Center for Religion and Global Citizenry Staff and Special Fellows
Former Staff Members
Position title: Program Coordinator
My name is David Schulz. I grew up in a Lutheran home with some evangelical influence, and though these remain important to me, my practice has been influenced by other streams of Christianity as well; currently I am part of a small church network called Blue Ocean Faith. I was a student at UW a few years back (L&S 2014) and was a fellow at the Lubar Institute, CRGC’s predecessor; this experience expanded my understanding and appreciation of other religions, and allowed me to bring my whole self, faith included, to the academic environment. After undergrad I studied Theology at Boston University and continued to engage other spiritualities, working in interfaith at MIT. I just moved back to Madison and am excited to be working for the CRGC, as well as at a church in the area.
Position title: Digital Coordinator
Emma Lai graduated from UW Madison in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (Math Emphasis), Psychology, and Religious Studies. Now a Rotational Analyst at American Family Insurance, she hopes to use her technical skills to better understand and quantify the motivations and consequences of human behavior. Besides her Fellowship with the Center in 2018, her interfaith work has included 2 UpperHouse Fellowships, an internship with the Wisconsin Council of Churches, and participation in Hillel’s Necessity of Now Seminar. Outside of Interfaith, Emma enjoys playing tennis, sketching, and practicing the piano.
Former Senior Fellows
Hello! My name is Kristina Fiedler and I am from Chicago. I am currently a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying Environmental Science and German. I was raised as a Missouri Synod Lutheran with some Brazilian spiritual flares. In high school, I developed a passion for learning about other cultures, languages, and belief systems. Through my friends and teachers, I accumulated knowledge on Islam, Baha’i-ism, Agnosticism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. My exploration led me to reflect on my own faith. I now identify as Theist with an increasing interest in Buddhism as a philosophical guide. A theist believes in a higher power but does not ascribe to any particular religion or set of practices. As the pandemic comes to somewhat of an end, I am excited to meet new people and have conversations that can engage my curiosity. As a Fellow, I am eager to utilize and share my passions for research and discovery. I am most looking forward to the interfaith dialogue that I will take part in as a CRGC Fellow and I am excited to continue diversifying my spiritual horizons.
Hello! My name is Jaskiran Kaur Sandhu, and I am a rising junior majoring in Biology. I am from Madison, WI, and I am a Sikh. My faith has become a prominent aspect of my life because of my parents and family. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I would visit the Gurudwara (the Sikh temple) every week and attend Punjabi School, where I learned about Sikh history and the Punjabi/Gurmukhi language. Growing up as a Sikh, I realized over time how little is known about my religion. This became even more clear after the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting in 2012. From this tragedy, I learned how one’s ignorance can lead to harm, but also why spreading awareness and creating opportunities for interreligious dialogue can be so valuable. As a CRGC fellow, I am excited to meet students and learn about their different faiths while sharing knowledge about mine, have meaningful conversations about the role of religion in our lives, and create a space to discuss issues in our society such as the ignorance and misconceptions regarding different faiths.
Hello! My name is Jaime Wendt. I was raised and confirmed Catholic according to my family’s wishes, and I have returned to exploring and practicing the faith after lapsing. I’m a senior at UW-Madison studying Religious Studies and Criminal Justice. I previously attended the University of Minnesota right after graduating high school and had to leave without completing my degree. After a long break and a decade of working in finance, I decided I wanted to change careers and enrolled in the Badger Ready program at UW to finish my degree in a completely different field! As I started my time back at school, it became clear to me that being successful in school would mean engaging in self-forgiveness for mistakes I had previously made in my academic career. It then occurred to me that most people will need to access forgiveness throughout their lives, including people who have been or who are currently incarcerated. I look forward to researching what forgiveness means to different people, religions, and cultural traditions in my final year of school. I’m also looking forward to implementing a philosophy of forgiveness in my work after graduation!
Former Honorary Fellows
Paul Knitter is the Emeritus Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He is also Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a Licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1966) and a doctorate from the University of Marburg, Germany (1972) Most of his research and publications have dealt with religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue. Since his ground-breaking 1985 book, No Other Name?: A Critical Survey of Christian Attitudes Toward the World Religions, he has been exploring how the religious communities of the world can cooperate in promoting human and ecological well-being. This is the topic of One Earth Many Religions: Multifaith Dialogue and Global Responsibility (1995). In 2002, he published a critical survey of Christian approaches to other religions: Introducing Theologies of Religions (2002). Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian came out in Oct. 2009.
From 1986 to 2004, Professor Knitter was on the Board of Directors for CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador). He is also on the Board of Trustees for the International, Interreligious Peace Council, formed after the 1993 World Parliament of Religions, to promote interreligious peace-making projects.
Ron Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, retired after thirty-eight years with the department. He edited, with David Lindberg, the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science(2003- .), five volumes of which have appeared and a sixth is in press. His Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Harvard University Press, 2009), has already been translated into Korean, Polish, Spanish, and Portuguese, and is forthcoming in Chinese and Greek. He has finished co-editing Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States (Oxford University Press, in press), with Charles Cohen; and Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (under review at Oxford University Press), edited with Terrie Aamodt and Gary Land. In retirement, he planned to complete Science and the Americans: A History (for Basic Books), a biography of John Harvey Kellogg (for Harvard University Press), and three other unfinished books. During the 2012-13 academic year he travelled to Brazil, Greece, and Abu Dahbi, while serving as past president on the executive committee of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/Division of History of Science and Technology.