NelsonKurt Nelson, Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life

Prior to arriving at Colby in August of 2012, Kurt spent five years at Dartmouth College initiating and advising multi-faith programs and leading ecumenical Christian worship.

Kurt is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Yale Divinity School.  His passions include multi-faith community, being a Lutheran, radical hospitality, green theology, and being happily married. He is  the fourth most charming member of his household following (in some order) his wife Joanna, their daughter Lillian, and their dog Grover.  You can email him at


Rachel Isaacs, Campus Rabbi

She serves on the faculty and advised the campus Hillel, in addition to being the spiritual leader of Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville.  Rabbi Isaacs was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011 as a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and was the recipient of prizes in Jewish Thought and Homiletics. She graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College in 2005 and was chosen as commencement speaker for her class.  During her time a Wellesley, Rachel served as co-president of her campus Hillel.  After graduation, she studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and at ALMA Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv, and served as a research assistant to Dr. Michael Oren. Rachel’s email address is

Charles Demm, Catholic Campus Minister

Charles serves as the Catholic Campus Minister at Colby. He is also the Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplain Services at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston. He earned the Ph.D. in Constructive and Historical Theology from Boston University. His dissertation explored the theological possibilities of pragmatic philosophy. Charles taught in the Religious Studies and Catholic Studies Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University for ten years. While teaching, he also earned the M.S. in Patient Counseling, which led to a career in health care. His academic interests are far flung. They include the relationship between religion/spirituality and physical and mental health, medical ethics, and also the role of the Catholic Church in Nigerian society. Somiari is his wife, Donal is their son.

He can be reached at:

Fr. Daniel Baillargeon, Corpus Christi Parish Priest
Colby Catholic Ministry
Corpus Christi Parish of Waterville, Maine: 207-872-2281,


Jing Ye, Meditation Advisor
Jing Ye grew up in China watching her grandfather sitting in perfect lotus position on a wooden bed without a cushion. She thought this is how old people nap as he sat so still for what seemed to be hours. Later, when she was still in elementary school, she learned Tai Chi, Chi Gong, and meditation from him. She attends silent meditation retreats with qualified teachers regularly among other related trainings and practices. In 2001, Jing Ye started Colby’s first weekly meditation group. As a Certified Focusing Oriented Therapist (, in addition to being a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, with Tai Chi and Chi Gong background, Jing is in tune with internal subtle sensations, their movements, energy flow, and their relationships to posture. Her meditation guidance helps participants center, ground, and relax. This process cultivates sustained and alert awareness of what is happening, at the moment, inside and outside of the body.

Sahki Khan, Muslim Advisor


Born in Peshawar, Pakistan.  Immigrated to the United States at six months old.  Grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  College years were spent at Tufts University with majors in Economics and Religion with concentration in Islamic Studies.  Graduate studies were at Harvard University with concentration in Finance.  Four time All-American in squash while at Tufts.  Competed for seven years on the Professional Squash Tour.  After the tour, worked for seven years as a Trader at State Street Bank and Brown Brothers & Harriman.  Twelve years at Colby College as the Advisor to the Muslim Group, the Director of Intramurals Sports, and the Men’s and Women’s Varsity Squash Coach.  Married and father of seven children ages twenty to a one year old.

Peter Harris, Zen Advisor

Peter Harris is the Zacamy Professor of English and teaches English Composition with a service-learning component which involves students in local public schools, 19th-century American Literature and Contemporary American Poetry. He also leads workshops in his current main interest, writing poetry.
Peter is an ordained Zen Priest, having received dharma transmission from Peter Wohl in 2014, and teaches at Treetop Zen Center.

*Advisors are Colby Staff or Faculty who volunteer their time to work with a particular constituency.


Cito Cruz, Global Friends Christian Fellowship
Tim and Laura Corbett, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

*affiliates are not employees of Colby College. They are recognized by the office of religious & spiritual life and work on behalf of an external organization with a particular Colby constituency