Board of Directors

Ted Vaden, Chair
Ted Vaden picture

I am a journalist who had a career with The News & Observer of Raleigh and other publications before retiring in 2012. My community activities include Chapel of the Cross, where I serve on the Vestry, and the Johnson Service Corps. I enjoy outdoor activity, reading and writing, and travel. I am married to Betsy Vaden, a potter, and we have three adult children. I appreciate the JSC for three reasons: leadership development of young adults, service to the community and commitment to social justice.

Mary Davis, Vice Chair

Mary Davis picture

I am a public health evaluator with a private consulting practice.  My commitment to public health and service was shaped by my undergraduate experience at Guilford College and a semester studying abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico.  I currently enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds, especially cycling and diving, and am a member of Chapel of the Cross.  My past experience as an educator of masters and doctoral level public health students translates into my commitment to JSC.  Seeing students of all ages thrive brings me great joy.

Brian Coggins, Treasurer

Brian Coggins picture

I first became involved in JSC in 2013, when I was elected to the Vestry of The Chapel of the Cross, the Episcopal parish that founded JSC, and was asked to serve on the JSC Board as a liaison between the two organizations. In my day job, I am a scientist at Duke, teaching biochemistry to premedical undergraduate students and doing research on protein molecules connected to human disease. I am also the co-founder of a small startup company, PhD Posters, which helps scientists communicate their work at scientific conferences. At the Chapel of the Cross, I sing in the choir and sometimes fill in as a guest organist, and I continue to serve on the Vestry. I love music, food/cooking, history, photography, and the outdoors, and I can often be found in the fall and spring hiking the Appalachian Trail in western NC and VA.

Rev. Carl Clark, Secretary

Carl is a chaplain at UNC Hospital where he also supervises chaplain interns.  He learned about JSC when a supervising a JSC alumna who was completing her Clinical Pastoral Education at UNC Hospital during the summer while studying at Harvard Divinity School.  As an Episcopalian, Carl was inspired by JSC mission and vision and joined JSC as a passionate board member.  Carl is also an accomplished musician and organist.


Laurie Alexander

Laurie Alexander board photo

I am a retired elementary school teacher. I have taught pre-school/K at the Carolina Friends School, and 1st-4th at Duke School. I currently substitute in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and at Duke School and fill maternity leaves for teachers at Duke School. I have been a member of the Chapel of the Cross since 1977, and have enjoyed many different roles as a church member. I am currently a member of a Circle of Support and a member of the Good Samaritan Guild. I belong to 2 book clubs, have three grown children and 6 beautiful grandchildren, and enjoy the out of doors, gardening, reading, and sewing.

Rev. Deborah Carter


Rev. Deborah Carter (Debbi) has extensive experience as an intentional interim pastor in both United Church of Christ and American Baptist churches. She has also served as the director of several non-profit organizations and has worked as both a settled pastor and a clinical pastoral counselor.

Debbi attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major in sociology and history. She attended seminary at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY receiving a Masters of Divinity. Then Debbi entered Andover Newton Theological School where she received a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral psychotherapy in 1981. Debbi also has completed a variety of continuing education.

Debbi loves to travel. She is married to Nick Carter. She currently volunteers at Duke Medical Center and is a member of the United Church of Chapel Hill.

Denise Corey

Denise Corey board photo

My early professional career was in commercial lending, first with Bank of America and then CCB (now SunTrust). I led Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA’s capital campaign and spent four years pursuing a passion in architectural ceramics. For seven years I worked in retail management with Fleet Feet Sports, a national franchise company and I have recently consulted in that field as well. I am once again dabbling in arts while considering my next career. I am a volunteer with Porch, an excellent nonprofit that distributes food to almost 300 families.

I am very excited to be part of JSC, in part to more fully explore my personal faith and to support young people as they define their personal development. I am also excited to support other nonprofits in our communities.

Ed Embree

Ed Embree board photo

I was in the private practice of law in Durham for 42 years before retiring from Moore & VanAllen in 2014. I am a life long member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham having served on its Vestry and as Senior Warden several times. I was the co-founder and leader of Durham Episcopal Housing Ministries which provided transitional housing services for homeless families for twenty years before it closed in 2014. Since 2006 I have been the Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina providing secular and canonical legal advice and assistance to the Diocese. My wife, Stuart, and I have a second home at Oriental, NC, where we enjoy sailing and being close to the water. We are avid travelers and enjoy not only traditional traveling but also camping (now in a trailer) and adventure trips. I am new to JSC and still learning about it. I was called to help because of its focus on social services and helping young people discern their role in the provision of social services and attaining social justice.

Melynn Glusmann

I am a “stay-at- home” mom to my daughters, Laurel and Vivian Nordgren (we don’t stay at home!). Prior to this gig, I earned an MA in history and a JD from UNC-Chapel Hill, worked at Duke University (in public policy, the Center for Documentary Studies, and the Community Service Center), and taught social studies at Hillside High School in Durham. My undergraduate degree is from Duke. I am a cradle Episcopalian, and I have been a parishioner at St. Philip’s in Durham since 2008. My husband Tim Nordgren and I were married at the Chapel of the Cross in February 2007, my having been a very active member (primarily with the youth of the parish) for over a decade.

I have a long-standing commitment to social justice issues, centered in my religious faith. I am honored to serve on the JSC board.

Wendy John


Wendy is a Managing Director at Fidelity Investments in the Research Triangle Park. She graduated with a Joint Honors Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Actuarial Science and Economics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and also has her Masters of Science in Investment Management (MSIM) from Boston University.

In recognition of her work in the community and as a leader of Fidelity’s Employee Resource Groups, in 2010, she was nominated for the Triangle Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award and was selected as one of Triangle Business Media’s “Movers & Shakers”.

Wendy attended Episcopalian-run schools in Trinidad and Tobago before leaving to attend university in Canada. She now attends St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham. She is excited about the work that JSC does in developing new young leaders and the focus on social justice & improving the local community.

Bill Ross

Bimgresill is currently on faculty at Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment and of counsel at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP.  Bill formerly led the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the agency’s secretary from 2001-2009.  He is a member of Chapel of the Cross.

Ginny Runge

Ginny Runge board photoMy masters degree is in art therapy, however most of my work experience has been in teaching. I taught art, grades K – 4, at Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte and at The Potomac School in McLean, VA. Now I am working in my studio at home as a painter, and have had three solo exhibits since moving to Chapel Hill in 2010.  I am a life-long Episcopalian and am thoroughly enjoying the community I have found at The Chapel of the Cross, where my husband and I both sing in the senior choir.

My interest in JSC began when I took the Servant Leadership course with Susan Gladin. Although my class did not include current corps members, I got to know them when Susan asked me to do an art project with them the following year. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and drive of each member as they envisioned life as a servant leader, and the supportive environment offered by the program. For me, being reminded that we are to serve each other as we live in community is one of the most important messages of the church.

Perry Studevent
Studevent_Perry012Hello, I’m Perry Studevent and current serve as the Senior Assistant Director in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill and have worked in various areas of higher education since 2001.   My main areas of focus are admissions, housing, and financial aid.  Raised in Davie County, NC, I earned my bachelor’s degree from UNCG, my MS from ECU and am currently finishing my MBA from ECU.  I am on the Wake County ECU Alumni Volunteer Board.    I’m very passionate about higher education as I was only the second member of my family to have completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.  Spirituality, in my opinion, is an important part of who we are and should be developed along with our minds and bodies.  I try to meditate when I can and enjoy the beach and live in Raleigh with my three evil cats – Sarge, Orangey, and Duecey.

Sarah Wolff
board-photo-sarah-wolffSarah (Donahue) Wolff participated in Johnson Service Corps in 2003-2004 after she graduated from Duke University.  Sarah currently works for the Center for Responsible Lending and Self-Help Credit Union in Durham.  She and her husband Mike have two young children and are members of Duke Chapel Congregation.  Sarah is excited to join the board and continue serving the organization in new ways.