Chris Elisara - Executive Director Ph.D.
A visionary educator, social entrepreneur, and filmmaker, Dr. Chris Elisara and his wife Tricia founded CCSP in 2002. A native New Zealander, Dr. Elisara earned a B.A. from the University of Auckland, an M.B.A. from Eastern University, and a Ph.D. in cross-cultural education from Biola University, CA. More recently he founded the Center for Environmental Leadership in Buffalo, NY, and in late 2011 Dr. Elisara became the inaugural chair of the World Evangelical Alliance's creation care task force. Closer to home Dr. Elisara is a board member of the Volcan Mountain Foundation, a conservation organization which has preserved over 17,000 acres of critical habitat in San Diego County.
Courtnay Wilson - NZ Program Director M.T.S.
Courtnay is a Canuck from Dundas, Ontario, Canada. Did you know that, with over 100 waterfalls, Dundas claims to be the “waterfall capital of the world”? Courtnay joined the New Zealand team four years ago after spending two years working for SoPac’s sister program in Belize. Although she sometimes misses the escabeche and Johnny cakes, she definitely does not miss the cold showers! Prior to working with CCSP, Courtnay spent three years in Japan teaching English in a public high school. Before that, she completed a Master’s in Theological Studies at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, where she also did an undergraduate degree in History and Political science. It was at seminary that Courtnay found her theological home in the Mennonite Church. Recently, Courtnay joined St. John Ambulance in Kaikoura and is excited about her training to become a volunteer ambulance officer. Her favourite activity in Kaikoura is communing with the acrobatic dusky dolphins from the comfort of her kayak. You can call her “The Dolphin Whisperer”. Things you’re likely to hear Courtnay say: Boggle anyone? Is there coffee made? Are you going to eat that piece of chocolate?
Alicia (Allie) Landis - Assistant NZ Program Director B.S.
Allie finished her fourth year working for CCSP New Zealand in May 2013. She is a graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, MA, where she spent four excellent years studying outdoor education and art. She enjoys conversation on many topics ranging from the theories behind experiential education, to the concept and practice of “Sabbath.” During university Allie spent a semester as a student at CCSP NZ when the program was based on the North Island in Oratia, a suburb of Auckland.
Allie really enjoys living in Kaikoura, and doesn’t miss too much about North America besides Fall in New England, friends, and her family. During working hours Allie can be found in the office and around the Convent doing everything from bookkeeping to field trip planning and reading aloud. She has an ongoing list of fun ideas for her free time and weekends. This currently includes reading lots of books on the back porch, learning to surf, biking, backpacking in New Zealand’s awesome backcountry, trying to see a Whio (Blue Duck), kayaking with Courtnay, playing games, writing letters, setting up a campus pottery studio, and building community via coffee or breakfast dates.
Emma-Jane - NZ Kitchen Manager B.S.
Emma began working at CCSP at the start of 2010. She is a born and bred kiwi, her hometown being Nelson, which is situated at the northern end of the South Island. She has spent most of her life in the Marlborough Sounds, an area in the Nelson region known for its green native bush and abundant seas. Emma has also spent a bit of time in Australia. She loves ethno-botany, photography and art, and she also loves to cook, garden and go on road trips.
Her background is mainly in the food industry, she also has a BS in Botany and a certificate in natural therapies.
Brian Rogers - NZ Sustainable Food Coordinator B.A.
Brian Rogers grew up on a small island community in the Chesapeake Bay, near Annapolis, Maryland. Throughout his childhood, he enjoyed sailing, fishing, reading, and road-tripping around the East coast with his parents and siblings. He attended Gordon College, where he received a degree in Biblical Studies and Outdoor Education. Throughout college, Brian led backpacking trips in New York's Adirondack Mountains for Gordon's Center for Outdoor Education. While working in the Adirondack's, he came to appreciate the value of community living, as well as growing vegetables. He spends his free time reading, hiking, and searching for good coffee shops.
Kristen Listor - NZ Student Life Coordinator B.S.
Kristen Listor spent most of her childhood in Tampa, Florida, pretending to be the Crocodile Hunter in her backyard while catching frogs and lizards. She moved to Freehold, New Jersey, luckily staying a short drive away from the beach. She recently graduated from Messiah College where her focus turned to ecology and all things green, earning a degree in Environmental Science. She owns a small jungle worth of house plants and is crazy about animals. She likes herping, swimming, gardening, photography, and going on adventures. She is very excited to be in New Zealand!
Joelle Van Gaalen - Belize Program Adminstrator B.S.
Joelle Van Gaalen is the Program Administrator for CCSP Belize. Joelle graduated from Dordt College with a degree in Biology and studied with CCSP Belize because of her interest in environmental justice and living abroad. Through college and work experiences Joelle focused her learning on issues in ecology, conservation and global sustainability. Working for CCSP continues to be both a challenge and a joy for Joelle as she puts her passion for community, food and local economies to work while managing the CCSP’s office, kitchen and sharing life with students every semester.
Angelica Tambornino - Belize Student Life Coordinator B.S.
Angelica "Gellie" Tambornino originally hails from Minneapolis, MN. She most recently lived in Pennsylvania after studying with CCSP in New Zealand and graduating from Messiah College in 2010 with a degree in Human Development & Family Science. Gellie loves music, sports, reading, birding, and arts & crafts. She is a nerd at heart and is passionate about fostering community, especially through group activities like games or doing dishes. She has also been known to remember insignificant bits of information for long periods of time.
Dr. Forrest Inslee - Cascadia Academic Dean
Dr. Inslee earned a masters and a Ph.D. in communication at Northwestern University, and a second masters in Christian Studies at Regent College, British Columbia -- all with an intercultural focus. His doctoral dissertation examined the culture of poverty, and was based on ethnographic fieldwork among Chicago’s homeless population. He later served as a professor and leadership consultant in Istanbul for several years. He now teaches at Northwest University in courses such as environmental justice and social entrepreneurship, and directs the MA in International Care and Community Development program at Northwest University
Alex Ehrich - Belize Sustainable Food Coordinator B.A.
Alexander comes to Belize from the beautiful city of Minneapolis, MN where he graduated in 2011 from North Central University with a Degree in Biblical Languages. Some of his interests include reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, enjoying the company of others around the dinner table, discussing theology gardening and biking. He is known to linger at the dinner table, talking and laughing with students long after the majority have cleared their plates and left. It is his love of people and desire to see them grow that ignites his passion for community and involvement therein.
Mark Wolstenholme - Belize Student Life Coordinator B.A.
Mark Wolstenholme grew up in suburban Virginia, and graduated from Eastern University with a degree in Biblical Studies in May 2012. His interests include Birding, Fishing, Hiking, Swimming, and playing games. During an internship working towards ecological restoration with Eastern, Mark gained a greater appreciation for the importance of creation care, and decided to study with CCSP in Belize for a semester. His semester in Belize, coupled with 10 weeks spent in Mozambique the summer before, opened his eyes to the vital importance of community. He is glad to be back with CCSP where these two passions come together perfectly.
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz - Program Director MSW
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz, a Jersey girl at heart, has most recently been living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with her farmer husband, Josh. She graduated from Messiah College with a degree in Human Development & Family Science. After working at human service organizations in PA and DC, she attended Temple University, earning her Master’s of Social Work with a Specialization in Global Community Practice. She traveled to Belize for the first time while completing an independent study while in graduate school…and fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the fry jacks. She has had varied job and volunteer experience with youth and community efforts in urban areas, and has most recently worked as a clinical therapist for youth, families, and adults in Harrisburg.
She has lived in several forms of intentional community, including a volunteer year with Church of the Saviour in DC and in Harrisburg, and is excited to participate in community living at CCSP. She is passionate about investing in community wherever she goes, listening to and sharing stories, doing yoga, drinking good coffee, and enjoying the outdoors.
Joshua J. D. Moritz – Belize Property Manager B.A.
Joshua Moritz was born in Nebraska and still visits regularly to see his extended family. He claims Nebraska is in his blood and that’s why he enjoys farming. His primary responsibilities are managing the facilities and property of CCSP Belize and using some of the land to organically grow food for the campus. He is supporting and encouraging the director Micalagh, his wife as much as possible. They celebrated their marriage surrounded by family and friends in Harrisburg, PA on July 30th 2011. Joshua is a 2002 graduate from Dickinson College where he studied Political Science and Religious Studies, but there isn’t a day that goes by that life isn’t teaching him something. Joshua is coming to CCSP from working with the Joshua Group for the last 6 years. There, he has tutored, mentored, and formed relationship with inner city youth from preschool to early 20’s. In recent years he has grown into the role of co-manager at the Joshua Farm, an urban organic farm with a 40 member CSA, farm stand, restaurant sales and an education component. It employs high school youth that are already part of the Joshua Group. Through this experience he has found a deep-rooted passion for farming, the land, animals and community. He enjoys learning about other cultures, baking (coffee cake, cookies, and bread are exceptional), reading, sports and nature. He is thankful for all of God’s daily blessings.
Adam Arditi - NZ Student Life Coordinator B.A.
Adam was raised in the town of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. He has a groovy dad, a comforting mom, a buff older brother, and one very hairy twelve-year-old brother…who also happens to be his wonderful dog, Joe.
He is an artist, one who loves to create things. Adam highly value creativity because it communicates how unique humans are, and it allows them to express themselves in endless ways. He enjoys painting and keeping busy with hands-on projects, such as building instruments. He loves to play music and to sing, play the drums, almost plays the guitar, and he can occasionally plunk out some pleasing noises on the piano.
Following his love for art, Adam studied it at Messiah College (in Central PA) for four years, spending one semester in New Zealand through CCSP. He had an amazing time in the CCSP program and learned so much from engaging with the communities in Kaikoura! Adam loves spending time within God’s creation, experiencing the solitude and silence of nature, as well as the communal love found among people. Though he is a long way away from his Pennsylvanian home, Adam believe that “home” is not just a location, but rather “home” is love shared with people.