Staff & Board

Crossing Staff

Mallory Yanchus
Executive Director

I am so excited to be a part of The Crossing! I began as Executive Director in November of 2017 and am thrilled about what The Crossing stands for and all the passion I see in the staff and students. I love being a transplant to Madison, where there is so much to do all year round. My husband Dan and I love exploring the city, and sometimes our pup Nora gets to tag along. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago then moved to central Illinois for college at Illinois State University. It was at my campus ministry, ISU Wesley, in undergrad that I realized God’s call for me to be in ministry. After a few years of work in youth ministry, I moved to Evanston, Illinois for seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where I received my Masters of Divinity in 2015. Life seemed to go full circle when my campus minister at ISU Wesley hired me as the Campus Minister/Associate Director.  I am grateful I have the privilege of navigating life with the UW community through all the amazing ministry at The Crossing.

I am passionate about campus ministry and creating space for college-aged people to be authentically who they are. I believe that we need each other to ask questions, talk about the hard topics, learn how to love the way God calls us to love, and of course laugh and have so much fun along the way.

I can’t wait to meet you- please come say hi! Even better, let’s go for coffee or lunch at your favorite local spot! Contact me at


Karla Schmidt
Campus Minister

As we begin the 2020-21 school year in September, things will be different!  However, I still look forward to welcoming you whether its in person or virtually! I have been with The Crossing since 2001 and feel so blessed by the many students who have enriched us with their presence.  I grew up in the Midwest (a small town in southern Illinois) attending Illinois State University majoring in History (Middle East focus) and Anthropology.  After graduation from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, I served in several other ministry settings until 2001 when I discovered the joy of campus ministry at The Crossing!

Here at the Crossing we seek to offer a ‘space for grace’ where your own faith journey can be nurtured (even as you encounter questions, doubts, and challenging life situations).  It has been exciting to work with the various traditions which support The Crossing.  I find myself embracing each tradition and their convictions of:

  • “God is still speaking”  (United Church of Christ, the tradition in which I am ordained)
  • “Open minds, Open hearts, Open doors”  (United Methodist welcome of everyone)
  • “Soul Freedom” (American Baptist belief that we each have our own faith experience and understanding beyond dogma)

I also embrace the Quaker understanding of the ‘inner light’ and the value of contemplative practices to open our hearts and minds more deeply to the Christ within.  As I grow in my own spiritual journey, I more and more embrace FR Richard Rohr’s understanding of God when he writes:   “God’s life of love is being lived within you, and you must simply learn how to say yes to that life. If you exist on a level where you can see how ‘everything belongs,’ you can trust the flow and trust the life.”

It is my hope that you will find The Crossing a community where you are known and loved.  I am excited to meet YOU!  If you have questions or would just like to visit, please contact me at



Benjamin Coakley
Director of Worship//Office Administrator

Welcome! I have been on staff at the Crossing since the fall semester in 2018, first as the Director of Worship, and later as the Administrator as well. I am a Wisconsin native and I am so happy to call Madison home! In 2017, I graduated from Spring Arbor University in southern Michigan. I have a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry; my academic focus was on worship arts and queer theology.

I’ve always been enamored by the various traditions of Christian worship. At the heart, our timeless rituals are made up of everyday, human practices: singing together, eating together, and sharing in one another’s joys and burdens. I hope The Crossing can be a place where you can bring your whole self to worship and take a seat at the table that God offers to everyone — with no exceptions.

I am also a proud queer, non-binary person (I use they/them/theirs pronouns!) and get excited thinking about the ways our generation is creating a more just, welcoming world – both within the Church and the world at large.

Though many of my roles involve planning and behind-the-scenes work, I love meeting new people, so don’t be afraid to say hi! Let me know what music you’ve been jamming to, the best coffee shops to hit up, or what classes you’re loving (I’m a huge nerd at heart). You can contact me at:


Robert SchuettpelzRobert Schuettpelz: CPA, Crossing Financial Consultant
I am excited to take the experience I have gained over the years working with other not-for-profits and apply it to the Crossing.  I have 18 years of experience in public accounting working with a wide range of not-for-profit organizations.  I am the proud father of two nine year old children adopted from Russia eight years ago.  I am also the Executive Director for a Madison based NGO working in Ukraine called Friends of Chernobyl Centers U.S. (FOCCUS).

Crossing Board of Directors

We are thankful for the thoughtful guidance and oversight that we receive from our talented Board of Directors. Each of our Board members brings something special to our ministry, and we treasure their ongoing investment of time, wisdom, and support.

Edmond Ramly, President
I have been connected with The Crossing in a number of ways since I lived in its international housing cooperative in 2007, when I moved to Madison. I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and still visit my parents there every year. My two younger brothers both live in the US too, working on the east and west coasts, while I hold down the fort here in the midwest with my wife Claudia. I value learning and love engaging my imagination and creativity in various ways. I am a healthcare systems engineer on faculty at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, where my research and teaching focus on improving preventive care processes. During the rest of my time, I am an organizational development facilitator and improvisational theatre actor and coach. I enjoy painting, writing, dancing, hiking, and cooking with friends.


Bill Fiore, Treasurer
I came to Madison in 1993 after taking an early exit from my corporate job. I have been blessed to work with students ever since arriving. I have always loved the youth and young adults, and the opportunity to serve them once again inspires me. I am in my 19th year as a daily volunteer at O’Keefe Middle School, working in a 6th grade math class. I began serving in Campus ministry in 1994 and have served continuously since then, taking off only a year in 2016. Returning this year excites me because working with the incredible staff and board of The Crossing is simply a pleasure.


Kristen Seashore, Secretary
I began attending The Crossing as a student during my junior year of college in 2007. I fell in love with Vespers services and kept coming back. The pastors, staff, musicians, and students were welcoming and helped guide me as I followed my own faith journey. In 2010 I was able to go on the first Quest Kenya trip, which was a life-changing experience. Since then, I have been a big proponent of The Crossing’s Quest trips and their impact on the students. I have since graduated and now work as an engineer at GE Healthcare in Madison, but I continue to stay tied to The Crossing. My husband and I were lucky enough to have Rev. Karla Schmidt perform our wedding ceremony in 2013, which made it even more meaningful to both of us. I am excited to join The Crossing’s Board of Directors and start a new journey with this wonderful ministry!

Anna Walther, Student Liaison
As of May 2019, Anna will be a senior, studying Community and Environmental Sociology with a concentration in analysis and research. She spends most of her time working and volunteering with the Badger Volunteers program, Morgridge Center for Public Service, Institute for Research on Poverty, and, of course, The Crossing. She loves birds, black coffee, sitting in the sun, and cooking vegan food.



Dan R. Dick
Dan R. Dick currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop with the Wisconsin Annual Conference. He served as the Director of Connectional Ministries (2009–2015). Dan worked for the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, TN for 15 years: providing resources in stewardship, leadership development, spiritual formation, congregational and conference planning, spiritual direction, spiritual gifts discovery, and conflict transformation. He continues to author the blog, United Methodeviations (, and has been a speaker and teacher around the world. Author of fourteen books and hundreds of articles, Dan is also an avid reader and loves to play with new ideas. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Sun Prairie.


Mark Fowler
Mark A. Fowler is the lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Madison, WI. The church is a leader in the capital city. It has chosen to be “downtown for good” and exercise a dynamic public ministry as well as nurture a vibrant congregation. Fowler is the former Leiffer Associate Professor of Congregational Leadership and executive director of the Institute for Transformative Leaders and Communities at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  He also taught United Methodist Studies and Preaching. The ongoing focus of Dr. Fowler’s work is to bring together the resources of a formative seminary with living communities of faith to develop and empower visionary, vibrant and missional leaders for the church. Fowler holds the Wilbur C. Zieglar Preaching Award and his sermons are featured in a collection from other winners of the award in Unfinished Business. Among journal articles and contributions to other publications, he has authored two editions of Mentoring Into Vocation for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Fowler has led workshops and lectured in South Africa, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the United Kingdom.  He has been part of the original development team for the Plus program in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management as well as the foundational Vocational Formation and Church Leadership program for Master’s students at G-ETS.  Dr. Fowler serves as a resource to the church, a widely travelled preacher and speaker.


Julie Luecke
Dr. Julie Luecke in an associate professor and associate dean for Graduate Programs in the School of Education at Edgewood College. She was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years before moving into higher education. She is a member at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, involved for many years in children’s programming and serving as a trained Our Whole Lives instructor for middle school youth. She received her BS in Elementary Education from the UW, an M.Ed. in Curriculum from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the UW (including an inspiring course in Spiritually Centered Leadership).  During her graduate studies she took a year off to volunteer at Ongwediva College of Education in Namibia.  Julie currently teaches children’s literature at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and undergraduate courses in wellness and gender in education, which grows out of her research interest in building support structures for gender expansive students and their peers  through educational policy and practice. She has also participated in the Madison/Dane County Courage to Teach yearlong series of professional development and renewal retreats. Julie is honored to be a member of The Crossing community through serving on the Board.


Sue Dixon
For more than 10 years I’ve been inspired by the stories that UW-Madison students have shared about their spiritual, leadership and Quest journeys through The Crossing. I believe that faith is a life-long journey and that faith grows through questioning and learning from others. I believe that The Crossing is a place where ALL are welcome to share their faith questions and to journey together. I am excited to be joining The Crossing Board of Directors in 2020.

I recently retired from TDS, Inc. as a Senior HR Business Partner. I worked for the TDS family of companies for 25+ years in various positions in internal audit, business process improvement, leadership development, and human resources. I grew up in the United Methodist Church and have recently joined Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ. Through my career and spiritual journey I have learned that my calling is to support and serve others; to be a listener, a coach, a mentor, and a trusted advisor. As a new board member, I am excited to bring this calling, along with my people and business skills, to serve the students at The Crossing.


Rhiannon Tibbetts
Rhiannon Tibbetts is an author, a human rights activist and a community volunteer. She has published a half a dozen books in a variety of genres in recent years. Rhiannon is a longtime resident of Madison and is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked in a supervisory capacity for nearly twenty years for the largest cleaning company in Wisconsin. Rhiannon has been an active member of the First Baptist Church in Madison for about a decade.



Kory Douglass
Rev. Kory Douglass is a provisional deacon in the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the Coordinator of Adult Ministries and Congregational Care at Bashford United Methodist Church on the east side of Madison. Kory is also studying to be a marriage and family therapist, enrolled in Edgewood College’s MFT program. As an undergraduate Kory was very active in the Crossing. He lives in Prairie du Sac with his wife Claire, who is also a clergyperson, and their animals. Other interests include video games, the Enneagram, board games, and podcasts.