Leo Kozachkov (Rutgers University)
Leo Kozachkov is an undergraduate at Rutgers University, studying physics and mathematics. Inside of science, he is interested in statistical physics; outside of science, he is interested in literature and education reform. He enjoys writing, making music, going on long walks with his beloved dog, and reading/hoarding books. His grandest hopes are to discover a new physical law and to write many books.
Heather Yaden (Rutgers University)
Heather is a 2011 Rutgers–New Brunswick alumni with a degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science. She currently lives in Oakland, CA and works as a team member of Ala Costa Adult Transition program in Berkeley, CA. ACAT supports self-determination, independence, and empowerment in young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities through teaching community engagement and life skills. She is passionate about social justice and class issues: feminism, queer theory, disability rights, diversity, equality and the intersections of identity. Check out her twitter @HdAvery.
Meghan Guidry (Harvard University)
Meghan is a Masters of Divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School, where she studies bioethics, humanist philosophy, end-of-life care, and health policy. Her research focuses on the disconnection between ethics and technologies, assisted suicide, and other cheery subjects. Her interests include creative writing, swimming, language philosophy, medical sociology, and coffee. You can check out her books at Empty City Press, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @MeghanGuidry1.
Alexander Ioakimidis (Rutgers University)
Alexander is an undergraduate currently attending Rutgers University, double-majoring in both Astrophysics and Philosophy. He is an out-of-state student originally from Lexington, MA, and chose Rutgers so as to pursue Philosophy down the rabbit hole. His current interests lie in unearthing the underlying metaphysical assumptions in Ethics, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Language. Alex uses his dual major to contextualize both his philosophical and scientific inquiries, and is genuinely fascinated by both sorts of intellectual pursuits. In his spare time, Alex enjoys orchestral music, the deep web, electronic dance music, strategy games, and small, closely-knit groups of friends.
Claire Donnelly (Yale University)
A native of Berkeley, CA, Claire has always had many interests and passions–people being one of them. She grew up juggling and unicycling, riding horses, waterskiing, and roaming the hills and beaches of the Bay Area. One auspicious summer, Claire discovered molecular biology and has never looked back. She received her degree in the subject from Yale in 2014, and is now spending a year researching malaria in pregnancy in a tiny village in northern Malawi. Claire is new to Humanism, but hopes to use her love of people and stories to expand her thinking, especially through her work with this blog.
Mesha Arant (Yale University)
Mesha received her B.A. in Religious Studies from Wofford College in 2012 and is currently a Masters of Divinity candidate at Yale Divinity School, where she studies Christian theology, ethics, and African-American religious traditions. During her undergrad she traveled to India to study art, music, and dance. While there, she lived with Benedictine monks who combined Christian doctrine with Hindu rituals—a trip that began her interest in inter-religious dialogue. Her current interests include African-American humanism and creating dialogue between humanists and theists. In her free time she enjoys working on her art and music. Follow her on twitter @meshaarant
Matthew Facciani (University of South Carolina)
Matthew graduated from Westminster College where he earned a B.A. in psychology with honors. After college, Facciani went on to pursue a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at The University of South Carolina. While in studying neuroscience, Facciani realized that he was more interested in studying human behavior from a broader perspective and switched into the sociology PhD program at the University of South Carolina. Outside of his academic work, Facciani gives talks and writes articles about science for general audiences and is also an activist for gender equality and sexual violence prevention. Learn more about Facciani’s work and follow him on Twitter @MatthewFacciani.
Kris Miranda (De Paul University)
Kris is a screenwriting MFA student at DePaul University. Previously he studied philosophy at Colby College and the University of New Mexico. In theory his research interests were existentialism, ethics, and Buddhism, but in practice this translated into writing about skill, superheroes, and friendship. Kris mostly still writes about those things, and in flashes of foolish optimism likes to think this might land him a job on CBS’s Supergirl. Kris also likes: yoga, the Lincoln Memorial, Bioware video games, Heather Havrilesky’s advice column “Ask Polly,” the music of Sara Bareilles. He’s mostly retweeting culture critics and professional feminists @krismiranda09.
James Carroll (Rutgers University)
James Carroll was a Rutgers student studying for his B.A. in political science. He regularly geeks out over the histories of China’s borderlands, but loves nothing more than to expose the ironies and hypocrisies of “dissident” and anti-authoritarian movements. As a connoisseur of all things queer, sarcastic, and sublime, James is always ready to have his worldview challenged by his adversaries, and expects the same respect from all of his readers.
Harold Alexander Mesa (Rutgers University)
Harold Mesa was a Rutgers University alumnus who received his B.A. in 2013 in History. He was born in Medellín, Colombia and lived the second half of his childhood in New Jersey. His interests include post-colonialism, linguistics, Marxian political thought, feminism, and Buddhism—amongst other things. He enjoys playing and discussing soccer.
Emma Waldron (Rutgers University)
Emma Waldron was a Rutgers alumna and currently works with first-year students as an academic advisor. She spent her formative years in Boulder CO before relocating to the Garden State, and recently spent a year living in Bristol, England where she completed her MA in Performance Research. Her research focuses on the concept of authentic identity, and her dissertation addressed issues of gender and musical performativity in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Emma has recently become vegan, and documents the transformation on her blog “I Am What I Eat”. Emma spends a lot of time thinking about Judith Butler, iambic pentameter, vegan cookies, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sunshine, drag queens, Nordic larp, and tea.
Paul Jones (Rutgers University)
Paul was a senior studying philosophy and computer science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Transferring in the Spring of 2012, Paul earned an Associates in Liberal Arts from Mercer County Community College. An active member of the Rutgers undergraduate philosophy community, he holds leadership positions in the Philosophy Club, Undergraduate Journal, and Philosophy Honors Society. He has spent the last two summers working in research and development for Local Wisdom, Inc. of Princeton Junction, developing their WeatherWise and Photomash applications on Mac, iOS, and Android.
Wendy Webber (Yale University)
Wendy is a graduate of Yale Divinity School, where she was a founding member of an atheist, agnostic, and multifaith community that continues to foster interbelief dialogues and initiatives. Currently she’s traveling the world with Pathfinders Project, which aims to create a permanent Humanist Service Corps. Wendy writes about religion, atheism, and interbelief primarily for her blog and State of Formation. When she is able, she plays tennis, takes photos, and enjoys offbeat museums.
Aaron Gertler (Yale University)
Aaron is a member of the class of 2015 at Yale University. After he graduates, he hopes to live his life in a way that makes the lives of other people significantly better, unless he gets distracted by his dream of becoming a famous DJ/novelist/crime-fighter. His interests include electronic music, applied psychology, instrumental rationality, and effective altruism. If his beliefs are inaccurate, you should tell him so as directly as possible. You can follow him on Twitter @aarongertler, and he also writes for his own blog.