New Chaplain for the Spiritual Guidance

Emi Tsuji, Staff Reporter

Dr. Julie A. Mavity Maddalena is the new chaplain of Lakeland.  

Maddalena is originally from Texas but lived in Massachusetts before moving here to Wisconsin with her two young boys. Upon working at Lakeland, she was a dean at the United Church in Fort Collins in Colorado.  

She received her PhD in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Her main focus was Christian Ethics and Women’s Gender and Sexualities Studies. “All issues related to social justice and Women’s Gender and Sexuality studies, I have studied those, written on them and taught in those areas.” 

Dominique Lee, a student assistant of the Chaplain, stated that “Julie is a magical person who happened to fit all the descriptions and I think that she is going to be offering a lot to our university, having someone who needs to engage the conversations that we hadn’t been able to before.” 

The reason why Maddalena decided to come to Lakeland is the uniqueness of her position. Her position includes everything about her previous career — teaching and experiences in the church. She describes her job at Lakeland as “a position that so perfectly fits me.”  

Her roles at Lakeland can be divided into two jobs: Chaplain Assistant Professor and pastoral care. As the campus chaplain, she supports students to have a religious and spiritual life on campus.  She also offers events and opportunities for students to explore their religious and spiritual identity. As an assistant professor for philosophy and ethics, she is teaching Introduction to Ethics and Christian Heritage of Oppression and Liberation this semester. 

Maddalena’s pastoral care includes listening to students, being compassionate, and supporting students through all kinds of stress. “I just want everyone to know that they are loved by just how they are. Sometimes college students have a lot of pressure and there is a lot of stress in their lives” Maddalena said. 

Chaplain Maddalena’s office is located in the Lauer Center. “No one should hesitate to reach out or drop by or stop me if they see on campus.” 

Maddalena was very excited to be Lakeland. As a chaplain in Lakeland, she sees her role as a spiritual leader. But even more, she values interaction with students and creating more connections. She can counsel students and give moral perspectives on their ethical issues. “You don’t have to be religious to talk with me, I’m interested in everybody. I have candy in my office, good candy, so you can just come to talk and have candies. If you see ethical issues here on campus and you think we should talk about it, come see me too. Any ethical issues or social justice issues are welcomed to discuss. I am just looking forward to meeting new people. Stop me on campus when you see me, if I am sitting in the campus center, come up and talk to me.” 

Maddalena is preparing to have some events with students while working closely with the Center for Community, Equity, and Belonging. She also organized the event, Animal Blessing. On Nov. 20th, she is planning to co-host a Transgender of Remembrance activity. This event will include lighting of candles in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the transgender community. Maddelena encourages students to give her their input to help create more events to hold at Lakeland.