Home » Meet the Team

We're All Interfaith Leaders.

IFYC works with leaders across the campus environment — faculty, staff, administrators, and students. We offer the tools, guidance, opportunities, and networks needed to bring interfaith engagement into their campuses, classrooms, research, and lives. Learn more about our team here.

Brian Anderson

Program Manager

Brian Anderson, Student Leadership Manager, oversees the Interfaith Leadership Institutes, the grant process for our Interfaith Leadership Labs, and the hiring of our Interfaith Coaches. Brian has a B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology from...

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Brian Anderson, Student Leadership Manager, oversees the Interfaith Leadership Institutes, the grant process for our Interfaith Leadership Labs, and the hiring of our Interfaith Coaches. Brian has a B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology from Butler University, an M.A. in Student Development Administration from Seattle University, and an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago. Brian comes to IFYC having worked in Higher Education in a variety of capacities for the past 10 years; most recently as an Interfaith Campus Minister. He is excited to bring a wealth of knowledge to share with our campus partners. When not at IFYC, Brian is involved with bringing arts and culture programs to his community. You can also find him spending time with his family or in his garden.

tony banout
Tony Banout

Senior Vice President

Senior Vice President of Interfaith Youth Core, Tony is a national expert in one of the most pressing issues of our time: building a thriving democracy out of deep difference on fundamental religious and philosophical grounds. He describes the...

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Senior Vice President of Interfaith Youth Core, Tony is a national expert in one of the most pressing issues of our time: building a thriving democracy out of deep difference on fundamental religious and philosophical grounds. He describes the American experiment of e pluribus unum as his lifelong vocation, which he has approached civically, academically, and in his professional work. Tony has written widely for academic and public consumption and is a frequent public speaker and moderator. He holds a doctorate in Religious Ethics from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he was Martin Marty Center and Provost fellow. A dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, he was raised in an immigrant household steeped in the Coptic Orthodox church and absorbed both Roman Catholic and Islamic influences. 

Bex Bates

Director of Marketing & Communications

Bex Bates, Director of Marketing and Communications, manages our outreach strategy to new and existing campuses to deepen their engagement with IFYC and widen our reach. Her background has always centered around marketing and communications but...

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Bex Bates, Director of Marketing and Communications, manages our outreach strategy to new and existing campuses to deepen their engagement with IFYC and widen our reach. Her background has always centered around marketing and communications but has spanned several sectors - government, private and non-profit - and countries. She has worked with religiously persecuted communities in the UK, Malaysia, and continues this work in Chicago as a volunteer. Her time at IFYC is spent supporting the program teams in communicating with IFYC's various audiences about how we can assist them in their interfaith work, as well as looking at ways we can reach new audiences and campuses. She loves to read, do yoga, and paint protraits in her spare time. Bex's main motivation for being part of the interfaith movement is that she has seen the effects of religious intolerance around the world and the potential outcomes of what would happen if we weren't actively doing and encourgaing interfaith work.

Katie Bringman Baxter

Vice President of Program Strategy

Katie Bringman Baxter, Vice President of Program Strategy, guides IFYC’s programmatic initiatives to cultivate campus environments, develop interfaith leaders, and produce a knowledgebase for religious pluralism in higher education. Katie has...

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Katie Bringman Baxter, Vice President of Program Strategy, guides IFYC’s programmatic initiatives to cultivate campus environments, develop interfaith leaders, and produce a knowledgebase for religious pluralism in higher education. Katie has been published in the Journal of College and Character and Liberal Education, and presents regularly to higher education audiences. Her interest in religion and her professional background in higher ed are rooted in an MA in College Student Personnel (BGSU) and a BA in Religion (Wittenberg University). Beyond IFYC, Katie enjoys venturing around Chicago with her family and serving on the board at her Lutheran church. Both her work experience helping students learn from those who are different and her personal religious convictions motivate Katie to work for a world where people of different backgrounds can live, work, and build community together.

janett i cordovés
Janett I. Cordovés

Program Manager

Janett I. Cordoves, Co-Curricular Partnerships Manager, equips and empowers campus professional staff to be interfaith leaders. Prior to joining the IFYC team, Janett worked in higher education for thirteen years, serving in various roles...

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Janett I. Cordoves, Co-Curricular Partnerships Manager, equips and empowers campus professional staff to be interfaith leaders. Prior to joining the IFYC team, Janett worked in higher education for thirteen years, serving in various roles within residence life and crisis response, as well as in academic initiatives within first-year seminars, orientation and retention, and senior-year experience courses. Janett has a bachelors in Applied Mathematics, masters in Higher Education, and doctorate in Ethical Leadership. Janett serves as the social media editor for the Journal of College and Character and researches #digitalfaith, interfaith cooperation, and the spiritual experiences of first-generation college students.
 

ben correia-harker
Ben Correia-Harker

Director of Assessment & Research

Ben Correia-Harker, Director of Assessment & Research, oversees the development of interfaith assessment services and resources, consults with campus partners on assessment practices, and manages research efforts and findings dissemenation...

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Ben Correia-Harker, Director of Assessment & Research, oversees the development of interfaith assessment services and resources, consults with campus partners on assessment practices, and manages research efforts and findings dissemenation. Ben has a B.A. in Religious Studies from the College of Idaho, an M.S.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago; and he continues to conduct research on and teach about college student leadership development. Having held various professional roles in higher education administration, it is his commitment to fostering student leadership development, creating inclusive communities, and addressing society's most complex problems through collaborative endeavors that fuel Ben’s interest in advancing interfaith cooperation.

Ashley Curtis

Program Assistant

Ashley Curtis, Program Assistant, Student & Alumni Leadership, supports the strategy, development, and implementation of IFYC’s Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs), leadership curriculum, and Alumni interfaith leadership development....

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Ashley Curtis, Program Assistant, Student & Alumni Leadership, supports the strategy, development, and implementation of IFYC’s Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs), leadership curriculum, and Alumni interfaith leadership development. Ashley’s love for leadership began at the University of Minnesota, where she received her B.A. in Professional Strategic and Mass Communications. Ashley continues to pursue her passion for leadership development through her MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Loyola University Chicago. Outside of IFYC, Ashley spends her free time working on research and publications that support student leadership development. When not working on research, you can find Ashley at a cycling studio, running by the lake, and exploring Chicago. 

Cara Doidge Kilgore

Special Events and Evaluation Manager

Cara Doidge Kilgore, Special Events Manager, manages the logistics and production for IFYC's major events. Her work includes coordinating the Interfaith Leadership Institutes and higher education convenings related to interfaith studies and...

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Cara Doidge Kilgore, Special Events Manager, manages the logistics and production for IFYC's major events. Her work includes coordinating the Interfaith Leadership Institutes and higher education convenings related to interfaith studies and organizations in partnership with IFYC. Cara earned a BA in religion from Texas Christian University and a MTS from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Cara's interest in interfaith cooperation began as a teenager visiting houses of worship with her church youth group and grew as she found ways to combine her interest in religion with her passion for service and social justice. Outside of work, she can be found having family dance parties with her toddler, husband, and dog and devouring a good novel. Cara lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mary Ellen Giess

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

As Senior Director of Co-Curricular Partnerships, Mary Ellen Giess oversees IFYC's strategy supporting campus staff committed to interfaith work. Mary Ellen has served a variety of programmatic and strategic roles at IFYC and continues to...

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As Senior Director of Co-Curricular Partnerships, Mary Ellen Giess oversees IFYC's strategy supporting campus staff committed to interfaith work. Mary Ellen has served a variety of programmatic and strategic roles at IFYC and continues to steward one of IFYC's highest programmatic partners in the White House through the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008 after completing her Master’s in religion and government at Harvard Divinity School. Mary Ellen earned her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and it was her personal on-campus experiences that inspire her to build interfaith cooperation in higher education. Outside work, Mary Ellen can be found chasing her family (husband, daughters, and dog alike) around town.

amber hacker
Amber Hacker

Vice President for Operations and Communications

Amber Jean Hacker, Vice President for Operations and Communications, oversees projects ranging from accounting, IT, and talent development to IFYC thought leadership, branding, and messaging. A leader on the IFYC team since 2007, Amber...

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Amber Jean Hacker, Vice President for Operations and Communications, oversees projects ranging from accounting, IT, and talent development to IFYC thought leadership, branding, and messaging. A leader on the IFYC team since 2007, Amber stewarded a variety of key programs prior to stepping into her current role, including the IFYC Alumni program, Days of Interfaith Youth Service, Fellows Alliance, Bridge-builders Network, and IFYC’s conferences. Amber also serves as Treasurer, working closely with the Board of Directors to ensure accurate and efficient financial processes. Outside of IFYC, Amber is pursuing her MBA to explore ways to apply best practices in business to nonprofit work, and maintains a passion for productivity tips. Amber and her husband Jason live with their three-year-old son Erik in Chicago. Amber’s commitment to interfaith cooperation is inspired by Jesus’ call to love to our neighbor.

Carr Harkrader
Carr Harkrader

Program Manager

Carr Harkrader, Educational Resources Manager, writes and designs educational resources and materials for IFYC. Carr earned a BA in political science and history from UNC-Chapel Hill and a M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education....

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Carr Harkrader, Educational Resources Manager, writes and designs educational resources and materials for IFYC. Carr earned a BA in political science and history from UNC-Chapel Hill and a M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Carr creates and develops many of IFYC's educational materials, everything from book discussion texts to training facilitation guides. He also co-hosts and produces "Common Knowledge," IFYC's podcast focusing on interfaith literacy. While he supports all campuses during work hours, he roots exclusively for his Carolina Tar Heels outside of the office. As an educator, Carr's interest in interfaith cooperation comes directly from his belief in the power of students, faculty, and education professionals to affect enourmous in the world around them.

becca hartman-pickerill
Becca Hartman-Pickerill

Director of Program Resourcing

Becca Hartman-Pickerill serves as Director of Program Resourcing at Interfaith Youth Core. In her 8 years at the organization she has had the privilege of facilitating one day training with students, staff and administrators; leading yearlong...

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Becca Hartman-Pickerill serves as Director of Program Resourcing at Interfaith Youth Core. In her 8 years at the organization she has had the privilege of facilitating one day training with students, staff and administrators; leading yearlong campus-wide interfaith strategic planning processes; developing curriculum; fostering online cohorts for educators; and supporting hundreds of campus partners to advance interfaith cooperation at their institutions. She now spearheads IFYC’s internal systems for supporting an agile program team and evaluating organizational success. Becca has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Northwestern University and an MA in Forced Migration from the African Centre for Migration and Society in Johannesburg, South Africa. Whether in her birth place of Gibbon, NE, town of 1,000, or her years spent living in Hangzhou, China, with six million neighbors, Becca relishes the opportunity to foster vibrant communities.

megan hughes johnson
Megan Hughes Johnson

Campus Strategy Consultant

Megan Johnson, Campus Strategy Consultant, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable leadership practices for interfaith cooperation. Megan’s undergraduate work in culture and politics at Georgetown University and...

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Megan Johnson, Campus Strategy Consultant, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable leadership practices for interfaith cooperation. Megan’s undergraduate work in culture and politics at Georgetown University and her graduate work in religion and conflict at the University of Chicago Divinity School sparked her interest in bridge-building and youth activism. Prior to IFYC, Megan worked for five years for Seeds of Peace where she developed leadership programs for young people from conflict zones. When not at IFYC, Megan spends time playing trains with her two kids and exploring new green spaces in Cincinnati. Megan’s commitment to religious pluralism stems from witnessing first-hand the cost of religious division and her experience building connections across lines of difference.

michael kendricks
Michael Kendricks

Director of Salesforce and IT

Michael Kendricks, Director of Salesforce and IT, administers Salesforce for IFYC and performs work on other IT projects. Michael graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Technology. Prior to IFYC he worked in IT in the...

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Michael Kendricks, Director of Salesforce and IT, administers Salesforce for IFYC and performs work on other IT projects. Michael graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Technology. Prior to IFYC he worked in IT in the financial sector. In his current position, he manages IFYC's implementation of Salesforce and partners with IFYC leaders to improve operation and add features. He also performs project management for various IT initiatives at IFYC. In his free time, he enjoys listening to any new music he can find, sports, spending time with family, and engaging in city-focused discussion. Michael believes that IFYC's mission is of key importance to our growing multi-cultural society and higher education is an optimal place to reach and engage with future leaders.

Rob LeLaurin

Program Assistant

Rob LeLaurin, Program Assistant, provides administrative support for the VP of Program Strategy and partners with the program staff for organizational support of logistics and production of IFYC initiatives. Prior to joining IFYC, Rob worked in...

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Rob LeLaurin, Program Assistant, provides administrative support for the VP of Program Strategy and partners with the program staff for organizational support of logistics and production of IFYC initiatives. Prior to joining IFYC, Rob worked in a variety of capacities in churches and faith-based organizations. Rob earned his B.A. in Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute, an M.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies from Western Seminary and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology at North Park University. Outside of work, you might find Rob reading a thought-provoking book, eating amazing food with friends, or traveling the globe with his wife. Rob’s interest in interfaith cooperation comes from his desire to see the flourishing of society through a united pursuit toward the common good and his deep commitment to Christ’s ethic of loving one’s neighbor.

Gabi Lukens

Marketing & Communications Associate

Gabi Lukens, Marketing and Communications Associate, supports the marketing team with digital content strategy, email marketing, and social media. Gabi received her B.S., B.A. in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of...

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Gabi Lukens, Marketing and Communications Associate, supports the marketing team with digital content strategy, email marketing, and social media. Gabi received her B.S., B.A. in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining IFYC, Gabi worked as a marketing associate at a regional arts council in Kansas City, where she developed a love for working in the nonprofit sphere. Outside of work, Gabi loves fitness, traveling, and exploring all of the neighborhoods and restaurants Chicago has to offer.

Hannah Minks

Program Manager

Hannah Minks, Student and Alumni Leadership Manager, develops programs and communication tools that speak to the needs of both students and IFYC alum. Hannah received her B.A. in Theology from Dominican University and is currently pursuing an M...

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Hannah Minks, Student and Alumni Leadership Manager, develops programs and communication tools that speak to the needs of both students and IFYC alum. Hannah received her B.A. in Theology from Dominican University and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. Having taught Catholic theology at the high school level for a handful of years, Hannah brings her education experience to a variety of spaces at IFYC in both curriculum development and training capacities. Hannah also brings personal experience to her position having been through many of IFYC’s programs as an undergrad student and alum, most recently the Germanacos Fellowship. It was through this fellowship that she began her project 10 Dorothy Days, a series of events that combined the idea of a social with community service so folks could get to know one another across lines of difference while serving the common good, all taking root in Hannah’s personal inspiration from Catholic figure Dorothy Day. Apart from her 9-5 at IFYC, you can find Hannah reading philosophy books or watching the Real Housewives of New York City.

Jenan Mohajir

Senior Director of Leadership

Jenan Mohajir, Senior Director of Leadership, oversees the overall strategy, development and implementation of the Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs). Jenan received her B.S. from DePaul University in elementary education and Islamic...

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Jenan Mohajir, Senior Director of Leadership, oversees the overall strategy, development and implementation of the Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs). Jenan received her B.S. from DePaul University in elementary education and Islamic studies. Over the last decade, she has led skills-based trainings on interfaith service and cooperation here in the United States and around the world. Jenan spends her time designing IFYC’s interfaith leadership curriculum and managing the ‘look and feel’ of the ILIs, spearheading what has become a truly holistic interfaith leadership experience at the institutes. In her personal life, Jenan also serves on the steering committee for the Hyde Park Muslim Family Circle, which fosters the social and spiritual growth of Muslim families and individuals within the robust cultural setting of Hyde Park, Chicago. On weekends, Jenan enjoys spending time with her family and playing 'chef' with her rambunctious toddler. Jenan is a committed Muslim, and is deeply inspired by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad to build a world where we can live together in equal dignity and mutual harmony.

Katherine O'Brien

Program Assistant

Katherine O'Brien, Program Assistant, offers administrative assistance that bolsters the ongoing success of IFYC’s interfaith programming. She graduated in May of 2019 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Religious Studies...

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Katherine O'Brien, Program Assistant, offers administrative assistance that bolsters the ongoing success of IFYC’s interfaith programming. She graduated in May of 2019 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Religious Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She spends her time at IFYC supporting colleagues in their analysis and dissemination of interfaith assessment services and resources and in their communication with campus partners interested in furthering interfaith cooperation. She uses her free time to follow current events, participate in various forms of activism, enjoy time with friends and family, and listen to music. Katherine is drawn to interfaith work through her religious belief in the importance of inclusivity and community-building. Her involvement in interfaith work stems from her desire to offer others the radical compassion she believes we all deserve.

Chris Portman

Foundation Relations Manager

Foundation Relations Manager Chris Portman began his career as an attorney but quickly gravitated to the nonprofit world. After teaching legal writing and working in a law library, he spent several years as an at-home dad, then went back to...

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Foundation Relations Manager Chris Portman began his career as an attorney but quickly gravitated to the nonprofit world. After teaching legal writing and working in a law library, he spent several years as an at-home dad, then went back to work as a reference librarian. Most recently, Chris worked in fundraising, communications, and marketing for two independent schools. He has a B.A. in English from Notre Dame, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, an MLS from Rosary College, and also studied with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Chris is an avid college football fan and, having grown up in western New York, remains loyal to Buffalo sports teams despite (or maybe because of) their limited success. He also enjoys cooking and woodworking. A lifelong Catholic, he believes in both large-C Catholic heritage and small-c catholic universality and is drawn to ecumenical and interfaith initiatives as a path toward both learning and peace.

Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation

Paul is Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation; promoting a narrative of positive pluralism in America, while researching and developing cutting edge interfaith leadership. For over 20 years, Paul has been a pioneer in journalism that...

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Paul is Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation; promoting a narrative of positive pluralism in America, while researching and developing cutting edge interfaith leadership. For over 20 years, Paul has been a pioneer in journalism that promotes interfaith voices in the public square, first as an editor at Beliefnet.com, then founding the religion section at HuffPost, that he grew to the largest interfaith religion site online. He has also worked in the field as Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton and Denominational Chaplain at Columbia University. Paul studied religion at Macalester College and received his MDiv at Union Theological Seminary. He is an ordained American Baptist minister. Growing up in an interfaith family, Paul describes himself as having an ‘interfaith heart’ and is committed to co-creating a world in which all people, no matter what belief or religious tradition, live with respect and dignity.

Carolyn Roncolato
Carolyn Roncolato

Director of Academic Initiatives

As the Director of Academic Initiatives, Carolyn works with faculty across the country to develop, support, and sustain innovative interfaith studies curriculum. Carolyn has a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Culture from Chicago...

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As the Director of Academic Initiatives, Carolyn works with faculty across the country to develop, support, and sustain innovative interfaith studies curriculum. Carolyn has a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Culture from Chicago Theological Seminary. She has taught and wrote for a number of academic institutions and religious organizations. When not working, Carolyn is hanging out with her husband and son, enjoying the lake, playing in the park, and eating delicious Chicago food.  Carolyn’s Christian faith calls her to work for healing, peace, and justice and she has learned that one of the most powerful ways to do this is to build relationships with, learn from, and work alongside those from different religious and non-religious traditions who share these same values.

rebecca russo
Rebecca Russo

Director of Campus Engagement

Rebecca Russo, Director of Campus Stewardship, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable interfaith initiatives across campus life. Rebecca joined IFYC in 2014 with prior professional experience both on-campus and...

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Rebecca Russo, Director of Campus Stewardship, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable interfaith initiatives across campus life. Rebecca joined IFYC in 2014 with prior professional experience both on-campus and in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Rebecca worked on campus at Northwestern University’s Fielder Hillel. Rebecca graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Middle East Studies and received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. In her free time, Rebecca loves singing, traveling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family. Rebecca's interfaith experiences while living in Morocco and Israel inspired her to join the interfaith movement, seeing religious and nonreligious identity as a basis for common understanding and action.

Nadia Salam

Accounting Manager

Nadia Salam, Accounting Manager, oversees accounting and budgeting, tracks revenues and expenses, and prepares financial reports to ensure compliance and transparency. She comes to IFYC with 22 years of accounting experience at various...

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Nadia Salam, Accounting Manager, oversees accounting and budgeting, tracks revenues and expenses, and prepares financial reports to ensure compliance and transparency. She comes to IFYC with 22 years of accounting experience at various nonprofit organizations. She earned her M.Phil degree in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University, and she is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University. She lives in Carol Stream with her husband and a son. Interfaith work is Nadia’s personal passion. Being a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Nadia fully recognizes the importance of religious pluralism, religious freedom and the strength of interfaith knowledge. Nadia is also a cake decorator who enjoys baking and decorating cakes for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and all occasions.

Noah Silverman

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

Noah Silverman, Senior Director of Learning and Partnerships, works with faculty and senior administrators to think holistically about interfaith cooperation across their campuses. He holds an MA in religious studies from New York University...

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Noah Silverman, Senior Director of Learning and Partnerships, works with faculty and senior administrators to think holistically about interfaith cooperation across their campuses. He holds an MA in religious studies from New York University and has been professionally involved in interfaith work for over a decade on three continents. In conversation with campus partners, Noah spends his time at IFYC exploring the contours and implications of the academic study of interfaith cooperation. When not at work or improvising his way through new parenthood, Noah loves going to the theatre, traveling, and rethinking Jewish communal education. Noah became interested in the fields of young adult leadership, interfaith understanding, and conflict resolution while living in Jerusalem.

Teri Simon

Executive Assistant / Office Manager

Teri Simon, Executive Assistant/Office Manager, provides administrative support for the Executive Team including Eboo Patel, Founder and President. In this role, she works closely with individual donors, high-level campus and higher education...

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Teri Simon, Executive Assistant/Office Manager, provides administrative support for the Executive Team including Eboo Patel, Founder and President. In this role, she works closely with individual donors, high-level campus and higher education stakeholders. She also coordinates the general operations of IFYC by managing our office while providing general support for team-wide functions. Teri holds a B.S. in Business Education and prior to joining IFYC, she was at the University of Chicago as an executive assistant to a Nobel Laureate Professor of Economics. In her free time, you might see her biking along the lake shore, exploring the back roads or on a century ride somewhere in the Midwest. Teri is passionate about the IFYC mission as she sees knowledge and understanding of religious pluralism as the path to a peaceful and enriching existence.
 

Silma Suba

Advancement Communications Manager

Silma Suba is a journalist and media communications specialist who received her B.S. and M.S. in journalism and a Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern. Silma was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in Qatar, and at...

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Silma Suba is a journalist and media communications specialist who received her B.S. and M.S. in journalism and a Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern. Silma was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in Qatar, and at Northwestern's Qatar campus she served as the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper - the Daily Q. She is fluent in four languages and is as adept at digital platforms and social media as she is in traditional print media. Silma has won prizes for poetry and journalism, most notably, the Best Journalistic Writing award from Northwestern for a story about a portable school for Afghan refugees, published while she was in a journalism residency at the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. Silma has worked as a remote journalist for media outlets like TRT World - Turkey, and strategized media communications for organizations like Mercedes-Benz and mPower Social in Bangladesh. When not at work, Silma likes to spend her time cooking and exploring new bookstores, arcades, restaurants, and museums.

slavica sudar
Slavica Sudar

Accounting and Advancement Administrator

Slavica Sudar, Accounting and Advancement Administrator, oversees daily bookkeeping activities of the organization and is also assisting Institutional Advancement Team with donor stewardship and fundraising activities. Slavica has worked in the...

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Slavica Sudar, Accounting and Advancement Administrator, oversees daily bookkeeping activities of the organization and is also assisting Institutional Advancement Team with donor stewardship and fundraising activities. Slavica has worked in the nonprofit sector for six and a half years, focusing on accounting. Slavica graduated from Loyola University Chicago with B.S. in Anthropology and still maintains her love for history and different cultures by traveling and often visiting museums. She strongly believes in the beauty of a multi-cultural society and feels an interfaith cooperation is a key step to achieving it.

Alexandra Sullivan

Program Assistant

Alexandra Sullivan, Program Assistant, works to support IFYC’s faculty network as well as assisting on different grant projects. Alex’s academic career has been focused on religious studies; they hold a B.A. in Religious Studies and Social...

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Alexandra Sullivan, Program Assistant, works to support IFYC’s faculty network as well as assisting on different grant projects. Alex’s academic career has been focused on religious studies; they hold a B.A. in Religious Studies and Social Sciences from Stetson University and a M.A. from New York University in Interdisciplinary Studies. In their free time they love to read, crochet, and listen to music, as well as to travel and experience different places. Alex was introduced to the interfaith movement as a teen after reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and began interfaith work as an undergrad while working with cultural student organizations, remaining in that field at NYU as a fellow with the Global Spiritual Life center on campus. For them, interfaith work is centered on a combination of appreciative knowledge of others and their own dedication to minority communities across the globe.

Calvin Taylor

Academic Initiatives Manager

As the Academic Initiatives Manager, Calvin manages IFYC’s academic programs, and works with faculty as they incorporate innovative interfaith themes into their pedagogy and curricula. Prior to joining IFYC, Calvin worked in operations and...

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As the Academic Initiatives Manager, Calvin manages IFYC’s academic programs, and works with faculty as they incorporate innovative interfaith themes into their pedagogy and curricula. Prior to joining IFYC, Calvin worked in operations and teacher development at an education agency that hired, trained, and managed teachers for public, charter, and private schools across the country, and as an adjunct professor of religion and African-American studies at public and private institutions. Calvin is a graduate of Trinity International University and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Outside of IFYC, you can catch Calvin working closely with community and religious organizations in Chicago and Atlanta, enjoying tennis and basketball, and looking to further his impact at the intersection of education and social entrepreneurship.

Susan Vernon

Director of Foundation Relations

Susan Vernon, Director of Foundation Relations, oversees all aspects of IFYC’s relationships with foundations and their funding. She leads her team in strategic planning, identifying, cultivating and securing funding from foundations to support...

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Susan Vernon, Director of Foundation Relations, oversees all aspects of IFYC’s relationships with foundations and their funding. She leads her team in strategic planning, identifying, cultivating and securing funding from foundations to support all of IFYC’s crucial programs and wonderful teams. Susan holds a BS in social work from the State University of New York – College at Buffalo and MSSW from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She brings with her years of experience in social service programming and fundraising in the nonprofit sector, plus business skills from her work with major corporations. A former thespian, she enjoys going to plays, movies and dance performances, and music and writing are her creative outlets. Walks in nature and meditation bring her back to Spirit and the wonders of the Universe. Susan strongly believes that pluralism is what makes America great and that interfaith cooperation is the path to peace.

Hannah Willage

Alumni Relations Manager

Hannah Willage, Alumni Relations Manager, supports IFYC alumni to use their interfaith skills  in their careers, personal lives, and civic areas they feel passionate about. She worked for 15 years as a community organizer on a variety of issues...

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Hannah Willage, Alumni Relations Manager, supports IFYC alumni to use their interfaith skills  in their careers, personal lives, and civic areas they feel passionate about. She worked for 15 years as a community organizer on a variety of issues with Russian-speaking refugees and students experiencing homelessness. Hannah earned her Bachelor’s degree from Knox College majoring in Mathematics and Russian. She supports the Alumni team in keeping track of our more than 1300 alumni and how they are continuing to develop as interfaith leaders in their lives after college. She enjoys playing and reading with her two children, and exploring all of the Chicago neighborhoods. To Hannah, interfaith leadership means being a good listener, being able to take risks, and having a genuine love of people.

angela zonderman
Angela Zonderman

Director of Human Resources

Angela Zonderman, Director of Human Resources, supports IFYC and its dedicated staff in all realms of HR. Angela graduated from University of Michigan and has since honed her operations and human resources skills in national and international...

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Angela Zonderman, Director of Human Resources, supports IFYC and its dedicated staff in all realms of HR. Angela graduated from University of Michigan and has since honed her operations and human resources skills in national and international organizations in the US and abroad. She spends most of her time looking for qualified candidates who are passionate about IFYC's mission and supporting the day-to-day needs of IFYC’s current staff. Angela considers herself to be ‘crafty’ and dabbles in photography and knitting. Angela is honored to be contributing to IFYC’s work as she sees the interfaith movement as the foundation for building peace in the world.