Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Marcus Allen served honorably in the United States Army for more than ten years, completing three combat tours—two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He received the Bronze Star Medal, one of the highest military honors, as well as numerous other awards. Dr. Allen earned his M.Div from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and his D.Min. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of a new book, I Got Next: 10 Essential Lessons for Effective Pastoral Transition. Marcus is married to Terra, and God has blessed them with three beautiful children—Alexandrea, Marcus Jr., and MeKiyah. Marcus has a tremendous desire for God’s word coupled with a deep love for God’s people. He is passionate about proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, making the Word of God relevant in the lives of believers, and building the Kingdom of God in the congregation and community.
Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law, UW-Madison
Franciska Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and the Associate Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her research focuses on the free speech implications of “cancel” culture and the presence, positioning, and power of vulnerable groups in democratic deliberations. Prior to joining the faculty of UW Law School, she held appointments as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. Franciska also spent six years in Seoul, South Korea as an Assistant Professor of U.S. Constitutional Law at the Hanyang and Yonsei Law Schools. While in Korea, she served as the Supervisor of Cell Leader trainings for the Yoido English Ministry and as the Director of the Women’s Fellowship for Seoul Union Church. Franciska enjoys traveling the world, reading translated Korean Light novels, and cooking foods from cultures around the world.
Installation Artist and Sculptor
Leslie Iwai is an installation artist and sculptor whose studies in mathematics, chemistry, and architecture inform her passion to bring unusual connections found in her research and artistic process to the surface for others’ ruminations and inspiration. As the first recipient of the Bemis Community Arts Fellowship (2005) and as the first Artist-in-Residence for InterVarsity’s Urbana Conference (2018), Leslie has garnered many awards, solo exhibits, and residencies, and her work is in numerous collections. She has been a contributing writer and artist for Image Journal, SEEN (Christians in the Visual Arts), and The Well (InterVarsity). Her newest solo exhibit, Winter’s Spring: An Ältere Garten, is at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Leslie has taught in academic and community settings in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois. With her husband, she enjoys living in and exploring Wisconsin, where she creates art and collaborates and connects with her community. When not in her studio, Leslie can often be found hunting for treasures at thrift stores or walking on trails near her home in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Vice President of Spiritual Foundations, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Jason Jensen is husband to Susi and dad to young adults Abby and Gabe. His roots are in Colorado, but he spent 33 years in the San Francisco Bay area—attending Stanford for a degree in Civil Engineering and then serving on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Berkeley. Jason also completed a degree at Fuller Seminary in 2008, while continuing to work for InterVarsity. Since 2018, Jason and Susi have lived in Madison, Wisconsin while Abby and Gabe both live in California. Jason’s InterVarsity work began on campus at UC-Berkeley in 1989 and continued in a variety of management roles overseeing campus ministry. Since 2017, he has served as InterVarsity’s Vice President of Spiritual Foundations, overseeing staff and organizational formation in theology, Scripture, and prayer. Besides Jesus and his family, Jason loves English Premier League soccer, running and walking, motorcycles, construction, and the country and people of Mexico. He and Susi hope to return to Spain soon, to finish their one missing section of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
Director of Music & Worship Arts, High Point Church
Niccole Khail is the Director of Music & Worship Arts and the Women’s Ministry Coordinator at High Point Church. She is passionate to see the local church be a place where divisive walls break down, and where all people come together under the gospel of Jesus Christ to find their true home in the family of God. After graduating from UW-Madison in 2012 with a degree in Mathematics, Niccole married her husband, Scott, and began her career with a campus ministry at the University of Minnesota. She moved back to Madison in 2016 to begin working in the local church. She deeply values engaging with university students and the campus, and is excited to do so with Upper House. Niccole is an 8w7 on the Enneagram; she thinks and feels most things with a strong passion; and she adores surprises and desserts. She and Scott have two sons, Luca and Knox. They love the Milwaukee Bucks and Breaking Bad, and they tolerate their puppy, Reggie.
Jim C. Kirk
Associate Pastor, Geneva Campus Church
Jim C. Kirk serves as Associate Pastor at Geneva Campus Church, where he regularly preaches and teaches. He loves declaring the riches of God’s grace in the person and work of Jesus, and examining every area of life through the lens of faith. He also enjoys engaging popular culture through film, reading, and music, and studying the spirituality of the early church. Born in La Jolla, California, Jim spent his high school and college years in Asheville, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Asheville (B.A., Philosophy), Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div., Theology & Pastoral Care), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.A., Hebrew & Semitic Studies). After completing his degree at UW, Jim went on to serve as Lead Pastor of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in upstate New York and as Church Planter and Lead Pastor of Trinity Rivertowns Church just outside New York City. In 2017, he returned to Madison to join Geneva’s staff. Jim’s wife, Linda, is a Special Education Teacher in the Madison Metropolitan School District, and they have three children. When he is not hiking with his family or at a concert, Jim can be found tending his small flock of backyard chickens.
Director, WiCell Stem Cell Bank
Tenneille Ludwig serves as the Director of the WiCell Stem Cell Bank overseeing the banking, distribution, and core services operations at WiCell. Tenneille moved to Madison for graduate school in 1996 and obtained her Ph.D. in embryology and developmental biology with a minor in bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2001. Her graduate work focused on the development of the first clinically relevant culture system for human pluripotent stem cells (TeSR), which is now used by thousands of laboratories globally. Tenneille’s work includes serving as a Steering Committee Member for a number of international consortia centered on stem cell technology. Her primary focus remains collaborating within these groups to refine consensus standards for the industry, speaking internationally on these issues, and working with investigators to support the advancement of stem cell technologies through clinical trial. She believes that science and faith can exist in perfect harmony and welcomes the opportunity to engage in this area. Tenneille lives in Fitchburg and currently shares her home with her Dad, his wonderdog Freida, and two cats. Pre-COVID her job involved a great deal of travel, which she loved. She also enjoys the outdoors, maintains very large perennial gardens, and likes to cook. Fun fact: Tenneille paid for her first two years of college with her goat-show winnings.
Pastor of Spiritual Formation, Blackhawk Church
Tiffany Malloy serves as the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk Church, where she oversees and leads the expression of spiritual growth of the Blackhawk community. She is passionate about encouraging and equipping others to grow in their life with God as they lead and influence others in all spheres of life. Prior to this role, Tiffany has worked in higher education, as well as campus ministry. Tiffany earned a B.S.Ed. in Math Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005 and a M.A. in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2010. Tiffany is married to Jake and they have four children: Asante, Aly, Ada and Anaya. After many adventures traveling and living in different parts of the U.S. and abroad, she and her family settled in Madison in 2013. When she’s not spending time with her family, Tiffany enjoys reading, running, ice cream, and writing about all things faith and books.
Alejandro Miranda Cruz
Cinematographer and Owner of BravebirdAlejandro (Alex) Miranda Cruz is transforming the way stories are produced and how they depict gender and diversity on-screen. As a child actor in Los Angeles, Alex excelled in the Stanislavski approach, which quickly garnered him roles in Hollywood, most notably: Clubhouse Detectives, The Lost World, Walker Texas Ranger, and Foto-Novelas, which won him an ALMA Award. After community college, Alex received an athletic scholarship from Biola University and was accepted to their film program. He later worked in creative development at New Line Cinema but shifted his focus to pursue a Masters in Theology. After two years in graduate school, Alex accepted a creative director position in Madison and received critical acclaim for his video work from the American Advertising Awards, Creativepool, and the Tellys. In 2015, Alex and his wife Noel Miranda formed Bravebird to produce the short-film, Fantasy in D Minor, which won Best International Short-Film at Oxford. In 2018, Alex shifted to Bravebird full-time to pioneer Cinema Dignité™, an equitable filmmaking methodology. In 2019, Alex was accepted to study at the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers and met fellow collaborator, Greg Hatton—they’re implementing Cinema Dignité in Alex’s first feature film, Trace the Line.
Executive Vice President/Chief Design Officer, Strang
Peter Tan has worked since 1993 at Strang, an award-winning integrated architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firm, voted the top architectural firm for the last eight years (2013-2020) by Madison Wisconsin’s InBusiness Magazine readers. As Executive Vice President/Chief Design Officer, he is the architect responsible for Strang’s design vision and creative direction.
Peter’s client-focused design philosophy involves a commitment to thoughtful listening in order to create environments that reflect users’ needs and visions, while responding to their context of time and place. As a LEED Accredited Professional, he is passionate about sustainable design and our collective responsibility as stewards of our planet and the public realm. Peter seeks to follow Jesus’ radical example of servant leadership in his life and work.
Peter grew up in Malaysia, playing with Legos and going on Sea Scout escapades. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Cornell University. His community service includes the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) Board, Madison Urban Design Commission, and serving as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 122. Peter is married to Rachel Durfee, his best friend and fellow artist. They have two adult sons, John and Kevin. When not engaging in their lifelong conversation on art and design, they love dancing and outdoor adventures.