SPIRITUAL ADVISORS SERVING NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY:
Harrison Blum, Buddhist Spiritual Advisor
Harrison Blum recently completed a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School with a focus on Buddhist ministry, and earlier received a Master of Education from Lesley University in their Creative Arts in Learning Program. He is a Community Dharma Leader in the Insight Meditation tradition, and is passionate about deepening and enriching everyday life through Buddhist study and mindfulness practice. Through his Moving Dharma work, Harrison offers workshops and performances that wed improvisational movement with mindfulness practice and Buddhist teachings. In the summer of 2012 he launched the Mindfulness Allies Project which creates partnerships to bring mindfulness training to underserved and less-resourced populations, especially as caused by racism and classism. Harrison currently works as a resident chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and has worked as a chaplain at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well. Additionally, he has co-directed study abroad trips through northern India, where he filmed and edited the documentary short Cutting a Rug, Turning the Wheel: Beats and Buddhism in Northern India, which played in film festivals in the summer of 2008. Amidst these and other pursuits, Harrison nurtures a sense of wonder and gratitude through daily meditation and prayer, and is honored to assist in fostering this internal landscape at Northeastern.
Arinne Braverman, Jewish Spiritual Advisor and Executive Director, Northeastern Hillel
Arinne Braverman developed her passion for experiential education and Jewish student engagement through her 7 years with Hillel Council of New England, serving as: Director of Regional Student Services, Director of Small Campus Engagement, and Director of the Hillels at Emerson College, Wheaton College, and the University of New Hampshire. Arinne graduated from Smith College with a BA in psychology in 1999, completed the Jewish Organizing Initiative’s community organizing fellowship in 2003, and received her M.Ed. from Cambridge College in 2007. Her master’s thesis was titled Beyond the Bagel Brunch: A Pluralistic, Experiential Program Addressing Jewish College Students’ Search for G*d. She has experience designing and implementing Jewish and non-Jewish workshops and educational conferences for a variety of audiences. Arinne has additionally served in a wide range of roles with young adults as a: Jewish chaplain, Taglit-Birthright Israel madricha, Jewish youth group advisor and curriculum director, camp counselor and administrator, teacher, tutor, mentor, and advocate. A former certified LifeSkills trainer in the Malden Public schools and YWCA street outreach youth worker with training from the BEST Initiative, she brings a diverse skill set and approach to her work with sacred community. In her free time, Arinne reads Jewish theology, experiments with allergy-friendly recipes, and plays Thomas the Tank Engine with her two sons.
Joyce DeGreeff, Lutheran Spiritual Advisor
Joyce DeGreeff has served at Northeastern since the fall of 1997, as Lutheran Campus Minister and University Spiritual Advisor. A 1999 graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Joyce has a particular interest in helping students link faith and spirituality with community service and social justice. She is also the youth coordinator at West Concord Union Church in Concord, MA. Joyce's previous work includes five years of teaching and coaching in Connecticut and Maine and a chaplain internship at Tufts University. In her spare time, Joyce enjoys jazz and gospel music, coaching basketball, hiking, cross-country skiing and spending time with her husband and three children.
Brother Joseph Donovan, Catholic Spiritual Advisor and Director, The Catholic Center at Northeastern
Brother Joseph is a native of Philadelphia, PA and a member of the Brotherhood of Hope, a religious community of brothers and priests dedicated to the work of evangelization. He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Rutgers University where received his BA. He has served as campus minister at Seton Hall University in NJ, and at Pensacola Catholic High School. He received a Master's Degree in Biblical Theology from Seton Hall School of Theology and a Diploma in Spirituality from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He is currently the Director of the Catholic Center at Northeastern University.
Dustin Gardner, Sojourn Collegiate Ministry Spiritual Advisor
Born and raised on a small farm in Missouri, Dustin is now fully submerged in an urban life and ministry. Although he was raised in a Christian home, it wasn't until his sophomore year in an engineering college that he fully surrenderedhisy life to Jesus and realized that he was calling me to ministry in his name. Dustin transferred to Central Christian College of the Bible in Missouri where he graduated with a Bachelor's in Religious Studies in 2011. During his time at Bible college he lead a youth ministry at an independent Christian church near Kansas City, MO and was eventually ordained by the elders there to a life of ministry. Despite Dustin's passion for youth, his heart truly broke for the high-pressure, purpose-seeking, identity-defining life stage of college students. After a trip to Boston(the college city), he fell in love with the city and mission of Sojourn Collegiate Ministry in New England-to help college and university students on their journey back to God through asking questions, pursuing Jesus, and living justly. Dustin moved out here and began serving in the Fall of 2010. He now serve as the lead campus minister for Sojourn at Northeastern University and UMass Boston. Dustin reside in Dorchester where he partners with his wife, Rachele, in social entrepreneurship and urban youth ministry.
Kaitlin Ho, Intervarsity Multi-Ethnic Chrstian Fellowship Spiritual Advisor
Kaitlin studied English Literature and French Language at Boston University, and is currently studying for her Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She has been working for InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship at Northeastern for five years. She loves leading diverse (both culturally and spiritually) groups of students in service and conversations about faith. Having had a life-changing experience growing in her faith during college, Kaitlin values making sacred space for students as ask their questions, to belong to an on-campus family, to consider Jesus and look at his story and character with their own eyes, and to be transformed.
Beau Latif Scurich and Naila Baloch, Muslim Spiritual Advisors
Beau Latif Scurich completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Near Easter Studies with a focus on Islamic Studies and Arabic. He is also a graduate of the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism: a three year Islamic ministry program based in Northern California. Beau has also spent years studying Islam traditionally with different scholars, including two years of intensive study in Jordan and Morocco. Beau has been a public speaker, leader and educator on Islamic issues in several communities.
Naila Baloch is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry at Andover Newton Theological School - the first Muslim in this program. She received a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she specialized in Islamic ministry. Her academic sojourns have also taken her to Williams College, where she studied Astrophysics and Comparative Religion, and to Oxford University. Currently, she also serves as the Muslim chaplain at Tufts University. Naila enjoys facilitating programs on personal and spiritual transformation, and offers spiritually-oriented counseling to individuals and couples. She cares deeply about the religious and spiritual life of youth, and the specific challenges Muslim youth face in a diverse, multicultural society. She values integrity, tolerance, love and a spirit of openness to difference, and strives to embody these qualities in her own interactions.
Fr. Cleopas Strongylis, Orthodox Spiritual Advisor
V. Rev. Dr. Cleopas Strongylis studied at the Theological School of Athens, under the academic supervision of the current archbishop of Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios Giannoulatos. As a licentiate in Theology, he attended the university’s two-year graduate program in the field of canon law. In 1989, he was ordained a Deacon and was sent on scholarship to Durham University in England the following year by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. Having received a Master of Arts degree in Patristic Theology, he returned to Athens where he was ordained a presbyter in August 1992, while also being bestowed the office of Archimandrite. In September 1992, he went to the United States to continue his studies at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, with a full scholarship granted to him by the late Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. Together with his studies, Fr. Cleopas worked at the above referenced School of Theology as the personal theological secretary of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, who was serving as President of the school at the time. He graduated summa cum laude, with a Master’s degree in Sacred Theology. Immediately afterwards, he was appointed Director of the Department of Registry and Adjunct Professor of Patristics, teaching at the Seminary’s graduate school for three years, including courses on patristic interpretation of the Bible, the Book of Psalms, Saint Nectarios of Pentapolis, etc. In 1994, completing ten-year research and study, he received his doctorate from the Theological School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, following examinations, with highest honors. Dr. Strongylis began doctoral studies at Boston University in the field of interpretation of the Old Testament, and at Harvard Divinity School, in the field of patristic and modern interpretation of the New Testament. In December 1996, he was appointed as the Presiding Priest of the parish of Transfiguration in Corona, N.Y., concurrently assuming the duty of spiritual advisor at the Day and Afternoon Schools of the community, where he taught religion, as well as at Queens College, where he has taught a course in Byzantine History. From August 2004 through February 2009, Dr. Strongylis served as the Presiding Priest at the Greek Orthodox Community of Holy Trinity, in Lowell, Mass, assuming the duty of spiritual advisor at the Hellenic American Academy of Lowell, where he taught religion, and contributed to the establishment of the 7th and 8th grades. As of September 2007, he serves as an adjunct Faculty member of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, teaching a course on the Greek language and culture. Since March 2009, Dr. Cleopas Strongylis has been serving as Dean of the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston, MA, and has also served as Director of Greek Education for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Dr. Cleopas Strongylis was honored by the Academy of Athens in 2009 for his book Saint Nectarios of Pentapolis and the Rizareios Seminary (1894-1908). Dr. Strongylis has published eight books and many papers.
The Rev. Judith L. Stuart, Episcopal Spiritual Advisor
The Rev. Judith Stuart is an Episcopal priest appointed by the Diocese of Massachusetts to serve as Episcopal University Chaplain/Spiritual Advisor at Northeastern University and Boston College. Judith holds dual Master’s degrees with a Master of Education from Boston College and a Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was awarded the Alison B. Cheek Prize in Feminist Liberation Theology in 2001. While living in Seattle, she completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in Old Testament at Seattle University. She also graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree and was inducted into the Alpha Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars in 2008. A lifelong pastor and healer, Judith has worked as an adjunct professor educating abused women working to re-enter the work force, as a counselor for battered women and children living in a domestic violence shelter, while also serving on the Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, as a Registered Nurse specialist in burn-trauma and open-heart surgery, and in hospital administration in marketing. For many years, Judith served the national church as an anti-racism and anti-oppression educator, co-leading trainings and presentations at three consecutive General Conventions and at dioceses throughout the United States. For the last 7 years, she has been the program director for the annual diocesan college pilgrimage. Her ministry and other interests have led her to travel extensively throughout the world including leading trips to post-hurricane damaged Cuba, the Middle East, post-genocide Rwanda, and rural Kenya to support orphan feeding and education programs for over 15,000 orphans. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband and has two adult children.
An additional Protestant student group is served by Jeremiah Noordhoek (Agape), as well as faculty advisors. A search is underway for a Hindu Spiritual Advisor and resource people to provide additional support for Sikh, Jain, and other communities on campus.