Religion Studies Alumni Participant Bios
Read about the 2018 alumni participants’ biographies and work histories.
Jeremy Fuchs '14
Jeremy Fuchs (’14) double majored in political science and religion at Muhlenberg. He is a reporter and writer for Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated Kids. He edits the Faces in the Crowd section, a long-standing weekly round-up of outstanding amateur athletes. A 2015 graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Jeremy has written stories about the 1941-42 Brooklyn Americans, the pain of a fourth-place finish at the Olympics, the first female NHL player and the training routines of ping-pong players.
Jeremy will be speaking in a joint religion class of Monothesism, Speaking with the Divine, and Buddhist Traditions on Wednesday, April 11. He will also be at the networking lunch that day.
Rachel Kitch '11
Rachel graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2011 with a BA in religion studies and a minor in Spanish. While at Muhlenberg, she embraced the liberal arts ethos of diversity and breadth in education; she was a writing tutor, a carpenter in the theatre department, actively engaged in community service, and studied abroad in Argentina. Through the Office of Community in Engagement, Rachel volunteered over several years at a local health clinic and decided to pursue a career in healthcare focusing on providing services to vulnerable populations. After graduating, she moved to Guatemala to work in global healthcare. She worked for Primeros Pasos, a small, rural clinic in the Western Highlands and later with Faith In Practice, which hosts medical mission teams throughout the country. Her major in religion studies, which focuses on the ways a person’s religious identity affects how s/he lives in and interacts with the world, helped her to appropriately and effectively bridge cultural divides. In addition to coordinating short-term surgery teams, she project-managed construction at a rural community hospital site. In April of 2017, she returned to the US and began a Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program at Temple University and hopes to begin medical school in 2019.
Rachel will be speaking in a joint religion class of Animals and the Sacred, Religious Migrations, and Jewish Experience in a Secular Age on Tuesday, April 10 and will also be at the networking lunch.
Kelly Owens-Pisano '09
Kelly graduated Muhlenberg in 2009 with a majors in religion studies and philosophy. Kelly is currently the vice president, relationship manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Kelly will be speaking in a joint Religion class and attending the networking lunch on Wednesday, April 11.
Melissa Seltzer '09
Melissa (Berman) Seltzer is the senior director of J Kids Baltimore at the Jewish the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Baltimore, overseeing opportunities for elementary aged children. Melissa also founded and manages the Arts Education programming leading enriching, engaging, and educational experiences for children including: a Performing and Visual Arts Camp, Children’s Theater Production Company, dance classes, and various other programs and partnerships with leading arts and Jewish organizations. Melissa received her undergraduate degree in religion from Muhlenberg College (graduating Phi Beta Kappa) with a Minor in Jewish studies completed partially in Prague, Czech Republic. While at Muhlenberg, Melissa actively participated in student life including Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, SHARE volunteer program, The Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding, and founded the Celebration of Life Mental Health Awareness Day. Melissa was also a member of Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK) National Religion Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Honor Society. She received the Jeanette Eichenwald Interfaith Award, Board of Director’s Community Service Award, the Russoff Award for excellence in promoting Jewish and Christian relations and was a Collaborative Research Grant recipient. Melissa continued her education to receive a masters in Jewish communal service from Baltimore Hebrew Institute focusing on non-profit management, Jewish studies, and Jewish education. Melissa began her career at the JCC in 2010 as a Graduate Intern and then moved full time into the role of assistant director of adult life and later into the assistant director of arts & culture and then to the director of arts & culture education before becoming the senior director of J Kids Baltimore. For her commitment to the community, Melissa was a DFI Friedman Fellow and named an Association of Performing Arts Professionals Emerging Leader.
Melissa will be speaking in Holocaust: Germany & Jews on Monday, April 9 and will also be attending the networking lunch.
Adrian Shanker '09
Adrian Shanker ’09 (He, Him, His) is the executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, a non-profit organization developing leading-edge arts, health, and youth programs so the Lehigh Valley’s LGBT community can thrive. Prior to founding Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Adrian served as President of Equality Pennsylvania and also worked as a fundraiser for Civic Theatre of Allentown and as a faith organizer for SEIU 32BJ. Adrian has a record of advancing LGBT progress in municipalities across Pennsylvania, including non-discrimination protections, relationship recognition ordinances, and laws to protect LGBT youth from conversion therapy. A specialist in LGBT health policy, Adrian has developed leading-edge campaigns to advance health equity for LGBT Pennsylvanians, through policy, behavioral, and clinical changes. In addition to his leadership at The Center, Adrian serves on the Advisory Board for Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity, as co-chair of the Community Advisory Committee for LGBT Healthlink – a CDC-funded national tobacco and cancer disparity network, and as a member of ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors. He holds a graduate certificate in LGBT health policy & practice from The Columbian College of Arts & Sciences at The George Washington University and he earned his B.A., cum laude, in political science and religion studies at Muhlenberg College.
Adrian will be speaking in a joint religion class of Christian Traditions and Gender and Sexuality in Islam on Thursday, April 12 and will be attending the networking lunch.
Diane Tamulavage '13
After graduating from Muhlenberg in 2013 with a double degree in media & communication and religion studies, Diane quickly flocked to the ever-evolving music industry. She began her career in freelance music blogging for Your EDM while working as a social media coordinator for Tiesto’s label, Musical Freedom. Currently she’s an account manager for award-winning digital marketing agency Fame House (UMG) where she’s worked with artists and music brands such as Lady Gaga, Robin Schulz, Imagine Festival, Flosstradamus, REO Speedwagon, Beatport, Disco Donnie Presents, & more!
Diane will be speaking in Zen Buddhism and Religions of India on Monday, April 9 and will be attending the networking lunch as well.