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DiAnn Ecret joined the National Catholic Bioethics center during the summer of 2016. DiAnn is a staff ethicist, nurse planner and a a full time Assistant Professor of Nursing at Ave Maria University. DiAnn graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing in 1987, completed her BSN & MSN from Wilmington University, an MA certification in theology/ethics from Villanova University. She completed her PhD in Health Care Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2017. DiAnn has 35 years of combined nursing experience in adult, pediatric, and neonatal critical care nursing, nursing management and nursing education. DiAnn teaches undergraduate nursing at Ave Maria University, is on the Health Care Task Force at Life Perspectives, serves as a member of the President’s Bioethics Committee at the University of Mary of Minnesota, and volunteers as an ethics consultant for Be Not Afraid. DiAnn is married to her husband Mike for 34 years, with 4 children, and 2 grandchildren.
J.D. Flynn is the editor-in-chief of Catholic News Agency, a global news service owned by the EWTN media network. Flynn has served previously as Special Assistant to Bishop James Conley in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, and has taught canon law at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. He has a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, and a master's degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Flynn and his wife are involved in several projects developing and promoting inclusive special education in Catholic schools and religious education programs. He has published writing in First Things, National Review, the National Catholic Register, and other publications, and was a contributor to "Special Children, Blessed Fathers," a 2015 book on parenting disabled children. He lives in Denver with his wife and their three children: Max, Pia, and Daniel.
John Meinert, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Theology at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University where he teaches Moral Theology, Catholic Social Thought, Bioethics, and Spirituality. He holds a B.A. in Theology from Benedictine College, an M.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology/Ethics from The Catholic University of America. He has two published books and numerous scholarly and popular articles concerning Moral Theology, St. Thomas Aquinas, Grace, and Spirituality. He is currently a member of the Louisiana State Board of Ethics (appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards), the founder and director of FranU’s bioethics lecture series, and a member of multiple theological organizations (ACT, SCE, and CTSA).
Dr. Landon Roussel is the owner and founder of Communitas Primary Care. He earned his M.D. from Cornell Medical College in New York City, a master’s degree in bioethics summa cum laude through the Erasmus Mundus program in Universities of Leuven (Belgium), Radboud (Netherlands), and Padova (Italy), and bachelors’ degrees magna cum laude in biochemistry and Hispanic studies from Rice University in Houston. Dr. Roussel trained as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine specializing in Primary Care through Harvard Medical School at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2013-2016. Dr. Roussel is very passionate about service through excellent and ethical patient care. In 2010, he was a member of the inaugural medical cohort for Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) through the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There he studied medical ethics through the lenses of the Holocaust. Dr. Roussel serves as an Adjunct Professor at Franciscan University in Baton Rouge, where he teaches graduate-level bioethics. When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Roussel enjoys his involvement as a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus, writing, and hiking. He is married to his college sweetheart Amanda and has two young children.
Deacon Alan Rastrelli, MD, of St. Francis of Assisi Supportive Care, LLC, Colorado, is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Catholic Medical Association. Dr. Rastrelli received a BS degree from St Mary’s University in San Antonio, and his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. He completed a 4 year Residency in Anesthesia at Brooke Army Medical Center and is Board certified. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Rastrelli gradually transitioned from Anesthesia into the field of Hospice and Palliative medicine, and was board certified. He was voted one of Denver magazine’s 5280 Top Physicians in Hospice and Palliative Medicine five times from 2008-2012. In 2005 he was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Denver. Dr. Rastrelli has given over 40 presentations to many groups on end of life care and the eternal ends of life. He has spoken out vigorously against physician assisted suicide and euthanasia, including testimonies before the State legislature and in multiple media interviews, and continues the fight against it though it was passed by the voters in Colorado.
Dr. Thomas J. Neal is originally from Providence, Rhode Island. He received his B.A. in Philosophy (’90) and M.A. in Systematic Theology (’96) from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and wrote his Thesis on the theology of grace in the works of eastern bishop-theologian Gregory Palamas. He pursued his Ph.D in Florida State University’s department of Religion, specializing in the evolution of Christian mysticism in early-late medieval Europe. He wrote and successfully defended his dissertation (’08) on the question of identity construction in the Carmelite reform in the writings of St. John of the Cross. Dr. Neal has spent most of the last 17 years serving the catechetical mission of the Church in Florida, serving in various administrative roles, most recently in Des Moines, Iowa where he served as Director of the St. Joseph Educational Center. He taught undergrad courses for six years at FSU in the history of the Christian theological tradition, and served as assistant editor for the Journal of Religious Ethics. He has led hundreds of retreats, workshops and catechetical events throughout the country and is an active blogger. He was involved in seminarian and deacon formation programs in Florida and Iowa. Dr. Neal serves as Professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary. He also served as Director of the MA programs and Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry, Academic Dean, and the Director of Spiritual Formation. Dr. Neal and his family live in the New Orleans area.
Stephen L. Mikochik is a professor emeritus at Temple Law School in Philadelphia where he taught Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence for over thirty years. Before joining the Temple faculty, he was an expert on disability law with the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice. For several years, he chaired the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, established four decades ago to implement the 1978 Pastoral Statement on People with Disabilities of the U.S. Catholic bishops. He has published extensively on the civil rights of disabled people, focusing particularly on current threats to their right to life. His courses at Ave Maria School of Law examine constitutional theory in light of Catholic moral teaching.
Stacy A. Trasancos, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization founded by Bishop Joseph Strickland in the Diocese of Tyler, TX. She is a Fellow for the Word on Fire Institute and an international speaker for Catholic Answers. Dr. Trasancos received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Dr. Trasancos has published several books on the intersection of theology and science and teaches online courses on the subject at Seton Hall University. She has also published a booklet, "20 Answers: Bioethics", and writes a science column for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly.
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