Meet the people who make the Center what it is
Dr. Richard V. Horner
In 2001 Dr. Horner left his position as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia to become the first Director of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville. Richard has his M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Modern Intellectual History. He has pastored churches in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, and he has taught as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Delaware, James Madison University, the University of Florida, and Reformed Theological Seminary. His wife April has a Masters degree in Pyschiatric Nursing from the University of Virginia, has taught as an instructor in the Colleges of Nursing at both UVA and UF, and now serves as a home care nurse for Haven Hospice. Richard and April have three children. Their daughter Rachel (UF 2008) and her husband Dave live in Orlando where Rachel works as an interior designer and cares for Clara Grace (Richard and April’s first grandchild). Their son Ken (UCF 2011) works as an engineer with CH2MHill in Washington DC, and their daughter Jenna (UF 2014) is an artist and resides in Gainesville.
Office ManagerAfter wondering what she was going to do with the rest of her life, Nora jumped at the chance to volunteer in the office of the fledgling Study Center in the summer of 2001. When they offered to pay her for doing what she loved, she gladly accepted becoming part time in 2002 and full time in 2005. She focuses on communications, publicity, and general management of operations. She has three grown children and three incredibly fun grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys serving as a deacon in her church and as president of her neighborhood’s HOA, doing genealogy research, reading, quilting, photography, and sharing a house with her two cats, Jack and Zoe.
Director of DevelopmentLaura, along with her husband Jay, had the privilege to help prepare for and begin the Christian Study Center of Gainesville in 2000. Early on she served as building manager, volunteer recruiter, prayer team leader, and publicity hound. She continues to promote the Center in churches and small groups, through the newsletter, Under Consideration, the quarterly prayer letter, and through special events such as our 10 year anniversary and alumni reunion. Laura serves as a part-time, pro bono director of development. Laura has four grown children and three grandsons.
Program Administrator and Alumni Coordinator
Betsy joined as part-time staff at the Study Center in April of 2014. She is glad to be contributing to the Center’s initiative on faith and vocation as Program Administrator and excited to be extending the Study Center community beyond graduation as Alumni Coordinator. She and her husband Dan met while studying theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte and together they seek to intertwine their faith, their theology, and their community in their life’s work. She enjoys learning through prayer, study, and conversation and is delighted to get to do all three here at the Study Center.
Manager, Pascal's Coffeehouse
Juan began his career as a barista in 2011, during his undergraduate years as a student of literature and journalism at the University of Florida. He began managing Pascal’s Coffeehouse after graduating in 2013 and did so until the summer of 2014, when he moved to Maryland to complete a fellowship with the Trinity Forum Academy. While working on certain writing projects at the Academy, Juan realized that he wanted to make a career out of his work with coffee, and so he returned to Gainesville in May 2015 to once again manage Pascal’s. Given his love for good coffee and thoughtful conversation, Juan feels a sense of ‘coming home’ at Pascal’s and the Study Center. He and his wife, Kelly, love coffee, traveling, cooking good food, books and Lord of the Rings.
Assistant Manager, Pascal's Coffeehouse
Lauren served as a barista at Pascal’s for two years before becoming Assistant Manager of Pascal’s in May of 2017. More biographical information coming soon.
CSC Board of Directors
James W. Lynch, Jr
PresidentDr. Lynch received his BA from the University of Virginia and MD from Eastern VA Medical School in 1984. After internal medicine training at the University of Florida, he did his training in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda MD. In 1991 he returned to the UFCOM and has served in multiple roles during this tenure including, course director in Oncology (20 years), program director for hematology/oncology (13 years), section chief of hematology/oncology at the VAMC and now serves as the Assistant Dean for Admissions. He is a nationally recognized well published expert in the diagnosis and treatment of lymphomas His educational roles include teaching cancer biology, clinical oncology, clinical reasoning and humanism in medicine. He was the first faculty inductee into the Chapman Humanism Society at the UFCOM and serves as a faculty advisor. He has received multiple teaching awards including clinical teacher of the year four times, the Hippocratic award three times, is a member of the College of Medicine Society of Teaching Scholars and in 2006 was honored by the University of Florida as one of five Distinguished Teaching Scholars. He was co-founder with his wife of the Christian Study Center at the University of Florida and serves as its board president. He and his wife Laura, have four children and three grandchildren.
Jeffrey AndreJeffrey is a faculty member at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. He teaches sixth grade Bible, mathematics, and language arts at the the private, Christian, classical school. He graduated with a B.A. and M.Ed. in elementary education from the University of Florida with a concentration in literacy. A Christian Study Center alumnus, Jeffrey credits the center for his exposure to early Christian thinkers. Since then, he has pursued intersecting academic discourse and Christian thought in his own life. He has participated in graduate level research through the McNair Scholar’s Program and has presented his findings at regional and national conferences. Prior to teaching at Geneva, he taught for Palm Beach and Orange county public schools, earning first-year teacher of the year honors in 2011. Originally from Brooklyn, NY Jeffrey likes to visit his friends and family in the city, as well as check out historic sites and museums. Jeffrey and his wife Colleen worship at Orlando Grace Church where they were married in December 2013.
Nick DunnNick is a husband to Alison, father to Cora and Ruth, an avid Gators fan, and an occasional barista. He discovered the Christian study Center as a UF freshman in the fall of 2000. As he worked first on an electrical engineering degree, then changed his major to history, he found the coffee shop at the Center to be a perfect Third Place. It was neither home nor work but a place to reflect on and be refreshed for both. The Center, and particularly Dr. Horner, helped shape his view of vocation as he finished his BA in history, managed Pascal’s for a year, and taught middle school language arts for a year. After two years in the Peace Corps teaching ESL to future Chinese Middle school English teachers, Alison and Nick returned to Gainesville, where he worked again as a barista and then as the Volunteer Coordinator for Christians Concerned for the Community. Nick and his family now reside in Champaign-Urbana, IL, where Alison is a first-year engineering professor at the University of Illinois. They look forward to seeing the Center continue to flourish at the intersection of the academy and a Christian understanding of life and culture.
Dr. Escoto currently serves as the Counseling and Wellness Center director at the University of Florida. In his previous roles, he served as director of the Counseling Center at the University of Miami and associate director/director of clinical services at the Counseling and Consultation Service at The Ohio State University (OSU). Dr. Escoto is a member of the Association for College and University Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) and this association’s Elements of Excellence Task Force. During his tenure at OSU, Dr. Escoto also served as co-chair of the Organization of Hispanic Faculty and Staff. Dr. Escoto’s previous roles also include serving as an advisory board member for the Hispanic Family Violence Institute, a national program and partnership between New Mexico State University School of Social Work and La Casa, Inc. His areas of clinical interest include anxiety, depression, trauma, ethnic identity development, spirituality, and counseling center administration and consultation. Dr. Escoto earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University and completed a doctoral internship in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley—both accredited by the American Psychological Association. He holds an MA in Education and a BA in Psychology from California State University, Fresno. He also studied Public Administration at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. He is licensed to practice as a psychologist in the states of Florida and Ohio (inactive). His wife Luz Maria holds two masters degrees in Labor and Human Resources (OSU ’08; Universidad Evangelica ’96) and a BS in Psychology (Universidad Francisco Gavidia ‘94). Luz Maria currently works at the University of Florida’s Department of Clinical and Health Psychology and previously worked in Human Resources at the University of Miami Hospitals. The Escotos make Christ Community their home church in Gainesville, FL, where they live since the summer of 2015.
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, LCS Integrative Counseling and Consulting (Bio Coming Soon)
Sarah HamersmaSarah is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, and a Senior Researcher with the Center for Policy Research, at Syracuse University. Her major research interest is the economic evaluation of government programs designed to improve the well-being of low-income families. Her work is characterized by efforts to consider the economic incentives faced by those she is studying to help assess both intended and unintended consequences of policy interventions. Some of her most current work evaluates the health insurance and labor market effects of Medicaid eligibility rules.
Associate Professor of Linguistics, UF (Bio Coming Soon)
TreasurerKen is a certified public accountant and partner with James Moore & Company, a regional accounting and consulting firm with offices in north Florida and headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Ken is responsible for the management of accounting services to a wide range of clients, with an emphasis on college and university affiliated organizations and large privately held businesses. Ken also serves as the partner in charge of the firm’s Gainesville office. Ken and his wife of 17 years, Rebekah, are blessed with a daughter (Olivia – age 8) and son (Elliott – age 6), who keep them exceptionally busy on the home front. Ken and Rebekah are members of Creekside Community Church, where he serves as an elder.
Vicki SarajediniVicki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy at UF. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona and has been a professor at UF for 13 years. Her research focuses on the study distant galaxies containing supermassive black holes using data from ground and space-based telescopes. She is currently the graduate coordinator for her department and teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses. She is married to Ata Sarajedini, also a professor and Associate Dean for the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Together they have two children and are actively involved in the children’s and usher ministry at The Family Church.
Retired Plant Pathologist, Florida Department of Agriculture (Bio Coming Soon)
- Todd Best
- Howard Louthan
- C. John Sommerville
- Joe Spillane
- Andrea Sterk
Part time staff
- Terry Henry, Custodian
- Ruthie Jo Popp, Accountant
- David Lynch, Buildings and Grounds
- Honesty Abramowich
- Kate Gaines
- Rachel Howard
- Becca Maguire
- Sarah Yoder
- Tucker Scruggs
- Anna Molinaro
- Diego Manrique
- Gabriella Rivera
- Alyssa Urian
- Brian Barber
- Jason Rogers
- Rebekah Kurdziel
- Rebekah Clow
- Eric Olson