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"The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope"
-Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
Sharon M.K. Kugler became the seventh University Chaplain to Yale in July of 2007. She came to New Haven from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she had served as the University Chaplain since 1993. Sharon has over two decades of experience in ministry in higher education, interfaith collaboration, pastoral and social ministry. Her main focus at Yale is to further cultivate a chaplaincy for students, faculty and staff which defines itself by serving the needs of the richly diverse religious and spiritual traditions on campus allowing for deeper dialogue, increased accessibility, personal growth, creative educational opportunities and pastoral leadership. Together with the Associate Chaplains, the Chaplain’s Office staff and the members of Yale Religious Ministry she is cultivating an inclusive sense of community within a religiously plural population.
Sharon is the past president of both the National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). Sharon received her Masters degree from Georgetown University and is a member of the Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. Her masters thesis, "The Limits and Possibilities of Building a Religiously Plural Community" was used by the United States Department of Defense Office of the Chief of Chaplains as a training tool for new chaplains in the military.
Sharon is Roman Catholic and originates from northern California. She is married and has two daughters.
The Reverend Ian Buckner Oliver begins his service as Pastor of the University Church in July 2008. Prior to Yale, he served for twelve years as University Chaplain at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was pastor of the Rooke Chapel Congregation on campus and coordinator for the university's religious affairs. From 1990-1996, he served as Associate Chaplain at the Kodaikanal International School in South India under appointment from the United Church Board for World Ministries.
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Ian is a graduate of Amherst College with a major in Religion and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His ministerial studies were at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He was a chaplaincy intern at Kalamazoo College from 1983-85 with Robert D. Dewey (YDS '51). He was ordained to the ministry through the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Ian's professional interests have been at the intersections of college student development, historic Protestant Christianity, and interfaith relations. He has been a contributing member of the "Secularity and the Liberal Arts" grant through the Teagle Foundation "Big Questions" grant program, exploring issues of meaning, engagement and the liberal arts.
Candice Ryals Provey joined the Chaplain's Office in June 2012. Most recently, she directed the civic service initiative, Duke Alums Engage, as well as leadership opportunities and continuing education for women graduates with the Duke University alumni association. She also served as the minister to young adults for First Presbyterian Church in Durham, North Carolina. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Candice earned her Masters of Divinity at Duke Divinity School, where she received the award for Biblical Excellence and the Jameson Jones Preaching Award in 2010. As an undergraduate at Duke, she was a scholar in the Duke Chapel Pathways program. After graduating in 2004, she spent several years in public health working with HIV+ adults and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi.
She and her husband, Ren, are excited to explore New Haven.
Omer Bajwa is the "Coordinator of Muslim Life" in the Chaplain's Office at Yale. He earned his Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary, and he has been engaged in religious service, social activism, and educational outreach for the past nine years.
Before coming to Yale, he served as the Interim Muslim Chaplain at Cornell University from 2007-2008. He received his MA in Near Eastern Studies, with a specialization in Islamic Studies, from Cornell's Department of Near Eastern Studies, where he also served as the Outreach Coordinator. He also earned an MS in Communication from Cornell, and a BA in English Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University. His interests include Islam in the United States, interfaith activities, Islam and the global media, and transnational religious and intellectual networks.
When not working, he and his family can often be found sampling local desserts.
Asha Shipman has a BA in Biology and English from Mount Holyoke College as well as an MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her dissertation fieldwork examined marriage norms in Bangalore, India and found some significant differences in expectations among unmarried workers at American companies versus their counterparts in non-globalized occupations. Asha’s research interests include medical anthropology and ethnobiology and she is an experienced educator, having taught for almost 20 years at the high school, college and university levels. Asha grew up among Connecticut’s Hindu community and her parents were co-founders of the Connecticut Valley Hindu Temple Society. She has spent most of her life witnessing and participating in the development of the Society, most notably serving as an official photographer during the consecration festivities for the main Temple deities and as an appointed member of the Temple’s Executive Committee. Her foremost contribution to the Temple Society was co-founding the Hindu Sunday School for children grades K–12. She is an avid archer, scrabble player and practitioner of “kitchen table science.” Asha lives in Glastonbury with her husband, two young sons and one demanding cat.
Maytal Saltiel joined the chaplain's office in 2013. Most recently she was working as the Repair the World Coordinator at Penn Hillel helping students connect to service opportunities, encouraging conversations around social justice issues and teaching on the Jewish responsibility of service. She earned her MDiv degree from Harvard Divinity School and has previously worked in the Interfaith Center at Johns Hopkins University (her alma mater) as well as interned at Brown's Office of the Chaplain. After graduating Johns Hopkins she worked as a 4th grade Special Education teacher in the South Bronx.
She loves traveling and recently spent a summer working on peace-building and conflict transformation in India. Maytal is also interested in the face of religious pluralism in America, religious literacy, helping students destress, and embracing the fun in everyday life.
Abigail Braden joined the Chaplain's Office in August 2013 after graduating from Yale College in May with a B.A. in Religious Studies. As an undergraduate, Abbey was fortunate enough to get to serve both as a Peer Liaison for the Chaplain's Office and as a Freshman Counselor for Pierson College. As a consequence of having held two jobs requiring extensive griddle work, she now considers herself an expert chef of the melted cheese ouevre. Her specialties are grilled cheese and quesadillas. Abbey is very excited to be spending a fifth year at Yale working with such awesome people and she invites anyone and everyone to stop in and say hello on their way to the ice cream freezer.
Gale Iannone is a native of Connecticut and began working for Yale University 33 years ago. She has held positions in all three of Yale's areas—Medical, Science, and Central, and has now been in the Chaplain's Office on Old Campus for 12 years and enjoys working in the multifaith atmoshere of the office. Gale began her career at Yale in 1967 as a psychiatric assistant at the newly built Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven. She took an extended family leave when her son, Jonathan, was born. Also, during that leave, Gale established and trained a champion bloodline of German Shorthaired Pointers and developed a nationally respected kennel known as Nutmeg Kennel. She bred, raised, and trained her dogs for field, obedience, and breed shows and became an invited judge at breed specialty shows. Gale returned to work at Yale in 1979. Besides working at Yale, she is now content to spoil her grandchildren, Sophie, Jayden and Mirabelle, and enjoys water gardening and tending to her Japanese koi fish. She lives in North Haven with husband, Gary Takach. Along with Gary, she does volunteer work and fundraising for several community based charities and organizations. She is currently an active member of the North Haven Sons & Daughters of Italy and the Mayflower Society.
Kathryn Aaron is a recent graduate of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, MM ’10, where she was a member of the Yale Voxtet and a student of tenor, James Taylor. She is a long established interpreter of early vocal repertory. Her unique blend of musicality and scholarship encompasses a repertoire that spans from the liturgical drama of Hildegard von Bingen to the operatic flare of Handel and beyond. She has dedicated her talent for over 15 years as a church musician to supporting a variety of different communities of faith. Most Sundays you can find her singing at St Mark's in Mt Kisco, NY. Here in New Haven, she works closely with the American Baroque Orchestra as a principal singer and maintains an active career as a classical vocalist. When she isn’t singing or re-stocking the ice cream freezer at Bingham Hall, she enjoys creating new recipes (especially interesting vegan and gluten-free dishes), baking, and sharing food with friends.