People

Meet the people who make the Center what it is

Dr. Richard V. Horner

Dr. Richard V. Horner

Executive Director

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.

Nora Avery

Nora Avery

Office Manager

After 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.
Laura Lynch

Laura Lynch

Director of Development

Laura, 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.
Betsy Clover

Betsy Clover

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.

Juan Alcala

Juan Alcala

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.

Lauren Babb

Lauren Babb

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

President

Dr. 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 Andre

Jeffrey 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 Dunn

Nick 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.

Ernesto Escoto

Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center, University of Florida (Bio Coming Soon)

Laurie Goddard

Secretary

Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, LCS Integrative Counseling and Consulting (Bio Coming Soon)

Sarah Hamersma

Sarah 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.

Brent Henderson

Associate Professor of Linguistics, UF (Bio Coming Soon)

Ken Kurdziel

Treasurer

Ken 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 Sarajedini

Vicki 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.

Tim Schubert

Retired Plant Pathologist, Florida Department of Agriculture (Bio Coming Soon)

Advisory Boards

  • 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

Baristas

  • Honesty Abramowich
  • Kate Gaines
  • Rachel Howard
  • Becca Maguire
  • Sarah Yoder
  • Tucker Scruggs
  • Anna Molinaro
  • Diego Manrique
  • Gabriella Rivera
  • Alyssa Urian
  • Brian Barber

Volunteers

  • Jason Rogers
  • Rebekah Kurdziel
  • Rebekah Clow
  • Eric Olson

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112 NW 16th Street, Gainesville, FL 32603(352) 379-7375christianstudycenter.org