2019 East Conference Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Philip Mamalakis
Dr. Philip Mamalakis, with his wife Georgia and seven children, lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Dr. Mamalakis directs the field education program and teaches classes on pastoral care, marriage and family, grief, death and dying, and topics related to pastoral counseling. He has a private practice in Newton, Massachusetts, where he works with individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Mamalakis has an M.Div. from Holy Cross and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in child development and family studies, specializing in marriage and family therapy. He has been offering parenting courses and writing on parenting for 21 years. He enjoys leading seminars and retreats on intimacy, relationships, marriage, parenting, and family life as well as on Orthodoxy and psychology.
Plenary Speaker: Andrew Kern
Andrew Kern is the founder and president of the CiRCE Institute (Center for Independent Research on Classical Education), the husband of Karen, the dad of five home schooled adults, and the father of (so far) six grandchildren with the seventh due in June.
He has been researching, speaking, teaching, and consulting in the classical renewal since 1993, during which he has been instrumental in the founding of three schools, consulted with over 100 schools and home school co-ops, and served as Director of Classical Instruction, Academic Dean, and Headmaster. Andrew speaks regularly at home school and classical conferences.
In addition, he is the co-author of Classical Education, The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing, and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. He loves Homer, Shakespeare, Anne of Green Gables, and Endeavor. Like Shakespeare, he knows a little Latin and less Greek.
Andrew and Karen have settled in Concord, North Carolina where they attend Nativity of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church and watch their five grown children raise their own children and pursue their callings.
Dn. Michael Azar
Dn. Michael Azar is a deacon at St. George’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Taylor, PA. He was ordained in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese under Metropolitan Isaiah. Dn. Michael is currently an Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies at the University of Scranton (PA), where he teaches classes on the Bible. He authored a book and a variety of academic articles on biblical and patristic literature focusing on the relationship between Eastern Christianity and Judaism. Dn. Michael and his wife, Erin, homeschool their two kids who are ages 6 and 9.
Fr. Noah Bushelli
Fr. Noah is grateful to be married to a living saint, Kh. Elizabeth, who homeschools their nine marvelous children. He is an Archpriest in the Antiochian Archdiocese and was received into the Orthodox Church in 1994. He met his wife at a Vespers service in Alaska and still remembers the joyous and awkward moment. After graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage with a B. Ed. in 2000, they moved to St. Vladimir's Seminary where he graduated with an M. Div. in 2004 with his thesis exploring St. John Chrysostom's notion of the Church as a Spiritual Hospital. After serving St. Nicholas in Bridgeport, CT for three years he moved to St. Philip in Souderton, PA in 2006. He is grateful to raise his family in this warm, generous, faithful and vibrant community and is working very hard to meet the demands of parish life as well as focus on "the one thing needful".
Kh. Elizabeth Bushelli
Kh. Elizabeth is blessed and humbled daily by her nine homeschooled children ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years. As her hair turns gray, she continues to strive to raise Godly children and to keep the house from falling down around her. Kh. Elizabeth is also the choir director at St. Philip's church in Souderton, PA where her husband Fr. Noah is pastor.
Vicki Ghareeb has been married to her husband George for 22 years. They have been blessed with 8 children ages 20 to 2. Active members at their home parish of St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford OH, they have been been working on building a Trail Life (scouting troop) as an outreach for their parish. In an effort to build a greater community for her children, Vicki founded a homeschool co-op based on building social and cooperation opportunities that by God's Grace has been growing for the past 3 years. In her "spare time" Vicki enjoys sewing and crafting...especially sewing heirloom clothing as well as running.
Kh. Kristina Gillquist
Kh. Kristina Gillquist lives in Bloomington, Indiana where her husband, Fr. Peter Jon, is pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church. Her first vocation was as a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics and neurologic rehabilitation, but her full-time caseload is her zany one-room schoolhouse of 6 multi-talented, differently-abled, fantastic children ranging in age from 16 to 1.
BethAnn has a BA in Education from Cedarville University. She has taught in public, private, and home schools for over 20 years. Married to Sdn. David Hyatt, mom to three boys, two dogs, a cat, and three lizards. BethAnn enjoys helping and being with other moms, homeschooling or not, and crams lots of crafting into her free time. Her family has walked through the challenges of mental health issues with one of her sons.
Dr. Cyril (Gary) Jenkins
Dr. Cyril Gary Jenkins is both the Director of the St. Basil Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture, and the Van Gorden Professor in History at Eastern University. At EU he has served as both the Chair of the History Department and also the dean of the Templeton Honors College. Dr. Jenkins has published broadly on the History of Christian thought up through the Reformation, including four books, his most recent, published last year entitled Calvin’s Tormentors. He has also published on education and the liberal arts. His 65 essays and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including The Journal of Church and State, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Touchstone, Zwingliana, Dutch Ecclesiastical History Review, Journal of Religion, and Anglican and Episcopal History.
Dr. Jenkins lives in Allentown, PA with his wife Carol and daughter Kristen, and is a member of St. Paul’s Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA where he both teaches and also chants. He blogs at Lux Christi (http://luxchristi.wordpress.com/), and contributes to the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy blog (http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/).
David Kern is strategic coordinator and the director of multimedia for the CiRCE Institute (which sounds fancier than it is), but he feeds his love of literature as the host of Close Reads, The Daily Poem, and Libromania, podcasts from the Close Reads Podcast Network. He often writes about film, television, books, and other culture-related topics, and has been published by Christ and Pop Culture, Think Christian, Relevant, and elsewhere. Most importantly, he and his wife, Bethany, are the parents of four little children. They live in Concord, NC.
Mat. Jennifer Levine
Matushka Jennifer Levine has been homeschooling for 17 years with one son away at college and one at home in the 7th grade. She has a Master’s degree in psychology and a minor in Christian Education. She has worked both as a counselor and an educator in civilian and military settings. She has been married almost 30 years to Fr. Sean Levine, OCA priest and active-duty Army Chaplain. In her free time, she enjoys painting icons, quilting, and reading.
Fr. Daniel Meyer
Fr. Daniel Meyer is the priest and pastor of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in West Chester, PA since 2011. Fr. Daniel is married to Presbytera Elizabeth, and together, they have six children. He is a founder of Crown Them with Glory, a project toward educating the faithful in the Church's teachings on traditional marriage, family life, and sexuality. Fr. Daniel teaches high school and middle school catechism and church history for St. Raphael School, in addition to serving as clergy advisor for the West Chester University OCF.
Mallory Stripling is finishing up her fourth year teaching Biblical Greek online to Orthodox homeschoolers with St. Raphael School. She is a homeschool alumna who learned Greek and found Orthodoxy at St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM, and has been involved in Orthodox education ever since. Mallory and her husband Matthew are enjoying the early years of educating their little ones through stories, songs, art, nature, play, home rhythms, and the intercessions of the Theotokos, at home in rural Maryland.