Justin Poole earned a BA in Communications with a Theater Emphasis at Eastern University. He holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. Poole spent time studying experimental performance in Europe thanks to the Ernst Mach Grant through the Austrian Academic Exchange Program. He and his wife also led a theatre-focussed semester-long study abroad program to Europe for EMU in the fall of 2016. He founded Wanderlust Theatre Company (www.wanderlusttheatre.org) and produced original work in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Harrisonburg. His research interests are devised theater/ensemble play development, contemporary European experimental performance, and contemporary performances of classical texts.
Gretchen worked as a social worker following college graduation and returned to EMU (then EMC) as assistant/staff writer in media relations (now the Marketing Dept.). She and her husband, Robert, also an EMU grad, worked as a freelance writer/photographer team for a number of years, traveling to Africa and Europe to cover stories for numerous church agencies and NGOs. In the early and then again late 90s she returned to EMU as office coordinator in social work and sociology and during that time earned her masters in counseling. She then worked as in intensive in-home therapist for children and families for a number of years before returning to EMU to help launch the Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) in 2008, later dividing her time between that position and office coordinator for EMU’s Visual & Communication Arts (VaCA) and Theater Departments. In 2013 she accepted the re-designed full-time administrative assistant position for the reconfigured VaCA and Theater Departments, and still enjoys contributing to the work of CIE.
Gretchen and Robert are parents of three adult children – all now married – and grandparents to three granddaughters. They live in an intentional community on a partnership farm in Keezletown.
In her spare time she enjoys knitting, crocheting, reading, cooking, walking and hanging out with their little doggies, Nora and Falafel.