Our Staff

The Boisi Center is committed to fostering rigorous, civil, and constructive conversations about religion in American public life, in pursuit of the common good of a religiously diverse society.


Mark Massa, S.J. portrait

Mark Massa, S.J.


Susan Richard portrait

Susan Richard

Administrative Assistant

Madeline Jarrett portrait

Madeline Jarrett

Graduate Research Assistant

Image of Emily Caffrey

Emily Caffrey graduated this spring majoring in Boston College’s Political Science Honors program and minoring in Religion and Public Life. She looks forward to pursuing opportunities in goverment affairs this fall.

Fallon Jones headshot

Fallon Jones graduated this spring from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Theology with minors in Studio Art and Religion and Public Life. She will spend her summer with her grandma in Okoboji, Iowa. She is preparing to embark on a move to Los Angeles in August as part of the St. Joseph Worker Program where she will serve on the legal team at Homeboy Industries.

Boisi Center Board of Advisors

Nancy T. Ammerman photo

Nancy T. Ammerman

Nancy T. Ammerman is professor emerita at Boston University School of Theology, where she served as professor of sociology of religion (2003-2019), after having previously taught at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (1984-95), and at Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research (1995-2003).  At Boston University, she also served the College of Arts and Sciences as associate dean of the faculty for the social sciences (2015-18), as chair of the department of sociology (2007-13), and director of the graduate division of religious studies (2014-15). 

Ammerman’s earliest work explored grassroots Fundamentalists and analyzed the organizational architecture of the 1980s conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Her most recent research has focused on everyday lived religion across a wide religious and geographic spectrum, including working with Grace Davie (University of Exeter) to coordinate an international team of scholars to assess “Religions and Social Progress” for the International Panel on Social Progress.

Randall Balmer photo

Randall Balmer

Randall Balmer is the John Phillips Professor in Religion, the oldest endowed chair at Dartmouth College. Before coming to Dartmouth in 2012, he was a professor of American religious history at Columbia University for twenty-seven years. In addition, Balmer has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Yale, Emory, and Northwestern universities and in the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He was an adjunct professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary and, from 2004 to 2008, a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School.

An award-winning historian, Balmer is the author of more than a dozen books, including Grant Us Courage: Travels along the Mainline of American Protestantism and Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fifth edition, was made into a three-part documentary for PBS. Balmer was nominated for an Emmy for writing and hosting that series. He has published several reviews in Washington Post Book World and the New York Times Book Review, and his commentaries on religion in America have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington PostDes Moines RegisterMinneapolis Star Tribune, and the New York Times. In 2024, Balmer was the recipient of the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion from the American Academy of Religion.


Ben Birnbaum photo

Ben Birnbaum

A Brooklyn, New York, native, Ben Birnbaum holds a B.S. in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College; a B.A. in psychology from Queens College of the City of New York; and an M.Ed. in counseling from the University of Vermont.

From 1978 to 2018, he was variously employed by Boston College as a writer, editor, executive director of marketing communications, and special assistant to the president. He was the editor of Boston College Magazine from 1985 to 2018, and served for a decade as a member of the advisory board to the Center for the Church in the 21st Century. He is presently a freelance writer and editor. His work has appeared over the years in publications that include Penthouse, Tri-Quarterly Review, Boston Globe, the Atlantic, Harvard Divinity Review, Image, Moment, the Jewish Review of Books, Salon and Tablet Magazine. He is the writer or editor of four books of Boston College history, and is also editor of a collection of essays titled Take Heart: Catholic Writers on Hope in Our Time (Crossroad, 2007). His writing has been anthologized in Best American EssaysBest Spiritual Writing, and Best Catholic Writing.

A father and grandfather, Birnbaum lives with his wife in Brookline, Massachusetts. A former chair of the board of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, he currently serves on the organization’s advisory committee. He was for 10 years an elected member of Brookline Town Meeting as well as an appointed member of the town’s Economic Development Advisory Board. He currently serves as an appointed member of the Town Advisory [Finance] Committee.


Susannah Heschel photo

Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel is the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor and chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on the Wissenschaft des Judentums, and she has used feminist, postcolonial, and critical race theoretical models in interpreting Jewish-Christian relations. She is the author of Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus; The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany; and Jüdischer Islam: Islam und jüdisch-deutsche Selbstbestimmung. Her forthcoming book, written with Sarah Imhoff, is Jewish Studies and the Woman Question. Also forthcoming is New Paths: Essays in Honor of Professor Elliot Wolfson, co-edited with Glenn Dynner and Shaul Magid. With Umar Ryad she edited The Muslim Reception of European Orientalism. She has also edited Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel, her father. A Guggenheim Fellow, she is also the recipient of five honorary doctorates from institutions in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland, and she has held research grants from the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. 


Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski is the Kraft Family Professor in the Theology Department and director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. He is a scholar of Jewish-Christian relations and comparative theology and the author of The More Torah, The More Life: A Christian Commentary on Mishnah Avot and Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs. His research interests include Jewish-Christian relations ancient and modern, comparative theology, the intersection of anti-Judaism and racism, and Anglican theologies of religion.


M. Cathleen Kaveny photo

M. Cathleen Kaveny

Cathleen Kaveny joined the Boston College faculty in January 2014 as the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor, the first role of its kind at Boston College, which has appointments in the theology department and Law School.

Kaveny has published over a hundred articles and essays in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She serves on the masthead of Commonweal as a regular columnist. Her book, Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2012. It won a first place award in the category of “Faithful Citizenship” from the Catholic Press Association. Her most recent book is titled Prophecy Without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Kaveny has served on a number of editorial boards including The American Journal of JurisprudenceThe Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Law and Religion, and The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. She has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, Yale University and Georgetown University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center. From 1995 until 2013 she taught law and theology at the University of Notre Dame, where she was a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law.

She is also the president of the Society of Christian Ethics, the major professional society for scholars of Christian ethics and moral theology in North America. It meets annually in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.


Ann McClenahan photo

Ann McClenahan

Dr. Ann B. McClenahan is the executive director of the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium, an association of nine graduate schools of theology in the Boston area and (most recently) in Hartford. The BTI Consortium was founded 50 years ago and serves to advance excellence in theological education and build interreligious community among the faculty, students, staff, and administrations of its member schools. The Consortium includes members from three universities (Boston College, Boston University, and Harvard University) and a diverse range of independent seminaries (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hartford Seminary, Hebrew College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint John’s Seminary).

Dr. McClenahan holds an A.B. degree from Brown University in American history and religious studies along with an M. Div. and Th.D. in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School. She returned to the study of religion and theology after a 20-year career in marketing and advertising, working with companies such as PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and The Washington Post.


Vincent Rougeau photo

Vincent Rougeau

Vincent D. Rougeau is the 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross and is a passionate advocate for an inclusive, mission-driven education. Under his leadership, Holy Cross has advanced Aspire, its strategic vision for the future, with an early focus on investing in student, faculty and staff experience, strengthening shared governance with faculty, administration and the Board of Trustees, and deepening partnerships across the City of Worcester. He previously served as dean of the Boston College Law School and the inaugural director of the Forum on Racial Justice in America. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, Rougeau has written extensively on law and religions, and is a nationally respected expert in legal education and Catholic social thought. He and his wife, Robin Kornegay-Rougeau, M.D., are proud parents to Christian, Alexander, and Vincent (V.J.) Rougeau.


Sam Sawyer, S.J. photo

Sam Sawyer, S.J.

Sam Sawyer, S.J., is an executive editor and the director of digital strategy at America Media. He previously served as an associate pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, DC, after being ordained a priest in 2014. During his theology studies, he helped to found The Jesuit Post and served as one of its first editors. During his Jesuit formation, Fr. Sawyer studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and theology at Boston College; he also taught philosophy for two years at Loyola University Maryland. Before entering the Society of Jesus, he worked as a software engineer after graduating from Boston College and spending a year as a volunteer middle school teacher. He also assists on Sundays at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan.  


Mark Silk photo

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is the director of the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and professor of religion in public life at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Silk served as editor of the Boston Review as well as a reporter, editorial writer, and columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For 15 years he edited Religion in the News, a magazine published by the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life that examined how the news media handle religious subject matter. Silk's publications include: Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II (New York: Simon and Schuster), Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press), and (with Andrew Walsh) One Nation Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics (Lanham, MD, Rowman and Littlefield). Silk writes a weekly column for the Religion News Service. He received his A.B from Harvard College and earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from Harvard University. 


Nancy S. Taylor photo

Nancy S. Taylor 

Nancy S. Taylor is the senior minister emeritus of Old South Church in Boston. Before retiring in 2022, she served churches for more than 40 years (in Maine, Connecticut, Idaho and Massachusetts). An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, she has been a civil and human rights activist. She is a co-founder of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Education. While in Idaho, she helped defeat two anti-gay ballot initiatives and to secure a minimum wage for Idaho farmworkers. In Massachusetts she was instrumental drafting the statute that makes clergy mandated reporters of suspected child abuse. She holds degrees from Yale Divinity School and Chicago Theological Seminary and is the recipient of three honorary degrees and multiple awards. She serves as an independent trustee of Impax Funds, on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Yale Divinity School, and as trustee emeritus of Franklin Cummings Tech.


Boisi Center Alumni


Omeed Alidadi (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2018)
Consultant at Deloitte, and MBA Candidate at UCLA

Matthew Bagot (Graduate Research Assistant, 2006-2007)
Associate Professor of Theology at Spring Hill College

Max Blaisdell (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016)

Julia Bloechl (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2017-18, 2019-2020)

Daniel Bruen (Undergraduate Research Assistant, Fall 2008)
Vice President at Jefferies, New York

Wilco Carey (Undergraduate Research Assistant, Spring 2014)
Associate at Goldman Sachs, New York

Patricia M.Y. Chang (Assistant Director, 2000-2005)
Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University

Shannon Cozzo Mahon (Graduate Research Assistant, 2004)
Organization Development & Internal Executive Coach at Google Inc., California

John Crowley-Buck (Graduate Research Assistant, 2007-2008)
Special Assistant to the Vice President of Mission and Ministry & Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Georgetown University

Kelly Cupo (Web Specialist, 2010-2011)
Sr. Product Manager at Etsy

Jay Deely (Graduate Research Assistant, 2000-2001)

Thomas DeNardo (Graduate Research Assistant, 2000-2006)
Securities Lending at State Street Corporation

Ryan Duffy (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016-17)

Kevin Durazo (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013)
Vice Principal at Catholic Memorial School

Mary Elliot (Graduate Research Assistant, 2018-2019)
Assistant Director, Lonergan Center, Boston College

Connor Farley (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016)
Stealth Startup, New York

Matthew Farnum (Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2014)
Legal Administrative Assistant at Clark+Elbing LLP

Andrew Finstuen (Interim Assistant Director, 2005-2006)
Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Special Initiatives and Dean of the Honors College, Boise State University

Nichole M. Flores (Graduate Research Assistant, 2012-2013; Web Specialist, 2011-2012)
Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

C. Thomas Fraatz (Graduate Research Assistant, 2016-2017)
Assistant director, Career Exploration, St. Lawrence University

Evan Goldstein (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2014-2015)
Ph.D. student in Judaic Studies at Yale University


Joseph Gravellese (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010)
Assistant Director, Leadership Giving at Boston College

Zoe Greenwood (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2019-2020)

Suzanne Hevelone (Graduate Research Assistant, 2007-2009, and Program Coordinator, 2015-2017)

Kristin Heyer (Graduate Research Assistant, 2000-2002)
Professor of Theology at Boston College

Jack Lee Hill (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-14)

Yael Levin Hungerford (Graduate Research Assistant, 2014-2015)
Program Director, Jewish Culture & Survival, The Snider Foundation

Claire Kairys (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011-2012)
Graduate student in Public Health at Columbia University

R. Zachary Karanovich (Graduate Research Assistant, 2019-2023) Assistant Professor of Theology, Mount Mary University

JoAnna Kassel (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011-2013)
Local Market Specialist at Porch in Seattle, Washington

Karina Kavanagh (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2021-2022)

Sean Keeley (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2014-2015)
Associate at Blue Star Strategies, Washington, DC

Kim Kosman (Graduate Research Assistant, 1999-2000)

Susan Kourtis (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2017-2018)
Administrative Associate, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital

Chris Lemming (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009)
Land Project Manager at Partners In Building

Thornton Lockwood (Graduate Research Assistant, 2000-2002)
Associate Professor of Philosophy at Quinnipiac University

Kyle Logan (Graduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016) 
Freelance Writer, Pop Culture

Isabelle Martinez (Web Specialist, 2007-2008)
General Manager, Zara

Kara McBride (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2011)
Legal Fellow at Human Rights First Law Practice, New York, New York

Emily McCormick (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2011)
Case Manager and Behavioral Health Associate with Catholic Community Services in Juneau, Alaska

Nathan McGuire (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016)

Corinne Madigan Munchbach (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2008-2009)
Vice President of Marketing at BlueConic, Boston

Jorge Mejía (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2017-2019)

Benjamin Miyamoto (Undergraduate Research Assistant, Fall 2013)
Retail Representative at Hana Tropicals

Therese Murphy (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-2014)
Director of Communications for The Irish American Partnership 

Adrianne Nagy DaPonte (Graduate Research Assistant, 2001-2002)
Special Assistant for Communications and Research in the Office of the President at Princeton University.

Jack Nuelle (Graduate Research Assistant, 2017-2018 & Interim Assistant to the Director, 2018-2019)
Program Manager for the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, Loyola University Chicago

Monica Orona (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2018-2020)
Executive Search and Assessment Professional, Russell Reynolds Associates, Dallas, Texas

Emily O'Neil (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2021-2022)

Erik Owens (Assistant/Associate Director, 2006-2018)
Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology and Director of the International Studies Program at Boston College

Amelia Parker (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016-2017)

Celso Perez (Graduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010)
Judicial Law Clerk, United States District Court for The Southern District of Florida, Miami 

Mary Popeo (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2012-2014)
Associate at GR Japan K.K.

Mark Potter (Graduate Research Assistant, 2003)
Chair and teacher in the Religion Department at Newton Country Day School

Sarah Slater (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2012-2013)
Senior Consultant at Deloitte, Boston, Massachusetts

Catherine Smith (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010)
International economic development specialist, London, United Kingdom

Brenna R. Strauss (Graduate Research Assistant, 2010-2012)

Karen Teel (Graduate Research Assistant, 2006-2007)
Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego

Katherine Tsantes (Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2012)
Consultant for Deloitte

Hillary Thompson (Graduate Research Assistant, 2007-2008)
Director of Guidehouse, Boston

Sylvia Waghorne (Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2017)

Brian Ward (Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2018-2019)

Alan Wolfe (Director, 1999 - 2016)

Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Professor Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski 
Theology Department

Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Professor Elizabeth Prodromou
International Studies Program