Meet the Office of Student Life

Allison Henderson profileAllison Henderson-Brooks
Assistant Dean of Students

As head of the Office of Student Life team, Allison Henderson-Brooks works to ensure that programs supporting Candler’s students and community life address the needs of a diverse student body, both on campus and online.

Allison is a proud alumna of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and of Candler, graduating in 2019 with a Master of Divinity.  She is a 4th generation licensed and ordained minister in the Baptist tradition. During her time at Candler, she served as President of the Baptist Students Association and worked with its co-sponsors to ensure that all graduates were either licensed or ordained upon graduation. In addition, she was honored to serve as the Senior Class Committee Co-Chair fueling the efforts for one of the most successful class giving campaigns in Candler’s recent history. Among these amazing opportunities, she was blessed to serve as an Arthur Vinings Davis Fellow working with Lee Arrendale State Prison, the largest women’s prison and in the inaugural cohort of the Westside Fellows Summer Internship. Her work with these entities continues to the present day. Lastly, she was honored to serve as a program assistant for the  James T. and Berta R. Laney Legacy program in Moral Leadership under the exceptional leadership of Dr. Robert Franklin and Dr. Letitia Campbell.

Prior to joining Candler as a staff member for the Doctor of Ministry program in 2019, she successfully mastered the art of hospitality in the disciplines of Performance Analytics, Operations Management, Systems Implementation and Revenue Management Systems within three of the world’s iconic hotel brands having been recognized globally for these contributions.  

Quentin SamuelsQuentin L. Samuels
Associate Director of Student Life

Quentin Samuels works alongside the Assistant Dean of Student Life to develop and execute community-centered engagement opportunities for Candler Students. In addition, Quentin oversees the OSL student staff and advises student leaders and programs. His work also includes collaborating with other school and institutional partners to plan and execute signature events for Candler. Moreover, he provides leadership and support for the design, execution and evaluation of new and existing OSL programs and projects. Quentin’s ethos is centered on acknowledging the whole person and respecting diversity. He works to create relationships with students that are meaningful to their entire seminary experience. His work related to diversity and race relations has been transformative to the Candler community.

Prior to his work at Candler, Quentin was the Campus Outreach and Ministry Coordinator at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, from which he was graduated with a degree in Business Administration. His work at Candler has come full circle, as he is also a 2011 graduate of Candler where he served as Black Student Caucus President, Co-Chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee as well as a student representative for PAPC.

Quentin has a deep love for music, media, the arts and culture. He is the co-host of a podcast called We Come as Equals focused on everyday people having extraordinary conversations. He believes at the center of every artistic expression is a meaningful measure of the Divine.  

marielle-thomas.pngMarielle Thomas
Director of Career Services

Marielle was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She received her bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a master's in administration with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership and Development from the University of South Dakota. For the past decade, she has worked in higher education in career services helping students with their professional development and helping employers develop and enhance their campus recruiting strategy. She has had the pleasure of serving students and employers at universities such as Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. Marielle has an extensive ministry background with over 23 years of experience. She currently serves as the Director of Worship and Creative Arts at The Faith Community.  

Community and Spiritual Life Coordinators 

Kim FurlowKim Furlow

Kim Furlow is a second year MDiv student from Birmingham, Alabama. They are a certified candidate for ordination on the deacon track with the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Kim is currently serving as the Pastoral Resident of Adult Discipleship at Decatur First United Methodist Church. They are a member of Candler Sacred Worth and currently serve as the organization's chaplain. Additionally, they are a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, and an alumna of The Reformation Project's 2019 Leadership Cohort. Kim is a second career student at Candler.  Their professional background includes real estate sales and property management, restaurant management, and nonprofit work.  

Cheyne CollierCheyne Hillery-Collier

Cheyne is a first-year Master of Divinity seeking to discern his ordination track in the Episcopal Church. Before coming to Candler, Cheyne completed a Master of Theological Studies in Ethics at Lee University where he also served his department as a teaching assistant, lecturer, and mentor in the mentorship program. He remains interested how dialogue and listening interact with the various intersections of moral life. He is interested in work that will create better bridges between the worlds the church, the community, and the academy while maintaining their respective distinctions. Cheyne loves music, museums, libraries, and finding great places to eat with others.  

Michelle JiangMichelle Jiang

Michelle Jiang is a senior undergraduate student at Emory University where she is studying Economics and Religion. She is interested in pursuing a career in marketing where she can bridge both quantitative and qualitative approaches from her studies and develop her skills inuser experience/user interface and content design. In the Office of Student Life, Michelle’s work involves newsletter creation, social media management, and web design.  Michelle loves to travel and visit art museums when she is not busy watching the most recent Formula 1 Race.  

Brittain Lawrence 2.pngBrittain Lawrence

Brittain Lawrence is a second-year MDiv student interested in exploring the intersections of theology and ethics, particularly related to theodicy and suffering. She majored in religious studies and minored in philosophy at Belmont University, where she studied Koine Greek for two years. Brittain is an avid lover of languages and has also studied Latin, Spanish, and most recently German. Brittain enjoys musical theatre, listening to political podcasts, and whitewater rafting.  

William Smith.pngWilliam Smith

Will Smith is a second-year MDiv student hoping to pursue a certificate of Religious Education. Born and raised in Georgia, Will proudly graduated from the University of Georgia (go dawgs!) with a degree in Religious Studies. It was at UGA where William got baptized and began his time in ministry leadership, although it was with a campus ministry rather than a church. One of Will's favorite parts of Candler is chapel, because he gets to see what different denominations’ worship looks like. In terms of jobs, Will has years of experience in customer service and currently works as an intern for both Candler’s Office of Student Life and Candler’s Office of Admissions. Walks in nature, hanging out with loved ones, creating art, and playing video games are what you can find Will doing when he’s not studying or working.  

Queen-Jonafa-Headshot.pngQueen Jonafa' Tervalon

Queen Jonafa’ is a third year MDiv student from Kenner, Louisiana. She is hoping to complete her final year of seminary with a certificate in Human Rights. Queen Jonafa’ focuses on the intersections of politics, religion, and ecology. She obtained a B.A. in political science from Clark Atlanta University, and is planning to become provost and president of an HBCU in the future. In the Office of Student Life, she is committed to contributing to events and dialogue that educate people about seminary, and applying faith principles to the real world. She currently serves as the children’s pastor at New Bethel AME Church in Lithonia, GA.  

Djalia Uwimana.pngDjalia Uwimana

Djalia Uwimana is a second-year international student from Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills and mountains, in the Master of Divinity program at Candler School of Theology. She is a travel enthusiast and has a deep love for languages, music, arts, and learning about different cultures. She enjoys reading in her free time and hiking. She appreciates the beauty and power of silence. Before joining Candler, she had a career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she served as a community and clinical pharmacist. She is passionate about science and the intersection of mental health/trauma, gender, and sexuality in the Hebrew Bible. She believes that the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ brings us together by creating safety, inclusion, healing, and purpose. That love empowers the marginalized and stigmatized populations.  She left her professional life, family, and friends and moved to Lambeth Palace in the heart of London to join the community of St. Anselm, an ecumenical religious order of young people devoted to prayer, theological study, and service to the poor started by the Archbishop of Canterbury to become a monk for a year. She served as a hospital chaplain while living in the UK. She is discerning in the Diocese of Atlanta and is currently placed at St Bartholomew's Episcopal Church as a seminarian.  

Junmey-Headshot21.pngJunmey Wang

Junmey Wang is a third year Master of Divinity international student, born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Junmey enjoys playing, intercultural living, and learning. During this time in seminary, she is relearning our human capacity for deep feeling, including processing cultural trauma and grief, and cultivating rest and pleasure in our lives. She is interested in reconnecting with her cultural histories, and the art of living gently and responsibly as part of the wider earth ecosystem.