Meet the Chaplains

Our Chaplains:

David Yaden:

David Bryce Yaden, who graduated Rutgers in ’09, is a Ph.D. candidate researcher at The University of Pennsylvania. He works in UPenn’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience where he studies the neuroscience of self-transcendent experiences with Dr. Andrew Newberg. He provides healthcare business consulting services as well as public health education with a focus on end-of-life care and stress management with Lourdes Health System. You can follow David on Twitter @ExistWell.

Charlene Komar Storey and Gregory D. Storey:

Charlene and Greg are Humanist Celebrants in the Central New Jersey area who joined the Humanist Community at Rutgers University in September 2018.  They are writers and business journalists who have worked in New Jersey, New York and California. Both have served as adjunct instructors in New York University’s continuing-education program.

Longtime members of the Humanists of North Jersey, they have conducted scores of secular weddings and funeral/memorial services.

Charlene and Greg are ardent proponents of Humanism and the separation of church and state. They have testified before government entities and been interviewed by national and local broadcast and print media on issues involving religion and government.

Charlene, who holds a BA in journalism from Thomas Edison State University, was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. Greg, a native of Colorado, has a BA in English from the University of Connecticut and an MS in journalism from Southern Illinois University.

Our Founding Chaplain: Barry Klassel

Barry Klassel is our founding Humanist Chaplain at Rutgers (2009-2015), the fifth person to hold such a position at a university in the US.

Barry is a certified Humanist Celebrant who conducted baby-welcomings, weddings, funerals and other life-cycle ceremonies. He also volunteered for 13 years on a crisis/suicide hotline. You can read in Barry’s own words about his journey from discovering humanism to becoming a Humanist Chaplain.

Barry has an AB from Columbia (Psychology), an MA from Pittsburgh (Theatre), and attended an MFA program (Acting) at Florida State. He performed in NYC and elsewhere, including in an arts-in-education program in NJ schools. As a director, he last staged a play about post-apocalyptic America called Messiah Game written by humanist luminary, Tom Flynn. Barry remains a passionate advocate of greater study of the arts for understanding the beauty and complex dynamics of human experience.

Hear what Barry had to say about Humanism and Community!