The Team

Diana Lutfi
Lead Facilitator

Conflicting worldviews have always been the main topic heavily contested in my family, and it has definitely caused me a lot of pain. This is what shapes my utmost sympathies to the struggles of individuals who are earnestly yearning for what is real or what is true – because seeking after it can be so darn convoluted! Hence, I created this space to enforce a reasonable and safe way of actually inquiring about answers. And as a philosophy geek, I think that the employed philosophical method of having sound “proofs” is a great method of constructing a worldview based on reasonability. Faith is required for everything (read Hume’s method of doubt to try contradicting such statement I’ve made), so it’s super important to place it in the most feasible explanation of life. Presently, I am a Jesus-lover but I’m not super fond of rule-based religion. Some of the deeper issues I am still grappling with concerns justice and goodness being tainted with the wrong portrayals of love and people using scriptures to justify them. Such struggles have led me to work on a book/article about Love and Loving Well.

Abigail Hohenstreet
Facilitator & Resource Manager

For the last decade, I’ve devoted my time, energy, and academic life to the questions addressed in our course.  As a skeptic for the majority of my life, though enveloped and informed in religious communities, my journey consisted of investigation of comparative literature, international relations, and cognitive science.  For the last five years, as a Christian apologist, social worker, and crisis counselor, I’ve engaged with people from all walks of life and over a dozen countries in order to focus on exploring our shared human tendency toward: (1) metaphysical inquiry; (2) yearning for “justice”; and (3) striving for flourishing, meaningful lives amidst a complex and beautifully broken world.  Currently, I’m pursuing becoming a peacemaker in diplomacy, especially because I believe that theology and philosophy deeply impacts all of our views regarding international law and public policy.

Brooke Butler
Science Content Facilitator

Brooke has wrestled with questions concerning meaning and purpose in life over a number of years, working with students on three continents. After passing through a time of intense searching through Eastern philosophies and existentialism in his late teens, he found a framework that seemed to correspond to reality in Christianity. In college, he struggled to ascertain whether he “believed what was true or simply wanted his beliefs to be true.” As a result, his faith and understanding of the basis for his beliefs were greatly deepened. Living in Croatia, which was racked by a civil war, over the past twenty years and dealing with a number of difficult family situations, his focus has been on evil, suffering and finding joy in the midst of uncertainities and pain.

Karen Trejo
Design & Admin

I believe that love is a universal language. No matter what ethnicity, religion, or class one is, I believe that the concept of love is one that can be diversely applied. I am a follower of Jesus and I try to let that love-concept trickle into every area of my life; so when I say that I am Christian, I truly mean that I try to be the same person that I am on Sunday’s throughout the rest of the week. There have been so many people hurt by “the Church” and not enough people loved by it, so I try to show off God for who he is, loving and patient, and not what other people demonstrate him as. I believe that every human being has the gift of free will, and that religion and beliefs should never be pushed on anyone. I believe that we all have the choice to decide what we believe in, and that we only truly reach a conclusion on what the meaning of life is when we question EVERYTHING. But aside from the super heavy stuff, I LOVE being alive and just going to school. I also really like all things art, like photography, painting, drawing, writing, and acting. And food.

Julianne Trapse
Philosophy Facilitator

I was born in Queens, New York during one of the blizzard weather it has. I have since moved eight different times and went to five different schools in following my Father’s line of work as a doctor. My Mother worked three jobs straight in New York in order to keep my family afloat while my Father studied to pass his boards. My Father is a man of science and my Mother is a devout Catholic, so when coming to this course I saw a lot of overlaps with my life. I look forward to being able to bring objective reasoning and argumentation for this course. As well as, hopefully, a broader outlook on the questions that many people alike have grappled with on their faith and bring about reasons that will help facilitate the beginnings of answers.

Ryan Kenneally
Marketing & Social Manager

Loves to question things. Raised Christian but struggled with the organization. Still considers spirituality a focal point in his life (as well as the amalgamation of spirituality and logic). Believes in a synchronistic and pre-deterministic universe, and draws upon the concept of “pursuing ones destined path” as a source of strength and motivation. Enthralled by microbial biology, chemistry, and earth science. Likes to read (favorite authors are Salinger and Hemingway), rock climb, and hike. Currently training for a cross country bike tour. Member of Kappa Alpha,and currently living with his four best friends.