Intersections International is proud to announce the four honorees for our 2014 Awards Celebration: Dr. Reza Aslan, honored for his work at the intersection of religion, scholarship, and global peacemaking; John Campbell, honored for his work at the intersection of veterans and civilians; Rabbi Naamah Kelman, honored for her work at the intersection of religion, justice, and women's empowerment; and Rev. Nancy Wilson for her work at the intersection of religion and LGBTQ equality.
2014 Intersections Awards Celebration honors Dr. Reza Aslan
Dr. Reza Aslan is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He was previously Wallerstein distinguished visiting professor of religion, conflict, and community at Drew University, where he taught from 2012 to 2013, and assistant visiting professor of religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught from 2000 to 2003. He is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Dr. Aslan holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a minor in biblical Greek from Santa Clara University (1992-1995). He has a master of theological studies at the Divinity School from Harvard University (1997-1999), and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. (UCSB’s doctoral program is an interdisciplinary one that draws from religion, history, philosophy, and sociology, among other fields. Aslan’s doctorate in sociology encompasses expertise in the history of religion.) He also has a master of fine arts in fiction degree from the University of Iowa.
The New Yorker calls Dr. Aslan's most recent New York Times #1 bestselling book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, “riveting… Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.” Dr. Aslan’s first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, was an international bestseller as well. In addition, he authored How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror. Dr. Aslan has also edited two volumes: Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, Complexities.
Dr. Aslan is the founder of AslanMedia.com, which is an online journal for news and information on the greater Middle East. He has written for numerous publications and is a frequent guest on major news networks. In 2012, he was awarded the Levantine Cultural Center’s East-West Media Award and in 2013, he received the Media Bridge-Builder Award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding.
2014 Intersections Awards Celebration honors John Campbell
John Campbell’s career follows an arc that began with military service, spanned several continents as a senior banking executive, entrepreneur, executive coach, not for profit founder and culminated in his Presidential appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Office of Warrior Care and Transition Policy where he was awarded the Secretary's Exceptional Public Service Medal.
In Vietnam from 1967 to 1970, Campbell served as a rifle platoon commander and company executive officer, receiving two purple hearts.
After the military, Campbell experienced a successful career in the financial services industry, first at J. P. Morgan & Company, Inc. where he rose to assume a key role in the merger of the National and International Banking Divisions and later, responsibility for the Bank's lending portfolio in the Southern Cone of Latin America during that region's debt crisis. He then served in several senior roles at Credit Suisse, including Managing Director and Head of Commercial Banking, North America and later, as Chief of Staff for Global Banking during the merger of the bank with the investment bank, First Boston.
In 1999, Campbell left the financial sector and brought his extensive network of senior executives and influencers to Wf360, a New York-based firm where he served as Chief Operations Officer and Senior Advisor. Wf360 was established to help global corporations engage in customized, multimedia programs that enhance corporate brands.
In 2006, in the midst of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he returned to his interest in working with the US military by founding and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of MyVetwork, a social network dedicated to building an on-line community for veterans and their families.
From 2010 to 2013, Campbell was the Secretary of Defense's wounded warrior and transition policy advisor on issues of disability evaluation processing, severely wounded ill and injured financial compensation, the reinvention of the Multi Agency managed Transition Assistance Policy, and the efforts to improve challenges facing military caregivers and veteran homelessness.
Campbell holds a BSBA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia University.
2014 Intersections Awards Celebration honors Rabbi Naamah Kelman
Rabbi Naamah Kelman is a descendent of 10 generations of rabbis, becoming the first woman to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem in 1992, where she is currently the Dean.
Born and raised in New York, Kelman has lived in Israel since 1976; where she has worked in community organizing, Jewish education, and the promotion and establishment of Progressive and Pluralistic Judaism for Israelis. She has been intensely involved in the emerging education system of the Israeli Movement for Progressive (Reform) Judaism. Among the founders of the first Progressive Day school, she has overseen the development of curricular materials, teacher training programs, and family education. She has been involved in teacher training and enrichment, the professional development of the Israeli Rabbinic students, and the establishment of "Mazorim" Spiritual Care/Israeli Chaplaincy.
Kelman was the Director of the Year in Israel Program for HUC's North American students. She is a board member of Rabbis for Human Rights, MELITZ, and the Tali Education Fund. She is deeply engaged in inter-faith dialogue and feminist causes. Kelman is married to Dr. Elan Ezrachi and they have three children.
2014 Intersections Awards Celebration honors Reverend Dr. Nancy L. Wilson
Reverend Dr. Nancy L. Wilson is a popular preacher, speaker and author. She has been honored with the first “Lazarus Award” from the Presbyterian Church and was invited to preach at the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion. Wilson was elected Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) in Sarasota, Florida in 2005, and in 2010 was re-elected for a term of six years. She joined MCC as Associate Pastor of MCC Boston in 1972 at 22 years of age, and has since served in MCC churches in Los Angeles, Detroit and Sarasota. Wilson has been the official delegate of MCC to the World Council of Churches General Assemblies in Australia, Zimbabwe and Brazil.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Following President Obama’s re-election in 2013, Wilson gave a Scripture reading at the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and was the first openly gay clergy member to participate.
Wilson is also a prolific author whose published works include: Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures (LifeJourney Press); Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement (LifeJourney Press); Nossa Tribo: Gays, Deus, Jesus e a Bíblia (Metanoia); Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press); with Fr. Malcolm Boyd, Amazing Grace. Rev. Wilson’s prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer, edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press).
Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and is a D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School.