Symposium Speakers & Moderators

Fourth Annual LAMP Symposium: "Religious & Scientific Perspectives on the Future of Life"

Amanda Stockton

''Amanda Stockton is an Assistant Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. Prior to this appointment, she worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Her Ph.D. work was with Richard Mathies at UC Berkeley after she earned a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Brown University and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Stockton has extensive experience in the use of microcapillary electrophoresis, laser-induced fluorescence (µCE-LIF) to detect exceptionally low levels (sub-pptr) of organic molecules in astrobiologically relevant samples, including those from the Murchison meteorite, Atacama Desert, Saline Valley, and Rio Tinto. Her work also includes a significant field-work component, including the FELDSPAR project involving repeated expeditions to volcanic regions of Iceland as a Martian analog study.


Arri Eisen

''Arri Eisen is the Nat C. Robertson Teaching Professor in Science & Society and a Professor of Pedagogy in Biology, the Institute for the Liberal Arts, and the Center for Ethics at Emory University. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill and his PhD in Biochemistry from UW-Seattle. Arri has taught at Emory for 27 years and has been the director of teaching for FIRST, a postdoctoral fellowship program in collaboration with Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta, since its inception in 2000.  He publishes in the peer-reviewed literature in biology, science education, and bioethics, and also in popular literature, including his recent book, The Enlightened Gene (ForeEdge, 2017), with Yungdrung Konchok, describing their work in the Emory Tibet Science Initiative. (Photo credit: Carlton Mackey).



Barry Kornblau

''Barry Kornblau has been the rabbi of the Young Israel of Hollis Hills-Windsor Park, in Bayside, Queens, NY since 2003.  He was a senior rabbinic leader of the Rabbinical Council of America from 2005-17.  A graduate of Yale and formerly a bond analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co, Rabbi Kornblau serves as a Director of Canfei Nesharim: Sustainable Living Inspired by Torah.





Cara Rock Singer

''Cara Rock-Singer is a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University, jointly appointed in Science and Technology Studies and Jewish Studies. Her Ph.D. (January 2018) is in American Religion from Columbia University. Her dissertation, "Prophetesses of the Body: American Jewish Women and the Politics of Embodied Knowledge," uses ethnographic and historical methods to trace how American Jewish women in the United States and Israel engage in bio- and theo-political projects in which their reproductive bodies are at once the substance and the implements. Her transnational research on Judaism and gender critically engages with the theories and methods of the social science of American religion to cast light on the ties that bind and divide American religion, science, and secularism.



Dabney Dixon

''Dabney W. Dixon is a Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of STEM Education Initiatives at Georgia State University.  She received her B.A. from Brown University in 1971, her Ph.D. from MIT in 1976 and an MTS from Candler School of Theology in 2008.  She was a postdoctoral associate at the University of California at San Diego, joining the faculty of Washington University in 1979 and moving to Georgia State in 1986. Dixon’s research group focuses on iron uptake in pathogenic bacteria.  Many bacteria grow with hemin as their major source of iron; characterization of the proteins in these pathways may provide alternative methods of treating bacterial infection.  In STEM education, Dr. Dixon works with faculty and staff to focus on innovations in teaching approaches, implementation of evidence-based teaching practices, and administrative support to help students graduate with the depth of technical knowledge, the curiosity, and the problem-solving skills to compete in the 21st century.  Dr. Dixon is on the Board of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, working with other committed people of faith for a most just and sustainable world.

David Addiss

''David Addiss, MD, MPH is a senior scientist at the Task Force for Global Health, Adjunct Professor at Rollins School of Public Health, and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Emory Center for Ethics. He has worked as a general medical practitioner in migrant health, an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focusing on neglected tropical diseases, and a program director at the Task Force for Global Health. From 2006 to 2010 David directed the science and spirituality program at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in 2014 he completed the lay chaplaincy training program at Upaya Zen Center. David teaches global health ethics at the Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame. His current interests include global health ethics and compassion in global health.  



Deanna Ferree Womack

''Deanna Ferree Womack is Assistant Professor of History of Religions and Multifaith relations at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the director of the Leadership and Multifaith Program (LAMP). Her teaching and scholarship combine commitments to interreligious dialogue, Christian-Muslim understanding, and American-Arab relations. Her forthcoming book from Edinburgh University Press, Protestants, Gender and the Arab Renaissance in Late Ottoman Syria, explores encounters between American missionaries and Arab residents of Ottoman Syria in the pre-World War I period. Womack earned her PhD at Princeton Theological Seminary and is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).



Eri Saikawa

''Eri Saikawa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory College of Arts and Sciences and also jointly appointed at the Department of Environmental Health in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is an affiliated faculty in the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods, the East Asian Studies Program, as well as in the Center for Study of Law, Politics and Economics. She received a Bachelor of Engineering and studied chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Tokyo. She then received a Master of Public Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, studying environmental policy and natural resource management. She pursued her Ph.D. in the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program within the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, graduating in 2010. She was a Postdoctoral Associate (2010 October – 2012 June) and a Research Scientist (2012 July – December) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before she joined Emory University in 2013. Her research is focused on analyzing sources and magnitude of emissions linked to air pollution, ozone depletion, and climate change, as well as the impacts of these emissions on humans and society. She is also interested in analyzing and developing policy measures designed to reduce these emissions, and how politics play a role in policymaking processes.

Frank Rosenzweig

''Frank Rosenzweig is a Professor of Biology in the College of Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has previously held tenured faculty positions at the University of Idaho, the University of Florida and the University of Montana, and has been Visiting Professor at Stanford School of Medicine. Rosenzweig received his B.A. in Comparative Literature at the University of Tennessee, and did post-baccalaureate work in Zoology at Duke University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.




Fred Simmons

''Frederick Simmons is the J. Houston Witherspoon Fellow in Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Center of Theological Inquiry. His scholarship examines the moral implications of Christian theological commitments and the relationships between ethics, aesthetics, and the natural sciences. Previously an Assistant Professor of Ethics at Yale Divinity School, he has also taught at Amherst College, La Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, and La Universidad Politécnica Salesiana.





Jacqueline Jones Rosyter

''Jacqueline Jones Royster is Dean of Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. She holds the Ivan Allen Jr. Dean’s Chair in Liberal Arts and Technology, and is Professor of English in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Royster earned an M.A. and D.A. in English from the University of Michigan. Her research centers on rhetorical studies, literacy studies, women’s studies, cultural studies, areas in which she has written and edited numerous books, articles, and book chapters. The books she has authored or co-authored include: Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1997), Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change among African American Women (2000), Profiles of Ohio Women, 1803-2003 (2003), and Feminist Rhetorical Studies: New Horizons in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies (2012). Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2010, Royster served as Senior Vice Provost and Executive Dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU).


Jan Love

''Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics, particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation, and globalization. The daughter of a Methodist minister, Love was raised in parishes throughout south Alabama, where she began a lifelong commitment to denominational service. She has been a lay leader at state, national, and international levels since she was in high school, including representing The United Methodist Church (UMC) on the World Council of Churches from 1975-2006, and serving on the boards of several United Methodist agencies. From 2004-2006, Love was the chief executive officer of United Methodist Women, the largest denominational women’s organization, with more than 800,000 members who raise up to $20 million annually for programs and projects related to women, children, and youth in the United States and abroad. Love earned bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in political science and served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina for more than two decades in the departments of religious studies and government and international studies.

Jennifer Hasler

''Jennifer Hasler is a full professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in Computation and Neural Systems in 1997, and received her M.S. and B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University in 1991. Jennifer Hasler has been an author on over 350 technical journal and refereed conference papers as well as over 25 patents. Jennifer is a founding member of the LAMP program, the faculty advisor for the Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation, and currently a part time MDiv student at Candler School of Theology.



Jennifer Mascaro

''Dr. Mascaro holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Emory University. Her research interests center on (1) the variation in, and plasticity of, human social cognition, and (2) the biology of interconnectedness. To this end, she explores how behavioral, cultural, neural, hormonal, and genetic factors affect prosocial emotions and behaviors, and how these prosocial emotions in turn impact health. Her work is ever collaborative and falls at the interface of medicine, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, religion, and psychology.





John Baross

''John Baross is Professor in Oceanography and the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington, where he received a PhD degree in marine microbiology.  His research specialty is the ecology, physiology, molecular phylogeny and evolutionary biology of microorganisms from hydrothermal vent and subseafloor environments.  Dr. Baross has particular interests in the microbiology of extreme environments and in the significance of submarine hydrothermal vent systems for the origin and evolution of life and for the possibility of life on other planets in similar settings.  He has previously served on more than forty national and international committees including recently as member of the selection committee for the USA Library of Congress Baruch Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology (2012-2014), Chair, Advisory Committee for the “Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigation” (C-DEBI) (2013-2015), and Co-Chair Blumberg Dialogues in Astrobiology and the Humanities (2014-2016).   Dr. Baross is currently a member of the International Executive Committee, the “Deep Carbon Observatory” (DCO), sponsored by the Sloan Foundation (2010-present), and member, SETI Institute Science Advisory Board (2016-present). 

Kenneth Knoespel

''Kenneth J. Knoespel is the McEver Professor of Engineering at the Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. His published research includes books and articles on changing narratives in the history of science and technology. In addition to interpretive practices in the natural and human sciences, his work engages cognition and visual practices. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Uppsala, Cornell University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg. His recent work emphasizes the ways astrobiology is building new communities of research across multiple disciplines.




Martha Grover

''Martha Grover is a Professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.  She earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech.  Her research program is dedicated to understanding, modeling, and engineering the self-assembly of atoms and small molecules to create larger scale structures and complex functionality.  Her approach draws on process systems engineering, combining modeling and experiments in applications dominated by kinetics, including surface deposition, crystal growth, polymer reaction engineering, and colloidal assembly.  She is a member of the NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution, and the Georgia Tech Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics.


Michael Karlin

''Michael Karlin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Life University in the Positive Human Development and Social Change Department and the Associate Director of the Life University Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics. He is the co-author of Compassionate Integrity Training: A Secular Ethics Approach to Cultivating Personal, Social and Environmental Flourishing. Karlin received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies from Emory University in 2014. Karlin was also a Fellow of the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies, Mind and Life Institute and the Wexner Heritage Institute. Prior to graduate school Karlin was the founder and President of the Mythic Imagination Institute, a non-profit institution dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of myth and ritual and how it functions in daily life. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Alliance for a New Humanity, an international non-profit organization founded by two Nobel Peace Prize winners and Deepak Chopra that attempted to address pressing international issues by bridging the spheres of politics, economics, and religion.


Norah Elmagraby

''Norah Elmagraby is a doctoral student in the Islamic Civilizations Studies (ICIVS) program at Laney Graduate School with a focus on Religion and Ecology. She earned her MSc in Sustainability Management at Columbia University in the city of New York. Her research is focused on environmental sustainability in the Middle East and the ways in which Islam influences environmental behavior. She is also interested in the relationship between science and Islamic theology. Norah has a keen interest in sustainable development, environmental protection, and social activism.


Ram Krishnamurthy

''Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy received his B.Sc. in chemistry from Vivekananda College (University of Madras) in 1984 and M.Sc. in Chemistry (1986) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He obtained his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, Columbus in 1992 under the guidance of Professor David Hart. Captivated by a lecture given by Professor Albert Eschenmoser (OSU, 1990), he did his post-doctoral work at Swiss Federal Institute (ETH), Zürich, with Professor Eschenmoser. Following a NASA-NSCORT fellowship (1994-1996) with Professor Gustaf Arrhenius at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, he rejoined Professor Eschenmoser at the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla in 1996, spawning a nearly 13-year research-collaboration. He is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry at TSRI applying synthetic organic chemistry to understand the chemistry behind the origins of life – and, in the process, developing molecular tools to probe biology and novel molecular leads for chemical therapeutics.

Scott Kugle

''Scott Kugle serves as Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, USA. His fields of expertise include Sufism, Islamic society in South Asia, and issues of gender and sexuality. He is the author of seven books, including Sufis and Saint’s Bodies: Corporeality and Sacred Power in Islam, When Sun Meets Moon: Eros, Ecstasy and Gender in Urdu Poetry, and Homosexuality in Islam. His research languages are Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. He also teaches Islamic practices of meditation in the Sufi tradition.


Steven Fazenbaker

''Reverend Steven H. Fazenbaker has served as the Director of the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech since 2000.  Prior to his appointment to Tech, Steve served as chaplain at Reinhardt College (now Reinhardt University) in Waleska, GA (1995-1998), as director of Greater Hartford Campus Ministry in Hartford, CT (1998-1999), and as United Methodist campus minister at San Francisco State University in California (1999-2000).  Before entering the ordained ministry, Steve earned a bachelor’s degree (1986) and master’s degree (1988) in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and he worked for 5 years at the VA Hospital in Decatur, GA, providing technical support to research scientists.  He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University in 1995, and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry program, with a concentration in Science and Theology, at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


Steven Kraftchick

''Steven J. Kraftchick is Professor in the Practice of New Testament Interpretation at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He teaches courses in New Testament interpretation, directs the Advanced and General Studies programs, and is involved with Candler’s digital learning initiative. He is also the Chair of New Testament Course of Study in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. Kraftchick came to Candler in 1983, and previously taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, Oberlin College and The School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. Kraftchick’s research and writing focus on Pauline thought and language theory, particularly metaphor theology and its role in theological thinking. Kraftchick has authored/edited three books, has contributed to and reviewed dozens more, and has presented papers around the world. As the Presidential Fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, he is working on a project that explores the intersection of theology and technology, especially as it relates to conceptions of the "techno-human" found in the philosophies of trans - and posthumanism.

Wei Wu

''Wei Wu is an assistant professor at the Department of Religion, Emory University. She received her Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University in 2017. She specializes in Chinese Buddhism and her research interests also cover religious transmission; religion and gender; religion and environment; and interaction between Buddhism and Daoism. She teaches introductory courses on Buddhism and other Asian religious traditions, as well as classes on special topics ranging from Chinese Buddhist texts to ritual in East Asian religion.



William P. Brown

''William P. Brown is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Bill has also taught at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and at Emory University.  He is the author of several books and numerous essays on biblical interpretation and theology, including Sacred Sense (Eerdmans), Wisdom’s Wonder (Eerdmans), The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University), Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor (WJK), as well as editor of Engaging Biblical Authority (WJK).  Bill was recently a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton (, where he worked collaboratively with scientists, philosophers, and ethicists exploring the “societal implications of astrobiology.”  He is currently working on a major commentary on the Psalms.  Bill is an avid Sunday School teacher and was a founding member of Earth Covenant Ministry, an organization of Presbyterian churches in the Atlanta area dedicated to creation care now part of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL). Gail and Bill have two grown daughters, Ella and Hannah.