The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS Board of Director Candidates 2019-21

Voting Methods

By default, ITMS members with a valid email will be sent an electronic ballot.
If you would like to complete a paper ballot or have not received an invitation by email
by the mid-April 2019, please contact:

Mark Meade
Thomas Merton Center
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Rd.
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 272-8187

Candidate Biographies (vote for 6 of the 12 candidates)

Jacqueline Chew has been involved in ITMS since 2005, having presented various piano performances with vocalists, narrators and dancer. She teaches piano at the University of California, Berkeley, and has performed in Italy, Poland, Brazil and throughout North America. Her recordings include "Sweet Irrational Worship, The Niles-Merton Songs", with baritone Chad Runyon, and "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus" by Olivier Messiaen. An oblate of New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur, she also dances liturgically with Dancers Circle, based in the Bay Area, CA.

Daniel P. Horan is a Franciscan friar, assistant professor of systematic theology and spirituality at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, a columnist for National Catholic Reporter, and author of several books including The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Inspiration on His Life, Thought, and Writing. A former ITMS Daggy Scholar and Shannon Fellow, he currently serves on the editorial board of The Merton Annual and served on the ITMS Board from 2011-2017. He presents regularly at the ITMS and TMSGBI meetings and is currently editing for publication the correspondence of Thomas Merton and Naomi Burton Stone.

Deborah Kehoe is from Oxford, Mississippi. She recently retired from teaching World Literature and Traditional Grammar at Northeast Mississippi Community College and Professional Writing at the University of Mississippi. A member of the ITMS since 2001, she has frequently presented papers at ITMS General Meetings and has published essays and reviews in The Merton Annual and The Merton Seasonal. She has served as co-editor of The Merton Annual for three years. She is a current member of the ITMS Board.

Alan Kolp, college and seminary professor of historical and spiritual studies, currently teaches at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, OH. He is a Quaker and Benedictine oblate. He has taught seminars, written, and led retreats on Merton, leading students to Gethsemani. His extensive board experience includes the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. He served on the ITMS Board of Directors from 2015-2017.

Sarah Kothe joined the International Thomas Merton Society in 2015 as a Daggy Scholar. Sarah recently graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory University with a Masters of Theology and now teaches religion at a middle school in New York City, where she incorporates Merton into the classroom.

Gray Matthews is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Memphis. He has been a member of the ITMS, and coordinator of the Memphis Chapter, since 2001. Gray has served the ITMS as a Board member in two separate terms, as site coordinator for the 2007 ITMS General Meeting in Memphis, and as co-editor of The Merton Annual. He says: "I'm simply glad to help the ITMS in any way possible because I think Merton's recovery of contemplative life in the 20th century remains vital to sustaining our very living conditions in what Merton's friend and poet Ernesto Cardenal calls a pluriverse, the interrelation of all."

Emma McDonald is currently finishing a Master of Arts in Religion with a Concentration in Ethics at Yale Divinity School. Her academic interests include Catholic moral theology, bioethics, conscience formation and contemplation, and the intersections between religious ethics and literature. She plans to begin doctoral studies in theology and ethics in Fall 2019. She graduated from Middlebury College (in Vermont) in 2016 with a B.A. in Religion, where she was introduced to the work and witness of Thomas Merton. She was a Daggy Scholar in 2017 and currently co-leads a monthly Thomas Merton Reading Group at Yale. At the upcoming ITMS meeting, she will present a paper on Merton, Robert Lax, and Fanny Howe.

Paul Pynkoski retired from a civil service career that included two terms as Vice President of a large public sector union. He attends Church of the Redeemer in Toronto, and facilitates a literature group at the church's drop for street people. He served on Redeemer's Board of Ministry as Vice Chair and Chair. Paul is a founding member of Voices for Peace, an ecumenical peace conference rooted in the spirituality of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. He has contributed to The Merton Seasonal, The Anglican, and Orthodoxy in Dialogue.

Theresa Sandok is president of the Servite Sisters of Ladysmith, Wis., and former professor of philosophy and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Bellarmine University. She served as interim director of the Thomas Merton Center in 1997-98, following the illness and death of Robert Daggy. She presented a paper on "The Contemplative Vision of Thomas Merton" at the first conference of the Polish Merton Society, Lublin, 2002. She has translated many works of Polish philosophers into English. She is a current member of the ITMS Board.

Leia Tijou is studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York city in pursuit of a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Social Ethics. She is a human rights activist that does documentation, accompaniment, and creative non-violent direct action in Hebron, West Bank Palestine. She holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Monroe Community College and a B.A. in Religious Studies and Peace & Justice from Nazareth College in Rochester. She was an ITMS Daggy Scholar in 2017.

Judith Valente, a journalist and poet who grew up in New Jersey, currently lives in the prairie landscape of central Illinois. As an award-winning writer, she published a spiritual memoir and two books of poetry, edited another, and co-authored with Brother Paul Quenon a series of daily meditations. As a broadcast journalist she covered stories for "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly," "The PBS News Hour," and a local NPR affiliate. Her work in print journalism includes reporting for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, America, U.S. Catholic, and the National Catholic Reporter. Her latest book is, "How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community." She guides frequent retreats and has presented across the U.S. and in Europe on living a more contemplative life in the secular world. Judith is married to retired Illinois Circuit Court Judge Charles Reynard, also a poet.

Julianne Wallace is Assistant to the President for Mission and Director of Campus Ministry at Alvernia University. She has a B.A. in Music Performance from the University of Mary Washington (VA); an M.T.S. from the Washington Theological Union (D.C.) and D.Min. from the Virginia Theological Seminary (VA). Julianne worked for five years at St. Bonaventure University (NY) as the Associate Director of Faith Formation, Worship and Ministry. A graduate of the Women's Leadership Institute of Higher Education (WNY Consortium of Higher Education), Julianne is the co-author of Spirit and Life: A Franciscan Guide for Spiritual Reflection, and Julianne was the site-coordinator for the 2017 International Thomas Merton Conference at St. Bonaventure University.

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