John guides the overarching vision and strategy for the Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation, which includes Upper House and Dottie’s Ranch. He loves the entrepreneurial nature of his work and relishes the opportunity to build a healthy organizational culture.
Prior to this role, John served as director for the Center for Integrity in Business at the School of Business, Government, and Economics at Seattle Pacific University; before that, he worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA as the National Director for Professional Schools Ministries, as well as campus minister at Harvard Business School and InterVarsity’s National Director for MBA Ministry. Before InterVarsity, John consulted with Hay Group, an international management consulting firm, and served with Bank of America as a real estate lender. John is a graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), master’s degrees in theology and religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Seattle Pacific University in industrial and organizational psychology.
John currently serves as board chair for Religion News Service and Religion News Foundation and as an advisory council member for the Emerging Scholars Network. He enjoys writing and speaking on issues related to the academy, business, faith, and culture. He and his wife, Vanja, love to travel, read, take long walks, and encourage students and young professionals in their spiritual journeys. They have one daughter, Elena, who helps John get his recommended 10,000 steps per day.
Having invested 30 years in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and then 10 years leading CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts, Cam experienced a sense of homecoming when he joined Upper House as the Associate Director. Here his deep love for the academy melds with his long experience in campus ministry and the arts. During any given week, you might find Cam wordsmithing a grant, teaching in our Fellows Program, or leading our team in Friday morning prayer. But as a writer and visual artist, Cam’s passion burns most bright for the arts.
In 2021 Cam and co-editor Walter Hansen published God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art Through the Eyes of Faith, a volume in IVP Academic’s prestigious Studies in Theology and the Arts (STA) series. Cam’s earlier book, The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts is another contribution to that same series. Stay tuned for his next writing project, tentatively titled, The Garden: An Artist Reads Genesis 1-3. On the art front, Cam is creating a new body of work themed “Sentries, Towers, and Constellations” for a spring 2023 exhibit at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin.
Cam holds a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and he has completed post-graduate coursework in Art History and Aesthetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his wife, Cynthia (C.K.), have two adult children and two grandchildren and have resided in Madison since 1986.
Director of Continuing Education
Tony is passionate about building bridges between academia and the church and expanding opportunities for people near and far to grow in intellectual and spiritual vigor. In his role as Director of Continuing Education at Upper House, he is researching and developing ways to address the university and broader community’s formative educational needs—to equip individuals and the global church to live and lead in ways that fulfill God’s good purposes for the world.
Previously, Tony served as the Executive Director of New Hope Peru, an organization that serves vulnerable children and families in southern Peru. In this role, Tony oversaw the organization’s significant growth, even as he worked closely with government officials, pastors, and community leaders to launch a pilot foster care program—the first of its kind in southern Peru. Tony’s previous positions included teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, where he taught a range of courses, including Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Epistemology. While at VCU, Tony also co-founded, with another philosopher, Scholé House—a place where students, faculty, and the Richmond community engage with scholarship related to the Christian tradition.
Tony earned his MSc and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, an MA in Philosophy of Religion from Denver Seminary, and a BA in Biblical Studies from Crown College. Originally from Utica, NY, Tony lived in Peru both as a teen and, more recently, with his family in Arequipa. Outside of work, Tony enjoys spending time with his family and hearing about the madness of middle school from his oldest daughter. He also relishes watching Arsenal dominate Tottenham.
Hospitality and Guest Services Coordinator
Melanie adds her welcoming smile and calming presence to Upper House’s ever-vigilant Hospitality Team. Passionate about both people and orchestrating details, she hopes that all who enter our space know they are thought of and cared for.
While studying public health at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Melanie spent four summers leading mission teams on the Navajo Reservation in Crownpoint, New Mexico. Through various construction projects and community events, Melanie witnessed many examples of transformation and became eager to invite others into similar experiences. Following graduation, she moved to the Madison area to recruit and train summer interns to do similar work through Next Step Ministries. Soon after, Melanie became a member of the Worship and Student Ministry teams at Heartland Church in Sun Prairie, where she continues to serve in a volunteer capacity.
Originally from the east coast, Melanie is quick to accept an opportunity to return to the beach or to visit her family in New England. There she is known to many as “Miss Mel” because of her many years of nannying and loving kids. Her nurturing heart is also displayed through her work as a birth doula. When she is not supporting growing families or preparing for Upper House guests, Melanie enjoys long nature walks, musical soundtracks, an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, and spending time with friends!
Fellows Program Director
Leading the Upper House Fellows Program brings together Eric’s experience and interests in unique ways. He loves helping students deepen their theological understanding and connect their faith to their academic studies and sense of vocation.
In addition to his role at Upper House, Eric serves as Lecturer in History at UW-Madison, where he teaches courses on European intellectual and religious history. His research and writing focus on the emergence of modern theology and biblical scholarship in the era of the Enlightenment. Eric holds a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan, an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Eric grew up in Sweden and has lived in the U.S. since high school. He is married to Cindy and they have three grown sons. His favorite things include reading and traveling widely, music of many kinds, and beautiful summer evenings with friends on the Memorial Union Terrace.
Director of Administration
Jean can be found, most often, in her office managing everything from payroll and human resources to making sure that behind-the-scenes organizational nuts and bolts operate smoothly—whatever it takes to welcome and serve our guests. Jean is amazed by God’s leading in her life, especially in this season of closer connections with college students and the University and Madison communities.
She is passionate about helping people grow in their relationship with God by integrating their faith with all aspects of life, exactly the kinds of opportunities Upper House provides. Jean came to Upper House with many years of experience as a business administrator, first for a private engineering firm and, more recently, for High Point Church.
Jean grew up in Illinois, earned a degree in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University, then moved to Madison and married Matt, her high school sweetheart and a UW alum. Here in Madison, they have enjoyed a full life, including parenting four (now adult) children. With Matt, Jean enjoys travel, camping and hiking, and every opportunity to spend time outdoors.
Hospitality and Student Enrichment Manager
Rebecca is energized by finding meaningful ways for people to gather and experience authentic interaction and positive transformation. In that vein, she orchestrates the logistics of Upper House programming, ensuring that each element is designed with purpose and vision.
Rebecca is also deeply passionate about mentoring students in practical and spiritual growth. She experiences real joy as she directs the UH Intern Program and serves on the UH Fellows Program leadership team.
Rebecca earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in International Studies—Global Security and French as a Chancellor’s Scholar. After graduating in 2016, she held positions at High Point Church, including the administrative team, small group ministry, and wedding coordination. She was excited to return to the UW-Madison campus to advance Upper House’s goals of helping people integrate faith into every aspect of who they are.
Cherishing moments of fun and rest, Rebecca enjoys running, Asian cuisine, meaningful conversations, seeing the latest blockbuster, strolling around the Madison Farmers’ Market, and randomly singing wherever she goes.
Director of University Engagement
Trained as a historian at UW-Madison, Dan has a passion for the university and its community. Upper House offers him the unique opportunity to keep one foot in the university world and another to so serve the Church.
Prior to joining Upper House, Dan held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and UW-Madison. He continues to publish in his areas of interest, American religion and politics, and his first book was Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).
Dan earned a B.A. and M.A. from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born in California, Dan grew up in Germany as a “missionary kid,” and then in Colorado, and since 2010 has called Madison home. Dan and his wife, Veronica, stay busy raising twin toddler boys.
Director of Technology, Operational Metrics, and Digital Promotion
Prior to this role, Daniel served as a Young Life area director in Bettendorf, Iowa for ten years. And prior to his time in Iowa, he restarted a dormant Young Life ministry in Plano, Texas. Dan has pioneered and led many projects for Young Life across North America and beyond, with a focus on communications, social media, and technology needs.
Dan holds a leisure, youth and human services degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and is working toward a graduate degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Originally from the Madison area, Dan grew up in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Barbara, have five children–Henry, Lyla, Eli, Raphael, and Florence. He loves all things technology, Wisconsin sports, investing in the lives of young people, and spending time with his family.
Director of Program Curation and Community Impact
Melissa delights in the innovation and collaboration required to design and implement programs that inspire spiritual transformation. Committed to activating the gifts of those around her, she thrives on mobilizing teams, pioneering new ideas, and transforming creative energy into practical next steps.
Prior to joining Upper House as its third staff member in 2015, Melissa managed her brother’s art business, Inspiring Art by Alex, and together with her family, founded the nonprofit Alex Haunty’s Theater & Arts Fund, Inc., to create access to the arts for people with disabilities. Melissa holds a B.A. in Communication Arts and Literature Education (5-12) from Bethel University and is a third-year graduate of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA. She also is a 2018 Alumna of Leadership Greater Madison and currently serves on the boards of Inspiring Hope Ministries and Alex Haunty’s Theater & Arts Fund, Inc.
Born and raised in Madison, WI, Melissa loves living in a four-season state close to family, supporting local coffee shops through her love of lattes, and being newly married. She and her husband, Peter G. Shackelford (U.S. Navy Veteran and the handsome man who makes her coffee every morning), can be found (in a non-pandemic world) playing beach volleyball in the summer, attending Overture concerts and APT performances, and eating at local restaurants.
Senior Writer and Content Manager
If Susan were asked to design her dream job, it is what she is doing every day at Upper House. As the the senior writer and brand manager, she is the resident witness and storyteller of the transformative work happening in and through the community.
Prior to joining Upper House, Susan led communication efforts for two federal research projects in K-12 education and family engagement through the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at UW-Madison. She also worked on communication research related to environmental stewardship funded by the USDA. Her work has focused on the different ways program leaders reach out to meet and effectively serve their audiences.
Susan earned her M.A. in mass communication from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in communication—with an emphasis on information campaigns and diffusion of innovations—from the UW-Madison. She met her husband, Dean, on the stairs of the Communication and Life Sciences Department. During her grad school years, Susan attended InterVarsity Christian Graduate Fellowship and matured in her understanding of Christ’s vibrant love and the intersection of scholarship and faith. Dean and Susan’s daughters, adopted from Ethiopia and China, have been a great source of joy in their lives. Susan credits her family, many friends, and church with teaching her about the power of authenticity and the innumerable ways God draws people into His global family to grow in a love so rich it eludes description.
Supporting the Executive Director and Upper House staff team, Kate brings a warm and calming presence to her work behind the scenes. In addition to keeping things moving smoothly on the administrative side, she relishes opportunities to do a little copy-editing. She is humbled to be part of an organization dedicated to bringing intentional and thoughtful programming to the intersection of campus and community.
Before joining Upper House, Kate worked as Director of Member Operations for the non-profit CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts, where she loved serving artists pursuing their vocations; she particularly delighted in interacting with local artists as part of managing Gallery 212. A graduate of Wheaton College with a B.A. in Art Education, Kate started her early career as an art teacher for Kindergarten through 8th grade students, helping kids to learn to love art-making.
After some early moving around the country, Kate and her husband, Jacob (a native Wisconsinite), were pleased to establish roots in Madison. Together with their three daughters, they enjoy hiking, biking, and paddling, taking in art exhibits, laughing at the antics of their dog, Arlo, and hosting family and friends at their little red house. Kate is an adult adoptee in reunion, a hobby artist, and happiest when reading with her kids, enjoying God’s presence in nature, or digging in the garden.
Jean is a visiting scholar at Upper House and is helping lead a track—Serving the Common Good—in the Fellows Program. She has long had a passion for justice and shining God’s light in dark places. She loves to mentor students and work with people of different faiths and backgrounds who share this passion. As 4W Director for Human Rights, Child Protection, and Global Policy at UW-Madison, Jean leads an anti-human trafficking project called STREETS and has taught related courses as a Visiting Distinguished Lecturer. She earned a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University, an M.S. from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. from UW-Madison. Jean is married to Chris and lives in Oshkosh with her family. You’ll find her happiest hanging out with eagles, chickadees, deer and other critters on the shores of Huron Bay in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Artist in Residence
Collaborating with Cameron Anderson, Min will be leading the Arts and Humanities track for the Fellows Program. As the artist in residence, she will help shape and curate art-related events, and express her love for life and Christ through her extraordinary musicianship and other art forms. She is thrilled to employ her gifts at Upper House.
A graduate student pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Violin Performance with a minor in Arts and Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Min’s program includes not only course work but performing six different kinds of recitals. Her final research project will be on a Korean-German composer, Isang Yun. As a Teaching Assistant and part of the graduate string quartet (Rabin Quartet) and Bolz Jazz Ensemble, Min instructs the All University String Orchestra, performs string quartet recitals, and tours middle and high schools in Midwest cities (Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago) to inspire younger students. Min holds a BA in violin performance with a minor in philosophy from Calvin University and a MM in violin performance from UW-Madison.
Min grew up in Seoul, South Korea and also lived in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. She moved to Madison in 2018 for her master’s degree at the UW-Madison. Geneva Campus Church is one of the reasons why Min holds the city dear. When Min is not practicing violin or on the bus, she likes to run around the lake in the morning, listening to the On Being podcast; she also enjoys hosting small dinner parties at her tiny apartment and hunting for the cutest coffee shops in town. If you are interested in learning more about Min, please visit euiminshin.com.
Upper House Interns
One of two Hospitality Interns, Claire spends her time curating a welcoming environment for guests—to assure they feel a sense of home at Upper House. After spending many hours each week studying in the Upper House “porch” as a freshman and sophomore, Claire joined the team to express the same faith-based hospitality that first drew her to the space. She hopes more and more people in the UW-Madison community experience that hospitality.
Now a junior studying Human Development & Family Studies and Psychology, Claire is passionate about working with kids and students. She hopes to pursue a career where she can empower younger generations to navigate their lives well.
Claire is also an active member of Badger Cru, a campus ministry for students attending UW-Madison, Edgewood College, and Madison Area Technical College. She leads a freshman Bible study and assists in creating content for the student podcast, Working at the Wheel (available on most streaming services!).
When not at Upper House, Claire often can be found in the School of Human Ecology, playing with young students in the UW Child Development Lab, or at home enjoying a good book and spending quality time with her roommates.
Holly Dybro is the Communications Intern at Upper House. She is excited to assist with measuring Upper House’s communication effectiveness and strengthening outreach to various audiences. Holly looks forward to learning about the intersection of faith and a professional career. She is also delighted to give back to the organization that supported and welcomed her as a freshman.
Holly is a senior at UW-Madison studying Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Human Resources. With a broad range of professional interests, she is seeking a career where she can apply both her creative and analytical skills.
Outside of studies and work, Holly is an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional co-ed fraternity at UW-Madison. She is also involved in Badger Cru, a student ministry on campus. As part of her study abroad scholarship program—the Scan Design Foundation—Holly serves as a mentor and integration event planner for Danish exchange students. In her free time, Holly enjoys hiking, running, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Isaac is the Technology Intern who assures that technology in the space is set up correctly and runs smoothly for events. His goal is to ensure guests have a seamless program experience at Upper House.
A sophomore at UW-Madison studying Computer Science and Economics, Isaac is always busy on a computer. He sees the many ways that technology can make businesses more efficient, and he aspires to complement his computer education with an MBA after graduating. He also expects his participation on the tech team at Upper House will benefit him educationally. He looks forward to using this year to further integrate his faith into his work and to use his talents to bless others in the creative program space.
In addition to his studies, Isaac is active in the Software Development Club and the Boxing Club. He also participates in Badger Cru, a student ministry on campus that holds weekly meetings at Upper House, which Isaac helps facilitate. When not going for runs or boxing, you will likely find Isaac relaxing with friends and watching movies. Lots of movies.
Jack is entering his second year at Upper House as Administration Intern, whose responsibilities range from working with Quickbooks to Excel to other tasks that keep the wheels on the Upper House bus. Jack says that as soon as he started coming to Upper House to study and meet with others, he fell in love with the space and became a regular. This past year he has gotten to form relationships with the amazing staff who work to make Upper House a God–centered place in the busy and hectic life of downtown Madison.
A junior at UW-Madison, Jack is pursuing a degree in Industrial Engineering to learn about modern industry. This summer he held the Quality Engineering intern position at CNH Industrial, learning more about manufacturing and putting his schoolwork into real-life situations. In the future, he expects to continue to explore the business angle of industry, being someone who loves to interact and talk with others.
Outside of classes and work, Jack is involved with Badgerloop and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), two of the many engineering clubs on campus. He is also a leader in Badger Cru, a student ministry on campus.
In his free time, Jack loves to be outside, studying at Memorial Union, or initiating games of spike ball and other pickup sports. Catch him running around hanging out with friends and meeting new people. Keep an eye out for him at the front desk or studying around Upper House because he won’t hesitate to make new friends!
The Hospitality Intern on the Upper House Team, Natalie is fascinated by the entwinement of faith and vocation in the organization’s mission. She is also highly motivated by providing excellent experiences for guests who visit Upper House.
Natalie is a junior studying Marketing and Supply Chain Management and pursuing a French certificate. Outside of her coursework, Natalie is Director of Education and Outreach for the Supply Chain Management Board of Directors. Additionally, she leads a Bible study with the Christian ministry, Badger Cru, which she credits for both helping her deepen in faith and build life-long friendships.
Following graduation in December 2022, Natalie is considering missional work in the marketing field. She hopes this internship at Upper House will provide a deeper understanding for what this role might look like.
Outside of Upper House, Natalie can be found performing on stage with the organization Optima Dance, baking exquisite confections, or spending time with her roommates.