April 13, 2023

Meet Our 2022-2023 St. Lawrence Scholars

Isaac Castro – St. Lawrence Scholar

Isaac Castro (he/him/el) is a fourth-year Master of Divinity student at Starr King School for the Ministry while pursuing UU ministerial fellowship. He comes to Unitarian Universalism and Starr King School for the Ministry through his family’s multi-religious Christian, Catholic, and Mesoamerican faith practices.

Isaac’s identity as a queer Latino experienced harsh rejection within his familial faith during his adolescence, and he stepped away from religious communities for some time. Not until undergrad did he encounter Unitarian Universalism as an LGBTQ-welcoming religious community.

He has been a member of his congregation (First UU San Diego) for over ten years. He likes to credit his congregation for their College & University Campus Ministry program for planting the seeds of this faith within him. And the congregations continued support through their Young Adult Ministry for nurturing his ministerial pursuit.

Isaac and his family are also big supporters of animal rescue and actively engage in local community efforts for this endeavor.

Jennifer Springsteen – St. Lawrence Scholar

Jennifer Springsteen is an educator and a writer. She has taught high school literature, service-learning and civic engagement to teachers and administrators, and co-founded PDX Writers, a literary arts organization teaching and coaching writers. Her fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines and won national and state awards; she is represented by the Nelson Literary Agency. She leads grief workshops with congregations and mental health organizations. Jennifer is in her final year at Starr King School for the Ministry seeking her Master of Divinity and is a ministerial candidate. She writes and studies in NE Portland with her husband and teenage daughter.

Pablo Vazquez – Jeffrey Campbell Scholar

Pablo Vazquez, born in Panama and now living in Texas, is a scholar, author, translator, game writer, lecturer, and essayist. Pablo is currently working on their second graduate degree with Starr King School for the Ministry while also on the path toward ministerial fellowship within the UUA. Pablo’s first graduate degree was a MA in Religions of Asia and Africa from SOAS University of London with concentrations in Zoroastrianism and New Religious Movements. Their main fields of interest while at Starr King have been exploring the spiritual fringe, under-discussed theological influences in the UU, multireligiosity, the importance of religious education, and the need to transform the understandings of the UU tradition within and without.

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