Pres House Council

Leadership in the Pres House community is open to all students and young professionals. Members shape who we are and what we do as part of the Pres House Leadership Council.

The purpose of the Leadership Council is to provide spiritual leadership to the Pres House community. We develop and express that spiritual leadership in three ways:

  1. Relationship with God

  2. Relationship with others

  3. Service to the community

Many people in our community have very busy lives; though many of the activities are great, we are not interested in adding one more task to a list. Instead, we seek to move about our daily lives in ways that deepen our capacity to follow Jesus’ command to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Pres House Council primarily invites you to go deep with God and neighbor. Through the regular sharing of our lives with one another—our passions, our questions, our joys, our wounds, our challenges—we inspire our community to bear witness to the radical grace of Christ not only at Pres House, but in all the spaces of our lives.

Important 2017 Dates – Mark your calendars!
March 27th – Council Applications Due
April 10th – Applicants notified no later than 4/10/17
April 23rd – Transitional Council Meeting with New and Old Members (Leadership Team  and Board Elections)
May 19th – May 21st – Council Retreat at Lake Waubesa Bible camp in McFarland, WI
August 31st – Council Dinner and Meeting at Pres House, 5:30 – 8:30PM

Monthly Council meetings on Sundays, 1:00-3:00 PM: Exact dates TBA; we meet 1x/month September through May.

Download Pres House Council Application 2017-2018. Questions? Contact Pastor Erica.

Pres House Council Members 2017-18

Joel Bodilly

Major: B.S., Agricultural Business Management
Interests: Traveling, trying new foods, spending time with friends and family, skiing, soccer, volleyball, hockey, running, biking, Gaelic football and hurling.
Favorite place on campus: The Union Terrace
Favorite thing about Pres House: Great community of people
Bucket list item: I would love to go Heli-skiing someday

Mary Murphy

Major: MA Library and Information Studies. Emphasis: Data management and analytics
Future Aspirations: Medical Research (with a focus on public health) using computational biology
Interests: Gardening, Reading, Volunteering, and Traveling
Current Read: Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series
Favorite place on campus: Memorial Union. I love to listen to the music, hang with friends, and eat Babcock’s ice cream.
Spirit Animal: Moose – headstrong, awkward yet graceful, quiet, caring
Babcock’s ice-cream flavor: Union Utopia


Jenni Geurink

Major: Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies.  
Interests:  When I have time, I love to read (especially my favorite book, The Handmaid’s Tale), practice yoga, and you’ll almost catch me listening to a podcast.  
Collegiate Involvement: On campus, I am very active in several political bodies, especially advocating for women’s health issues and access to healthcare more broadly. I’ve always been a huge politics junkie, so please forgive me if I lead you into a political debate, but that has also been my most meaningful spiritual practice.
Spirit Animal: Someday I’d love to magically morph into a sloth as one of the great philosophers of the animal kingdom, but that’s also pretty much the antithesis of who I am as a human being.
Favorite thing about Pres House: Through Prayer^3, I found an outlet to combine my dual interests in politics and religion in an intentional way, which I hope you’ll join me in!

Kara headshot Kara Neitzel

Major: Communication Arts, Human Development and Family Studies
Interests: Singing, Playing piano, Reading, Writing, Thrifting!
Favorite place on campus: Anywhere along Lake Mendota! Chair or rock, it doesn’t matter.
Spirit Animal: Orca Whale–they’re very family oriented and social animals!
Book read over the summer: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Billie Scambler

Major: B.S. Gender and Women’s Studies
Interests: Mountain biking, cross country skiing, backpacking, and reading
Spirit Animal: There’s no doubt I’m a dog–friendly, affectionate, loyal, and happiest when I’m around my people.
Favorite Place on Campus: Eagle Heights Garden! I have my own plot and love spending time out there working with my hands. I love seeing sandhill cranes, toads, and cool bugs that visit the garden as well. There are also a few great spots to hang a hammock!
Favorite Thing about Pres House: There’s always space for questioning and flexibility. Here, it’s okay to push each other to think beyond our gut reaction and to look at church from all different angles, and not feel the need to all come to the same conclusion as long as we’ve had a valuable conversation.

Emily Johnson

Major: Biology and Spanish with a certificate in Global Health.
Interests: I enjoy poring over my books with a coffee in hand, running along the paths in the nature haven of Lakeshore, treating myself to a body-wide cleanse with yoga, and occupying the kitchen to bake or cook whatever my taste buds request.
Favorite book: The book that has stolen my heart as a personal favorite is Pride and Prejudice. It always leaves me feeling intellectually stimulated and just a bit more sophisticated.
Spirit animal: If I were to liken myself to an animal it would be a deer, as I move quietly but quickly, and am often vigilant and observant.
Favorite place on campus: Historical society, where I’m ensconced by books and fellow bookworms.
Converse with a famous historical person: I’d share the kitchen with Julia Child. In this fantasy, we’d share a laugh or two about our highly contrasting accents, and she’d gift me with a few of her famous French recipes.
Favorite ice cream flavor:  Vanilla, but on this point I defy such expectations! On the contrary, Mocha Macchiato frequently threatens to compromise my healthy body weight, and it tests my self-discipline every time we lock eyes.

Evan Schilling

Major: Nuclear Engineering graduate student
Interests: I enjoy staying active with running, swimming, biking, and playing volleyball, but also enjoy sedentary activities such as watching TV series, playing video games, or tinkering with electronics.
Favorite places on campus: The lab I am a research assistant in, a fusion experiment called the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX).
Babcock Ice Cream of Choice: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Spirit Animal: A duck since they can walk, swim, and fly.
Famous Historical Person you could have a Debate with: Probably Carl Friedrich Gauss, just because he was such an influential mathematician and scientist. I guarantee I would lose any sort of debate we might have however.
Book of Choice: Recently only textbooks come to mind, and while most are written as information dumps, David Griffiths’ Introduction to Electrodynamics has to be the most entertaining text book I’ve ever read.
Favorite Experience at Pres House: I really enjoyed getting coffee with other graduate students and Mark / Erica (Weekly Coffee Tours), it started the morning off well for me every time!

Yunan Shi 

Major: Computer Science
Interests: I love to sing, dance, play the piano, and doing impressions. I also love watching old movies and learning new languages.
Future aspirations: My dream is converse in French & Italian in native proficiency, and master the art of Italian cuisine.
Favorite thing about Pres House: I am so happy that I am able to serve and worship God through music.




Steven Chapman 

Major: I’m a second year graduate student studying organic chemistry, with an emphasis in photocatalysis.
Interests:  Outside of school, I enjoy swing dance, tennis, and catching up with friends over coffee.
Favorite place on campus: During the summer, my favorite place on campus is the last fire pit at picnic point overlooking the lake, but during the winter my favorite place is the fireplace in Union South.                                                                                         Babcock ice cream of choice: My go-to Babcock ice cream flavor combination is one scoop mint chocolate cookie and one scoop mocha macchiato.                                     Spirit animal: My spirit animal is the manatee because they’re adorable and calming.
Converse with a famous historical person: If I could debate any famous historical person, it would be Nikola Tesla. Not sure exactly what we would debate, but it would be fun nonetheless.  Favorite book: My book of choice has to be the Divergent trilogy.
My favorite memory at Pres House: The Christmas party last year. The Christmas party was a fun break from a busy time in the semester, and we made gingerbread house mansions! It was a great time to relax with friends and look forward to the upcoming holidays!

Clare Aeschbacher

Major:  Community & Environmental Sociology and Environmental Sciences, with a certificate in Sustainability.
Interests:  Playing guitar, listening to music, sudoku, hanging out in nature.
Favorite places on campus: Lakeshore nature preserve and Science Hall.
Babcock ice cream of choice: Half and half of mocha macchiato and cookies & cream.
Spirit animal: Golden retriever — friendly and ready to play!
Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt




Beatrice Tan 

Major: I am a sophomore double majoring in Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance.
Interests: Lying in bed watching Korean entertainment shows are my kind of days, but I also love hanging out with friends, watching musicals/shows, and listening to music.
Favorite place on campus: I enjoy hanging out at the terrace, whether it’s for studying, hanging out, or just eating a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Best thing about Pres House: It has been a significant part of my freshman year, and I can’t wait to create more memories with this amazing community!

Board of Directors

Six Council Members serve as Board Members elected by the PSCF Board of Directors for one-year terms. This position requires attendance at all board meetings and functions.

2017-2018 Pres House Member Board Members:

  • Joel Bodilly
  • Jenni Geurink
  • Mary Murphy
  • Erik Franze
  • Jessica Prom

In all these ways, you can help build the spiritual “home” that Pres House seeks to provide to the greater UW-Madison campus and Madison community.

Click here for the Council Event Request and Planning form.