RUF Interns & Staff in the Northeast

Interns

Sarah Jayne Kennelly (University of Vermont)
Sarah Jayne Kennelly considers Rochester, New York her hometown, despite having lived on both the east and west coasts throughout her life. She had become a Christian at a young age, but Sarah Jayne never had the opportunity to probe her faith until college. In her freshman year at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, a friend from art class invited her to RUF. There, for the first time, she felt known, seen, and loved in a Christian setting, and she has been involved since. Sarah Jayne received her degree in art education in 2019. She hopes to find a career where she can use her love for the arts to serve families and individuals in low income communities. As an RUF intern, she anticipates learning more of who God is and how to love others well. Other than spending time with college students, Sarah Jayne loves to create art through photography, specifically using 18th and 19th century processes. She enjoys traveling to new places, having a good cup of coffee, and learning new instruments.
sarahjayne.kennelly@ruf.org
RUF at the University of Vermont

Serena Jones

Serena Jones (Boston University)
Serena might be notorious in her hometown of Akron, Pennsylvania, for singing loudly in the car with the windows down. Besides singing enthusiastically, Serena derives deep enjoyment from spending time with her friends, watching comedies, reading books and making long Spotify play lists. During her first two years at Millersville University, she commuted 20 minutes from her parents’ home to Lancaster. Serena was very involved in Millersville’s RUF, participating in the leadership team and leading Bible studies for three semesters. During the summer, she served full-time in youth ministry and relished every minute. In 2018, she graduated with a degree in early childhood education. But instead of pursuing a career teaching, her RUF and youth ministry experiences have led her to consider a career in ministry, and she hopes that her internship will confirm a probable calling to full-time ministry.
serena.jones@ruf.org
RUF at Boston University

Lissy Sommerville

Elisabeth Somerville (Brown University/RISD)
Lissy Somerville’s desire to serve God and others may have originated from her grandparents. Several generations of Lissy’s family were missionaries in East Asia, and her grandfather is a native Korean. Despite Lissy’s childhood in the mountainous town of Montreat, North Carolina, she identifies strongly with this heritage and explored her past while studying abroad in South Korea as an undergraduate at Appalachian State University. She graduated in 2018 with a major in studio art. After graduation Lissy became an RUF intern because she wanted to guide students in their understanding of the gospel and to equip them to serve others. When she completes her internship, Lissy hopes to pursue a graduate degree in early childhood special education to achieve her ultimate goal of working with families as an early intervention specialist. She enjoys baking, playing banjo, creating art, traveling, and studying languages, including Korean, Spanish and American Sign Language.
elisabeth.somerville@ruf.org
RUF at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design

nrackers.jpg

Nathan Rackers (Brown University/RISD)
A man who appreciates a good story, Nathan Rackers grew up near Greensboro, North Carolina. As a child, his parents faithfully brought him to church, where he embraced the faith. He sought Christian fellowship when he began his freshman year at North Carolina State University. He found it at RUF. There, to his joy, he was welcomed by a diversity of fellow believers. As an intern, he hopes to share that joy with other students. Nathan graduated in 2019 with a major in mechanical engineering and a minor in Trombone Performance. After completing his RUF internship, he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering. He explores his passion for fiction through books, story-rich video games, and Dungeons and Dragons. To clear his head, he “doodles” on the piano, occasionally, recording original compositions.
nathan.rackers@ruf.org
RUF at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design

Taylor GummTaylor Gumm (University of Connecticut)
Through his internship, Taylor Gumm is seeking to replicate for students what his own experience with RUF was: the “best, most important part of my college experience.” As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, he was roped in to RUF from the start as a place where he understood Christian community and identity for the first time. He’s hoping that serving at the University of Connecticut will confirm God’s calling for him to seminary and vocational ministry. He may also travel after the internship, perhaps to Germany to test out his recently acquired German language skills! Taylor is from always-sunny Marin County, California, and graduated in 2020 with a major in sociology. He’s hyped about UConn sports teams as an avid fan of beach volleyball, Spikeball, basketball, football and more! An Eagle Scout and black-belt in kempo karate, he is known for seeking out even more creative challenges with his roommates such as eating the spiciest hot wings possible. He also enjoys movies, cars, and outdoor activities with friends like hammocking, barbequing, and mountain biking.
taylor.gumm@ruf.org
RUF at University of Connecticut

SophieSophie Rooks (University of Connecticut)
It was an invitation from James Madison’s RUF Campus Minister to a freshman small group that convinced Sophie Rooks that James Madison was the college for her. In fact, she jokes that becoming an RUF intern herself could be considered the fulfillment of her RUF intern Cayla’s prophecy from freshman year. Sophie’s initial plans for her future were interrupted midway through her four years, and she ended up graduating from James Madison with a major in communications, a minor in Chinese language, and an intent to pursue full-time ministry. Her plan for the latter centered around applying to be an RUF intern after her graduation in spring of 2020. Moving from her home state of Virginia to serve at the University of Connecticut, she looks forward to all the duck-watching New England will afford, as well as finally experiencing all-you-can-eat dining halls! She loves reading, obsessing over Exodus, hiking, talking about life over coffee, and re-watching her favorite shows and Disney/Pixar films. She has a habit of starting crafts that she will inevitably give up.
sophie.rooks@ruf.org
RUF at University of Connecticut

Haley WilliamsHaley Williams (New York University/City Campus RUF)
Born in Newtown, Connecticut, Haley Williams decided to become an RUF intern because she is “passionate about the work RUF is doing to point students toward Jesus.” A 2020 dance and religious studies graduate of The Ailey School and Fordham University in Manhattan, she is eager to share the freedom she’s discovered from making the glory of God her artistry’s purpose. She’s also thrilled to be continuing specifically with RUF City Campus in the city where she has a gut feeling she’s meant to be! As an undergraduate, RUF City Campus proved to be a supportive, collaborative hub for her and for other college students training for excellence in specific disciplines. Now, it’s her turn to be able to continue its mission. As an intern, Haley hopes to continue dancing as a freelance and guest artist for contemporary dance companies around the Northeast. She is also exploring her interest in creating her own dances and plans on furthering her dance career in the city after the internship ends. She loves organizing her free time into game nights, movie nights, TV show marathons, and RUF City Campus dance parties with friends! When she has a moment to herself, she likes to listen to music, journal, or write poetry and letters.
haley.williams@ruf.org
RUF at City Campus

swebster.png

Sterling Webster (New York University/City Campus RUF)
At the end of his senior year at James Madison University, Sterling Webster faced a difficult decision. Should he pursue a career as a musician or should he seek an internship with RUF? Sterling had entered college with a vision of becoming a professional musician. He had majored in vocal performance and music industry, receiving a Bachelor’s of Music in 2018. But he also felt drawn to ministry. Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, Sterling was the son of a PCA pastor. In college, he became one of the earliest members of RUF at James Madison University and served on the ministry team, coordinated large group music and lead a small group Bible study. As his undergraduate career came to end, Sterling had several auditions scheduled but had also applied to the RUF internship. During the application process, he realized that becoming a RUF intern would be a more worthwhile experience than pursuing a musical career. Sterling served as an intern at East Tennessee State University for the 2017-2018 school year before becoming an intern at City Campus New York City the following year. After his internship, he is considering enrolling in seminary to pursue counseling or a Master’s of Divinity. When he is not hanging out with friends, Sterling enjoys singing and playing music, sampling new food, and learning trivia.
sterling.webster@ruf.org
RUF at City Campus

Matt DabieroMatt Dabiero (Millersville)
Free pizza may have changed the trajectory of Matt Dabiero’s life. When he was a freshman at Penn State University, Matt was invited to attend the first RUF large group of the year where they were serving pizza. As he enjoyed the slices, Matt fell in love with the people in the fellowship. Matt was raised in a Christian home in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but he did not take his faith seriously until RUF. Through RUF he grew to love God’s Word, prayer, and service. Matt graduated from Penn State with a major in Communications Arts and Sciences in 2019. Although Matt enjoys running, camping, playing sports, reading, and traveling, his passion is guiding students to the gospel. After his internship, he plans to attend seminary to become a campus minister.
matt.dabiero@ruf.org
RUF at Millersville University

Calais

Calias Eledui (Penn State University)
Calais Eledui wants to step into the shoes of her spiritual mentor while at the University of Alabama Huntsville, an RUF intern who saw her “need to be pursued.” Amid the struggles of freshman year, Calais became involved with freshman RUF Bible study, from which developed the “sweetest community” she had ever experienced. As an intern at Pennsylvania State University, Calais is looking forward to inserting herself into Penn State’s active student life and showing others the precious truth that kept her coming back to RUF: that “Jesus wanted to know and have a relationship with me.” Calais began her college career intent on a STEM degree in keeping with her engineering hometown, but God had other plans and she graduated in the spring of 2020 with a major in public relations writing and a minor in health and wellness. After serving as an intern, she’s weighing pursuing a biblical counseling degree or vocational ministry. A well-rounded student, her writing and science acumen joins a love of fine arts: drawing, painting, and watercolors. She plans to keep up her hobbies of running, dancing, singing, and journaling once on the East Coast. She’ll also be on the lookout for a new favorite coffee shop, now with the addition of her first-ever winter coat!
calais.eledui@ruf.org
RUF at Penn State University

ZennyJua

Zenny Jua (University of Pittsburgh)
Zenny was raised in Cameroon. She spent her first 10 years in the French-speaking region called Douala and seven years in the English-speaking zone, Bamenda, where she attended a Roman Catholic boarding school. In 2013, she left Camodia to study business management with a specialization in entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. During her freshman year, a friend asked Zenny where she would be if she were to die. “Most likely not heaven because I am not pure enough,” she responded. But her friend shared the hope of the gospel – that Zenny would never be good enough, but that Jesus’s goodness could be hers. After further discussions and watching “The Shocking Youth Message” by Paul Washer, Zenny knelt down and cried for “God to be her God in Christ.” Since then, God has faithfully grown her faith. During her senior year, Zenny attended an RUF large group and immediately loved the ministry. Zenny recalls that the room was full of “beautiful singing, beautiful people, beautiful campus minister faithfully teaching God’s word.” Zenny’s faith grew during that year with RUF, and as her graduation approached, she began to consider her future. “I prayed about becoming an intern, it was my conviction that I wanted to be a sister and friend who encourages others to find their fulfillment in our most blessed Savior.” Zenny loves being with people, especially God’s people. She also enjoys music, singing and dancing. When she hears a beat some part of her body instinctively moves to the rhythm. This passion for rhythm and beautiful sounds carries into writing, both through blog posts and through written word. After her internship, Zenny is considering entering into the ministry, possibility with a focus on deaf ministry.
zenny.jua@ruf.org
RUF at University of Pittsburgh

Lewis RUFJosh Lewis (Delaware State University)
A native of Waldorf, Maryland, Joshua Lewis is seeking to extend the same welcome to students that RUF provided him as a student at University of Maryland College Park. Through the discipleship of his RUF campus minister, Bible studies on the Gospel of John, and pizza nights, his childhood faith was strengthened. Josh graduated in the spring of 2020, and his goal for this internship is to experience hands-on ministry before attending seminary. He specifically wants to explore what ministry means in the context of a Historically Black University whose community members’ struggles he has a burden to address. He’s also looking forward to the beaches, getting outside to hike and enjoy God’s creation, and going to classical and jazz concerts while an intern at Delaware State University. A tuba and guitar player himself, Josh majored in music and has played at Carnegie Hall and in Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador while on tour with his orchestra. He also likes playing basketball and reading anything related to theology, history, and biography.
joshua.lewis@ruf.org@ruf.org
RUF at University of Delaware

Valerie MeckValerie Meck (University of Maryland)
Along with it being an opportunity to reach others with the Gospel, Valerie views her RUF internship as an opportunity to further inform her faith in a knowledgeable and trustworthy setting. While a freshman computer engineering student, she was brought by God to learn her limits and her need for a stable identity in Christ. RUF at the University of Pittsburgh provided her with an immediate family of “stable and consistent” Christians that showed her the love of Christ and how her identity could be found in Him. As an intern at the University of Maryland, Valerie is especially looking to explore the unique ways her non-Presbyterian upbringing can empower her to serve across denominational lines. She’s also looking forward to not dealing with Pittsburgh’s complicated transportation and mountainous landscape any more and trading it for the University of Maryland’s flatter build that has all the various types of commuters in mind. Her husband is also a computer person and they share a love of playing ukulele. Reading, water-skiing, and playing even more instruments are some of her other past-times.
valerie.meck@ruf.org
RUF at University of Maryland

Josh Shaner (University of Maryland)
Josh Shaner, a skateboarding enthusiast and an avid podcast listener, has dedicated himself to understanding and sharing biblical knowledge. Josh was raised by Christian parents in Laurel, MD, but his faith was not realized until his junior year of high school. “I experienced the Holy Spirit in a very real way and it changed my life,” he says. Josh attended Lancaster Bible College and graduated with a degree in Science of the Bible in 2016. Afterward, he sought a position that would allow him to pursue his calling to campus ministry while earning his M.Div. The RUF internship allows him to study at Reformed Theological Seminary and trains him for ministry. Once his internship ends, he hopes to finish his degree and become a campus minister.
josh.shaner@ruf.org
RUF at University of Maryland

Staff

Catherine Cook

Catherine Cook (Harvard University)
Catherine Cook is from the deep south but flew north for college and has re-rooted in Boston. She is taking her last class at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary this summer (2018) and is expecting to receive her MDiv in October. She has worked with RUF for three years as intern/staff at the College of William & Mary and has been part time with RUF at Harvard for two years. This Fall, she will serve as Director of Outreach and Discipleship with RUF at Harvard. When she is not having coffee with college students, Catherine is usually seeking out the companionship of either real-life friends or friends in the pages of a book.
catherine.cook@ruf.org
RUF at Harvard University

Ava Ligh

Ava Ligh (University of Connecticut)
Ava Ligh is joining RUF as Campus Staff because she wants to help students from different backgrounds who feel “in the dark” with respect to God. As a sophomore at Columbia, she joined a Bible study originally to prove to a friend that she could dismiss Christianity’s claims. Instead, she ended up with more questions, and it was through a campus ministry that she surrendered to Christ and gained a passion for helping students confront the claims of the Gospel. Ava attended Columbia (CC’99), and she worked as a consultant before obtaining a Masters in Education and teaching for two years. For ten years she stayed home to care for Karis (16), Erenei (13), and Checed (11) before starting to explore her calling to campus ministry. As a member and elder’s wife in Emmanuel Presbyterian Church a few blocks away from Columbia’s campus, she’s been serving in a campus ministry at Columbia for six years and is eager to transition to its RUF ministry because of its sound theology and accountability structure. She enjoys making fun of her kids, Netflix comedy specials, knitting, calligraphy, and playing Settlers of Catan with the family!
ava.ligh@ruf.org
RUF at the University of Connecticut

Megan Terrell (City Campus Ministry)
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Megan’s childhood faith blossomed into a deeper knowledge of and love for God through RUF at Clemson University. While pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, she also met Matthew Terrell. Megan and Matthew were married in 2007, the year they graduated. Together, Matthew and Megan attended Covenant Theological Seminary. She graduated with a Masters of Arts in Educational Ministry in 2001, and Matthew completed his Masters of Divinity in 2011. The family moved to Birmingham, Alabama where Matthew became the campus minister at Samford University. Four years later, the family relocated to New York City where Matthew serves as the campus minister for City Campus. For seven years, Megan unofficially assisted Matthew in various capacities. She led Bible studies, attended large groups, hosted events, and shepherded young women individually. In 2019, Megan officially became a part-time staff member at City Campus. She serves students throughout the city, including students at New York University, Fordham, Fashion Institute of Technology, the Kings College, Pace University, and City College. Megan enjoys running, reading, playing the piano, hiking, fishing, eating delicious food, and playing games. She and Matthew have three children, Eliot (2011), Zoey (2013), and Megan (2016).
megan.terrell@ruf.org
RUF in New York City

miller

Callie Miller (University of Pittsburgh)
Callie was called to campus ministry after 10 years preparing for a career in science. As full-time campus staff at Pitt, Callie works alongside the campus minister and fosters student leadership. Callie’s return to Pitt is somewhat of a spiritual homecoming. God radically changed Callie’s heart while she was a graduate student at Pitt. Callie had previously attended Francis Marion University in her hometown, Florence, SC. There, she earned a B.S. in Biology (2007) and became increasingly skeptical about her Christian faith. After graduation Callie worked at Pitt as a research specialist for two years before pursuing her doctorate in Molecular Neuropharmacology. Soon after beginning graduate school at Pitt, Callie began attending RUF meetings and a local church. Through these organizations, God transformed Callie’s skepticism and desire for self-determination into faith. Callie met her husband, James, a Pitt alumnus, at a RUF fundraising event. In 2012 Callie completed her studies with an M.S. and began a two-year internship with RUF at Pennsylvania State University. Her internship ended in 2014, and Callie and James were married that summer. Callie served as a campus staff with RUF Lynchburg at Sweet Briar Women’s College until the college announced its closing in 2015. Callie delights in conversation, coffee, dancing, dimples, and big earrings.
callie.miller@ruf.org
RUF at University of Pittsburgh

Beans(Joy)SqJoy Beans (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Joy has had the unique privilege of walking alongside several students as they progressed through middle school, high school, and now college. Joy initially ministered to these students through her church. Now as a part-time staff member at RUF, Joy continues to mentor them, but their relationship has matured from student-teacher to friend and confidant. Along with mentoring students, Joy’s responsibilities with RUF include offering hospitality, helping with fundraising, and supporting her husband, UMBC’s campus minister. Joy Gordon grew up in Lincthicum, MD and attended Geneva College, graduating with a degree in English and writing in 1991. At her church’s college and career event, she met Trip Beans, and the two were married in 1999. Trip and Joy have spent most of their marriage living in Lancaster, PA or Maryland. Prior to joining the staff at RUF, Joy worked as a classroom aide for an elementary school. In 2015 she became a Title 1 assistant for the school. Joy and Trip have three children, Luke (1996), Adelyn (2002), and Kya (2005). When she is not caring for others, Joy enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and sipping tea.
joy.beans@ruf.org
RUF at University of Maryland Baltimore County

TMitchell

Terry Mitchell (RUF-I Johns Hopkins University)
After becoming a Christian at the age of 19, Terry had a strong yearning to know more about God and longed to share this wonder with those around her. Yet, she had not been raised in a Christian home. Feeling the need to be more equipped, she attended Covenant College, graduating with a major in Bible and a minor in sociology. Afterwards, she attended Covenant Theological Seminary earning a Master’s of Arts in Biblical studies. Upon graduation from seminary in 1989, she joined the ministry of RUF and worked as an intern on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee. She loved being an intern. During her almost three years there she saw God change lives, which deepened her desire to help others develop an intimate relationship with him. That desire has never left her and has led her to work with international students at Johns Hopkins University in her hometown of Baltimore. Terry loves to show hospitality and entertain, and she uses these gifts to reach the international students at Hopkins. Aside from hospitality and entertaining, Terry plays a mean game of Scrabble, welcoming all challengers!
terry.mitchell@ruf.org
RUF-I at Johns Hopkins University

Janelle Grove (RUF-I George Mason University)
Janelle Grove exudes an independent, entrepreneurial spirit. The native of northern Virginia has embarked on several unique business adventures. With her twin sister, she started a bakery that produces healthy gluten-friendly bread to sell at farmer’s markets. Janelle has also taught piano lessons and tutored English as a Second Language. Rather than attend a traditional college, she pursued an online degree in entrepreneurship through Thomas Edison State University, graduating in 2015. In her spiritual life, Janelle has also taken the initiative. While Janelle became a Christian as a child, she has pursued self-guided Bible study and mentorships. In 2016, she took a class through Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, offered by the para-church organization, Frontier Ventures. The course’s emphasis on God’s redemptive work worldwide inspired Janelle to work with international students. Since her church supported RUF-I at George Mason University, Janelle volunteered in 2016. The next year, she became a full-time intern and then a staff member in 2019. A nature-enthusiast, Janelle raises several house plants and enjoys hiking and running. If she’s indoors, she may be found reading or playing her ukulele.
janelle.grove@ruf.org
RUF-I at George Mason University

Kristy

Kristy Hard (office assistant to David Green)
Love for her family has shaped Kristy’s career path. During her senior year of high school, Kristy fell in love with her future husband, Michael. The two were married in 1995, after Kristy’s freshman year at Rowan University and, eventually, settled in Easton, PA. Instead of continuing with her college education, Kristy worked as a bank teller and customer service representative at Phillipsburg National Bank. Three years later, Kristy’s first son, Michael, was born and Kristy became a stay-at-home mom. She assisted a crafter for five years while at home and home-schooled her four children, Michael (1998), Katie (2000), Christopher (2003), and Stephen (2003). Since 2014, she has taught high school English to students in their homeschool cooperative. In 2015, Kristy earned her associates degree in English at Northampton Community College. Kristy began working for RUF in fall of 2017. As the RUF Northeast Office Assistant, Kristy’s responsibilities include responding to emails, returning phone calls, managing parts of the website, bookkeeping, and assisting with the production of the newsletter. She loves spending time with her family, crocheting, cross-stitching, baking, reading, and gardening.
kristy.hard@ruf.org