Earlham School of Religion Board of Advisors


Carol Alpern

Carol Alpern holds a BA in Art History and an MA in 19th-Century British Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed all but her dissertation toward a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, having finished research for a variorum edition of Norman Mailer’s The Deer Park—but never writing up what she found. Life in New York City became more interesting than scholarship.

Part of that life was rejoining the Quakerism she’d been raised in outside Philadelphia, becoming active in New York Yearly Meeting and serving as clerk of Ministry & Counsel in 1989 and 1990. During that time she attended two consultations at Quaker Hill sponsored by ESR. She followed M&C service with a year in the School of the Spirit and returned to an old passion, studying acting at HB Studios.

In 1995 she earned Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity memberships with a small part in a movie titled Milk & Money. On stage, she played a series of large roles in tiny venues in the off-off-off Broadway scene—Raneveskaya in The Cherry Orchard, Mrs. Alving in Ghosts, Mrs. Solness in The Master Builder, and Mrs. Sorby in The Wild Duck. Wallace Shawn gave Holmes permission to do his monologue The Fever as vocal ministry, rising out of the silence, in Quaker venues.

On September 11, 2001, she was six miles from Ground Zero. That day made theater work irrelevant. She enrolled as an ESR Access student and also began nine years on the FUM General Board, the last three as recording clerk.

She is currently on the board of the Norman Mailer Society, is an editorial adviser to The Mailer Review, and contributed to the authorized biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life.

She is a member of Scarsdale Meeting and, in 2017, was married under its care to Bowen Alpern, a computer scientist, retired from his research career, and now serving as an adjunct at Lehman College/CUNY. Carol has been a freelance editor and proofreader since the 1970s. She is currently the copy editor for the Pendle Hill pamphlets.


Lavona Bane

  • Graduated from Olney Boarding School, Barnesville, Ohio

  • Attended Earlham College, 1948-49

  • Raised her 5 children, 1950-1968

In 1968, Landrum Bolling hired Lavona as Earlham College's Registrar. She served in this role until retirement in 1995. Five of these years she served as Associate Dean of Students. She also served on the Advisory Committee, Curriculum Committee, was Head of Big May Day and Commencement Committees. Lavona is a life-long Quaker, member of First Friends Meeting in Richmond, Indiana. She has served as Clerk of Stewardship and Finance; Ministry and Counsel, Presiding Clerk of the Meeting and Hospitality Committee.

Lavona's "ministry" for over 30 years, has been as a hospice volunteer caring for over 60 clients (and their families) who are terminally ill.

When her parents, Glenn and Velma Reece, died, she and her siblings wanted something that would honor their memory. They established two scholarships at ESR which are awarded every year, enabling current students to complete their dreams of their own ministry.


Ellie Bewley

EC ’69 attended the University of Southern California and received an MA in Physical Education. She taught high school physical education and U.S. government for 5 years, and then was employed by Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Ca. for 35 years. She taught physical education courses in health and fitness and coached the women’s tennis team. For the last twenty years at Rio Hondo, she served as the Dean of Physical Education and Health Science, and was the Athletic Director for men’s and women’s programs.

Ellie served on the California State Athletic Governing Board, The Commission on Athletics, for 20 years, and served as chair for three years and chaired the Gender Equity Committee, the Constitution Committee, and represented the sports of women’s basketball and volleyball. She also served on the executive committee of the State Athletic Director’s Association, and served as President of that organization. In addition, she served twice as President of the Foothill Athletic Conference, on the Whittier YMCA Board of Directors, the Rio Hondo College Foundation Board, and as President of Delta Sigma chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Ellie has been a member of First Friends, Whittier for 60 years, currently serves as Clerk, clerked the Personnel and Nominating committees, and served on the Finance and Trustees committees. While serving on the Earlham Board previously, she chaired the Education and Nominating committees. Ellie has given 24 years of service to the Earlham Board of Trustees.


Dale Dorrell

Much of my childhood was spent in Kenya where my parents served with the Friends Mission at Kaimosi. I did my undergraduate work at William Penn University and graduated from ESR in 1977 with an M.Min. I have served in various ministries for over 50 years, much of that time in at least part time pastoral ministry. We served with Friends in Uganda in the mid ’80s and for the last quarter-century I have worked as a hospital chaplain in Des Moines, IA. My wife and I have been married for over 45 years and we have three children and 6 grandchildren.


Jessica Easter

Education: B.S. in Media and Cinema Studies, 2011 M.Div Earlham School of Religion, 2014

Jessica was born on the island of Guam to two members of the U.S. Navy. While she originally intended to become a broadcast journalist or media critic, she fell in love with chaplaincy during her studies at Earlham School of Religion. She currently works as a staff chaplain for the Intermediate Care Unit and the pulmonary/cystic fibrosis floor at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. Jessica enjoys working out, listening to music, exploring cities, and eating Ethiopian food. She is the older sister of Danielle who is a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force.


Travis Etling

Hello! I am Travis. I am a 2017 graduate of ESR and live in Durango Colorado with my partner, ESR grad Tracy Davis. I am currently working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a case manager. In my free time, I am quite involved with my monthly meeting (Durango Friends Meeting). I am currently clerk of the meeting and enjoy a ministry of spiritual nurture alongside my Friends in Durango. Currently that ministry includes a weekly Bible study. I am also becoming more involved in the yearly meeting (Intermountain Yearly Meeting). I will be working on the Program Working Group for IMYM for the next three years. In addition to Quaker stuff, I enjoy spending time in creation: biking, hiking, kayaking and cross country skiing here in beautiful Southwestern Colorado. Tracy says it is a “heavenly realm.”



Adria Gulizia

Adria is a lawyer, mediator, teacher, mother and Young Adult Friend. For the last few years, she has carried a concern for how Friends’ traditional faith and practice translate into an increasingly unstable, atomized and uncertain world. In her ministry activities and in her daily life, Adria is passionate about inviting all into deeper relationship with the Spirit of Christ, which spoke so strongly to early Friends and continues to speak today. She is a member of Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting (New York Yearly Meeting) and the Friends of Jesus Fellowship. Adria's blog, In the Shadow of Babylon, can be found at shadowofbabylon.com.


Ian Joyce

Ian Joyce is an unaffiliated Friend who lives in Winston Salem, NC. He is a digital marketing strategist for an advertising agency and has worked closely with Quaker institutions and non-profits to help them more clearly communicate with volunteers, donors and other constituents. Ian dedicates his free time to pro bono counseling for non-profits and is national volunteer partner for JDRF, a global diabetes charity, and their peer-to-peer fundraising programs.  

Ian has long been active in the Piedmont Triad Quaker community, and was an early Access student at ESR, where he pursued MDiv studies for a year-and-a-half. He previously earned a BA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Susan Kaul

I was born in Jeffersonville (Indiana), literally on the banks of the Ohio. My mother was killed in an automobile accident when I was nearly eleven, and I went to live with my father in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he worked for what became USAID. From Haiti we moved to Managua, Nicaragua and then to the suburbs of Lima, Peru. I returned to Washington DC to begin college at George Washington University, but wasn’t ready, and didn’t last long. I went to work at what was the National Academy of Sciences, and then married Pradeep (in Srinagar, Kashmir) in 1971.

I was very involved in our son’s Quaker elementary school, establishing the Parents’ Organization and then serving on the school’s Board of Trustees. In all, I served on three different Quaker school boards, and eventually began attending Bethesda Friends Meeting. I guess ESR’s Board of Advisors makes it four. To this day, I remain hooked on business meetings!

Along the way I went back to school part-time, earning my BA. With no intention of coming “back home again” to Indiana, I came to ESR to take a class in Multi-cultural Pastoral Care taught by Bill Ratliff in 2001 and soon found myself as a pioneer Access student.

Even before graduating in 2007, I began providing pastoral care to the independent residents at Friends House Retirement Community in Sandy Spring, Maryland. It took me a while to hear what God was calling me to do, but I finally did.


Jim Lawrence

Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies at Pacific School of Religion, Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Historical Studies

BA, University of Texas, 1978; Diploma (MDiv equiv.), Swedenborg School of Religion, 1984; DMin, Graduate Theological Foundation, 1991; PhD, Graduate Theological Union, 2011

During 17 years in parish ministry in rural, suburban and urban settings, Dr. Jim Lawrence helped three congregations re-energize, and he continues to have a special interest in the renewal of traditional ministries. In addition to Swedenborgian Studies, he teaches in the field of spirituality and has special interest in the varieties of Protestant religious experience, the radical margins of Protestant history, the dialogue between science and religion, and biblical spirituality. He has contributed as publisher, editor and author to more than 30 works.


Frank Massey

Frank C. Massey serves as pastoral minister of Jamestown Friends Meeting.  He is presently serving as clerk of the North Carolina Fellowship of Friends.  Frank serves as Gifts Discernment Coordinator and Campus Ministry Coordinator at Guilford College for twelve years.  Before that he serves Baltimore Yearly Meeting as General Secretary for seventeen years.  Frank earned a Master’s of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion in 1984 and a Master’s of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1980.  He is married to Elizabeth Phillips Massey.  They have two children and three grandsons.