Meet our award-winning team, made up of chaplains, educators, and international leaders from over twenty faith traditions.
Yael Shy is one of the founding Directors of Global Spiritual Life at NYU and the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership. She is also the Founder and Director of the Mindfulness Project at NYU, one of the largest campus-wide mindfulness initiatives in the country, and has been teaching and lecturing on mindfulness, meditation, and multifaith engagement at universities, community centers, and organizations across the globe for the past seven years. In 2010, Yael was named one of the “36 under 36” changemakers transforming the Jewish world by The Jewish Week newspaper.
Prior to joining the Center, Yael was the Director of Development and Education at the NYU Center on Violence and Recovery, where she led training sessions in restorative justice globally and secured multiple multi-year research support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice, among other foundations. She is also a bar-certified attorney. She has been published in Inquiring Mind, The Sports Lawyers Journal, the Clinical Journal of Social Work, and the NYU Journal of Law and Social Justice. Shy completed her undergraduate degree at NYU, where she studied Sociology and Gender Studies, and received her law degree from the School of Law at Northeastern University.
Ariel Ennis is the Program Administrator at Global Spiritual Life at NYU and is responsible for NYU's Faith Zone Trainings, the Chaplains' Circle, the Multifaith Student Fellowship, and the Multifaith Advisory Committee. Ariel was formerly the Program Director for Campus Programs at the Center for Community Leadership at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. There, he founded the Jewish Student Leadership Fellowship as well as worked with Baruch College faculty and administration on a course entitled “Leadership and Diversity in the Business World.” Ariel is also an Educational Fellow at Kevah: Making Space for Jewish Education, a Berkeley-based Jewish Organization. Ariel graduated from NYU with a BA in Jewish History and Civilization and a minor in Politics.
The Center hosts more than 40 chaplain affiliates representing various faiths, denominations, and groups on campus.
Trevor Agatsuma, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Trevor grew up in Seattle and has lived in New York City since 2003 when he transferred into NYU as an undergraduate. He works for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and wants help students discover how their God given passions and gifts can be utilized to fit the needs of the world around them. He personally has a passion for helping any interested students make an informed and inspired decision on their own faith. Trevor bikes for transportation around the city and runs half-marathons and marathons for recreation and to keep in shape.
Valerie Althouse, International Students, Inc.
Originally from Hershey, PA, Valerie loves books, travelling and music. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Christian Counseling, as well as a Master of Science in Biblical Studies from Cairn University. Her additional training includes certificates in Cross-cultural Communication, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, ESL tutoring, Second Language Acquisition, Teamwork, Interpersonal Skills, and Life Coaching. She is currently a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She previously served in Student Development/Resident Life at Cairn University and in Missions Mobilization and Church-Planting with World Team before joining the staff of International Students, Inc. in December of 2011. On the side, Valerie enjoys vocal performance, blogging, and exploring NYC restaurants!
Elizabeth Bearrick, The Navigators
Elizabeth is a recent college graduate from MIT majoring in Mechanical Engineering hailing from Eden Prairie, MN. This will be her first year on staff with the Navigators, as an EDGE Corps member. She is very excited to help guide college students alongside an incredible team!
Rebecca Bres, The Navigators
Rebecca Bres grew up in Southern California in a Christ-centered home, and began to define her faith as her own after a missions experience abroad in the UK. She recently graduated from Boston University with a BA in French Literature and African Studies. Her academic concentration allowed her to spend a year living and studying in Paris, which continued to cultivate her desire to live and minister cross-culturally. At BU, she was involved with The Navigators, a fellowship that provided a strong community of discipleship and growth. She is excited to serve NYU students as a staff member with The Navigators, and to see God reach the nations through New York City. She enjoys traveling, reading, writing, coffee, and great discussions.
Matthew Chin, Compass Koinonia
Matthew Chin and is a Chinese American who was born and raised in NYC. He grew up in a family that was not religious and it was not until his sophmore year in high school that he was first exposed to Christianity. It wasn’t until the summer before the start of his junior year in college that he began attending bible study and church regularly. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in September 2003. He has been actively involved in college ministry ever since and continues to strive to grow deeper in his relationship with Christ. He is an avid baker and first learned how to play drums using chopsticks and paper plates.
Jonathan Clark, Reformed University Fellowship
A Colorado Springs native, Jonathan came to New York in 2008. In Colorado, he enjoyed all the Colorado mountains offer, including hiking, backpacking, climbing, skiing, and rafting. Once in New York, he attended The King’s College, completing a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. In New York, he enjoys time with his fraternity brothers, exploring cheap but excellent cuisine, running, reading, attending public lectures, and exploring the exciting things New York offers. He’s always up for a run in the Park, chat in the Village, or exploration to the Cloisters! Jonathan’s passion is ideas applied to life. As a result, he relishes good conversation about the “Big Questions” of life, hearing other’s perspectives, and then examining it all through the amazing grace of Christ. Little known facts: he took piano lessons for 13 years and, at one point, was quite good! And before college ministry, he had a 9-year career in horticulture and nursery management.
Joshua Crumlich, Reformed University Fellowship email@example.com Joshua Crumlich is a volunteer with InterVarsity grad and faculty ministries. He grew up in Pennsylvania, where he knew the love of Christ from childhood. After studying history at the University of Rochester, he went to law school. During his first (and only) semester there, he attended a conference for Christians in the legal profession and was amazed by the good work being done by the lawyers there, but felt drawn to make God’s love and glory in Jesus known through vocational ministry. He then went to Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary where he graduated with an M.Div. He spent the next few years involved in lay ministry and working in academic administration until he was called to be associate pastor at the Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village, where he loves working in such a dynamic community. In his down time he enjoys cooking with his wife Sarah, playing board games, and drinking a good, strong cup of coffee with friends.
Fernando De Los Santos, Every Nation Campus Ministries
Fernando De los Santos moved to New York City from the Philippines to attend St John’s University in 2004, in pursuit of a doctorate in Pharmacy. During his freshman year of college, he was connected to the Morning Star New York church and the Every Nation Campus Ministries New York staff and became part of their church family. It was through the relationships with his church and the campus ministry that he took to heart the call of God’s love in his heart and was empowered to minister the gospel of Jesus to his university. Serving alongside Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, he then led multiple bible studies, musical worship services, and ministered to his colleagues. As a result, St. John’s University has an Every Nation Campus Ministry presence which continues to serve students in the reinforcement of their faith. Fernando currently lives in Harlem with his wife and works as a Pharmacist at an independent community pharmacy in the area.
Selene De Los Santos, Every Nation Campus Ministries
Selene De Los Santos moved to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in 2004, in pursuit of an acting career. Shortly after graduating AMDA she realized that she had a great desire to help people in a greater capacity. As a result she furthered her education by going to Hunter College and joined the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, It was through serving with this organization that awakened her passion to be in ministry. During her summer break she attended the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry in Nashville, Tennessee, in which, she gained the foundation of being a campus minister. When she came back to New York City in the winter of 2010, she transferred to The New School where she focused on Creative Art’s Therapies and received a BS in Liberal Arts. During this time she continued to minister to students through Every Nation Campus Ministries (ENCM). Selene recently graduated and married in May 2012, and is very excited to be working with students and facility at NYU through the Morning Star Church (MSNY) and Every Nation Campus Ministries (ENCM).
Sarah Estopinal, Reformed University Fellowship
Sarah is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University. At Vandy, she majored in History and Business where she developed a love of the stories that connect us. At NYU, Sarah works for City Campus ministry which is a part of Reformed University Fellowship- a ministry devoted to reaching students for Christ and equipping them to serve others. She is from the Southern part of the country and is so excited to live life in the city!
Susan Field, Baptist Convention of New York
Reverend Field has served NYU as the Baptist Chaplain since 1991, and as the Protestant Chaplain since 2006. She also serves as Baptist Religious Life Advisor for the Baptist Campus Ministry at Columbia University, and as the New York City Coordinator for Baptist Collegiate Ministry. In addition, she is the “Global Initiatives Coordinator” for the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association. She and her husband, Dr. Taylor Field, have worked since 1986 in the Lower East Side with Graffiti Community Ministries and Graffitichurch. She graduated from Emory University, and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She is helping to coordinate the weekly Protestant Worship services in the new CSL during the Academic year.
Barney Gan, Korea Campus Crusade for Christ
Berney was born in Queens and spent a good amount of his childhood in Brooklyn. Most of his friends today are people whom he’s known since high school and here at NYU, where he attended college. Barney became involved with Korea Campus Crusade for Christ here at NYU and met a community that showed him a lot of love, and in turn, he was given many opportunities to love it back. Barney became a Christian in his freshman year of NYU, and he can say he has come to know more and more of what love truly is throughout his four years here. An interesting fact about Barney is that he never knew how to ride a bike or to swim until the summer he graduated from high school, but now he highly enjoys doing both!
Bernard Howard, Christ Church, NYC
Bernard Howard was brought up in a Jewish home in London, England. He came to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah two years after his bar mitzvah. After jobs in economic and political research, he worked for a summer camps organization before training for full-time Bible teaching ministry. He then spent several years as a freelance speaker, giving outreach talks at guest events in colleges, high schools and churches. In 2012 he began work as an assistant minister at Christ Church NYC. You can rely on Bernard to point out British contributions to US culture, such as all the British actors currently enjoying success in Hollywood.
Josephine Hua, Compass Koinonia
Josephine’s story with Health and Grad @ Compass Fellowship, affectionately called H&G, began in Jan, 2001. Upon the request of a few dental and medical students at NYU, a Bible Study was formed, first as an informal gathering then as an established Bible Study at the NYU medical school. A physician assistant by trade, Josephine first attended the Bible Study but later came to lead it and is now the co-director, along with her husband Matthew. A New Yorker from birth, she enjoys the dynamic culture of the city; but loves the quiet comforts of tea and a good book. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her love of Christ and how Jesus had changed her life with others at NYU.
Matthew Hua, Compass Koinonia
Matthew began his spiritual journey as an undergraduate student and has since embarked on a remarkable adventure, leading him to serve at Health and Grad @ Compass Fellowship, affectionately called H&G, as the director, Bible Study teacher, and mentor. A Bronx native, he loves the Mets, go figure, but regardless of the team he is always up for a game. Baseball is his love, but whatever the sport, his exclaim is always, “Bring it on!” As a Senior QA Analyst he is used to looking at fine details and troubleshooting issues that may arise; however God has used his skill set to further his desires to delve into the relationships that are formed in the Bible Study group and motivate others to meet the Jesus who changed his life.
Michael Keller, Reformed University Fellowship
After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Michael worked in both London and New York at various church ministries. He attended Gordon-Conwell Seminary where he received an M.Div and a Th.M. He is currently working on his Ph.D. He worked for five years in Boston serving at Citylife Presbyterian Church as an Assistant Pastor before moving home to New York City where he was raised and attended public school. Michael likes biking around Manhattan, playing any sport that is competitive, and is known to be found at good New York coffee shops, but never drinks the coffee. He has been married to his wife Sara for ten years, and has two children.
Kevin Kim, Remnant Christian Fellowship
Kevin Kim has served as the Staff Leader for Remnant Christian Fellowship at NYU since 2008. He also serves as a Pastoral Intern for Remnant Westside Church a non-denominational Protestant church located just West of Central Park. He graduated from Hunter College of The City University of New York and is currently attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary pursuing his Master of Divinity. Kevin is an avid sports fan and loves to play football and basketball in addition to watching his favorite teams, the NY Giants and NY Yankees.
Se Eun Kim, Korea Campus Crusade for Christ
Se Eun Kim attended Rutgers University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology. She began her walk with God about 3 years ago when she experienced His love so tangibly through her brothers and sisters from KCCC. It was through the experiences she had with this ministry that her heart started growing for missional work. She had a chance to work with organizations such as GAIN and CRASH to do relief work after the tsunami devastation in Japan. She's also been to Switzerland for missions to focus on campus ministry and Washington DC to participate in a homeless outreach program. She completed a 4 month long ministry intensive training in California where she learned how to evangelize and defend her faith. This will be her first year as staff and shes's so excited to start serving at NYU! Fun fact about her is she loves snowboarding!
Ian Lau, Compass Koinonia
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ian immigrated to the US with his family during eighth grade. He became a Christian in high school and entered NYU as a freshman in 2001, when he joined Compass Koinonia (CK). After graduation, Ian stayed on to serve in CK and started working full-time in technology in the financial industry, where he still works today. He is currently director of Compass Koinonia undergrad at NYU and a member of Compass Fellowship Church. Ian enjoys badminton, street food, and sushi. Some of his favorite authors are John Piper, David Platt and Ravi Zacharias. He is married to Jackie, whom he met at CK as an undergrad, and resides in the Gramercy area.
Jackie Lau, Compass Koinonia
Jackie grew up in Brooklyn, New York with her parents and older sister. She first met Compass Koinonia (CK) at New York University when she was an undergraduate student in the business school. It was there that Jackie committed her life to Jesus. She was involved in CK from freshmen through senior year, and upon graduation, continued to serve in the ministry. She currently works full-time in human resources for a financial services company. She is a member of Compass Fellowship Church with a passion for both local and international missions. She loves food, games, shopping and volleyball! Jackie met her husband, Ian, at CK at NYU. They’ve been married since October 2007 and currently reside in the Gramercy area.
Anna Lee-Winans, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Anna has been a lay campus minister for the last 10 years at New York University serving through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She currently serves graduate students and faculty. Prior to InterVarsity, Anna was a social worker in a pediatric AIDS clinic in the Bronx. She is an alumna of NYU, graduating with a BA in Journalism (’97) and an MSW (’01). Born and raised in New York City, she has had an ecumenical faith journey: baptized Lutheran, grew up Methodist, educated in Catholic parochial schools, made a decision to follow Jesus at NYU through InterVarsity, enjoyed Pentecostal and Brethren denominations, and attends an Episcopal church. During her off hours, Anna enjoys laughing with her husband and daughter.
Ray Low , City Grace Church
Ray Low is excited to be at New York University this year and to spread the love of Christ to all his students on campus. You will likely see him wearing orange or surrounded by orange things, as well as hanging around at his “office” (a table) on Kimmel 7th. Drop by if you ever need a chat!
Brendan Mahar, The Navigators
Brendan is a staff member of The Navigators at NYU, an interdenominational Christian fellowship. He never imagined he would be a minister when he was young, but during his years in college, he felt called by God to teach and counsel. Brendan received a degree in philosophy and religious studies and continues to enjoy logic, classical philosophy, and the writings of Soren Kierkegaard. Although friends may know that Brendan moved all across the States, England, and Australia, few know that he was deeply involved in many sports including baseball, football, and rugby.
Kevin Niemann, Bridges International
Kevin graduated with a Speech Communication major and Spanish minor from Texas A&M University in 1995 where he served as a resident director of one of the school’s oldest residence halls. Since graduating, he has served in campus ministry at Texas Tech University, Samara State University in Samara, Russia and Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. Kevin and his family returned to the Texas in 2009 to work with Bridges International – a ministry to provide service opportunities, social networking and spiritual resources for international students. After three years in Texas, Kevin and his wife began to miss life in the city and decided to move to New York to help with the needs of international students here in the greatest city in the world. Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, discovering new cultures, playing with his two children and biking around the city.
Jenny Park, Korea Campus Crusade for Christ
Jenny began attending a Presbyterian church in 6th grade. However, it was during her time at NYU as an undergraduate student that she began to experience (know) God and His wonderful plan for my life. This was one of the reasons for her coming on staff with Korea Campus Crusade for Christ (KCCC). She is a living testimony of the importance of college ministry. College years are a time when one begins to explore the meaning of life…how, why, and for what purpose we were designed. And a person must reckon with the reality of God in this process. She is so thankful that she gets to witness students discovering God and His wonderful plans for their lives. One of the things she enjoys the most is a good cup of coffee, which originated during her NYU undergrad years. She is always open for a good honest conversation over a cup of coffee.
Michael Pham, Encounter/Acts Ministries International
Michael Pham was originally born in California and raised in Hawaii. But despite that, he considers himself a die-hard New Yorker, having lived here longer than anywhere else. First moving to New York for graduate school, Michael served in many ministry capacities; high school youth group, graduate school fellowship, adult Bible study, and marriage counseling. Currently, Michael, along with his beautiful wife of seven years, leads the Encounter college fellowship at NYU campus under Acts Ministries International.
Victoria Pham, Encounter/Acts Ministries International
Victoria Pham has been living in New York for over a decade, and absolutely loves it. Formerly an accountant, she went back to school and received her Master’s in Counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. Along with her husband, Michael, she has served in many different capacities; women’s ministry, small groups, conference planning, and counseling. She is excited to lead the Encounter fellowship group at NYU under Acts Ministries International.
J.J. Proodian, The Navigators
J.J. is a recent graduate of New York University where he studied Philosophy and Classics. He enjoys spending time reading and thinking. He grew up on Long Island and became a Christian during his sophomore year at NYU while on a mission trip with The Navigators. He is excited to work with NYU students as a staff member with The Navigators, and to see others explore and grow in their faith through campus ministry.
Ross Queener, City Global
Ross grew up in a suburban area outside of Dayton, Ohio. His family was, essentially, non-religious (not atheist or agnostic, but lacking a clear sense of commitment to any religion or religious belief). After he graduated from high school and served six years in the US Navy (three years of which were on a submarine), he went to college at The Ohio State University, getting a B.S. in Math Education. While in his fourth year at OSU he came to recognize that not only was God real, but He was personal and knowable. And Ross wanted to know Him. This led him into a period of searching, the culmination of which was his understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. That marked the beginning of Ross’ commitment to follow Him for the rest of his life. Fun Fact: The suburban community that I grew up in, Huber Heights, Ohio, claimed to be “America’s Largest Community of Brick Homes”. There were large signs that said so as you entered.
Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church
The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, formerly at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Miami and before that at Yale University, is Senior Minister for Judson Memorial Church on the corner of Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, New York City. She began this post in 2005, will be ordained 40 years in 2014. As an elder, she is passionately concerned about leaving the next generation well-prepared for all they have to face.
Tricia Sheffield, Middle Collegiate Church and NYU LGBTQ Student Center
Dr. Tricia Sheffield, Ph.D joined the staff of Middle Church in 2008 and is an Associate Minister. Tricia is responsible for community outreach – Middle Church’s food pantry, clothing closet, Butterfly feeding program and our Middle Link Brunch each Sunday, which feeds the congregation after feeding their souls in worship. Tricia is the liaison to social justice partners at Middle: The Momentum Project, which supports people living with HIV/AIDS; New Alternatives, which creates life choices for LGBTIQ homeless youth, and our 12 step partners. She trains volunteers, teaches Bible and life classes, preaches and leads worship, and offers pastoral care to Middle family members. An ordained Elder in the Presbyterian church (USA), Tricia earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in Theological and Religious studies from Drew University. Tricia is a candidate for ordination in the New York Classis of the Reformed Church in America and is under care of the Consistory at Middle Collegiate Church. She has taught religion and gender theory at Columbia University, Hofstra University, and Queens College. Most recently, she was the Lilly Visiting Scholar in Religious and Gender studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Tricia is the author of The Religious Dimensions of Advertising, “Performing Jesus: A Queer Counternarrative of Embodied Transgression,” and other various articles. She has also given several lectures on the relationship between religion and queer theory.
Romall Smalls, Student Christian Movement of NYC
Minister F. Romall Smalls is a lover of peace and justice. He is also a dynamic preacher, public speaker and social commentator who has appeared on WLIB-AM, KISS-FM, and BlogTalkRadio. His central focus is Liberation Theology. This includes spurring religious institutions to grapple with the issue of human sexuality within the spiritual experience. He is one of group of spirited leaders seeking to reignite the growing social justice as an act of faith effort of the Student Christian Movement of NYC (SCM-NYC). Min. Smalls received Clinical Pastoral Care (CPE) training at New York-Presbyterian Hospital- Westchester Psychiatric Division. He is a graduating seminarian at Union Theological Seminary of NYC and a licensed minister at the historic Grace Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, NY. He was profiled in the New York Observer Newspaper for his work as a Protest Chaplain at the Occupy Wall Street movement in Lower Manhattan. His extensive past experience as an award winning journalist and media relations executive, serves as a major resource in his effort to inform, inspire and engage the mind and heart of the world.
Peter Trautmann, The Navigators
Peter Trautmann knew that he wanted to find a community to support his faith when he arrived as a freshman at NYU. What he found was much deeper than just support; he had a series of experiences that changed his life forever. He was amazed by Christian students who had lives that were robust, meaningful and fun. He loved the balance of fun and substance he found in The Navigators- a group committed to going deep into the Scriptures and deep into relationships. He traveled to Mongolia to serve and teach English with The Navigators the summer between his junior and senior years. After NYU, he worked in downtown Manhattan on the business side of a non-profit for two years before going to Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity. He then joined the staff of The Navigators so that he could provide others the same kind of authentic community that was so transformative for him. He loves John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Measuring in at 6-foot-7-inches, he’s often asked, “Do you play basketball?” To which he sometimes responds, “Do you play miniature golf?”
David Williams, Reformed University Fellowship
David Williams is a campus staffmember for InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries at NYU where he serves as a university chaplain, pastor, and advisor for the medical, dental, and law student fellowships. A native of Raleigh, NC, David joined InterVarsity in 2011 and spent his first two years on staff serving the Graduate & Faculty Ministries at NC State University, Meredith College and Campbell Law School. David holds maters’ degrees in biblical studies and theology from Westminster Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School, and is a devoted lifelong learner. David is passionate about helping people to love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength and to love their neighbors as themselves. David and his lovely fiancée, Alissa, are planning to get married this coming December and to settle in Brooklyn. You can follow David’s ministry at his blog, 10000places.com . A fun fact about David is that he briefly held the record for hotdogs consumed in a lunch-hour at Ashworth’s Drugstore in Cary, North Carolina.
Sokin Yoon, Korea Campus Crusade for Christ
Sokin was born in Seoul, South Korea but considers himself a true New Yorker, having grown up there ever since he was 3 years old. He grew up attending a Christian Church but his faith's formative years happened in college while he attended SUNY Geneseo. It was here, where in the midst of pursuing a degree in communications and desiring to live a life of wealth and ease, God saved him and he has never been the same since. He is passionate about reaching college students, helping them to know more about Jesus and learn how the pursuit of God is a pursuit of our greatest joy. He has served with Korea Campus Crusade for Christ since 2009 previously at Stony Brook University and St John's University and is an avid mixed martial arts fan.
Mary Catherine Young, The Episcopal Diocese of New York
“Mary Cat” Young is an Episcopal priest who has spent more than ten years working with youth, college students and young adults in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. Mary Cat and her husband Chad have loved their first year of living in New York with their schnauzer “The Enforcer,” and can often be found in the small dog park across the street from Kimmel Student Center. Mary Cat has been active in church work on the local and national level, most recently having been a member of the task force that developed rites for blessing same-sex relationships in Episcopal Churches nationwide. Favorite hobbies include: knitting, baking chocolate chip cookies, and reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books.
Joseph Yu, KC City Campus
After completing his B.S. in Biology at University of Connecticut, Joe resumed his studies in Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 2007. He worked as a youth pastor at a Korean church in Connecticut, as well as being heavily involved in the campus ministry at UConn. Although he is a native of Korea and rival Boston, Joe is excited about being in New York. He is happily married to his wife, Helen, and together they have a son, Allan.
Patrick Dunford, Catholic Campus Ministry
Patrick is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. As part of a Marine Corps family, he has moved 20 times and lived in 6 states! He graduated from James Madison University with degrees in Public Relations and Spanish in 2012, and is excited to now serve NYU for another year. Pat’s a huge fan of playing and watching sports, Doctor Who, spontaneous NYC adventures, being tall, and serving on mission trips from places like Kentucky to Jamaica! He also loves international travel, with his ancestors of Ireland as a highlight, and thinks Pope Francis is the man. Fun Fact: Pat’s an avid long-distance runner, and completed his first marathon and half-marathon last year.
Erica Johnson, Fellowship of Catholic University Students
Erica Johnson is a recent graduate of The University of Florida with a degree in Journalism. She is a lifelong Catholic and first-year missionary with FOCUS. Other than her faith, her passions and hobbies include dance, photography, theater, music and writing. Fun Fact: Erica’s favorite pastime is traveling, and she has visited many European counties such as Ireland, Spain and Italy, with her all-time favorite stop being London, England.
Austin Dominic Litke, Roman Catholic Church
Fr. Austin is a native of Kentucky. After completing high school, he entered college seminary to begin formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood. During a semester in Rome, he met the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. He entered that order and was ordained a priest in 2011. He comes to NYU having completed a degree in theology and is now ready to learn the subtle ways that Greenwich Village differs from rural, western Kentucky.
Tom Murphy, Fellowship of Catholic University Students
Tom Murphy is from Natick, MA, which is about a half hour west of Boston. He is an only child and grew up with his Catholic faith being a small part of his life. Tom eventually went to Boston University and studied Electrical Engineering. At BU, he also got heavily involved with his Catholic faith and found an incredible community that was very welcoming. He was also involved in theater in high school and at BU. Tom is now a FOCUS Missionary at NYU and couldn’t be happier. Fun Fact: he can balance objects on his nose.
Madelynn Perez, Fellowship of Catholic University Students
Madelynn Perez is excited and happy to be serving the students of NYU this school year. She’s a southern girl at heart, but it wasn’t difficult for her to leave her ice-cold sweet tea and BIG Texas skies for this beautiful opportunity. She is a missionary with FOCUS- the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and works with the Catholic Center here at NYU. She enjoys exploring the city, meeting and having conversation with people, and exploring her faith with others.
Allan White, Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of New York
Father White OP was born in London and after studies at Oxford University he joined the Dominican Order in 1973 and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1979. After studies in philosophy and theology he completed a Ph.D. in sixteenth century history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His time in the Order has been mostly spent in the university ministry, teaching in Oxford, Cambridge, London and Edinburgh, and in administration. He has served as senior Chaplain in the University of Edinburgh and was associate Chaplain in the University of Oxford before being invited to become senior Chaplain in the University of Cambridge. He was elected Prior Provincial of the English Dominican friars in 2000 and served in that capacity for eight years before going to Rome as an assistant to the Master of the Dominican Order. Father Allan came to the United States in 2011 and was asked to accept the post of Director of the NYU Catholic Centre.
Joseph Caruso, Hindu Campus Ministry
Joe Caruso was born in April of 1978 in Red Bank, NJ. From a young age he was deeply attracted to classical music and began playing the piano at about the age of 10. He pursued classical music throughout high school and into college where he studied with Dr. Min Kim and earned a degree in Music Education. However, during his last two years, a shift in his interest took place which he considered to be a natural progression from the Arts to Religion. Classical Music always put him in touch with the sublime and the sublimity of life itself. This led to a lot of deeper questions about himself, life, and God. He enthusiastically started reading many spiritual and holy books. It became such a passion for him that he began exploring and visiting various monasteries. After graduating college he had planned to live in one such monastery (Krishna Bhakti asrama, located in the lower east side of Manhattan) for one month before beginning his career. But he never left. He has been happily living there in the association of ten other monks for nine years now. Some student friends of his at NYU started a spiritual club on campus and invited him to give some classes. Since then he has had many wonderful relationships with students and faculty at NYU, and the cooking classes and Bhagavad Gita study groups have continued through the years.
Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, International Society for Krishna Consciousness
firstname.lastname@example.org Pandit has been working as the Hindu chaplain at NYU for eight years. Growing up in Los Angeles, Pandit found little connection to his Hindu faith until a financial crises made him question the cause of suffering and the deeper meaning of life. His exploration in the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, led him to a temple in India where he began to explore the monastic path. Pandit currently lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan where he serves as a priest and lecturer. He is also the Hindu chaplain at Columbia University and the Interfaith chaplain at Union Theological Seminary.
Gideon Black, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
Rabbi Gideon Black was born in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in London, England. After high school, Gideon studied the Bible, theology, and the Talmud for two years in Israel. Gideon received his law degree from University College London and an MA in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School. As part of his rabbinical training, Gideon worked with the Jewish community in Charleston, SC and served as a rabbinic intern at the Manhattan Jewish Experience and the Riverdale Jewish Center. Gideon was ordained in 2011 by Yeshiva University’s theological seminary. At NYU, Gideon serves as the rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish community, running the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life. Gideon and his wife Aliza are the proud parents of one-year-old Judah, and live here in Greenwich Village.
Aaron Eisemann, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life and MEOR Maimonides Leadership Fellowship program
Rabbi Aaron Eisemann, affectionately known as Rabbi E, can't seem to graduate the college scene. After graduating from Yeshiva Derech Chaim Rabbincal Institute in Brooklyn, he has been on campus for 14 years and counting. He began his career teaching Jewish wisdom to the University of Michigan students in Ann Arbor. He then headed east, and continued to teach and inspire university students in lower Manhattan. Rabbi E loves eating doughnuts and spending time with his wife, Tziporah, and their beautiful family. Rabbi E has lots of great qualities, with a possible exception of his sense of humor, which many agree is steadily improving.
Yehuda Sarna, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
Rabbi Sarna serves as University Chaplain and Rabbi at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU. Rabbi Sarna founded the Jewish Learning Fellowship at NYU, a “school-within-a-school,” offering intensive ten-week courses of exploration in Jewish thought. With nearly 1000 alumni since 2007, the Fellowship now serves as a national educational model for Jewish campus groups. Rabbi Sarna was awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence from Hillel International in 2008. He was listed as one of “36 under 36 Changemakers” by the New York Jewish Week (2009), received the Hallmark Award from the NYU Division of Student Affairs (2010), and will be honored with a United Nations’ Juliet Hollister Award in October (2012) by the Temple of Understanding. He is the editor of The Koren Shabbat Evening Siddur (2011) and Orthodox Forum Series: Toward a Jewish Perspective on Culture (forthcoming).
Sion Setton, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
Rabbi Sion Setton, born in Brooklyn as part of the Sephardic Syrian community, currently presides as the Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of Congregation Magen David of Manhattan on Sullivan Street. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Yeshiva University and is pursuing a Masters in Medieval Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School for Jewish Studies. Throughout his rabbinical studies, Rabbi Setton taught at various institutions such as Ramaz and the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue. He also has coordinated and participated in different educational and humanitarian missions around the world, traveling to: Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Senegal, Thailand, England, Spain and Panama. Rabbi Setton is a committed techy who truly believes in the integration of modern technology with religious and educational initiatives. He serves as a teacher & the Director of Educational Technology at Barkai Yeshiva and also founded www.TorahCentral.com, an online platform that highlights various educators around the world.
Gamliel Shmalo, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life and MEOR Maimonides Leadership Fellowship program
Gamliel Shmalo is the Educational Director of Meor NYU and teaches Jewish philosphy and law at Yeshiva University. His interet is in creating a living interaction between the modern experience and ancient wisdom. University of Pennsylvania (BA), Hebrew University in Jerusalem (MA), Beit Ariel Jerusalem (Rabbinic Ordination). He has published on Jewish holidays and customs as well as issues in Biblical ethics and lectures internationally. He and his wife, Mahnaz, have seven children (three sets of twins!), five of whom are certified Scuba divers. Rabbi Shmalo was a founding member of the underwater unit of Israel's ZAKA.
Rebekah Tornhill, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
Rebekah is starting her third year at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU where she oversees student leadership development, advises student clubs and manages programming for shabbat and holidays as well as Israel and Holocaust education. Rebekah also has the great privilege of running Taglit-Birthright Israel at NYU and other immersive experiences including the annual Bridges: Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue;alternative break trip. She graduated from NYU in 2011 where she was an Eryk Spektor Scholar in Jewish Studies and studied abroad with the pioneer group to NYU Tel Aviv. Most recently, Rebekah studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and hopes to continue her passion for Jewish learning by pursuing an MA in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Originally from Austin, Texas, Rebekah is the oldest of five and adores her family, Texas Longhorn baseball, the beach and coffee.
Khalid Latif, Islamic Center at NYU
Khalid is a University Chaplain for NYU, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He was appointed the first Muslim chaplain at NYU in 2005. Under his leadership, the Islamic Center at NYU became the first established Muslim student center at an institution of higher education in the United States. In 2007, Imam Latif became the youngest chaplain in the history of the NYC Police Department at the age of 24. Latif has been featured in numerous media outlets including the Huffington Post, BBC, NPR, CNN, the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Colbert Report, and Time. Imam Latif has been named a Global Interfaith Visionary by the UN Temple of Understanding (2010), one of 100 NYC Luminaries by the NY Public Library (2011), one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (2009 & 2010), a Millennial Leader for Social Justice by Auburn Seminary (2011), and he was recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor’s “30 under 30” list (2012).
Rev. Doyeon Park, Buddhist Campus Ministry and Won Buddhism
Rev. Sunghee Doyeon Park is a Kyomunim, literally meaning one who devotes oneself to teach Buddha dharma in the Won Buddhist tradition. She has served as a minister of the Manhattan Won Buddhist temple and Alternative Representative of Won Buddhism to the United Nations since 2008. Also, she is the Buddhist chaplain at Columbia University and New York University.
Rev. Doyeon focuses on creating a sangha (spiritual community) where various individuals and groups can cultivate their inner wisdom and compassion to live with peace and dignity based on the teachings of Won Buddhism. Realizing the interconnectedness of all through her spiritual practice, she is also actively engaged in interfaith dialogue and cooperation to promote mutual understanding and respect among different religions.
Inspired by the Buddhist idea of inner freedom and happiness, Rev. Park started her monastic training in 1998. She graduated from Dept. of Won Buddhism, Won Kwang University, Iksan, Korea and earned M.A. of Won Buddhist Studies from Won Institute of Graduate Studies, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA. She received full ordination in 2007.
Frank Fredericks, World Faith (Interfaith)
Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith and Mean Communications. After graduating from NYU, Frank worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga. In 2006, he founded World Faith, a youth-led interfaith organization active in 16 countries. Frank has contributed to Huffington Post, Washington Post, and has been interviewed on Good Morning America, NPR, and New York magazine. He is a Fellow of IFYC, Soliya, AMENDS, and YouthActionNet.
Katherine "Kat" Katsanis~Semel, The Mindfulness Project, Celebrating Life Ministries (Interfaith)
Rev. Katherine "Kat" Katsanis-Semel (Mindfulness Chaplain) is ordained as a Spiritual Healer and a Minister through Celebrating Life Ministries, a thriving, Interfaith Community. For over ten years, she has worked in private practice as a professional Healer & Meditation Teacher (KaTransformations.com); Katherine is also a writer who has contributed blogs to BelieveOutLoud.com and HuffingtonPost.com. She lives in Manhattan with her Jewish life partner. Katherine considers herself to be broad-minded, open-hearted, and Spirit-guided; she looks forward to getting to know you!
Anne Klaeysen, New York Society for Ethical Culture (Secular/Humanism)
Anne Klaeysen is clergy leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), founded in 1876 and located at 2 West 64th Street in Manhattan, and serves the Columbia University-Barnard College community as Humanist Religious Life Advisor. Dr. Klaeysen was Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island from 2002 to 2008 and the first Humanist Chaplain at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling from Hebrew Union College, Master’s degrees in Business Administration from New York University and in German from the State University of New York at Albany, and studied at the University of Wuerzburg in Germany (1971-73). Dr. Klaeysen is also a graduate of The Humanist Institute (Class X), co-mentored Class XV, and now serves as co-dean of the institute. She is a member of the American Humanist Association, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and numerous interfaith social justice alliances, including Empire State Pride Agenda—Pride in the Pulpit, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, NYS Labor-Religion Coalition, and Occupy Faith NYC.
Sara Weber, Ph.D., Contemplative Studies Project, NYU Psychoanalysis&Psychotherapy post-doc (Contemplative/Interfaith)
Sara’s lifelong fascination with the deep mystery of life and its counterpart, death, drew her first to Judaism, then to science, and then to a more direct exploration of the mind. She has been a practicing psychotherapist since graduating from the NYU Clinical Psychology Program in 1984. Following that she began simultaneous study in the practices of psychoanalysis (at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis) and of Buddhism (both Vipassana and Tibetan Vajrayana). Buddhism’s unique emphasis on healing through non-reactive attention to mind and body deepened both of her practices. These years of study and practice have eased some of her own and, she hopes, her patients’ suffering. Now, as faculty, founder and chair of the Contemplative Studies Project at the NYU Postdoctoral Program, she, her project committee, and their teachers are committed to fostering an experiential understanding of the deep power of all contemplative practices, from both religious and non-religious roots. They enjoy creating experiential opportunities for transformation and healing. Her friends point to some other rather amusing aspects of her curriculum vitae. Most recently, she was a judge at an Iron Chef contest at a local farmers market. Her celebrity arose from being President of the Friends Committee of Carroll Park when they ran “Our First, and Hopefully Last, Rat Day Festival” to get the city to attend to a rat infestation in the park. Lured by children’s rat races, rat gummy bears, and a giant union-busting blow-up rat, the real rats made a spectacular day-time appearance caught by TV cameras and a NY Times exposé. The city poured resources upon them, taking care of everything. It was a blast.