Our Ministers and Staff
Welcome to UUAA from our wonderful staff!
UUAA is now in a period of ministerial transition with our Senior Minister, Rev Gail R Geisenhainer's retirement in August of 2016. This link will take you to information on the time line for the transition.
Reverend Doug Wadkins
Rev. Douglas Wadkins, Senior Minister
In August of 2016, we welcomed Reverend Wadkins as our Interim Senior Minister. Doug has been an ordained Unitarian Universalist minster since 1991. In addition to serving congregations in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, Ohio, and Indiana, he has worked as a hospice chaplain, a campus minister, high school teacher, and therapist.
Doug enjoys the collaborative and imaginative aspects of ministry, and has worked extensively in exploring film and spirituality and utilizing music and drama in worship.
Doug is serving as our congregation's Interim Senior Minister from August 2016 to August 2018.
Reverend Lindasusan V. Ulrich
Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich, Assistant Minister
Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich is a minister, writer, musician, and activist dedicated to a vision of radical inclusion in both language and action. A graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry, she served as the Hallman Ministerial Intern at Unity Church–Unitarian in St. Paul and completed a year-long chaplain residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Lindasusan lives with her wife Emily and their son RJ.
Reverend Cassandra Hartley
Rev. Cassandra Hartley, Assistant Minister for Spiritual Growth & Development
Rev. Cassandra Hartley graduated with her M.Div. from Detroit Ecumenical Theological Seminary and was ordained into Unitarian Universalist ministry by the Farmington UU Church on June 12, 2016. She has a deep passion for faith formation and has worked in several congregations, including an internship at the Church of the Larger Fellowship that focused on family ministry. Cassi is the mother of three young children (Emerson, Fionn, and Miren). She has been a member of UUAA since 2013.
Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout
Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Director of Music & Worship
A native of Baltimore, Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout holds a bachelor’s degree in voice from Vanderbilt University, a master’s and a doctoral degree in conducting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His conducting mentors include Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Mr. Philip Olsen, Dr. Jamie Washington, Mr. Robin Fountain, Dr. Eugene Cardell Rogers, and Dr. Paul Rardin. He has been coached by Dr. Craig Arnold, Dr. Jeffrey Douma, Mr. Theo Morrison, Dr. Carole Ott, Mr. David Wordsworth. He has studied voice and vocal pedagogy with Dr. Gayle Shay, Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff, Dr. Dean Southern, and Mr. Stephen West.
Glen Thomas is the winner of the 2013 National Student Conducting Competition, a contest of the American Choral Directors Association. He has conducted the University of Michigan Chamber Choir, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, and the Manhattan Chorale—a professional ensemble of New York City. Glen Thomas has prepared choruses for Jerry Blackstone (University of Michigan Symphony Band and Choirs), Kenneth Kiesler (University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra), Antonia Joy Wilson (Midland Symphony Orchestra), and Brett Mitchell (Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra). He served as assistant conductor for the University of Michigan Chamber Choir in the Grammy-nominated recording of Darius Milhaud’s opera trilogy, L'Orestie d'Eschyle.
His recent international conducting schedule has included engagements in Perú, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Andorra, and France. Glen Thomas served the University of Michigan Chamber Choir as assistant conductor during its 2014 tour of New Zealand and Australia.
Glen Thomas has served First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor as Director of Music since August 2007. His essay Prodigal Songs: Reclaiming Our Voice has been published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the Unitarian Universalist Association's largest congregation. His work building musical communities in Unitarian Universalist worship has been featured in the blog of Sue Schade (Chief Information Officer for the University of Michigan Health System).
Glen Thomas has served the Saginaw Choral Society as its sixteenth Artistic Director and Conductor since 2011. His work with Saginaw Choral Society has earned two National Endowment for the Arts grant awards, funding the Adopt-a-Choir Collaborative with Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy and White Pine Middle School and the Saginaw Sings Project (an itinerant city-wide community singing festival). Each year now, the Society sends over twenty of its members to area schools to lead music education learning at the grade school level. In support of this vision, the Society’s Board of Trustees have endowed the Glen Thomas Rideout Vocal Scholarship for promising high-school singers to attend the University of Michigan’s MPulse Summer Institute.
Glen Thomas's work as a singer includes engagements with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Mark Morris Dance Group, University of Michigan, the University Musical Society, and the Star-Spangled Music Project. In June 2016, Glen Thomas served as guest vocalist for the investiture of United States federal court judge Judith E. Levy.
Glen Thomas is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network, Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.
Allison Halerz, Pianist-In-Residence
Allison Halerz has been attending UUAA since 2003 and became a member in 2007. She was drawn to the congregation partly because of its already excellent music program, and quickly became an active participant both as a member of the Chalice Singers and as a substitute pianist. She became the UUAA’s Pianist-in-Residence in 2007 and is excited to be a part of the continued musical experiences and growth of this congregation.
She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music with a degree in Performing Arts Technology. As a previous member of the UMS Choral Union, she participated in the Grammy Award-winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience in April 2004 under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. Currently, Allison is the Director of Operations at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor.
Ed Lynn, Interim Administrator
A long time UUAA member, Ed Lynn currently serves as our Interim Administrator during our time of transition. You can reach him at the email address above.
Hannah Hotchkiss, Welcome Ministry Coordinator
Hannah discovered her affinity for Unitarian Universalism when she was introduced to the UUAA in 2002. Five years later, she was thrilled to join the staff as the Welcome Ministry Coordinator. Hannah's responsibilities include member services, database management, newcomer hospitality, publicity of congregation events, and most importantly, assisting people in connecting with our diverse and vibrant community.
Hannah has a B.A. in German from the University of Connecticut, studied abroad for a number of years, and eventually received an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) from Eastern Michigan University. She taught ESL to adults for over 10 years so she is no stranger to assisting people in adapting to new surroundings.
Debra Jean Golden
Debra Jean Golden, SGD Program Assistant
Debra Jean is the Program Assistant for Spiritual Growth and Development. She coordinates the summer youth program and lends her creative and artistic talents to many tasks.
Debby Casamatta, Office Coordinator
Debby serves as the Office Coordinator.
Arthur Whigham, Custodian
Arthur has served UUAA with his many skills in maintaining the UUAA building and grounds since 2007.
Erin Dixon, Childcare Coordinator
Erin coordinates as well as provides care for the nursery and special church events. Erin started by coordinating child care for the silent auction which progressed into a job as a part-time staff member. Erin enjoys being with children very much. Currently, she works full time as a preschool teacher while attending classes at Washtenaw Community College. Erin earned her Child Development Associate Degree (CDA) in December of 2007 and is working on an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Erin and her husband, Ken, have been married for 25 years and have two children. Erin is very excited to be able to offer our congregation quality child care.
Sanne Krummel, Nursery Care
Sanne spent the first 12 years of her life in Austria and Germany. She received a MS of Speech/Language Pathology from Boston University after which she worked with patients of head injuries. Many years and 3 kids later, she returned to school, receiving a MA in Early Childhood Education with emphasis on Second Language Acquisition at EMU. In 2005, she established her own business (Sanne's GermanWorks) teaching children German. She has been teaching children at the UUAA from the nursery to OWL. When not working, keeping tabs of the schedules of the three children, walking and training their dog, Milo, she tries to get as much tennis in with her husband, Ken Powell, as possible.
Reverend Kenneth W Phifer
Reverend Kenneth W. Phifer, Minister Emeritus
Kenneth W. Phifer was the senior minister of our congregation from 1980 - 2005. His thought-provoking sermons, caring leadership, vibrant sense of humor, and dedicated community involvement provided our congregation with much inspiration for 25 years. Ken continues active work with the Human Subject Review Committee of the University of Michigan Medical School. Ken is a founder of the Interfaith Roundtable, and has worked on issues relating to peace, aid in dying, and lesbian/ gay male/ bisexual/ transgender concerns. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Ken is the author of two books: Hold On: Getting Through Tough Times and Becoming at Home in the World.
Reverend Gail R Geisenhainer
Reverend Gail R. Geisenhainer, Minister Emerita
Rev. Gail served as UUAA's senior minister from August of 2008 to August of 2016 when she retired from UU ministry and returned to live near family in Maine. In tribute to her commitment to UUAA's music ministries, the Geisenhainer Music Fund was established in June 2016 to fund music programs at UUAA and also community outreach music programs.