Ministerial Search Committee
Dave Martin (co-chair)
I am a retired University of Iowa librarian, and I have been a member of UUS since 1974. I have been on the UUS Board four different times (once as President, once as Treasurer); chaired the Stewardship Committee; taught OWL/RE; served on a previous Ministerial Search Committee in the mid 1980s, and served on other committees. I am currently serving as co-chair of the Racial Justice Study and Action Circle and participate in a Covenant Group. I served on the Prairie Star District Board for five years and on the MidAmerica Regional Board for three years. I attended the Midwest Leadership School and then was on the staff for three years after that. I currently volunteer with Inside Out Reentry, Southeast Jr. High, Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, and the Spanish Club at the Johnson County Senior Center. I also love to play golf.
Alison Oliver (co-chair)
I joined UUS in 2008 after years of engaging in LGBTQ Pride events at our 10 S. Gilbert Street location. I was drawn to the diversity of religious and spiritual paths of its members, its commitment to social justice to environmental stewardship, and the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program (for which I am currently a facilitator). I had the pleasure of serving as a Worship Associate from 2010-2019 and developing the Racial Justice study/ACTION Circle to help direct our congregation to be more informed and responsive to healing racial injustices within and beyond our UU community. In my professional life, I have been a faculty member with the University of Iowa School of Social Work since 2007 after practicing social work in schools and nonprofits. I have lived in Iowa City/Coralville since 1995 and am fortunate to grow and learn in this vibrant community with my partner and our children. Currently, most of my leisure time is devoted to following the lead of my seven-year-old explorer-engineer-musician child.
I became a member of UUS in 2012. The congregation has been a source of inspiration and support on my spiritual journey. In addition to serving on the Ministerial Search Committee, I sing in the Adult Choir. This summer I attended the UUA Midwest Leadership School which I found to be fulfilling personally and spiritually and have applied many ideas to our search process. I have served on the Communication, Membership, and Strategic Planning committees, Transition Taskforce 2, and Sound Team. These roles have given me insight into UUS polity, its strengths and weaknesses. My professional career has included roles as science teacher, benefits administrator, quality manager, hospital risk manager, and executive assistant. Currently I work in purchasing at the University of Iowa Biology Department. I am happy to be giving back to UUS with my time and energy on the Search Committee. I enjoy using my organizational, analytical, and technical skills to aid in the committee’s work and am excited to be working with such a wonderful group of people.
I served in a number of roles at Sierra Foothills UU in Auburn, California. I was a board member when we signed a contract with a settled minister in 2010. In 2017 I served on the Search Committee for Interim Minister and the Transition Team for Interim Minister. I also chaired the Nominating Committee; served on the Communications, Adult RE, and Worship Committees; was a worship associate and usher; and earned a Pillar Award. Professionally, I worked for 38 years as a journalist, columnist, and editor at newspapers in California and Illinois. Currently I am an editor and writer. My life partner, Valerie, and I live in a 515-square-foot studio at Prairie Hill Cohousing in Iowa City, Iowa’s first cohousing community.
My past involvement with UUS includes the following: RE teacher off and on (mostly on) for 15 years; stints on the Committee for Religious Education and Leadership Development Committees; and serving as Worship Associate, Covenant Group leader, Hospitality Team leader, and now a member of two Hospitality Teams. I believe the mission/purpose of our church is to foster a community of compassion, to create joy, and to help us realize our essential connection to the interdependent web. My background includes a very staid but pleasant upbringing in small town Midwest, after which I vagabonded for years through many lifestyles and varied jobs on the east coast, west coast, and overseas before coming back to the Midwest for two years only in 1988 to attend the University of Iowa’s Physician Assistant program. I am still surprised and delighted to find myself accidentally rooted in this awesome community for over 30 years where I raised my two sons, worked a career that is meaningful to me, and have a place to call home with close friends and neighbors. UUS is a big part of that. My sadness is that my sons and siblings live far away. My quick fixes are walking, biking to work, and playing music with a multitude of friendly groups. I like to eat low on the food chain and would like to call myself vegan but still struggle with a candy bar habit.
Pronouns: she, her, hers
I have been part of the UU community since 2003, here and in East Lansing, MI, while I was attending Michigan State University. With UUS), I have served as a worship associate and high school RE teacher, and I currently volunteer as a substitute RE teacher. I was a founding member of the UU YAYAs, a young adults’ group at UUS. My primary interest in serving the UUS as part of the ministerial search committee is working with a team to identify and interview candidates who can bring a progressive and justice-focused leadership vision to UUS. I am an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at the University of Iowa, where I teach courses on critical perspectives in education research and human development.
A member since 2010, I’ve been active in a Covenant Group and in Covenant Council; the Adult RE Committee; the Secular Humanists and the Freethinker Friendly initiative; Ed Folsom & Chris Merrill’s evening presentation on Walt Whitman; and a continuing effort to establish a circulating library. I also attend Iowa City’s Winding Path Buddhist Sangha and New Unity Unitarian Church, Newington Green, London. I’m Professor Emeritus at UI College of Law where I long taught courses both on negotiations and the opportunities for win-win bargaining, and on the ways in which we might understand and engage with people whose beliefs differ radically from our own. Before teaching, I graduated from Yale Law School and spent 12 years practicing law in Washington, D.C. I value compassion, social justice, spiritual growth and the continuing search for meaning, and I appreciate the wide range of our UU community’s differing beliefs. I’m an enthusiastic gardener and an avid reader, especially on matters of faith, history, social justice and politics.