CEIE Core Team

Welcome to our CEIE Core Team! Click on the individual images below to view extended biographies. Please contact us at ceie@seattleu.edu for questions.

Photo of Megan Anderson, M.A.

Megan Anderson, M.A.

M.A., Religion, Society, and Social Change from Claremont School of Theology
B.A. in Mathematics and Theology, and minor in Psychology from the College of St. Benedict

Resource Creative Designer and Curriculum Development
The Interfaith Observer Co-Editor

Photo of Zachary Dar

Zachary Dar

B.A. Forensic Science with Chemistry minor (in progress) from Seattle University

Senior Student Affiliate for Research and Events

Photo of Rev. Dr. Kara Markell, D.Min.

Rev. Dr. Kara Markell, D.Min.

Doctor of Ministry at Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry

Assistant Director, Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement

Photo of Sofia Sayabalian

Sofia Sayabalian

M.A., Master of Communication in Digital Media from University of Washington (in-progress)
B.A. Communication and Media with Psychology minor from Seattle University

Coordinator for Strategic Communications and Web Platform Integration

Photo of Robert P. Sellers, Ph.D.

Robert P. Sellers, Ph.D.

Professor of Theology and Missions Emeritus at Logsdon Seminary, Hardin-Simmons University
Former Chair of Trustees for the Parliament of the World’s Religions

The Interfaith Observer Monthly Contributor, "TIO’s Public Square"

Photo of Tahil Sharma

Tahil Sharma

University of La Verne

Regional Coordinator for North America at the United Religions Initiative (URI)
The Interfaith Observer Co-Editor

Photo of Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani

M.S. in Business Analytics (in progress) from Seattle University
Bachelor of Commerce from Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce

Student Affiliate for Web, Newsletter, and Events Curation

Photo of Michael Reid Trice, Ph D.

Michael Reid Trice, Ph D.

Founding Director, Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement and Spehar-Halligan Professor

CEIE Advisory Council  

Visit the CEIE Advisory Council Page, a comprehensive council of Seattle U. alumni, colleagues, friends, and professionals across cultures, traditions, religions, and wisdom.  Did we mention they serve as leaders around the world?

Faculty & Community Fellows

The Center welcomes Faculty and Community Fellows.  Along with the CEIE Team, Faculty and Community Fellows meet with the CEIE Director to pursue a specific project together through the time of their fellowship. 

Fellows, who are scholars and/or experienced practitioners, are asked to contribute to the strategic outcomes of the Center while also sharing the wealth of their experience, insight, and community or organization with the CEIE Team and the university.  Projects may include joint presentations in local to international contexts, developing a new course of study for public use, creating a workshop series that builds upon their expertise, or other creative endeavors that advance the efforts and values of the Center through its current strategic aims. 

If you would like to learn more about the CEIE Fellows Program, and believe you have a contribution to make to the life of the Center and the university, please be in contact with the Center Director at Tricem@seattleu.edu

Photo of Rev. Mia Baumgartner, MDiv, MNPL, BCC

Rev. Mia Baumgartner, MDiv, MNPL, BCC

Manager – Spiritual Care & Well-Being at University of Washington Medical Center

Certified Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) Trainer
Seattle U. Alumni

Mia’s Fellow Project: Mia works as a professional alongside other caregivers and staff, doing so through the worst of the pandemic in a major hospital system. In collaboration with CEIE, and as a Certified Cultivating Compassion Trainer, Mia will be developing and refining a workshop concept for spiritual care learned by first responders for addressing grief, lament, and practices that respond to illness, trauma, end-of-life, and spiritual distress. 

Photo of Maurice A. Bloem

Maurice A. Bloem

Chief Sustainability and Impact Officer

Main Representative at UN Headquarters
Church World Service

Maurice’s Fellow Project: Maurice's role as the Chief Sustainability and Impact Officer of Church World Service (CWS) builds on the framework of the Inner Development Goals (IDGs), a topic closely aligned to Ignatian Spiritual Discernment. In October 2022, Maurice walked his annual 100 miles in the Seattle area to fight hunger, poverty and injustice, and he will continue to promote and celebrate initiatives like CROP Hunger Walks and Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Maurice invited CEIE and Seattle University students to participate in this journey virtually (via a summer course in 2023 and his podcast "Walk Talk Listen") and in-person.

Photo of Paul Chaffee

Paul Chaffee

Pacific School of Religion Distinguished Alumni (2007)

Monthly Contributor to Interfaith Roundup

Paul’s Fellow Project: Paul’s respected leadership in interfaith circles, and his qualities of personal and professional perseverance, enabled The Interfaith Observer (TIO) to grow and flourish for over ten years. This year, CEIE is honored to welcome TIO as part of our theological laboratory – The Religica Theolab. In this new relationship, Paul will explore and write his popular Interfaith News Roundup, as a monthly 360° assessment of major interfaith and intercultural news, trends, and prospects. CEIE is fortunate to have Paul join as a Fellow this year and welcomes him with gratitude for the year ahead!

Photo of Mahrukh Motafram 

Mahrukh Motafram 

Co-Chair – North American Zoroastrian Congress Committee

Trustee – Parliament of the World’s Religions
Seattle U. Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership Alumni

Mahrukh’s Fellow Project: Mahrukh’s recent certificate at Seattle University in Non-Profit Leadership, her commitment to Seattle University alumni engagement, and her local to international service (including her recently joining the Board of Trustees for the Parliament of the World’s Religions) enables a specific position for enhancing the relationship of the alumni experience to CEIE’s programming and future certificate opportunities. She will work with CEIE in strategic enhancement of these alumni relations, also in her capacity as long-standing interfaith advisor and founding member of the Advisory Council member to CEIE.

Student Affiliate Alumni

Click Here to Visit Past Student Affiliates who have previously contributed to CEIE.

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