The Executive Committee

Anna Lenaker

Conference Co-Chair

Anna Lenaker is a second-year Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment, focusing on climate change science and solutions. Prior to attending Yale, Anna received her Master of Public Affairs and Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Brown University. Anna believes that engaging the arts and religion/spirituality and their practitioners is essential for understanding, enduring, and addressing the climate crisis. The ways of knowing they offer––whether spiritual, ethical, emotional, or imaginative––provide keen insight into human-environmental relationships, hope for the future, and pathways forward. Anna has had many places she's called home. Currently, her home is in New Haven, Connecticut.

Christopher Freimuth

Conference Co-Chair

Christopher Freimuth is a religiously unaffiliated second-year student at Yale Divinity School, where he is focused on gardening and spiritual practice. Prior to arriving in New Haven, he owned and operated a garden design firm in New York City. His interests outside of horticulture and academia include playing with his dog Casey, hiking and camping, dancing late into the evening, and having earnest and irreverent conversations about things that do and don't matter.

Ara Gargiulo

Conference Co-Chair

Ara Gargiulo is a first year M.A.R. student with a concentration in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale Divinity School. She graduated from IU Bloomington with two Bachelor's of Arts with Distinction: Philosophy and Religious Studies. Ara is fascinated by beauty and monstrosity in early/ancient religions, the role of aesthetics in religious rituals and belief, the other/divine/mortal relationship, early folk religious practices (i.e. Sicilian Fairy Cult), and [gendered] aesthetic constructions of morality, agency, and the 'body'—She hopes to pursue her PhD in Religious Studies.

Riley Erlandson

General Committee Coordinator

Riley Erlandson is a third year M.Div. student at Yale Divinity School with an undergraduate degree from Concordia College in biology and neuroscience. Riley is particularly interested in the intersection of literature, religion, ecology, and ministry or teaching. As a Minnesotan, her favorite way to spend time is with a book, a pen, and a snack near trees and a lake.

Icy McKether

Communications and Publication Coordinator

Na'I'Cesses (Icy) McKether is a first-year MAR student concentrating in religion & ecology at Yale Divinity School. She has several fields of interest including environmental racism, womanist and black liberation theologies, and the intersection of gender and climate justice. Prior to attending Yale, Icy earned an undergraduate degree from Adrian College in History. A Michigander, her favorite way to spend time is with a book outside soaking in the sun.

Katie Mills

Communications and Publication Coordinator

Katie Mills is a first-year M.A.R. student in Religion and Ecology at Yale Divinity School. Previously, she studied Biomedical Humanities at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Katie is interested in theologies of resurrection and hope in light of the climate crisis, along with the ability of liberation theologies to provide a vision of material change for her home in Appalachia and communities more broadly. She grew up in West Virginia and North Carolina and loves playing music, farming, and cooking.

Emily Peck

Logistics Coordinator

Emily Peck is a second-year MDiv student at Yale Divinity School. Her training before divinity school was in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. It was Arabic literature that got her interested in ecological studies with intersections of care practices. Emily loves to read, garden, write, hike, and play video games in her rest time.

Liz Vukovic

Logistics Coordinator

Liz Vukovic (they/she) is a second-year M.A. in Religion and Ecology. They study U.S. environmental history and the Christian Right. In their free time, they like to read, play guitar, and spend time in the woods. They are planning to begin a PhD program in Religious Studies in the fall of 2024.

Dafne Villanueva

General Committee Coordinator

Dafne Villanueva is a 2nd year M.A.R. concentrating in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality. She is interested in Latinx Theology, Law and Religion, the intersectionality of immigration and gender in ethno-religious communities, and exploring sacred spaces beyond the institution. During her time at YDS, she has spent time in classes and discourse that revolve around ecology and is excited to be part of the team this year. As her second and final year comes to a slow close, she feels lucky to have participated in the Yale and New Haven community and believes that GCRE is making an incredible impact within this community and beyond.