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 Marketing
Brian has the great pleasure of being Upper House’s first Director of Marketing and comes to the Mad City from Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also worked in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Colorado Springs. It’s taken many years for him to say he thrives in an ever-changing environment, but Upper House is a great example of a place that perpetually keeps him on his toes. No two days are ever the same!
Throughout his career, Brian has served at evangelical churches and schools as a communications or creative arts director and has also been a production director or audio producer for advertising agencies and parachurch organizations. A unique highlight of his career was when he and his family spent five years living in Seoul, South Korea, while working at an international school comprised of students from over 65 nations.
Brian grew up in New Jersey and earned a degree in communications from Messiah College (now Messiah University). He and his wife Kirstan are the proud parents of their daughter Davis, son Webb, and M.J. the Aussiedoodle. In his free time, Brian enjoys playing pickleball, discovering new restaurants, and perfecting his favorite Shakshuka recipe.
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.
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.
Administrative Office Assistant
Kim is Upper House’s Administration Office Assistant. Behind the scenes, she smooths the way for all things organizational, from human resources, to financial matters, to any number of tasks that help make Upper House and Dotties’ Ranch welcoming spaces for our guests. Having spent years in administrative positions, she genuinely enjoys applying her gifts to creating and streamlining systems to make them more efficient and effective for everyone she works with.
Before joining Upper House, Kim served as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison, respectively), eventually moving into the role of Executive Office Administrator to the President of InterVarsity. Most recently, Kim served in a volunteer position with her local church as the Women’s Ministry Event Coordinator and as a lecturer for a weekly Bible study.
Kim grew up in Minnesota and still considers herself a Minnesotan though she has lived in Wisconsin longer! She earned her degree in Psychology from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Married to an administratively gifted man, she relishes the chaos of life that comes with two teenagers and a full-sized fluffy Goldendoodle named Aravis. In her spare time, she enjoys tackling DIY home projects, gardening, camping, and playing family games.
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 and Media
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.
Hospitality and Guest Services Coordinator
Jaclyn’s role in Hospitality brings together all her passions, especially her love of people, learning, and creating efficient processes to serve everyone well. Each person who walks through our doors she wants to feel at home, that they’re in a place where they can relax, bring their authentic selves, and grow and learn with joy.
Jaclyn’s personal faith story ties together her worshipping at Blackhawk Church—where she also met her husband—and attending Upper House events. A lifelong learner, Jaclyn has studied topics ranging from theology and preaching to veterinary science and dog training. Previously, Jaclyn worked as Associate Director of High School Ministry at Blackhawk Church, and she brings the energy and creativity of that role into all things hospitality.
Madison is Jaclyn’s hometown, and she relishes farmer’s market Saturdays, brunch on Sundays, and hiking in Wisconsin’s beautiful parks. She also loves to travel with her husband, Aaron, who is pursuing a career in nursing at UW. When not out exploring, Aaron and Jaclyn can be found reading books (of completely opposite genres), playing board games, and spoiling their pet rabbit, Evie.
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, where she is the resident witness and storyteller of the transformative work happening in and through the community.
Previously, 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, focusing 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. During grad school, she also attended InterVarsity Christian Graduate Fellowship and matured in her understanding of Christ’s vibrant love, prayer, and the intersection of scholarship and faith. She met her husband, Dean, on the stairs of the Communication and Life Sciences Department, and they later adopted two amazing daughters from China and Ethiopia. In her “spare” time, she is writing a memoir and enjoys time reading in her peaceful backyard—until winter.
Learning and Formation Program Assistant
Susan Swanke considers working at Upper House an opportunity to be about the work that the Father is doing (cf. John 5:17). She has a deep desire to impact people with ideas and projects that promote true human flourishing. Her role allows her to combine both her academic background and spiritual formation, as well as her gifts of ideation and creativity, to advance the mission of Upper House—to the University of Wisconsin–Madison and beyond.
Susan has more than 15 years of experience working in the Catholic Church, primarily in adult discipleship and evangelization. She earned a BS in Education, Spanish, and ESL from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and went on to earn an MA in Systematic Theology from Christendom Graduate School in Virginia. Her interests encompass philosophy, theology, Christian anthropology, and psychology.
A native of Madison, Susan enjoys spending time by our city’s beautiful lakes as well as visiting as many Wisconsin State Parks as she can.
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.
Upper House Interns
After spending many hours at Upper House during her freshman and sophomore years, Josie is excited to serve and practice hospitality in a space that has been instrumental to growing her faith.
A junior studying Interior Architecture with additional certificates in Education Policy and Consulting, Josie loves learning and hopes to pursue a career that blends her passions and interests.
Josie is also involved in the UW-Madison Figure Skating Team, Badger Cru, IDO, CAM, and the Upper House Fellows Program. She loves to go on adventures, spend time outside, cook, travel, and learn Spanish.
Natasha is dedicated to being a welcoming and friendly face for all who enter Upper House. She loves bridging her faith with her professional life, and has always found Upper House a safe space to study, worship, and learn. She hopes to help others have a similarly positive experience.
A sophomore at UW-Madison, Natasha is studying economics and hopes to eventually attend law school. She is an active member of Badger Cru, a campus ministry, and serves as a scope-of-care leader and member of the worship team. She is also a senior staff writer for UW-Madison’s oldest student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal.
In addition to school, clubs, and working at Upper House, Natasha enjoys spending time with her friends, exploring nature, and playing in the snow (which is very exciting for someone who grew up in California!).
Undergraduate Program Intern
Kate is an Undergraduate Program Intern dedicated to expanding Upper House’s engagement with UW-Madison undergraduate students. She was drawn to the role due to her positive experience in the Upper House Fellows program and many hours she spent at Upper House during open study.
Now in her junior year, Kate studies Kinesiology and hopes to attend a Physical Therapy graduate program after she completes her undergrad degree. She’s excited to explore the business and interpersonal angles of the professional world as she works with the Upper House team.
Outside of classes, Kate is a second-year Fellow at Upper House and a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. In addition, she is a Certified Yoga Instructor. In her free time, she enjoys lifting, hiking, and skiing.
Courtney Snoberger is dedicated to providing a genuine welcome to all those who enter Upper House. Having experienced Upper House hospitality at many events as a student, she is grateful to offer the same to others and help events run smoothly.
A junior pursuing a double major in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Education Policy and Social Justice, Courtner is passionate about working with kids and understanding how they learn and grow in creativity and intelligence. In connection to her studies, Courtney works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Infant Learning Lab, where she helps conduct research on how young children learn language. She plans to study abroad in Argentina in Spring 2024 and ultimately pursue graduate school and a career working in education policy and advocating for young kids’ learning.
During her free time Courtney enjoys reading books and dreaming about her next travel adventures. She also is a leader in the Badger Cru campus ministry, as well as a regular at Badger sporting events, thrift shops, and gyms; and she also loves spending quality time with friends and family.
As a hospitality intern, Betty curates a welcoming environment for students, faculty, and guests. She joined the Upper House team after attending numerous events, including student worship nights, study days, and pop-up lunches, and is eager to pour back into the spirit-filled community she has grown to love.
A junior pursuing a degree in Human Resources and Management at the Wisconsin School of Business, Betty has a passion for serving others and helping them understand their skills and talents. She aspires to give underrepresented communities a fair chance of employment through a career in HR.
Betty is also president of New Culture College, a new Christian student organization for which she serves as a worship and small group leader. She invites all students to come and explore what it means to follow Jesus in a safe and loving community.
Outside of Upper House and schoolwork, Betty can be found having deep philosophical debates about VeggieTales, Bibleman, and Disney. She loves to sing and play guitar, as well as spend quality time with friends.
Undergraduate Program Intern
Julia is one of Upper House’s first interns for Undergraduate Programs. She is excited to help more and more undergraduate students call Upper House their home away from home. It was through her participation in various campus ministry events that Julia fell in love with Upper House’s mission to bridge the gap between faith and academic studies.
A senior studying Global Health and Environmental Science, Julia is particularly interested in nutrition, women’s health, and diversity engagement. After graduating, she plans to travel abroad, pursue graduate studies in public health, and eventually work in a ministry that advances public health initiatives.
During her years at UW-Madison, Julia has participated in ministries, such as Badger Cru, CAM, and Young Life. She also has spent summers working as a backpacking guide for a youth ministry organization. She loves to stay active, climbing, hiking, and running. She also enjoys spending time with friends at various coffee shops, the farmers’ market, and the Memorial Union Terrace. If you see her around, say “hi!” She’s always excited for a meaningful conversation!