- In the Media
- Holy Days
- Religious Life at Yale
- Directions and Contact Information
- Contemplative Practices
- Service to Yale
- University Church in Yale
- Multifaith Calendar
- Celebrations Fall 2012
"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 a candidate for ministry 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.
Steve Kanji Angyo Ruhl teaches at the Green River Zen Center in Montague, MA, a Zen Buddhist community affiliated with the Zen Peacemakers Order in the Maezumi lineage of the White Plum Asanga. As a Dharma Holder in the zendo he gives dharma talks, sees students for private interviews about koan work and practice issues, teaches meditation, and assists the head teacher, Roshi Eve Myonen Marko. He also is a Preceptor empowered to teach Zen ethical precepts and to give jukai, or formal transmission of precepts. Kanji received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, where he co-chaired the Harvard Buddhist Community. A member of the Lay Zen Teachers Association, a national organization, he also is an ordained Zen Buddhist minister specializing in pastoral care and counseling in a Buddhist context and in social justice work. Kanji contributed to the recently published anthology The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy (Wisdom Publications).
Anne Dutton is a Zen Buddhist practitioner and meditation teacher with 35 years of experience. From 1979 to 1988 she trained under Zen Master Yamada Koun in Kamakura, Japan and attended Komazawa University in Tokyo. After returning to the US, she earned a graduate degree in Buddhist Studies from Yale, and worked as an independent scholar on the role of women in early Zen history. She is currently a student of Nelson Foster of Ring of Bone Zendo in California. She leads several sitting groups in the New Haven area and is chairman of the board of the East Rock Sangha. Anne serves on the clinical staff at the Yale Stress Center. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as well as heart-centered and alignment-based yoga.
Nat DeLuca has been the Chaplain's Office Program Coordinator since 2007. He is a graduate of Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, MA Archaeology, '06, and NYU, BA Anthropology, '02. Having learned all there is to know about human origins, he felt prepared to work for the benefit of the species. While not in school, Nat worked at Camp Calumet Lutheran in Freedom, NH for ten years specializing in leadership training and program development, honing his skills in campfire lighting and discovering a preference for living in a tent. Nat is a certified Integral Yoga instructor.
Nat is very excited to be working with persons from all religious and spiritual traditions and warmly welcomes those seeking their own path. He is particularly eager to help faith groups collaborate towards common goals of community service and understanding.
Umar Qadri joined the Chaplain's Office in August 2012. Before returning to the vaunted halls, he was in Amman, Jordan studying Arabic. While abroad, he additionally helped plan and teach an English conversations course geared towards women from refugee communities.
Umar is a 2011 graduate from Yale College and earned his B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. As a student, he took much advantage of the services (a.k.a. ice cream) readily offered by the Chaplain's Office and invites you to do the same. As a Woodbridge Fellow, he enjoys helping to plan the events he participated in as a student and working to promote new initiatives that the Office is planning for the University and the broader community.
He is also a middle child, often forgotten among his other siblings, yet nonetheless distinguished by his artful lingo and mastery of the game of ping-pong.
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.