metanexusinstitute: staff

William Grassie
Founder and Executive Director

William Grassie has a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from Middlebury College and a doctorate in religion from Temple University. He has taught in a variety of positions at Temple University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, he worked for 10 years in international relations and conflict resolution in Washington, D.C., Jerusalem, Berlin, and Philadelphia. He is the recipient of a number of academic awards and grants from the American Friends Service Committee, the Roothbert Fellowship, and the John Templeton Foundation. In 2007–2008, he served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in the department of Buddhist studies at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He is the author of The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside In and Bottom Up (Palgrave Macmillian, 2010) and a collection of essays, Politics by Other Means: Science and Religion in the 21st Century (Metanexus, 2010). He has also edited two volumes: Advanced Methodologies in the Scientific Study of Religion and Spirituality (Metanexus, 2010) and H+/-Transhumanism and Its Critics (Metanexus, 2010) with Gregory Hansell. For more information, go to

Barbara Bole
Research and Communications

Barbara Bole served as program associate and, later, associate director of the Metanexus Local Societies Initiative from 2001 to 2008. She earned a master's degree in public administration from Walden University with a specialization in international NGOs in 2008, summa cum laude. She is a doctoral candidate, researching ethical consumption identity as an emerging form of civic engagement in the pursuit of socio-economic justice.  Her work explores the reflective practices of everyday consumption as a factor in advancing global awareness in the service of human flourishing. Currently working as a consultant in research, communication, writing, and editing, she also volunteers for her local Fair Trade Town Committee in Media, Pennsylvania, and in other capacities .  

Julia Loving
Photography Editor

Julia Loving worked with the Metanexus Institute from its beginnings, 1999 through 2007, as director of communications and special events. She has a degree in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has worked as a papermaker, bookbinder, boatbuilder, animation painter, and gallery installer. She has also worked in development for a theater coordinating special cultivation and fundraising events. In addition to working for Metanexus, she works for an independent bookstore. She is a bibliophile, gardener, designer, and occasional caterer.

Marc Kaufman
Contributing Editor

Marc Kaufman began his career in journalism as a staff writer for a Boston-based daily newspaper in 1993. Since then, he has written, edited and aggregated content for a number of print publications and websites highlighted by a 5-year stint as editor of Science & Spirit magazine. In 2008, Marc began to focus on communications and content strategy for online publications and for organizations looking to transition their message from print to the web. He has managed several large-scale web redesign and site building projects while maintaining a variety of editorial and consulting relationships.

Heather Wax
Contributing Editor

Heather Wax is a journalist who has been covering issues at the intersection of science, religion, and culture since 2003. She launched the site Science + Religion Today in 2007 and was a contributing editor and blogger at Big Questions Online. Before that, she was the features editor of Science & Spirit magazine. She has written for Scientific American, The Boston Globe, Technology Review, Ode, and the UU World, among other publications.

Peter Lewek
Program Associate

Peter Lewek comes to Metanexus Institute after completing his undergraduate studies at Colgate University. Peter graduated with a degree in Philosophy and ran the Colgate University concert series on campus. His interests include live music, audio production and equipment, travel, baseball, and various outdoor activities.

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