John Burton is Professor Emeritus in the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) at Rutgers University and Professor Emeritus in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell Univeristy. He is Chair of the Study Panel on National Data on Workers' Compensation of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). Burton previously served as Dean of SMLR and as a faculty member at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. He has a law degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Lori Lipman Brown has served as state senator, lobbyist, lawyer, educator and social worker supporter. Additionally, her political views have been secularist and civil libertarian and describes herself as an atheist humanist Jew. She served as Nevada Senator from 1992 to 1994, advocating for repeals of consensual sex crimes. This led to her being named Civil Libertarian of the Year by the Nevadan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Additionally, she has organized numerous events for the Humanist Association of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, the Secular Student Alliance, and the American Humanist Association.
Outside of the secularist and nontheistic movement, Brown worked in education and social work. From 1996 to 2000 she was the National Education Association’s diversity trainer. Formerly a private lawyer, she taught United States constitutional law, education law, and American history at the University of Phoenix. Additionally, she taught high school drams, English and speech and helped found Eldorado High School’s Gay-Straight Student Alliance. For social work friendly legislation, she won the Legislator of the Year by the Nevada chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Brown served as the founding director of the Secular Coalition for America from 2005 to 2009. In this position she was the first Congressional lobbyist explicitly representing nontheistic Americans. During her directorship, the organization grew from a coalition of 5 national organizations with one staff, to a coalition of 10 national organizations with six staff. Brow currently works for NES Associates, an IT firm in Virginia.
Joseph Chuman has been the leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, NJ for 30 years. He has a doctorate in religion from Columbia University where he teaches seminars in religion and human rights for masters and doctoral students.
Fred Edwords a leading voice for humanism in the United States and abroad is recognized as an outstanding lecturer, debater, and inspirational speaker on human rights, humanist philosophical issues, and humanist lifestyle concerns. He has appeared on national and local television in the United States and Canada, has been interviewed on radio and for newspapers around the world, and has lectured in North America, Europe, and India. He has also written for several publications in the United States and elsewhere.
Camela Epright is an Associate Professor at Furman University who received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy and an M.A. in applied ethics from Loyola University, Chicago. She teaches courses in ethics, bioethics, and feminist philosophy. In 2004 she was awarded the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meitroious Teaching. In addition to her work as a professor Dr. Epright serves as a clinical bioethicist and ethics consultant to numerous medical and social service entities, including the South Carolina Medical Association, the Greenville Hospital System, VistCare Hospice, and SpringBrook Behavioral HeathCare. She has published articles in bioethics, feminist philosophy, moral theory, and moral psychology. Her current research focuses upon the legal and moral implications of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
Alicia McNary Forsey, Ph.D., is a visiting scholar to the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, a parish minister, and co-teacher of Class 16 (a three-year certificate program) for the Humanist Institute. Dr. Forsey is responsible for the project that saved and made accessible the Earl Morse Wilbur Rare Book Collection which documents the intellectual history of Unitarianism. The books are in eight languages, date back to 1522 and number approximately 1,200 volumes. Dr. Forsey also initiated the first continuing-education program, first website, and first online courses for a member seminary of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
Ann Fuller is a Community Minister affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard, spokesperson in local separation of church and states issues, and writer. She earned a B.A. in Politics from Washington & Lee University, a M.A./PhD in Divinity Studies from Columbus University and is a graduate of the Humanist Institute's Class 15. She specializes in ritual celebration and academically has focused on the comparative mythology of the ancient Near East and early church history.
Kendyl Rauen Gibbons is the ninth senior minister of the First Unitarian Society. She is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, a recognized leader in our continental Association, and past president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. Kendyl is a 1976 graduate of the College of William and Mary, with B.A.s in Religion and Sociology. She holds a masters degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a Doctorate of Mininstry from the UU seminary, Meadville/Lombard Theological School.
R. Joseph Hoffman is a historian of religion, and was chair of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, Associate Editor of the journal Free Inquiry from 2003-2009. He was founding editor of CSER's Review, CAESAR: A Journal of Religion and Human Values. In his scholarly work, Hoffmann has promoted a controversial thesis regarding the role and dating of Marcion in the history of the New Testament canon, and has also produced reconstructions of fragmentary works by ancient pagan opponents of Christianity.
Kurt Johnson is a current and 25-year member of Ethical Culture and officer of its UN NGO (National Service Conference). Dr. Johnson (PhD evolution & ecology) combines significant work in the humanist, interspiritual and scientific communities. A monk for 14 years followed by a 20-year, widely published, tenure on staff at the American Museum of Natural History, Kurt also joined NYC's Interfaith Seminary and teaches comparative spirituality, integral theory and spiral dynamics. In 2001 he co-founded "InterSpiritual Dialogue" with intersubjective pioneer and author Bro. Wayne Teasdale, and has since become a major voice in the interdisciplinary/ intersubjective discussion, publishing articles in Kosmos, Vision in Action, and One Spirit Journal along with HI publications. Kurt is a co-founder/officer of several major activist networks, including The Coalition for OneVoice (2007), the Contemplative Alliance (2009) and the Universal Order of Sannyasa (2010) where he delights in balancing the humanist, scientific and interspiritual viewpoints.
Anne Klaeysen is Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture and Humanist Religious Life Advisor (aka chaplain) at Columbia University. She was the first Humanist Chaplain at Aelphi University in Garden City, NY, and served the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island as Leader from 2002 to 2008. Anne holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hebrew Union College and Master's degrees in Business Administration from New York University and in German from the State University of New York at Albany. She is a graduate of The Humanist Institute (class 10) and co-mentored class 15.
Jone Johnson Lewis is a minister, web writer, and teacher who has researched women's history around the world and in different eras with a special interest in 19th century social reform and religion. She has a B.A. in Management from Mundelein College's Women in Business program, and a M.Div. from Meadville/Lombard Theological School, where she had a special interest in studying the history of women in the world's religions and in social reform.
Mel Lipman, AHA immediate Past President, hails from Las Vegas where he's lived for the last 25 years. Raised in New York City by immigrant parents, Mel first began supporting his family at age 14. Mel was raised Jewish and didn't question his faith until one of his two children asked if he believed in God. He soon became involved in the freethought movement.
A lawyer, a chartered bank auditor and a former supervising examiner for the Federal Reserve Board, Lipman brings business savvy to the world of Humanism. He is a former board member of the Nevada Civil Liberties Union and remains active in many ACLU efforts. A Humanist minister, Lipman is a member of the Las Vegas Interfaith Council and frequently lectures on church-state issues.
Lipman is also a founding member of the Humanist Association of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, has served as its president for four years, and is now a board member and spokesperson for the group. As a prominent leader in the chapter, and now as president of AHA, Mel welcomes the opportunity to clarify the Humanist perspective. He frequently uses letters to the editor and participation in talk shows as means of voicing his advocacy for the community of reason. In a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal article, Lipman asserts; "My biggest concern is to counter the propaganda from people who think that people who don't believe in a supernatural being can't live moral, ethical lives."
Mel Lipman's top priority is to change people's attitudes about Humanists. "It is not OK to discriminate against somebody simply because they do not believe in God." Though retired from full-time legal practice, he works as an arbitrator and mediator while teaching constitutional law at the Nevada campus of the University of Phoenix.
Sarah Oelberg is a fifth generation Humanist. After many years as a professor of special education at Yeshiva University, NYU, and Buena Vista College, she received a Doctor of Ministry degree at Meadville Lombard, and became a Unitarian minister. Now retired, she is working on the history of her multi-generational humanist family.
Mason Olds of the Department of Humanities at Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, is editor of the journal, Religious Humanism. He wrote American Religious Humanism (1996), in which he explained that religious humanists are not theists. Of John Hassler Dietrich, he wrote that "[Dietrich's] significance as a religious thinker is based on his audacity in rethinking doctrines of the western religious tradition from the perspective of naturalistic humanism." He avers that religious humanists constitute the largest percentage of organizationally active humanists in the United States, a fact that many secular humanists say is unsupported.
Anthony Pinn is a contemporary professor and writer whose work focuses on liberation theology, Black religion, and Black humanism. Pinn is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. He earned his Ph.D. in the Study of Religion at Harvard University in 1994. His dissertation was entitled “I Wonder as I Wonder: An Examination of the Problem of Evil in African-American Religious Thought.” The topic of theological responses to evil and suffering in Black religion has continued to dominate Pinn’s later work.
Howard B. Radest is the founder and Dean Emeritus of The Humanist Institute, a member of the National Council of Ethical Culture Leaders, a member of the Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophic Thought. He is Board Chair of The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City, a consulting member [emeritus] of the SC Medical Assn Ethics Committee and is on the editorial boards of The Humanist and Religious Humanism. Dr. Radest was Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina-Beaufort where he taught medical ethics and comparative religion. He was Director [Headmaster] of The Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the School of American Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Executive Director of The American Ethical Union, and Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, NJ.. Dr. Radest was the founder and first chair of the University Seminar On Moral Education, Columbia University. He was Co-Chair of The International Humanist and Ethical Union, a member of the Mental Health Board of Bergen County (NJ), of the Board of Managers of Bergen Pines County Hospital, Chair of the Bergen Country Health and Welfare Council, and Vice President of the NJ State Welfare Council.
Philip J. Regal
Gretchen Robinson holds a MA in English/Creative Writing (Poetry) from Boston University and an MA in psychology and Religion from Andover Newton theological School (near Boston, 2006). A lifelong, if closeted, skeptic and freethinker, Gretchen now calls herself a secular humanist. She is also a student of Buddhist psychology. She works as an interfaith chaplain (Spirital Care Coordinator) in a local hospice. In the past she served as a Unitarian Universalist parish minister, before that spending years as a circuit riding guest preacher.
Gretchen's great love is leading and facilitating groups. Her strengths are practicality, pragmatism, tenacity, and active listening skills. She has the ability to connect with people of different faiths and no faith. Indoctrinated in childhood within an evangelical church and home, it never 'took.' Still, she was well into adulthood before she could claim her non-theist, naturalistic life stance. The Humanist Institute was life-changing opportunity for her to 'come home' to the self she'd had to silence most of her life.
In theology school she learned to deconstruct theological language and 'translate' concepts into a humanist understanding--and back again. Her other strength is her comfot with emotions and the language of emotion (what Bill Moyers calls "The Language of Life"). She has lead popular classes and programs at libraries, churches, museums, and non-profits in writing and creativity. She is a community activist, an advocate for nonviolence, and does community building works as a volunteer.
Harvey B. Sarles is a cultural critic who attempts to study, analyze, and critique the world, thence the university within it. He has trained at the University of Chicago as an anthropologist-linguist, in the prgmatist, symbolic-interactionist tradition of G.H. Mead, and comes to his studies as a kind of fieldwork: an anthropology of the ordinary. His re-envisioning the university is an aspect or outgrowth of his recent work: Nietzsche's Prophecy: the Crisis in Meaning (Humanity Press: 2001). He has also written about language as an aspect of interaction (Language and Human Nature. University of Minnesota Press. 1985), and about teaching as a dialogue (Teaching as Dialogue: A Teacher's Study, University Press of America, 1993). Most recently, his book on "Next Places" (Prism Press, 2006), is a group of meditations by which we each can seek out our future being.
David Schafer is a retired physiologist living in Hamden, CT. Pre-Humanist phase: Raised fundamentalist Christian. In adolescence immersed in the major religions, texts in original languages. Other supporting skills mathematics, music. 1948 B.A., English major, history minor; to graduate school, Univ Minnesota, English 1948-51 TA, Robert Penn Warren, Interp. Poetry; also medieval English, Classics, philosophy esp. of science. 1951 major shift to sciences (TA physiology; adv. physics/mathematics/chemistry) and Humanism (at Minneapolis First Unitarian Society: music committee chair, composer, pianist). 1957 instructor physiology; 1959 Ph.D. 1958-1963 NY Univ, physiology, instructor to assistant professor (also translator/editor, complete translations, two Russian physiology journals). Asia: 1963-66 (Fulbright) Prof., Physiol. and Biophysics, Calcutta Univ, India, concurrent appointmt to conduct basic cholera research, the Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Research and Training. 1966-68 to Rockefeller Foundation (RF), Bangkok, Thailand, as acting physiology chair, new medical school, Mahidol University. RF also supported two years cholera resch and six Bengali PG students as TAs. Also in India and Thailand, adv. study in Hinduism and Buddhism. USA: 1968-99 US Veterans Administration (VA), PI, cholera resch; teaching; admin first, 1968-74, in Minneapolis and 1974- , then to W Haven (CT) VA/Yale University. 1977 Acting Assoc. Chief of Staff for Research, W Haven (CT) VA (one year). Co-founded Humanist Assn. of CT; president 1989-99. Humanist Institute: graduated 4th class; board member (2000- ); co-mentor 9th class. 1999 retired VA. Board member: Amer. Humanist Assn. (1999-2001); ACLU-CT (1999-2009); Unitn Univers Humanists (HUUmanists) (1998- ), president, 2003-10. Currently consulting editor, The Humanist. Publications and lectures: 50+ articles, uncounted lectures on research and many other topics, from Islam to Humanism.
John R. Shook Is a scholar and professor living in Washington, DC. He is Director of Education and Senior Research Fellow of the Center of Inquiry since 2006, and the new Education Coordinator for the American Humanist Association. He is also on the faculty of the Science and the Public EdM program at the University at Buffalo. From 2000 to 2006 he was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University. Shook publishes on philosophical topics about science, naturalism, ethics, democracy, secularism, atheism, and religion. He has debated the existence of God with William Lane Craig and other prominent theologians. He has authored and edited more than a dozen books and dozens of articles in journals, from academic presses to popular magazines such as Free Inquiry. Amoung his books are Dewey's Empirical Theory of Knowledge and Reality (authored, 2000), Pragmatic Naturalism and Realism (edited, 2003), Blackwell Companion to Prgmatism (co-edited, 2005), The Future of Naturalism (edited with Paul Kurtz, 2009), The God Debates (authored, 2010), The Essential William James (edited, 2011), and he also recently edited Paul Kurtz's new book Exuberant Skepticism (2010).
Robert B. Tapp is Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Religious Studies, and South Asian Studies at University of Minnesota and Dean & Faculty Chair Emeritus of The Humanist Institute. Research grants from American Institute of Indian Studies and National Science Foundation. Religion among the Unitarian Universalists: converts in the stepfathers' house (1973); Editor, Multiculturalism (2000), Ecohumanism (2002), The Fate of Democracy (2006). Managing editor at founding of ZYGON: Journal of Religion and Science (1966).
Jeffrey Tate is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Rogers, Arkansas. He is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where he received a BA in Biology. He is a graduate of Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received his MD degree. He completed a residency in psychiatry, also at Emory University, where he was chief resident his final year. He is a graduate of the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute. He is board certified in psychiatry, and is certified in psychoanalysis by the American Psychoanalytic Association. He has been on the teaching faculties of the Baylor School of Medicine, the University of Texas School of Medicine, Houston, and the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. He has been a lifelong student of philosophy, and is currently enrolled in a Master’s of Arts in European Philosophy program. He has published on the Humanist implications of the philosophy of Jurgen Habermas. He is also involved in the Integral Theory movement, an attempt to synthesize science with both Eastern and Western philosophies and religions. He is a graduate of class 13 of the Humanist Institute. He is an ordained Humanist minister. He is the “church planter” and lay-leader of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Benton Co., Arkansas. He has been married since 1974 and helped raise a son and a daughter.
Mike Werner has been devoted to Humanism for over thirty years while raising a family and being successful in business. Fighting for civil rights at an early age and later working in most all the Humanist organizations, much of his life has revolved around promoting our lifestance. He has been President of the American Humanist Association, head of the Chicagoland Humanists; on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist group, HUUmanists; member of the North American Committee for Humanism; President of the Unitarian Church of Charlotte, Vice president of the Humanist Endowment, an adjunct faculty member of the Humanist Institute. He has taught widely at major universities in the cause of Humanism and humanistic issues. He was one of the founders of SMART Recovery a Self Management and Recovery Training program for addictions. With graduate background in chemistry he ran a successful business while enjoying the love of his partner and three children and now lives in Wilmington, NC where he has recently stated a new chapter of the AHA.
Marilyn Westfall is a long-time Atheist and Unitarian Universalist and currently serves on the board of the American Humanist Association. Marilyn is a co-founder and a senior editor of The Eloquent Atheist on-line magazine. She has published fiction, poetry, and criticism in several literary magazines.
Carol Wintermute's undergraduate work was at Dension University in Ohio where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She did post-graduate work in psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her graduate studies were in family social science at Minneosta where she completed the course work for a M.A. and Ph.D. degree. She is also a graduate of The Humanist Institute's first class.