Director and Campus Minister: Rev. Lauren Odell-Scott Lauren has served God with UCM since 1993! She received her call to ministry when she was in high school! Lauren preached her first sermon at 17 years old at her local Presbyterian congregation. She went on to study Religion at Texas Christian University where she met and married her husband, David. Together they graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN where Lauren received a M.A. in Religion and Psychology. She was ordained in July 1980 by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She served as Pastor of 3 congregations. Currently, in addition to ministry at UCM, Lauren also teaches in the Religion Studies Program at KSU! She has served as a hospital chaplain and completed a second unit of Clinical Pastoral Education with focus on psychiatric ministry. Her husband, David, is Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Coordinator of Religious Studies here at Kent State. David and Lauren are the proud parents of grown children, Megan and Paul – both UCM/KSU alums! They are also extremely proud grandparents and love to spend time with their beautiful granddaughter. UCM is an amazing campus ministry open to all KSU students! “Wherever you are on the journey…you are welcome here!”
Associate Campus Minister: Jodi Stillisano As a student intern, Jodi really enjoyed her time spent at UCM. She is excited to be working with Lauren and the students once again! Getting to know the students and sharing in their joys and concerns are highlights of her week. In addition to campus ministry, Jodi serves the First Christian Church in Kent as Minister of Christian Education. Her husband, Scott (UCM Alum) works at KSU as a Senior Application Developer (he helps UCM with the website!) Jodi and Scott are raising 3 boys (future UCM’ers!) Jodi is honored to be a part of this vital ministry at Kent State, representing the mainline churches and sharing the knowledge of God’s amazing grace and unconditional love.
Program & Technology Coordinator: Caralynn “Karrie” Goold Karrie is very excited to be working with United Christian Ministries! She has a very diverse background and has traveled and spent time in a lot of different places; all of which have lead her here, to Kent, Ohio. After receiving her degree in education she spent 3 years teaching in North Carolina. Karrie also spent time recruiting and teaching in Barrow, Alaska. Along with education, she has spent time working IT and productivity for Cisco systems. With her passion for teaching and learning, and her background and experiences, Karrie shares “I am confident I am right where I’m meant to be! It is my hope to fill the shoes of my predecessor effectively, working alongside a wonderful group of students, and Jodi and Lauren!”
Max Stillisano Hello, I’m Max and I am a junior at Kent state! I’m very excited to serve UCM as the President this year while pursuing my degree as an entrepreneurship major. Growing up I was always involved in UCM and it is exciting to take another step in my journey with UCM as second-year intern. I grew up locally, going to the First Christian Church in Kent with my family. In my free time I eat, breathe and sleep baseball. I am very blessed to have this opportunity to serve with UCM.
Mariana Gowdy Hi! My name is Mariana (Mari) Gowdy and I am a junior at Kent State, majoring in human resource management with minors in international business and nonprofit studies. My hometown is Pittsburgh (go Steelers!) and I was baptized and raised in the Anglican tradition in my home congregation, Church of the Ascension. On campus, I am the membership vice president for the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and an upperclassman mentor in the College of Business. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, reading, writing, hand-lettering, eating, hanging out with friends, and traveling. This past summer, I traveled for study abroad in Florence, Italy! I am excited to see what God has in store for me as an intern for UCM and how I can spread His love through service projects.
Amy Messmore I am a Senior Early Childhood Education Major working on my minor in Special Education: mild-moderate. I prefer they/them pronouns and identify as demisexual and panromantic and is also a big advocate for others in the LGBTQ+ community. My goals for this year are to get more students from the LGBTQ+ community to know about open and affirming groups on campus such as UCM and to also have speakers from the LGBTQ+ community come and speak about their experiences. I loves how open and friendly UCM is and how it has become a second home.
Hello, I’m Zach and I am a sophomore at Kent state! I’m very excited to create wonderful events and stunning dinners for UCM as the Special Events Intern this year while pursuing my degree as a Hospitality major. I grew up going to church and I’ve always felt involved in UCM from a young age sneaking in to see the “cool older kids” and it is exciting to take another step in myjourney with UCM and become part of the team! I grew up locally, going to the First Christian Church in Kent with my family. I’m an animal lover with a Disney obsession and I can’t wait to see where Ucm leads me!