Lane Center Staff

Erin Brigham


Erin Brigham 

Erin Brigham has taught Catholic theology and social thought at the University of San Francisco since 2008. She completed her PhD at the Graduate Theological Union with her dissertation on the implications of Jürgen Habermas's critical theory on ecumenical dialogue. Her current research focuses on theological questions that emerge in moments of dialogue especially ecumenism, contemporary Catholic ecclesiology, and religion in the public sphere. Recent publications include: See, Judge, Act: Catholic Social Teaching and Service Learning (Anselm Academic, 2013), Sustaining the Hope for Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue in a Post-modern World (Liturgical Press, 2012), “Women’s Voices as Critical Resources for Reading the Signs of the Times,” in The Church in the Modern World Fifty Years After Gaudium et Spes: Reading the Signs of the Times, Erin Brigham, ed. (Lexington Press, 2015), and “Women Religious and the Public Voice of Catholicism,” in The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol 31/2 (2015).  VIEW ERIN'S FULL PROFILE


Cyrus P. Olsen III


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I am an interdisciplinary scholar-teacher working at the intersection of Catholic Social Thought, medicine, and ecology. I am collaborating with USF personnel to co-teach, plan events, and hold seminars alongside leaders in the Lane Center. My collaboration spans University Administration, Nursing, Neuroscience, Psychology, English & Theatre, Computer Science, Health Administration, and Health Humanities. With respect to research, I recently completed Fellowships at Scranton (Ignatian Humanities) and Boston College (Lonergan Institute). Presently I am a Co-PI on a three-year Templeton World Charity Foundation Grant for work in Uganda with Harvard Medical School (2022-23). The project is directed from the Neurology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (through the Human Network Initiative and the Dhand Lab). Our Ugandan research council and field-coordinators are based in Kampala, Masaka, and Bwiindi/Buhoma. Together we are gathering data on health-seeking behavior in the context of brain health, particularly how beliefs about ancestral relationships change that behavior. Additionally, as a Research Fellow at AI and Faith, I will contribute to foundational work on the implications and impacts of artificial intelligence technologies and faith traditions from around the globe. Finally, I am producing my first audiobook and will podcast on a broad range of topics pertinent to our community's needs.  

Joseph Nguyen, S.J.


Joseph Nguyen

I am a Jesuit Priest of the U.S. West Province of the Society of Jesus. Prior to coming to the University of San Francisco, I was a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University for five years where I taught courses in Catholic Christian foundations and Christian and Ignatian spirituality and served as the Associate Director for the Catholic Studies program. I earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University in 2015 with the dissertation on the theology of divine union in Maximus the Confessor and Ignatius of Loyola. My area of specialty is systematic theology and Christian Spirituality with an emphasis on early Christian spiritual theology and Ignatian spirituality. I published one book: Apatheia in the Christian Tradition: An Ancient Spirituality and Its Contemporary Relevance (Cascade Books, 2018), and am currently writing the second book: Christian Contemplation: Theological Foundations and Contemporary Practice (forthcoming). The Jesuit theologian, Karl Rahner, S.J., once said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” His saying has become the guide in my approach to theology and spirituality. I join the Department of Theology and Religious Studies as an assistant professor in the fall of 2020.

Fala Valery Ngong Ekem, S.J.


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I am from Bamenda, in the North West Region of Cameroon. Prior to coming to USF, I worked in the
Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat in the General Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome from 2020 to
July 2022. I was drawn to USF because of its unique interdisciplinary Environmental Management
program in the College of Arts and Sciences. While doing my MS in Environmental Management, I will
be involved in the Lane Center’s activities, especially those linked to the care of our common home.


Stephanie Felton


Stephanie is an intersectional interfaith and social justice advocate. She has a history of working on initiatives to uplift marginalized voices and center their perspectives to enact positive community change. Prior to joining the Lane Center, Stephanie worked in the nonprofit sector for 5 years, with her most recent employment with the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative in Sebastopol and the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California in Oakland. She holds her BA in Religious Studies from Allegheny College, and is currently pursuing her MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of San Francisco.