Rev. Dr. Robin Olson
DirectorOffice: Student Center, 334
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (academic year only)
I am honored to serve Bentley and our spirited team of Chaplains, Advisors, and student leaders in the Spiritual Life Center. I am a United Methodist clergywoman, and have served as a Pastor to four congregations in New York and Wisconsin, and as a Chaplain to Nazareth College in Rochester NY and, most recently, Boston University. My degrees are from Colgate University, Boston University, and Wesley Theological Seminary in DC where I earned a Doctorate of Ministry in University Chaplaincy/Campus Ministry. After college I lived in Israel for a year, which ignited my lifelong passion for interfaith literacy and dialogue. My greatest joy is in accompanying college students on their spiritual journeys. I enjoy creative spiritual practices, worship services and retreats, community service adventures, pastoral conversations, and sharing many cups of coffee and bars of chocolate with students.
Ms. Angela Howard-McParland
Catholic Chaplain and Bentley Catholic Assoc. AdvisorOffice: Student Center, 334
I am so excited to begin a new ministry at Bentley! I have spent the last ten years working with students in the Catholic community at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. I love working in campus ministry, especially getting to know students and accompanying them on their faith journey, with all of its twists and turns through young adult life. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing about the community at Bentley and how I can help support the ministry.
Dr. Pierce Butler
Buddhist Practice CoordinatorOffice: Adamian Academic Center, 080
Hours: by appointment only
I am a lecturer and writer-in-residence in Bentley's English and Media Studies Department. On campus, I support the needs of our Buddhist community members. I have special interest in the practice of meditation; I also am a longtime love of the Sufi poet, Rumi, and coordinate an annual event at Bentley called the Celebration of Rumi each fall.
Imam D. Ali Avci
Muslim Chaplain/Bentley Islamic Community AdvisorOffice: Student Center, 334
Hours: Fridays Jum'ah 1:00 - 2:00 pm, and by appointment
I am so proud and honored to serve as the Muslim Chaplain & Bentley Islamic Community Advisor.I was the first Muslim Chaplain at Hartford Hospital, and I served as a resident chaplain to Yale- New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine. I also have served three Islamic congregations, and state chaplain and religious facilitator of Connecticut Corrections. In addition I have taught Arabic language at the University of Connecticut and Rhode Island College. In addition to my CPE certificates (clinical pastoral education), I earned B. A. and M.A. degrees in Islamic Theology and World Religions from two Divinity Schools in Turkey, as well as an M.T.S. (masters of theological studies) from Providence College, with some interfaith studies from Hartford Seminary. I am fluent in English and Turkish, with intermediate fluency in Modern Standard and Qur’anic Arabic.
I know that students face intellectual, spiritual, psychological and religious challenges in their individual, social, and academic lives. I will be a creative support for individuals for one-to-one meetings for spiritual care or mentorship, work-life balance, stress, family, relationships, and theological questions. I also will be a resource to help meet the goals of the Bentley Islamic Community, and a conversation partner for all Bentley students, staff, and faculty.
Rabbi Jeff Foust
Jewish Chaplain/Advisor to HillelOffice: Student Center, 334
Hours: by appointment only
I have many years of Hillel experience within the campus setting, holding posts at Oberlin College, the University of South Florida, MIT, and, most recently, 18 years at Bentley University. I am formerly the rabbi at Waltham's Temple Beth Israel and have passion for good conversation, Jewish history and mysticism, and exploring ways of creating quality free time in a society preoccupied with "busyness." I live in Newton with my wife and two children. You can connect with me on my website, www.rabbijeffreyfoust.com.
Ms. Madelyn Henderson
Graduate Intern Protestant Chaplain Office: Student Center, 334
Hours: Tuesdays 10:00 am- 4:00 pm Sundays and Mondays by appointment
I am honored to serve this year as the Graduate Assistant in the Spiritual Life Center. I’m a second year Master of Divinity student at Boston University School of Theology on the Chaplaincy track. After graduation, I hope to pursue the vocation of college chaplaincy. I will be working with the Interfaith Council and the Protestant community this year. I love joining students on this wild journey of life. I’m here to support you as you plan events with the Spiritual Life Center, contemplate summer internships, and study for exams. Please feel free to reach out at any time!
Satya Prakash Saraswat
Hindu Resource PersonOffice: Smith 413
Hours: by appointment only
I am a professor of Computer Information Systems at Bentley and hold advanced degrees in computers and business administration from Georgia State University. As I come from a Brahmin family in northern India, I am deeply interested in Hindu ceremony, mythology and mysticism. I have studied the Vedic and classical Sanskrit, and have published papers connecting mythical thought with modern science. My hobbies are astronomy, history and world mythology.