Women Transcending Boundaries Bringing Women of Faith Together after 9/11

January 1, 2017

Leadership

Filed under: — bcfought @ 8:30 am

WTB is governed by a Council comprised of women of diverse faith traditions. It meets monthly to plan the activities of the organization. Council members hold staggered terms of one to three years, beginning each September. The Advisory Board, comprised of past Council members, gives guidance to the Council.

WTB’s President for 2017-18 is Sue Savion. Raised Catholic, she is currently active at May Memorial Unitarian-Universalist Society, where she co-chairs the Green Sanctuary Committee. A retired reading specialist in the Syracuse city schools, Sue is editor of the newsletter for the Transpersonal Psychology Association of Syracuse and has published four teacher resource books and poetry as well as a book on Matilda Joslyn Gage. Her two daughters and three grandchildren live nearby.

Judith Alderman is our Treasurer. She is a United Methodist pastor in the Syracuse area.

Lina Alsafadi is a Vice President of WTB. Born in Jordan, she has a four-year college degree in social studies and public administration. She worked in management at Toys R Us and has three children.

Tanya Atwood-Adams is a Chaplain with Hospice of Central New York and a board member of the Death and Loss Education Coalition. She holds a M. Div. from Yale University, is a Reiki Master Teacher, and has an extensive background in the complementary therapies. Tanya grew up in the Protestant faith tradition, joined a Quaker meeting in college, and continues to practice a blend of the two traditions. Her interests include spirituality and health in the diverse world traditions, art, history, travel, hiking, and anything to do with water.

Barbara Bova, Secretary, is a retired teacher at Jamesville-Dewitt High School. She records the notes from our monthly meetings.

Penny Hart is a Vice President. She is a native Syracusan and a licensed United Methodist pastor and chaplain at Elderwood at Birchwood. Now pastor at Apple Valley United Methodist Church in Nedrow, her previous appointments were at the Liverpool 1st UMC, Gethsemane UMC, and Rockefeller UMC. She has been a volunteer with Contact hotline, worked as a facilitator for its school program and coordinated its Teen Talk radio show. Penny is married with three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Saro Kumar grew up in Malaysia and while there studied for 13 years at the Holy Infant Jesus Convent. Her grandmother took her to Chinese,  Buddhist, and Hindu temples, as well as Christian churches.  She studied medicine in India, continued her studies in the U.S., and is a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist. She loves gardening and has been active with WTB’s Tapestry Garden.

Betty Lamb is a President Emerita. She has a background in both Christianity and Judaism. She taught religious education in the Roman Catholic church for many years. Betty is now active at both Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord. She is currently a Vice-President of Temple Concord Sisterhood and sings in the choirs at both congregations. She is a Vice-President of the Syracuse Federation of Women’s Clubs and has been an active volunteer and board member of the Everson Museum Members’ Council and the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association. She is retired from a career in retail and education. Betty spends summer months on Murray Isle in the Thousand Islands, where she is the Contract Postmaster and retiring Treasurer of the Murray Isle Association. Mother and grandmother of five, she recently became a great-grandmother and an Arbonne Independent Consultant.

Carol Lipson is an Emerita Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University and helps organize events specially for local SU Emeriti. She has held several positions with the  Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, including president, and currently is corresponding secretary and listserv manager. Carol has served in several leadership positions at Temple Adath Yeshurn, including as Vice President. She represents it on ACTS Leadership Council, and is a member of the ACTS Education Committee.

A former WTB president, Ann Eppinger Port, has worked for many years as a freelance medical writer and editor. Her ongoing interests include complementary and energy-based healing modalities; Jewish history, spirituality, and mystical traditions. She is a Reiki Master, a Psych-K practitioner, and a Literacy Volunteer. She and her husband Howard are the parents of two sons.

Jill Port

Cindy Rahrle is a Vice President of WTB.

WTB founders Danya Wellmon and Betsy Wiggins

Danya Wellmon, a co-founder of WTB, is a retired medical technologist with the American Red Cross. She is the mother of three and lives in Dewitt. Danya bridges the Christian and Muslim traditions, as she grew up in a Methodist family but reverted to Islam in 1992. Danya served as a Vice-Chair of the Leadership Council of United Religions Initiative (URI) North America, which is under the auspices of the United Nations.

Betsy Wiggins, a co-founder of WTB, worked as a speech pathologist in Syracuse, primarily with patients who have had strokes. She spent much of her life in Georgia and worked for former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center. She served on the board of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) as Program Chair.

Melek Yavuz is a Vice President of WTB. She is a Registered Dietitian and currently pursuing her MS through West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Community Nutrition. She is a member of American Dietetic Association and Central New York Dietetic Association. Melek is an active member of CNY Rise Center and participates in Turkish cultural events. In her spare time she loves cooking, reading, and playing with her 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. 

Rosalie Young is retired after working as a family counselor, and professor in the Public Justice Department at SUNY Oswego. She has been involved in numerous community organizations dealing with Judaism, social action, mediation, and conflict resolution. She and her husband are members of Temple Adath Yeshurun. She keeps busy enjoying her four children and ten grandchildren and is learning to play the drums.

Advisory Board

This group of women, all former Council members, provide special expertise to the Council:

Judy Antoine was born in Iowa and raised in Chile , the child of Methodist missionaries. Judy attends May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society. She is a retired Spanish teacher in Syracuse City Schools. She began attending WTB meetings when her daughter, Giselle, converted to Islam. Judy lives with her husband in Syracuse, mentors an Iraqi family and delights in having her son and his family living close by.

A historian of education, Joan Burstyn, is a professor emerita, Syracuse University. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Beth Shalom-Chevra Shas and is currently co-authoring a book titled: Searching for God with a Study Partner. She and her husband live in Syracuse. They have three children; one lives in Wisconsin, and two live in Israel. Joan and her husband travel to Israel annually to see them and their children.

Jennifer Roberts Crittenden is a former president and before that secretary of WTB. She coordinates our sewing program with New Americans and the Book Club. A retired English teacher, Jennifer lives with her husband in Bridgeport, a suburb of Syracuse. She enjoys activities with grandchildren, enjoys Oneida Lake, travels whenever possible, volunteers at a nursing home, and is active in her Roman Catholic Church.

Daryl Files was born in Chicago but has lived in Syracuse for four decades. She formerly owned and operated a sports bar with her husband, Noel, and has been a personal development trainer. She has been very involved with many local non-profits, including the Northside Butternut Community Police Center and now InterFaith Works. Daryl is Jewish. She is the mother of four daughters and the grandmother of three. She led us for two years as our vice-president.

An active United Methodist, Barbara Croll Fought teaches broadcast and digital journalism and communications law at Syracuse University.  She is currently holds a three-year appointment as a Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence. She lives with her husband in Dewitt. Barbara was WTB’s first secretary and managed this web site for many years.

Mam-Yassin Sarr Fox is from The Gambia, West Africa. She was born into a Muslim family, was educated in Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic schools, and now follows the Bahá΄í faith. She earned a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum at Syracuse University and is the director of Starfish International, a nonprofit organization whose mission focuses on meeting the educational needs of Gambian girls.

A retired elementary teacher, Jan Garman served as WTB’s secretary from 2003-2005 and became its first president from 2005-2007.  In 2010, Jan and her husband Hal moved to Gaithersburg, Md., to be closer to their three daughters and six grandchildren. There she volunteers in an elementary school, mentors fourth and fifth graders, serves as the chair of the residential council of her living unit and writes for the community newspaper.  She keeps engaged in the activities of WTB via the Internet.

The co-founder of Mothers Against Gun Violence (MAGV), Helen Hudson conducts vigils after each Syracuse homicide and works with families of teens killed. Helen is a single working mother with one son and has become “Mom” to countless young people in Syracuse. In her current role as the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison for the United Way of Central New York, Helen’s reach extends throughout the community. In 2011 Helen was elected Syracuse Common Counselor at-large.

Patti McGuire is involved at St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church. She works for Bennett Business Services and is the administrator for the Institute of Certified Records Management. She enjoys camping, canoeing and biking and volunteers on a “lean-to” rescue team in the Adirondacks.

Joy Pople, a previous WTB president, formerly directed the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center. Joy has traveled extensively and as a result of  her international travel experiences she has become committed to fostering understanding and cooperation among people of various cultures. She is a  prolific writer and is active on social media. Her faith background is in the Mennonite, Episcopal and Unification churches.

Smita Rane is Hindu. While living in Syracuse, she worked at a visitors’ center at Syracuse University. She has now returned to her native country of India, where she volunteers at a school and camp for underprivileged children, mentors some of the boys there who are interested in starting a candle-making business to contribute to their families’ incomes, and helps build the skill sets of women who have suffered disfigurement at the hands of abusive husbands and families. Wherever she lives, Smita loves to get involved in her community to learn about other cultures and to share her culture with others.

Bonnie Shoultz lives at the Zen Center in Syracuse and was ordained a Buddhist nun in 2003. She is Buddhist chaplain at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel and is a contract chaplain with InterFaith Works, teaching meditation at the Onondaga County Justice Center and Hillbrook Youth Center. She has two adult children and one college-age grandson.

Cara Steiner is retired after working in public health nursing and health administration positions in Syracuse. Born in an Ohio Mennonite family, Cara is a tutor with Literacy Volunteers and serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Onondaga County Health Department. She enjoys traveling with her husband to see their children and families in North Carolina and Colorado. They live in Syracuse and attend Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

Vivian Summerville is a retired United Methodist minister now serving as Chaplain/Spiritual facilitator at Michaud Health Facility in Fulton, NY.  She volunteers in the Fulton area nursing homes as worship and Bible study leader. Vivian has participated and completed several prayer and spiritual courses at the Syracuse Spiritual Renewal Center. Vivian and her husband, Fred, own a small farm where she has created a reflection center for personal and community reflection and meditation. Vivian and Fred have served in volunteer mission work to Costa Rica since 2004. They have 2 adult children and 4 grandsons.

Margaret Susan Thompson teaches history, political science, and religion at Syracuse University, where her research focuses on Catholic nuns and the intersections of religion and politics. She is an associate member of the IHM [Immaculate Heart of Mary] Sisters of Monroe, Michigan. Peggy grew up in the Jewish tradition and is now a Catholic.

Lisa Warnecke has been President of GeoManagement Associates since 1989, conducting research and advocacy about Geographic Information Technology (GIT)  in the nation’s 50 states and local governments, as well as federal public lands and related environmental/natural resources issues. Lisa has authored numerous related articles, book chapters and reports. Lisa considers herself to be a spiritual seeker and currently mentors refugees who wish to market their handicrafts.

Edith Washington-Woods, a previous vice president of WTB, is the minister at Unity of Syracuse.

A native of Baltimore, Chris Welch, is a retired preschool teacher. She describes herself as as a liberal,  progressive Christian and has been affiliated with many branches of that tradition. Chris is active with InterFaith Works and a monthly French club. She enjoys summer weekends at White Lake and traveling with her husband, Tom.

Safeta Cerimovic Zauvjek is from Bosnia. She heads the women’s group at the Ahmadi mosque in Syracuse and works in health information management.

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