Student Multifaith Advisory Council
Student Multifaith Advisory Council
SMAC is a collaborative community of student leaders who meet weekly to explore faith narratives through meaningful dialogue and experiences in order to nurture mutual respect and understanding. SMAC members create a spiritual community by attending weekly meetings and organizing events for multifaith engagement on campus and in the community (including education, service, social events and more). and getting access to amazing opportunities through Global Spiritual Life. Undergraduate students will learn from other faith traditions, explore their own spirituality, and gain valuable leadership skills.
2022-2023 SMAC Members
Wanda Bryce is a Senior at New York University studying for a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies at the School of Professional Studies and a joint minor in Film and Television Production at the Tisch School of the Arts. As a fledgling Screenwriter, she aspires to write and produce original feature-length films and television shows that tell stories with a global appeal and cultural significance. Wanda dedicates her work to making a transformative impact and inspiring the world around her through her many passions, including storytelling's strength and power, combining creativity, innovation, technology, and sharing the Gospel. Her leadership positions in the Christian church include Dance Ministry Director, Community Groups Leader, and Sunday school teacher. Her unique role as a leader and member has inspired her to challenge the bureaucracy and legalism associated with Christianity, mainly through discourse on inclusivity, belonging, diversity, equity, and access among and within denominations and other faith communities. She enjoys reading autobiographies, dancing, visiting museums, watching basketball, and attending movie screenings in her spare time. Wanda credits all her past and current achievements to her relationship with God and faith walk.
Hey, everyone. My name is Leo Chen and I am majoring in International Relations with a minor in Economics. I always wanted to contribute to the beloved NYU community and make the community an even better place for all individuals with my effort. Our ultimate goal is to find a common playground for people with diverse cultural backgrounds and religious interests. Through investigating, understanding and relating different religions with each other, I firmly believe we can manage to get the stage of happiness and satisfaction for everyone. Shooting for the moon is hard but nothing is unachievable when we are all trying our best and enjoying the process. The bridging goal is not only a slogan, but an ideology for us. I am eager to learn, to listen and to lead my peers so that we can compose a even warmer and more welcoming campus for all.
My name is Joyce and I am currently a junior double majoring in applied psychology and religious studies with a minor in music. My main religious affiliation at NYU is with Canterbury Downtown, which is the campus ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, and upstate New York, I grew up non-denominational Protestant and discovered the Episcopal Church when I moved to New York City for college. I’ve been beyond blessed to have found a religious community that is open-minded enough to embrace my unique identity, intellectual curiosity, and progressive politics; therefore, I wish to extend the kindness, care, and compassion with which priests and parishioners of the Episcopal Church welcomed me to individuals from various religious and spiritual traditions. I strongly believe that interfaith dialogue is essential to what my faith calls me to do: to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (305, Book of Common Prayer). Through MAC, I aim to bring an Episcopalian/Anglican perspective to interfaith conversations while learning more about diverse religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. I hope that my peers and I can collectively foster a space where people of all backgrounds feel valued and seek common ground with one another.
Hi! I’m Monique Ezeh (they/she), a senior in CAS studying Politics with minors in Journalism and Creative Writing. I am a multidisciplinary writer and much of my work explores themes of identity and humanness, drawn from my experiences and observations of the world. I identify as a non-denominational Christian, though I like to incorporate elements of different faith traditions into my personal practice. My faith informs much of my life and work; I think activism is at its most effective and sustainable when we lead from a space of mindfulness, truth, and love. To that end, I love to discuss leftism and abolition from a spiritual lens, and I love to hear about how others’ beliefs motivate their practices. When I’m not writing or prattling on about my many interests, you can find me baking banana bread, listening to jazz music, or browsing Etsy for funky earrings!
Hi! My name is Rafi Harake and I am a junior in the College of Arts & Science majoring in philosophy and minoring in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. I am Muslim and was raised in the Islamic faith; however, I come from a mixed Christian and Muslim family. The multi- and interfaith experience has been a part of me throughout my whole life: I grew up between the Muslim-majority country of Turkey, the Christian-majority country of Germany and my mom’s native state of New Hampshire. I saw the Multifaith Advisory Council as an opportunity to broaden my horizons and to engage in multi- and interfaith work with my peers. I am looking forward to a good year!
My name is Axel, I am a senior studying Music Composition, and hoping to pursue a career in Social Work. Through my work in special education, and volunteer work at food pantries, schools, and as a crisis counselor, empathy and service have become core parts of my identity. I am an intern at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life. I don’t identify with a particular denomination, I enjoy being in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox spaces. To me, all these aspects of my life are interconnected: faith is about music, community, friendship, and service to others. I think “spirituality” is not so different from the empathy of social work, or the joy of singing together, or good conversation. I think faith is heightened by conflicting opinions and diversity of tradition, and am excited to learn with the members of MAC.
Nina Robins (she/her) is a senior at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, concentrating on structural health competency and minoring in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She was raised in a tight-knit traditional egalitarian Jewish community in northern New Jersey and has held social and liturgical Jewish leadership roles before and throughout college. Nina was drawn to NYU and MAC specifically to diversify her spiritual exposure and meet other students looking toward the intersections of multifaith practice and progressive dialogue for cooperation and coexistence. Outside faith-based leadership, Nina is a proud cat mom, amateur baker, and avid beach-goer.
Hi! My name is Andrew and I’m currently a sophomore studying Biology in CAS. Besides my interests in forensics science, I also study Confucian philosophy, world history and music theory. As a Taoist, I enjoy studying scripture and divination, though I joined MAC in hopes of developing my leadership skills and taking part in a community that is similarly interested in the mysteries of life. I’m excited to learn from everyone this year—and to maybe cook some small fish too (a Taoist metaphor for non-intrusive leadership)!