplines to engage in spiritual practices that offer liberation from imperialist and colonialist structures. You can see more of her work online at Patreon and on Instagram.

Christine Wagoner is an associate regional director with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where she directed their national women's leadership development program. She received her master of arts in counseling ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Christine is married to Kurt and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jeanne Murray Walker (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is a poet and playwright whose work has been widely published and performed. She heads the creative writing program at the University of Delaware, where she has been a professor of English for forty years. She also serves as a mentor in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Seattle Pacific University and on the boards of Shenandoah and Image magazines.

Her poems and essays have been published in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, The Christian Century, Blackbird, Image and several hundred other journals. Her scripts have been performed in theaters across the United States. They are published by Dramatic Publishing Company, and they are archived in North American Women's Drama. Walker is coeditor (with Daryl Tippens) of Shadow and Light: Literature and the Life of Faith and author of a memoir, The Geography of Memory. She is the author of seven books of poetry in addition to Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems.

Walker's work has been honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, the Glenna Luschei-Prairie Schooner Prize, many Pushcart nominations, inclusion in Best American Poetry, and inclusion in the 100-year anniversary anthology of Poetry magazine.

Photo by Vondel Stevens

Leslie Walker, MD, graduated from Wheaton College and the University of Michigan, where she received her MS in Neuroscience and her medical degree. She did her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been in solo practice since 2000, with particular interests in treating mood and anxiety disorders in women, work/family balance issues, and life transitions. Leslie also teaches psychiatry residents at Case Western Reserve University Hospital. She chairs the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. She and her husband, an academic physician, live near Cleveland and have two children.

Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. She is the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year) and Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work, or Watch, or Weep (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year). Currently, Tish writes a weekly newsletter for The New York Times, and she is a columnist for Christianity Today. Her articles and essays have appeared in Religion News Service, Christianity Today, Comment Magazine, The Point Magazine, The New York Times, and elsewhere. For over a decade, Tish has worked in ministry settings as a campus minister with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries, as an associate rector, and with addicts and those in poverty through various churches and non-profit organizations. Now, Tish serves as Writer in Residence at Resurrection South Austin. She is a founding member of The Pelican Project and a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum. She lives with her husband and three children in the Austin, Texas area.

Amy is a working on her PhD in genetics at Duke University. Her research focuses on how genes and environment affect an animal’s ability to endure stressful conditions. She is originally from Georgia, where she graduated from the University of Georgia (and will always cheer on the Dawgs).

Ann Weems (1934-2016) was a Presbyterian elder, a lecturer, and a popular poet. She authored Family Faith Stories, Reaching for Rainbows, Searching for Shalom, Kneeling in Bethlehem, Kneeling in Jerusalem, Psalms of Lament, and Putting the Amazing Back in Grace.

Leonie Westenberg is a lecturer in theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. She is currently writing her thesis on Mary as a type of the Feminine Genius. Her interests include literature, living the liturgical year, and women in education. Leonie lives in Sydney, Australia. She has seven sons and one cat. Leonie is a regular contributor to blogs and to several books on home education. She writes textbooks for middle school students, encouraging a love of literature and the development of critical thinking skills. Leonie blogs at Living Without School.

Stephanie White is a member of the English Language and Literature faculty at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. She teaches writing and rhetoric while researching composition pedagogy and service-learning. She and her husband Andrew have a darling baby girl and very helpful neighbours.

Bethany Williams is a teacher, encourager, advocate, writer, and consultant. After teaching high school English, she focused on her four young children at home while volunteering as a Court Appointed Family Mediator and Court Appointed Special Advocate and also finishing her Masters of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Children at Risk. She is happily a Methodist clergy spouse, adoptive and biological mom, and treasures a little knack for eliciting laughter in church small groups.

Chief Financial Officer DeeDee Wilson is joining InterVarsity from Operation Mobilization USA (OM) where she was the CFO. Prior to OM, DeeDee served in leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies, including as the CFO of Nike Europe, and was named one of CFO Magazine’s “Top 25 Women CFOs to Watch.”   DeeDee is passionate about Christ’s mission on campus. She has been a member of InterVarsity’s Women’s Advisory Council and her daughter serves as a campus staff minister with InterVarsity in New England.

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