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Samuel H. Speers Associate Dean of the College for Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices (845) 437-5550

Pratt House

Bryan Mann Rachlin Director for Jewish Student Life and Assistant Director, Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practice

(845) 451-3920 PrattHouse/Bayit

Saba Ali Advisor for Muslim Student Life (845) 437-5577

Pratt House

Annie Sampugnaro Administrative Assistant (845) 437-5550

Pratt House


Student Interns

Our Staff Bios

The Rev. Samuel Speers, D.Min.

The Rev. Samuel Speers (he/him/his) is Associate Dean of the College for Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices at Vassar College; he has been at the college for twenty years. Sam moved to Poughkeepsie from Chicago, where he had worked in campus ministry for ten years at the University of Chicago, serving as Associate Dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, the university’s chapel.  

At Vassar, Sam has focused on collaborative initiatives at the intersections of religion, secular public life, and inter-religious engagement. Sam directed a multi-campus initiative called “Secularity and the Liberal Arts”—a faculty-chaplain collaboration that involved twenty colleges. The 10-year project, supported by a major grant from by Teagle Foundation, grew out of concerns that faculty and chaplains kept hearing from students about how to integrate their questions of meaning and purpose into their “secular” education. He contributed a chapter on this project to College and University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century

Sam is an ordained Presbyterian minister; he holds a B.A. in Religion from Columbia University, an M.Div. (Master of Divinity) from the University of Chicago, and his D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has been an active member of campus chaplaincy associations, and is past president of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs. At Vassar, he chairs the Frances Fergusson Good Neighbors Partnerships, a college-based initiative in engaged philanthropy.

Sam is deeply committed to collaborative partnerships; he works with his inter-religious colleagues to help students to bring their messy, joyful, and whole selves to build a culture of “belonging-in-difference.” He is grateful for the wide range of ways his campus work allows him to discover and rediscover that students are the most creative and insightful interpreters of the changing religious, spiritual, and secular landscape he seeks to serve.

Rabbi Bryan Mann

Rabbi Bryan Mann (he/him/his) is the Rachlin Director of Jewish Student Life and Assistant Director of the RSCLP. He joined us in August 2020, coming from Tampa, FL where he was serving as the senior rabbi of a  small suburban synagogue. He is very excited to be back in the Northeast where he spent most of his life. He grew up in Penacook, NH. He received his BA in Jewish Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He received his Rabbinic Ordination, Masters in Jewish Studies, and a Certificate in Spirituality and Social Justice from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA.

As a queer rabbi, he is particularly interested in the ways spirituality informs queerness and queerness informs spirituality. 

On-campus or off you will likely catch him hanging out with his dog Babka, reading a good fantasy book, and/or enjoying time outside. 

Saba Ali

Saba Ali (she/her) is the Advisor for Muslim Student Life and joined Vassar in March 2023. Saba has deep roots in the Hudson Valley Muslim community where she has worked with the Mid Hudson Islamic Association and Masjid Al Mutakabbir to help foster community building. She also works part time as a reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal and as a freelance writer on topics related to the Muslim American experience.

Annie Sampugnaro

Annie Sampugnaro (she/her) has been the Administrative Assistant for Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices since February 2018. Before coming to Vassar, her experience was diverse: managing offices for major corporations, high profile criminal-defense law firms, an urban police department and a local Christian church. In that mix, she chose to be a stay-at-home mom for 9 years after adopting two daughters.

Annie was born and raised in NYC. She is a devout Christian who attempts to live her life to the glory of God and to love others as she is loved by Him. She has volunteered to teach children in local churches and at a boy’s home in Naya Akola, India. She enjoys attending a bible study group, hosting and cooking for her large extended family, and traveling to cities in the US and abroad to visit art museums and to walk with the crowd on busy streets, admiring the people, the architecture and the skylines. 

Anisha Azizi - bio coming soon

Ellie Whiteman

My name is Ellie (she/her) and I am the social media intern for RSLCP. I am a senior Media Studies major with a particular interest in children’s media. In my free time I love to watch and discuss movies with friends. I am also a part of the Coalesce dance ensemble; dancing is my favorite way to unwind and express my creativity.

Ahmed Abdul Mumeen - bio coming soon

June Pierson - bio coming soon

Milla Durfee - bio coming soon

Nina Sandman - bio coming soon

Margaret Norsworthy-Edghill

Hello! My name is Margaret (she/her) and I am the Good Neighbors intern for the RSLCP Office. I am a sophomore prospective Neuroscience & Behavior major with a Religious Studies correlate. I am primarily interested in neurotheology, ornithology, and poetry, but I’m also a huge fan of nature walks, intercultural learning, many different types of music, and embracing the place I inhabit–like Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley!

Salih Awouda

Hi! My name is Salih Awouda (he/him) and I’m the Muslim Life Intern at RSLCP! I’m a junior currently majoring in Biochemistry and hopefully a Computer Science double major or correlate. You’ll probably catch me either cooking in Pratt house with my friends or walking around the campus with music blasting in my ears. I love talking and getting to know so feel free to reach out and say hi.

Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices

124 Raymond Avenue
Box 488
Poughkeepsie, New York 12604-0488
Vassar College Box 488

(845) 437-5550