Pastor Susan Mercer | she/her
Hi! Welcome to Wesley KU at Westwood House! As pastor, I have the privilege of walking with students during one of the most important and exciting times of life. Most of all, I love helping students discover and explore their gifts. Watching students become confident and creative leaders is THE BEST! I promise there is a way for you to make a difference at KU while you are here. Let’s explore it together!
I started this journey with Wesley KU in 2016 as we were re-establishing this ministry here. We want to make sure every student knows they are loved by God — no exceptions, and that they are welcome and celebrated at Wesley KU. I am a pastor in the United Methodist Church and am completing my Master of Divinity through Drew Theological School at Drew University. I’m married to Jack and we have two grown children. In my spare time, I love spending time in the backyard my husband, Jack and I are creating together. You’re most likely to find me either around a fire or enjoying a hang. (I think our Boston Terrier, Leo (short for Leonardo da Vinci) enjoys the hammock almost as much!)
Amarais Towle | she/her
Hello, I’m Amarais Towle. I graduated from KU in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Social Welfare and minors in Spanish and Metalsmithing. I am currently the Connections Minister for Wesley KU. I handle most of our day-to-day activities at the Westwood House and empower our student leaders as they lead our ministries. When I’m not working, I love to be out in nature, kayak and do art.
My favorite thing about Westwood House is our dedication to loving everybody NO EXCEPTIONS!
Grace Woods | she/her
Hey, everyone! I’m Grace Woods, the Communications Coordinator at Westwood House. After graduating from KU in the spring of 2020, I began seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I still get to serve Westwood House remotely by assisting with our social media, newsletter, and online presence. I also lead Prayer Yoga! I have a deep passion for Taco Bell, hiking, and my dog nieces.
My favorite thing about Westwood House is our way of loving on others. We are here to serve, feed, listen, and help students no matter what. It has been a cornerstone for my faith as I journey into adulthood, and I am forever grateful for my Westwood House community.
Karis Brown | she/her
Hi there! My name is Karis Brown. I’m the worship leader here, the co-founder of Vegans, Veggies & Vibes, and I make the Called to Justice newsletter for Blessings in the Mail! I’m a junior pursuing a BS in Environmental Studies, with minors in Anthropology and Journalism. I love exploring nature, making art of all forms and speaking in way too many metaphors.
I’m passionate about serving the world and taking care of our community, and my favorite thing about Westwood is that all of us do just that. We truly love everyone here and being in an environment that is so accepting and open has made this (Westwood) House a home for me. I’ve never heard of a church so wholeheartedly accepting the label “gay church” like we have and being a part of such a historic reconciling ministry has led me down a path to keep pursuing social justice and reconciliation for the rest of the world too.
Liz Collins | she/her
Hi guys!! My name is Liz Collins and I’m a freshman majoring in Environmental Studies. I am the media minister here at Westwood House, meaning I assist with slides for worship, some social media stuff, and I also am involved in the worship band! Some of my hobbies include reading, embroidery, and D&D, and a fun fact about me is that I love mozzarella sticks!
One of my favorite things about Westwood House is the homey environment they provide. Even though I’ve started my first year of college in a pandemic, Westwood House has been looking for ways to still reach out and help others through many different ministries. It’s a loving, judgment-free space, and I enjoy getting practice my faith here.
Claire Cook | she/her
Hi folks! I’m Claire Cook (she/her) and I’m a junior majoring in astronomy. Here at Westwood House, I have the opportunity to lead the Queer Faith group and be a co-organizer for our annual mission trip. I conduct astronomy research on quasars and in my free time, I enjoy creative writing, cuddling my cats, and grabbing a coffee with friends.
My favorite thing about Westwood House is our warm and vibrant community of folks who want to see this world and the church become a more just, more loving place.
Imaya Figueroa | she/her
Hello! I’m Imaya Figueroa, I’m an intern at Westwood House. I’m a sophomore at KU studying Mechanical Engineering. My ministry is Creation Corner. Some of my hobbies include crafts like painting and DIY projects, being outdoors, boba, and hanging out/studying with friends.
My favorite thing about Westwood is probably how deeply we care for students and how we are adapting our ministry to fit the needs of the students. 🙂
Adison Hampton | she/her
Hi! My name is Adison Hampton and I’m from Pratt, KS. I am currently a Sophomore studying Music Therapy. At Westwood, I serve as a Ministry Intern & helped co-plan this year’s Virtual Mission Trip. I love thrifting and taking road trips, big or small! (I also just adopted a labradoodle, so my newest hobby is stealing puppy snuggles. 🙂
My favorite thing about Westwood House is the community it offers- hands down the coolest people & the best food!