New Board of Directors and Advisory Council Members for 2024

Left to right — Row 1: Sarah Connolly, Dr. Katherine Rowell; Rob Williford; Row 2: Jane Friedman, Peter Kageyama, Dr. Lori Kniffin; Row 3: Shantanu Suman and Kelsey Timmerman 


MUNCIE, IN–The Board of Directors for The Facing Project has approved three new Board members for FY 2024 to serve a three-year term through 2027. The new members include:

Sarah Connolly, a NYC-based theater director with a mission to cultivate creative environments rooted in listening, experimentation, and generosity with a focus on new play development. Sarah was an intern for The Facing Project in 2018 and is excited to return in this capacity as a Board member.

Dr. Katherine R. Rowell, professor of sociology at Sinclair Community College and long-time contributor to The Facing Project as a community-based organizer in Dayton, OH. Dr. Rowell is past board chair of the International Peace Museum, and strives to infuse peace literacy into all of her work.

Rob Williford, an educator, storyteller, and entrepreneur from Flint, Michigan who serves as the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Indianapolis. Rob is a co-founder of Brave The Cycle, and is a PhD student in Global Leadership at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

The 2024 Facing Project Board of Directors includes:

  • Lauren Instenes, Chair (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Tina Rabel, Vice-Chair & Treasurer (Losantville, IN)
  • Aimee Robertson-West, Secretary (Muncie, IN)
  • A.K. Barnes, Director (Washington, D.C.)
  • Sarah Connolly, Director (New York, NY)
  • Peggy Fisher, Director (Fort Wayne, IN)
  • Katherine Rowell, Director (Dayton, OH)
  • Rob Williford, Director (Indianapolis, IN)
  • J.R. Jamison, Co-Founder & President (staff liaison) (Muncie, IN)

In addition, the 2024 Advisory Council has been appointed. The Advisory Council is a new, informal and non-governing group of individuals who provides advice and support to The Facing Project’s staff related to each Council member’s area of expertise.

The 2024 Facing Project Advisory Council includes:

  • Jane Friedman (Cincinnati, OH) – Publishing industry expert and reporter, editor of The Hot Sheet, and author of The Business of Being a Writer.
  • Peter Kageyama (St. Petersburg, FL) – Bestselling author and urbanist who writes and speaks about emotional engagement with our places.
  • Dr. Lori Kniffin (Hays, KS) – Past chair of The Facing Project Board of Directors and an assistant professor of leadership at Fort Hays State University, whose expertise area is organizational leadership, leadership education, and community engagement.
  • Shantanu Suman (Muncie, IN) – Award-winning graphic designer, documentary filmmaker, and associate professor of graphic design at Ball State University.
  • Kelsey Timmerman (Muncie, IN) – Bestselling author, co-founder of The Facing Project, and assistant teaching professor of English at Ball State University.

Learn more about the Board and staff at

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