Keynote Speaker, interviewed live by Sherman AlexieBio: Michael Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Novelist and author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
His first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988) was originally written for his master’s thesis at U.C. Irvine and became a New York Times best seller. Chabon’s second novel, Wonder Boys (1995), was also a bestseller, and was made into a critically-acclaimed film featuring actors Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. He has since then published multiple successful novels, collections and essays, including The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Summerland, A Model World and Other Stories, Werewolves In Their Youth, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures & Regrets of a Husband, Father & Son, and more.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Notable Books of 2000 and a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award, The PEN/Faulkner Award and the Lost Angeles Times Book Prize. It won the New York Society Library Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize. Chabon’s novella The Final Solution (2004) was awarded the 2005 National Jewish Book Award and also the 2003 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction. Michael Chabon recently accepted the position of chairman of the board of directors at the MacDowell Colony. In March 2012 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Chabon currently resides in Berkley with his wife Ayelet Waldman, also a Novelist, and their children. Links:http://barclayagency.com/chabon.html
Interviewing Keynote Speaker, Michael Chabon Bio: Sherman Alexie is an author, poet and screenwriter. He was named one of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century.He has written twenty-two books, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature; War Dances, winner of the 2010 PEN Faulkner Award; and Face, Poetry from Hanging Loose Press. His new collection of stories Blasphemy was published in October 2012 from Grove Press. He lives with his family in Seattle.
Keynote SpeakerBio: Reza Aslan is the author of the international bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been named by Blackwell Publishers as one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. It's now available in thirteen languages, and was re-released with new content to coincide with the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War, a contributing editor to The Daily Beast, and a member of many prominent foreign relations and policy councils. He is also the editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities. These literary anthologies use the arts to bridge the gap of understanding between East and West, and to strengthen Jewish and Muslim relations.Reza Aslan appears regularly in the media, on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report among other high profile outlets. In the corporate realm, Aslan is President and CEO of Aslan Media Inc., which runs BoomGen Studios, a unique media company focused entirely on entertainment about the Greater Middle East and its Diaspora communities. He has degrees in Religion from Santa Clara University, Harvard, and UC Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.
In Alphabetical Order
From Tragedy to Transformation: Surviving the Unthinkable Bio: Armen Bacon is a columnist for The Fresno Bee and also writes/voices a daily radio feature titled Live, Laugh, Love. For two decades, Armen has served as Administrator of Communications & Public Relations for the Fresno County Office of Education. She is a four-year artisan alum from the CSU Summer Arts Program where she studied memoir, poetic prose, narrative nonfiction, and flash fiction. She resides in Fresno, California, with her husband, Dan, and makes her authorial debut in the powerful memoir, Griefland: An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship.
Links: www.griefland.com; Facebook: Armen Bacon & Nancy Miller
It's Not About the Coffee Bio: Howard Behar's career in business spans over 50 years, all in consumer oriented businesses covering several industries. He retired from Starbucks Coffee after 21 years where he led both the domestic business, as President of North America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from only 28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents. He served on the Starbucks Board of Directors for twelve years before retiring.Howard now serves on several Boards including for-profit and non-profit organizations. They include Anna's Linens, Sterling Savings Bank, Wild Ginger Restaurants, EZ Grill, Inc. and the advisory board of Anthos Capital.
Sanctuary: Tender Mercies for the Servant Soul Bio: Award-winning author, performer, and director, Dr. Gloria Burgess was born in rural Mississippi, coming of age during the turbulent Civil Rights Movement. She now lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and calls the world her home. The author of a children’s picture book, two books of prose, and three books of poetry, she enjoys experiencing new places and has travelled extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. She brings her passion for people and wealth of experience to her writing, workshops, and speaking. A former executive in the computer industry, she now teaches Leadership at Seattle University, University of Washington, and numerous client organizations. In her work with communities and companies throughout the world, she cultivates values-based leaders and is one of the few practitioners who blends the usually separate realms of creative and social artistry. Combining insightful commentary and personal engagement, she integrates the arts into her inspiring keynotes and transformational learning experiences, fostering courage, creativity, and resilience—qualities we all need to nourish our souls.
Links: www.gloriaburgess.com; http://gloriaburgess.wordpress.com/; http://www.humanities.org/programs/speakers/current-speakers/gloria_burgess
Questioning for Purpose: A Workshop on Career & Life Change Discernment Bio: Colette M. Casavant is entering her sixth year with the Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry, where she is the student community and admissions coordinator. She holds a Master of Arts in pastoral studies from the School of Theology and Ministry and is a doctoral student with an emphasis in higher education and student development.
The God Strategy in American Politics: Continuity and Change from FDR to Obama Bio: Kevin Coe (Ph.D., University of Illinois) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Arizona. Professor Coe’s research and teaching focus on the interaction of American political discourse, news media and public opinion. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of top Communication journals and he has written opinion pieces for a wide range of popular news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Time.com. He is the coauthor, with David Domke, of the award-winning book The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America (Oxford).
Links: http://kcoe.faculty.arizona.edu; http://www.thegodstrategy.com
Processing Grief with Mitzvahs: Unexpected Synergy Bio: When her father passed away in 2006, Linda Cohen's busy life as a mother, wife and entrepreneur came to a screeching halt. She took a spiritual sabbatical to work through her grief and she came out of it resolved to embark upon a project: perform one thousand acts of kindness or mitzvahs to honor her father's memory. More than a touching story of a daughter's love for her father, Cohen's first book, 1000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire and Change Your Life is a testament to the transformational power of kindness. Linda has been interviewed in multiple national newspapers and magazines, on National Public Radio, NBC, ABC and Fox Television regarding this project.
Links: http://1000mitzvahs.org/ http://www.facebook.com/1000mitzvahs
Prayer and Prejudice: The Validity of Faith in Jane Austen Bio: The Seattle Times called Christina Dudley's latest novel The Beresfords "ingenious and entertaining" in its modern retelling of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.Her previous novel Everliving was chosen as a Staff Favorite by the University of Washington Bookstore, whose reviewer described it as "spooky and romantic," while Dudley's debut was selected as a LoveWebRadio Book-of-the-Month and chosen Top Four of 2010 by DailyCheapReads.com. At the urging of her readers, she penned Mourning's sequel The Littlest Doubts. For the younger readers, her Mia and The Magic Cupcakes garnered a 2010 Zola Award for Best Children's Picture Book.
Technical Transcendence: Bach on Record Bio: Paul Elie, for many years a senior editor with FSG, is now a senior fellow with Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. His first book, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, received the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle award finalist in 2003. His new book is Reinventing Bach, published in 2012. He lives in New York City.
Links: http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/paul-elie; http://www.amazon.com/dp/0374281076
Religion Gone Astray: How Religious Institutions Lose Their Spiritual Truths Bio: Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, spiritual guide, author, teacher and therapist, has taught Jewish traditions of Kabbalah, meditation and spirituality since the 1970s. Ordained in 1968 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, he served in Los Angeles as a congregational and then a campus rabbi. In 1975, he earned a doctorate in Professional Psychology and, in 1978, founded and led the first meditative Reform congregation. He moved to Seattle in 1993, where he founded Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, which he served through 2009. He is the author of "A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Mediations of the Tree of Life" (2003) and co-author, with David Blatner, of "Judaism For Dummies" (Second Edition 2013). With Pastor Don Mackenzie and Imam Jamal Rahman, he has authored "Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam" (2009), and "Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith" (2011). He served as Scholar-in-Residence at Unity of Bellevue in 2010 and 2011, currently leads a program called "Paths to Awakening" at the Center of Spiritual Living in Seattle, and has a private spiritual counseling practice. He teaches nationally and internationally as one of the Interfaith Amigos.
Advance Film ScreeningBand of Sisters: The Remarkable Story of Catholic Nuns in the United States from Daughters of the Church to Citizens of the World7:00pm, Pigott AuditoriumBio: Band of Sisters is Mary Fishman’s filmmaking debut. She attended Catholic elementary and high schools, where sisters were her teachers, but it was during the making of this film that they became her friends - and they’re still her teachers. In her previous career Mary was an architect and urban planner. She grew up in Chicago, graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture and French, and practiced architecture in Chicago, in southern California, and in France. While in California she attended UCLA and received a master's degree in urban planning. Returning home, she specialized in historic preservation and zoning for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. She left her job to help care for her mother, and began work on Band of Sisters in 2004 after taking film courses at Columbia College and Chicago Filmmakers. Making films is a dream come true for Mary, joining her love of movies with her desire to work for social justice.
Exploring the Spiritual Journey of Loss and Love, Hope and Healing Bio: Caroline Flohr was a busy wife and mother to five children when her 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah, was killed in an accident. She was forced to dig into the deeper meaning of existence and come away with profound edification. Flohr lives with her husband and children on Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle.
La Trascendencia de la Espiritualidad en la Cultura Popular en la Literatura Latina /The Transcendence of Popular Culture Spirituality in Latin LiteratureSESSION PRESENTED IN SPANISH Bio: A native of Texas and California, Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Modern Languages and Women Studies at Seattle University, and currently serves as the Diversity, Citizenship, and Social Justice Core Track (DCSJ) Director and the Director of the Latin American Studies Program. Gutiérrez y Muhs’ research interests lie principally in the areas of Chican@/Latin@ and Latin American literatures, theorizing Chican@/Latin@/Mexican@ subjectivity, Chican@/Latin@ spirituality, cultural studies, and feminist theory. Currently, she is working on a book exploring the diverse experiences and expressions of spirituality in the works of Latina authors. She is the author of the poetry collection A Most Improbable Life, a forthcoming novel Fresh as a Lettuce: Malgré Tout, and a collection of interviews and theorization of cultural exile Communal Feminisms: Chicanas, Chilenas and Cultural Exile. Her recent books include Rebozos de Palabras: An Helena María Viramontes Critical Reader, and Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia.
Links: http://chigata.net; http://www.invisiblemoose.org
Seeing Muhammad Whole Bio: Lesley Hazleton’s work focuses on "the vast and volatile arena in which religion and politics intersect." Her new book is The First Muslim: the Story of Muhammad. Her previous book, After the Prophet: the Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split, was a finalist for the PEN-USA Book Award. She received The Stranger's Genius Award in literature in 2011, and served as Town Hall Seattle's inaugural scholar-in-residence in 2012. Her blog The Accidental Theologist is "an agnostic eye on religion, politics, and existence.
Links: www.TheFirstMuslim.com; www.AccidentalTheologist.com; Twitter @AccidentalTheo; www.ted.com/talks/lesley_hazelton_on_reading_the_koran.html; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aC7bUTBKv0
The Pen & the Bell: Making Space in a Crowded World for Contemplation and Creativity Bio: Holly J. Hughes is coauthor with Brenda Miller of The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, editor of the award-winning anthology Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, and author of the prize-winning chapbook Boxing the Compass . She is a recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship (2012); her poems and essays have appeared in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines and have been nominated for the Pushcart prize. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University’s MFA program, she teaches writing at Edmonds Community College and at many regional conferences and workshops, including Edmonds Write on the Sound, Field’s End, and Fishtrap.
Links: www.penandbell.com; www.beyondforgettingbook.com
The Art of Pondering...playing your way to presence and vitality Bio: Kayce is a soulful and spirited woman. In her roles as spiritual director, life coach, author, creative muse, and speaker, she invites us to playfully and fearlessly cross the thresholds toward authentic living. A strong proponent of compassionate care in the world, Kayce's live and online work focuses on the principle that we must live it to give it. Her early career began with a multi-national accounting firm to be later refined as the path of an artist. She delights in walking alongside others as they explore and unearth their own pathways toward passionate living. Kayce is a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, a licensed mental health counselor as well as a published author and contributor to several collections and online publications. Her 2012 book, As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life, is a lyrical and lucid treasure that invites us to new awakenings throughout the year. Links: www.kaycehughlett.com
Enough to Start: What a Goat Herder, a Farmer, a Brick Maker, and Others Taught Me About Living a More Entrepreneurial LifeBio: Jessica has taught Entrepreneurial Design for Social Change at Drew University and Global Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a 2011 World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, and has served as an active board member or advisor for numerous organizations championing women, microfinance, tech, and the arts including the International Museum of Women, Allowance for Good, Global Health Corps, Opportunity International, Vittana, Fuse Corps, and others.Jessica was named one of Fast Company's 60 in the 2012 League of Extraordinary Women, and has received the 2011 Economist's "No Boundaries" Innovation Award and the 2010 USA Networks Character Approved Award, among other honors. Convinced that social change happens across all sectors, Jackley has worked in public, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Amazon, World Vision, Village Enterprise Fund, Project Baobab, Potentia Media, and others.Jessica holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business with Certificates in Global Management and Public Management, a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University, and an honorary PhD from Centenary College. She is a trained yoga instructor and avid surfer. Jessica lives in Los Angeles with her husband, author Reza Aslan, and their twin sons.
Links: http://www.jessicajackley.com/, http://www.thelavinagency.com/speaker-jessica-jackley.html
Perfect Chaos: A Journey to Recovery through Writing, Advocacy and Empowerment Bio: Cinda Johnson, Ph.d., is a professor and director of the special education graduate program at Seattle University. She is also the principal investigator and director of the Center for Change in Transition Services. She is a national leader in the area of transition from high school to post-high school settings for young people with disabilities. She has written articles and book chapters in the area of secondary special education and transition services with an emphasis on youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and mental illness. She has worked and presented with national leaders at BringChange2Mind, NAMI and One Mind for Research.
Links: www.lineacinda.com; http://www.youtube.com/user/LineaCinda; www.facebook.com/lineacinda; http://lineajohnson.blogspot.com
Perfect Chaos: A Journey to Recovery through Writing, Advocacy and Empowerment Bio: Linea Johnson is a recent graduate from Seattle University, with a major in English and Creative Writing. Prior to transferring to SU, she completed three years at Columbia University, Chicago, in a musical performance program. Linea is currently working as a research assistant at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA – the very same center where she was treated for bipolar disorder. Previously, she worked as an intern at the World Health Organization in the Mental Health department. She is a national speaker and writer, advocating for understanding and support for people with mental illness and the elimination of stigma. She has worked and presented with national leaders at BringChange2Mind, NAMI and One Mind for Research.
Homo Ludens Revisited: Playing Sport and Human Flourishing Bio: Patrick Kelly, SJ, played sports all his life and was the captain of the football team at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He has coached football and basketball at the high school and college levels. He is currently Associate Professor of Theology at Seattle University, where he teaches classes having to do with the history of sport from a Catholic perspective and sport as it relates to human development and spirituality. His new book, Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times (Paulist Press, 2012), is about the participation of Catholics in play and sport from the medieval period to the present in the United States, and the relationship of these practices to theological and spiritual sensibilities. He is one of the editors of the International Journal of Religion and Sport.
Links: http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/theology/default.aspx?id=1426; http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Kelly-SJ/e/B0092YFMYO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Finding Hope and Happiness through Bitter Circumstances Bio: Michelle Kennedy Hogan is the author of 14 books including the 2005 award-winning, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America," and "A Fine Mess: Living Simply With Children. Her work has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Redbook, Family Circle and many other publications. She currently lives on the coast of Washington with her husband and 7 children.Links: http://mishahogan.com
How Does One Address Christian Unity in a Secular and Fragmented World?Bio: Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, an internationally-recognized scholar and leader in the ecumenical movement, is the Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. He is the immediate-past General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and has also served as General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union and as Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order.
Epiphany: Faith Transformation and the Necessity of the OtherBio: Tony Kriz has an earned doctorate in spiritual formation. He is a teacher of faith and culture through the mass media, via social media, and at universities, conferences, and communities of faith. is most recent book is titled Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places.Tony has served with a variety of international organizations, living much of that time in Eastern Europe ministering with Muslims in Albania and loving a war-torn former Yugoslavia. He lived for a season alongside the radically liberal campus of Reed College in Portland; some of his exploits were first described in Donald Miller’s best-selling book Blue Like Jazz. Today. He is giving his time to transforming urban missions: nurturing the Parish Collective network, integrating a holistic gospel-life, and serving as coach/consultant for church planters from diverse traditions. ony lives with his wife, Aimee, and their three sons (Malachi, Hudson, and Tristan) in an intentional community of faith. Together they have been foundational participants of several spiritual communities that serve the disillusioned, artistic, and dramatically post-Christian cultures of east Portland.
Searching for Meaning in Suffering Bio: Rabbi Anson Laytner is program manager of the Interreligious Initiative at Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. As a volunteer, he is past president of the Sino-Judaic Institute and edits its journal, Points East. He also serves on the advisory boards of Compassion and Choices, the UW Jewish Studies Program, and Personal Safety Nets.Previously he worked as grants and contracts coordinator for the Jewish Family Service of Seattle, a bereavement chaplain with Kline Galland Hospice, interim rabbi at Congregation Kol HaNeshamah in West Seattle, and as executive director of the Seattle Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and of Multifaith Works, a Seattle non-profit agency serving people with AIDS. He also directed the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council. Laytner is the author of the cult classic “Arguing with God” (Jason Aronson, 1998) and, with Dan Bridge, of “The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity” (Fons Vitae, 2005). He has authored over sixty articles on subjects ranging from Jewish theology to the Arab-Israel conflict to the Chinese Jews. His work-in-progress is a study of god-concepts and the meaning of suffering entitled “I Know There Is A God; I Just Don’t Know What S/He Does”.
The Holy Spirit is not a He Bio: Called a “brilliant and spirited theologian” by author Phyllis Tickle, Jack Levison has a passion for ideas and an obsession with writing. Raised in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College, Cambridge University, and Duke University, where he fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, with whom he currently teaches at Seattle Pacific University. A featured blogger for the Huffington Post, Jack is also an internationally recognized scholar, whose books have received wide acclaim. Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed, characterized Filled with the Spirit as “the benchmark and starting point for all future studies of the Spirit,” and Walter Brueggemann hailed it as “inspired.” Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, calls his popular book Fresh Air: the Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life “a rare and remarkable achievement.” N. T. Wright writes, “His excitement is infectious … he sets little-known biblical passages on fire and drills down to unimagined depths in well-known ones. His account of the holy spirit … is mature, seasoned, challenging, and wise.” To support his writing obsession, Jack has received grants from the National Humanities Center, the Louisville Institute, the Humboldt Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Jack also directs an international research project, The Historical Roots of the Holy Spirit, and he is founding editor of a new book series, Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. His most recent book, Sex, Gender, and Christianity (Wipf & Stock, 2012), edited with Priscilla Pope-Levison, includes an array of interdisciplinary articles from a Lilly Fellows Summer Seminar, which Priscilla and he directed. Next year, he will serve as president of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. Jack lives with his family and black lab mix in Shoreline, Washington.
Links: www.johnrlevison.com; www.jacklevison.com
A Pox on Both Your Houses: Moving Beyond "Conservative" and "Liberal" Labels in American Catholicism
SESSION CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESSBio: Fr. Mark Massa, SJ, is Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry and professor of Church History at Boston College. He is well-known as an historian of American Catholicism in the post-WWII era, and publishes widely in scholarly and popular journals. He is the author of Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team (which won the AJCU/Alpha Sigma Nu Award for Outstanding Work in Theology); Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?; and The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever. A scholar of the Catholic intellectual tradition, he delivered the keynote address at the third annual Catholic Higher Education Collaborative Conference.
He holds an B.A. from the University of Detroit, an M.A. in history from the University of Chicago, an M.Div. from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, a Th.D. in Church History from Harvard University, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the School of Theology and Ministry.
Poems about the effects of the Japanese American Concentration Camps-predominantly Minidoka, Idaho Bio: Lawrence Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho, World War II Relocation Center.Matsuda has a Ph.D. in education and was a visiting professor at Seattle University. In 2005 he and two colleagues co-edited the book Community and difference: teaching, pluralism and social justice. It won the 2006 National Association of Multicultural Education Phillip Chirm Book Award. In 2010 published his first book of poetry entitled A Cold Wind from Idaho. His poems appear in Ambush Review, Raven Chronicles, New Orleans Review, Floating Bridge Review, Black Lawrence Press website, Poets Against the War website, and Cerise Press.His volunteer experiences include: President University of Washington Alumni Association Board of Trustees, Co-founder Multi-cultural Alumni Partnership, Washington State Liquor Board Wine Tasting Committee member, Chair of the Seattle University Japanese American Remembrance Garden, and Trustee Cornish College of the Arts.
I Survived the Killing Fields Bio: Thomas McElroy has been a guitarist and composer for the last 35 years. He is a staff musician at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship and works in a number of bands around Seattle Washington. When he was in the technical field part of his job description was to write documentation in plain English so non-technical people could easily understand the programs they were using. McElroy wrote a sci-fi book in English class at Asa Mercer junior high school that garnered him praise from his teachers but outside of that, the book “I Survived the Killing Fields", was his first attempt at writing a book. He is working on other projects at the moment that include a novel/biography and working on more music compositions using classical orchestration as the basis of the recordings.
From Tragedy to Transformation: Surviving the Unthinkable Bio: Nancy Miller makes her authorial debut in the powerful memoir, Griefland: An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship. Nancy has taught English and literature at the university and junior college levels since 1996, and served as managing editor for The Business Journal and Pacific Publishing Group in Fresno for more than six years. She currently teaches freshman composition at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington, where she lives with her husband, Randy.
Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation: Resisting Structural Evil Bio: Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, and many states in North America in theology and ethics. She has served as Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College's Center for Global Education; and as a health worker in Honduras. Moe-Lobeda is author of Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God, Public Church: For the Life of the World, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, and numerous articles and chapters. She is co-author of Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God, and Say to this Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, and The Bible and Ethics: A New Conversation.
Dr. Moe-Lobeda is Seattle University’s Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies. She is on the faculty of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Environmental Studies Program, and graduate School of Theology and Ministry. She holds a doctoral degree in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University. Links: http://amzn.to/V99JRn
An Original Interpretation of the Eve and Adam Story for the Liberation of Humankind Bio: Ron Moe-Lobeda has served as the pastor of University Lutheran Church in Seattle for 16 years. Previously, he served as the pastor of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington D.C. At both congregations, Ron has been very involved in a ministry with homeless women who have been an inspiration for him in writing this book. Along with his pastoral ministry, Ron is deeply committed to issues of justice and peace. He also serves on the Board of Elizabeth Gregory Home.
The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood Bio: David R. Montgomery is the author of The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood (2012), Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations (2007), and King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon (2003). A MacArthur Fellow and a two-time winner of the Washington State Book Award, Montgomery is a professor of geomorphology in the Department of Earth & Space Sciences at the University of Washington. His research interests involve the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies, and interactions among climate, tectonics, and erosion in shaping topography on Earth and Mars.
Developmental Strategies for Liberation, Skills for Social ChangeBio: Leticia is a psychotherapist and educator specializing in cross-cultural communication, motivation and creativity. Her new book, Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Developmental Strategy to Liberate Everyone, is an accessible analysis of the psychological dynamics of oppression and privilege that offers readers ways to develop skills to promote social justice. Leticia brings an innovative approach to her training and facilitation, drawing on expressive techniques to involve participants deeply and create opportunities for insight and change. Since 1980 she has successfully brought her skills to higher education and other learning communities, to service providers in helping agencies, to workplace teams, and to many community groups. In addition to her degrees in clinical psychology and human development, she is skilled in Action Methods, including Playback Theater and Theater of the Oppressed. She is a Professor in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program at Saint Martin's University. Links: BeyondInclusionBeyondEmpowerment.com; www.Facebook.com/BeyondInclusionBeyondEmpowerment; cuetzpalin.com
Staying in the River: A Transformative Journey Bio: Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche communities, once said that you can tell a great leader of a community, not by how much the people in the community love the leader, but by how much the leader loves the people in the community.” Killian Noe is that kind of leader. For over 25 years she has lived in and learned from intentional communities all over the world and has put her weight down in intentional communties at home. Killian is passionate about the “healing power of community” and what she calls “authentic community.” She describes “authentic community” as “the soil in which we share not only our giftedness, but our brokenness; the place where we are both known and loved and become our truest selves.”In 1985, Killian co-founded Samaritan Inns, a comprehensive response to homelessness and addictions. Samaritan Inns operates an alternative, twenty-eight day residential treatment program, five transitional homes and three longer-term affordable housing communities in Washington DC. Designated a national model, Samaritan Inns has received scores of awards for excellence and innovation in treatment. Killian nurtured the Samaritan Inns communities for 15 years before moving to Seattle with her husband and two daughters in 1999. Since arriving in Seattle, Killian has co-founded the New Creation Community----an ecumenical faith community committed to contemplation and action---and Recovery Café and School for Recovery, a unique response to the need for intentional, healing community among men and women recovering from homelessness, addiction and other mental health challenges.When you ask Killian how she feels about having started a number of healing communities in her life-time she tells stories about the amazing people she continues to learn from in those communities. What can’t be missed is how much she loves the people with whom she has found “home.” In 1998, Yale Divinity School named Killian Noe one of its Distinguished Alumni. She is the author of Finding our Way Home, published by Herald Press.
Links: http://www.amazon.com/K.-Killian-Noe/e/B001K7Y7L0; http://www.recoverycafe.org/about/history
Soulfully Approaching Major IllnessBio: Mary Oak is author of "Heart's Oratorio: One Woman's Journey through Love, Death and Modern Medicine" (Goldenstone Press). She holds a degree in Mythopoetics and Sacred Ecology from Antioch University, Seattle and a MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her work, rooted in a love for the living earth and a spirituality that draws from many sources, has appeared in various journals in the U.S. and the U.K. She has been a core faculty member of Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy since 1998, where she teaches creative writing, festivals, nature awareness and storytelling. Mary also has a private practice as a writing guide in Seattle.Links: www.MaryOak.com
The Storms of Denali: The Nature of Risk in Life and in Climbing Bio: Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali, On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature ,At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers, Contemporary Ecofiction and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers. He has contributed to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image and many other places.
Links: www.thewritersworkshop.net; www.nickoconnell.net; www.facebook.com/pages/The-Writers-Workshop/110453732342139
Slow Church: Because You can't Franchise the Kingdom of God Bio: John Pattison is co-author of "Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture" (2010) and the forthcoming "Slow Church" (2013), both from IVP. He is a regular contributor to "Relevant" magazine and the former Deputy Editor of the Burnside Writers Collective. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, John's articles, essays, and reviews have also appeared in "Books & Culture," "Neue," and the "Englewood Review of Books," in newpapers around the country, and as part of Powells.com's Review-a-Day program. In 2007, John co-founded Cascadia Resource Consultants, a grant writing and fund development firm that secured more than $32.5 million in pgrant funding for its clients, including school districts, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations. He lives with his wife, Kate, and their daughter, Molly, near Silverton, Oregon, where they are members of Silverton Friends Church (Quaker). Links: www.johnerikpattison.com; www.slowchurch.com; Twitter: @SlowChurches
North of Hope: A Journey of Composition, A Journey of FaithBio: Shannon Huffman Polson writes about the borders we navigate every day. Her essays and articles appear in a number of literary magazines and periodicals and her work is anthologized in More Than 85Broads and the upcoming Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World. Her first book, North of Hope, is a memoir of adventure, tragedy, family and faith, and a daughter navigating the wilderness of Alaska and of her own heart. After studying English Literature at Duke, she headed from the ivory tower to the tarmac of Ft. Rucker, AL, where she flew Apaches in the first crop of women attack helicopter pilots. An MBA at Tuck transitioned her to five years in marketing at two companies. Now she’s back in the books, and back in love. Polson has scuba dived on three continents, sky dived on two, and climbed the highest mountain in North America and Africa. In 2009 Polson was awarded the Trailblazer Woman of Valor award by Senator Maria Cantwell. Polson earned her MFA in the summer of 2012 from Seattle Pacific University.
Questioning for Purpose: A Workshop on Career & Life Change Discernment Bio: Joelle Pretty answered the calling of academic and vocational discernment over a dozen years ago while working with first generation and low-income students in TRiO Student Support Services to expand their realm of future possibilities. These amazing students (across several schools and multiple states) taught her that hard work and passion are essential for a meaningful life. Currently working with exploratory students in the Premajor Studies Program at Seattle University, Joelle focuses her energy on helping them realize their dreams. She also works to improve academic persistence for all students at Seattle University. As a previous attendee, Joelle is incredibly humbled by the opportunity to be part of the Search for Meaning Book Festival.
Religion Gone Astray: How Religious Institutions Lose Their Spiritual Truths Bio: Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. He has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Cofounder and Muslim Sufi minister at Seattle's Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University, he is a former host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops. He is the author of the forthcoming Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind (Skylight Paths) and The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and coauthor of Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith; Out of Darkness, into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources; and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and a Sheikh. Jamal's passion lies in interfaith community building. He remains rooted in his Islamic tradition and cultivates a "spaciousness" by being open to the beauty and wisdom of other faiths. By authentically and appreciatively understanding other paths, Jamal feels that he becomes a better Muslim. This spaciousness is not about conversion but about completion. Since 9/11 Jamal has been collaborating with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie. Affectionately known as the Interfaith Amigos, they tour the country sharing the message of spiritual inclusivity.
The Other Side of Despair - Healing After Crime and AbuseBio: Naseem is an award-winning author and journalist whose stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and many animals. When Naseem isn’t writing, she’s reading, knitting, hiking, gardening, or just watching the seasons roll in and out. The capacity to forgive the unforgivable has long intrigued Rakha. She has witnessed it in her work as a teacher and consultant for Native American tribes, as a mediator in the clean-up of the nuclear site that created the Nagasaki bomb, and as a reporter covering state run executions. It was this later experience that led her to write her groundbreaking novel The Crying Tree. Set in southern Illinois and central Oregon, Rakha tells a story of a mother who must overcome the hate, grief, and secrets that surround the murder of her 15-year-old son, and defy church and family as she attempts to stop the execution of the man who killed her boy. With the heart of a storyteller, Naseem explores the death penalty and forgiveness with her audience through the lens of our justice system, her experiences as a reporter for public radio, as well as subsequent interviews with crime victims, inmates, corrections officials and exonerated death row prisoners. In composing her work, Naseem relies on the backdrop of the land and the landscape of human lives to build drama, emotion and depth. Naseem finds that within these very human stories lie a multitude of lessons about duty, honor, grief, pain, hatred and the degree to which forgiveness can not only extend but also heal. For writers searching for their own voice, Naseem has much to offer with her methods of reaching readers through characters and place.
Links: www.facebook.com/TheCryingTree; http://redroom.com/member/naseem-rakha
A Chef's Moral Dilemma: Navigating the Waters of Sustainable Seafood Bio: Becky Selengut is a 1999 Seattle Culinary Academy graduate where she was awarded the Outstanding Culinarian of the Year. In 2004, she started her private chef and culinary education business, Cornucopia Cuisine, and in January 2006 she founded the educational website Seasonal Cornucopia . A regular instructor for PCC Natural Markets since '04, Selengut is also an adjunct professor in the culinary/nutrition department at Bastyr University. A prolific writer, Selengut co-authored The Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook in 2008, and wrote Good Fish in 2011 with wine pairing contributions from her wife, Sommelier April Pogue. Good Fish was an IACP book award finalist, one of Seattle Magazine's best cookbooks of 2011 and an NPR-notable read.
Links: http://facebook.com/bselengut; http://www.twitter.com/chefreinvented
Bucky Fuller's Life, Template for Success In Deciding What To Do and How to be Creative Bio: Steven Sieden has been a student of and advocate for Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller since 1981 when Steven spent three months on a beach studying Fuller’s seminar book Critical Path. He worked on Fuller’s Integrity Days--the last series of public appearances Fuller made, and when Fuller died in July 1983, Steven began working with The Buckminster Fuller Institute to produce events using a portion of Fuller’s vast recorded archive. He also began learning more about Fuller’s life and ideas, and his research led to the 1988 biography Buckminster Fuller’s Universe (Basic Books 2000).
Links:www.BuckyFullerNow.com ; https://www.facebook.com/groups/410481535686082/; https://www.facebook.com/BuckminsterFullerNow; https://twitter.com/BuckyFullerNow; https://www.facebook.com/groups/218916321556158/
Sickness, Healing, and Religious Symbols Bio: Siroj Sorajjakool currently serves as Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Counseling, Associate for the Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness, Program Director for MA in Clinical Ministry and Master of Science in Chaplaincy at Loma Linda University. He has authored five books: Wu Wei, Negativity and Depression: The Principle of Non-Trying in Pastoral Care; Child Prostitution in Thailand: Listening to Rahab; When Sickness Heals: The Place of Religious Beliefs in Healthcare; Do Nothing: Inner Peace for Everyday Living: Reflection on Chuang Tzu’s Philosophy; and Human Trafficking in Thailand. Links: www.llu.edu/pages/faculty/directory/faculty.html?id=ssorajjakool; templetonpress.org/content/do-nothing; templetonpress.org/content/when-sickness-heals
Wisdom Sings the World: Poetry, Creation and the Way of Dwelling Bio: Doug Thorpe is the author of three books: A New Earth: Metaphor as Building in The Pearl, George Herbert's Temple and William Blake's Jerusalem; Rapture of the Deep: Reflections on the Wild in Art, Wilderness and the Sacred, which won the David Family Environmental Book Award, and Wisdom Sings the World: Poetry, Creation and the Way of Dwelling. He is also the editor of the anthology Work & the Life of the Spirit. Professor of English at Seattle Pacific University, he is married to the attorney Judy Andrews and father to daughter Kate.
I Survived the Killing FieldsBio: As a survivor of the Cambodian holocaust I felt it important to tell the world of what happened in my country during Khmer Rouge dictatorship. There was so much evil and cruelty that I felt compelled to talk about that others would not try and duplicate in other places around the world. It has been a healing experience for me and my family because my children and grandchildren now know what I had to endure to actually make it to this country.
Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of AmbivalenceBio: Rebecca Walker, MFA. Rebecca is an award-winning writer based in Hawaii. She is the author of the bestselling memoirs Black, White and Jewish (Riverhead) and Baby Love (Riverhead), and editor of the anthologies To Be Real (Doubleday), What Makes a Man (Riverhead), One Big Happy Family (Riverhead) and, most recently, Black Cool (Soft Skull). Her writing has appeared in Bookforum, Bomb, Afar, Greater Good, Newsweek, Real Simple, Glamour, More, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Vibe, Interview, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Babble, and CNN, among many other publications, and in literary collections including Erica Jong’s Sugar in My Bowl, and Crush, Unbuttoned, Dirt, Shaking the Tree, The Way We Live Now, Tales from the Couch, Mixed, The Fire This Time, Blended Nation, Adios Barbie, The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, and In Search of Mary Poppins. Rebecca has taught and lectured at over three hundred universities and corporate campuses, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, Penn, MIT, Tufts, Smith, Williams, Mt. Holyoke, University of Utrecht, University of Linkoping, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and the Ministry of Gender and Culture of Estonia, and participated in creative collaborations with other writers and visual artists at The Addison Gallery, Walker Art Center, LA Hammer Museum, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Jewish Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, Amsterdam Cultural Education Foundation, and The Fundazione Merz in Turin. She has developed projects for film and television with Nickelodeon, the Kennedy-Marshall Company, and Berman Braun. She is the recipient of MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships, and the Alex Award from the American Library Association, and has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Fresh Air, Oprah, and more. Time Magazine named Rebecca one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She holds a BA from Yale, an MFA from Spalding, and an honorary Doctorate of Arts and Letters from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She teaches a yearly master class on memoir writing on Maui (www.writing-in-paradise.com), and is the co-founder of Write to Wellbeing (www.writetowellbeing.com), a start-up bringing voice and sanity to those with the creative itch. Rebecca’s first novel, Adé, is forthcoming from New Harvest in 2013. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccawalker.
Rob Bell and a New American Christianity Bio: James Wellman is Associate Professor and Chair of the Comparative Religion Program in the Jackson School of International Studies. Teaching at the University of Washington since 2002, his areas of expertise are in American religious culture, history and politics. Wellman’s most recent book, Rob Bell and a New American Christianity, explores one of the most well-known and controversial evangelical ministers in America. Bell, up until 2011, led a 10,000 member megachurch, and is now pursuing TV opportunities in Hollywood. Bell’s artistry as a preacher, his fearlessness in pursuing various forms of media, makes him an ideal person to examine the future horizon of American Christianity. Wellman’s other publications include an award-winning book, The Gold Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism; two edited volumes: The Power of Religious Publics: Staking Claims in American Society, with Bill Swatos, and Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence Across Time and Tradition. His 2008 monograph, Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest, received Honorable Mention for the 2009 Distinguished Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Dialog and Examples Illustrating the “Gap” Bio: Lee Wimberly is the author of Exploring the Gap Between Science and Religion. Lee's interest in the relationship between science and religion grows out of the stark contrast between his Christian early education and an under-graduate degree in philosophy from Metropolitan State College in Denver Colorado. Mr. Wimberly leads seminars and discussion groups on the topic of science and religion. Venues have included churches, Holden Village (a spiritual retreat center in the Cascade Mountains), and college courses. In addition, Mr. Wimberly seldom misses an opportunity for an informal discussion over a cup of coffee.
Links: http://www.facebook.com/lee.w.wimberly; http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Exploring-Gap-between-Science-Religion-3974003?home=&gid=3974003&trk=anet_ug_hm; http://www.explorethegap.net
The Map-Maker’s Colors: Witness and Transformation in the Poetry of Travel Bio: Carolyne Wright has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry, a collection of essays, and four volumes of translations from Spanish and Bengali. Her latest book is Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene, featuring the post-modern alter-ego, Eulene. Her previous book, A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press), nominated for the LA Times Book Awards, was a finalist for the Idaho Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. An earlier collection, Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Carnegie Mellon UP / EWU Books), won the Blue Lynx Prize and American Book Award. Wright’s investigative memoir of her experiences in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant, The Road to Isla Negra, received the PEN/Jerard Fund Award and the Crossing Boundaries Award. Wright spent four years on fellowships in India and Bangladesh, collecting and translating the work of Bengali women poets and writers for an anthology in progress, A Bouquet of Roses on the Burning Ground. She is a Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, and a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, for which she is co-editing an anthology of poetry on women and work, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace.Links: http://www.nila.edu/mfa_faculty.htm; http://www.turningpointbooks.com/carolyne_wright.html; http://www.losthorsepress.org/catalog/a-change-of-maps/
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