Center for Adventist Research Staff

Head and shoulders portrait of Dr. Merlin D. Burt

Merlin Burt

Merlin Burt
Director

Merlin D. Burt is founding director of the integrated Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University. He is also director of the White Estate Branch Office and professor of Church History at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. He has been with the Ellen G. White Estate since 1993.

Previous to his present position he served for ten years as director of the Loma Linda University White Estate Branch Office, as chair of Archives and Special Collections, and with the Faculty of Religion at Loma Linda University.

Dr. Burt received his Ph.D. from the Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in 2003. His dissertation examined the development and integration of the Sabbath, sanctuary, and Ellen White’s role in Sabbatarian Adventism between 1844 and 1849.

He has published numerous articles and chapters and has served variously as a speaker, editor, and organizer of various conferences and symposiums. He is author of Adventist historical Places: New York and New England; is in the process of writing a textbook on the development of Seventh-day Adventist theology; and is editor of Understanding Ellen White, a book published by Pacific Press for the Ellen G. White Estate on Ellen White Issues.

Previous to his academic and administrative appointments, Dr. Burt served in the United States as a pastor in Ohio and California. He is married to Sarah, and together they have two grown sons and a daughter. They also have two grandchildren. Dr. Burt’s hobbies include collecting Adventist-related materials and woodworking. His passion is for Seventh-day Adventists to connect God’s leading in the past to a personal living Christian experience.

 

Head and shoulders portrait of James R. Ford.

Jim Ford

Jim Ford
Associate Director

Jim has been the Associate Director of the Center for Adventist Research since 2003. He also serves as the liaison for the Adventist Digital Library to the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index Advisory Committee, and is active with the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians.

He came to Andrews University in 1991 as the Curator of the Adventist Heritage Center, a position he held until it was integrated into the Center for Adventist Research in November 2003. Previous to coming to Andrews University he held the position of Records Manager at the Office of Archives and Statistics of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He was also involved in the re-organization of the General Conference Library in 1982.

He holds a MA degree in American history with an emphasis on middle 19th century history, and a MLS degree in Library and Information Science with an emphasis on archival management.  Both degrees were earned from the University of Maryland at College Park. He is also a graduate of Andrews University with a BA degree in history.  He is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Center as well as collection management.

 

Head and shoulders portrait of Camille Clayton.

Camille Clayton

Camille Clayton
Cataloging Assistant

Camille has been the Cataloging Assistant for the Center for Adventist Research since 2004. Her attention to detail and skills in accurately identifying information make her a valuable and appreciated worker.  She shares cataloging responsibility with the James White Library Bibliographic Services, but she is the principal cataloger of Center materials.  Camille holds a BS degree in Management and a BA degree in French from Andrews University.

Juliette Johnson

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson
Contract Worker with Adventist Digital Library

Formerly the Adventist Digital Library Lead Manager, Julie is currently working on contract with the Library as a metadata specialist and also assists with data ingestion into the Library. Prior to coming to Andrews University, Julie worked at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in the admissions office. She has a strong background in technology, data organization, and history, which helped grow our digitization work.

Julie holds a BA degree in Art History from Pacific Union College. Her earlier years were spent in the mission field with her parents in Singapore, Palau, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka.

Denis Kaiser

Denis Kaiser

Denis Kaiser
White Estate Annotation Project Editor

Denis has been working for the Center for Adventist Research since 2008. As a student worker, he digitized reel-to-reel tapes, preserved and restored fragile materials, served as reference specialist at the front desk, and processed both the miscellaneous collection and personal manuscript collections. In 2011, he began to work for the White Estate Annotation Project by assisting initially Roland Karlman (2011-2012) and then Stanley D. Hickerson (2013-2015). After the passing of Stanley in early 2016, Denis became the annotation project editor. Besides studying in Germany, Austria, and the United States, and earning degrees in tax law, theology, and church history, he has worked as a tax officer and organization programmer in Germany. Denis is currently completing a Ph.D. in Adventist Studies and Historical Theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University. He has published a number of articles and chapters on church history, Adventist history, and Ellen White, and has been serving the Seminary as an adjunct professor of church history since 2012.

 

Tamara Karr

Tamara Karr

Tamara Karr
Collections Associate

Tamara began as the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Adventist Research in June of 2015, but became the Collections Associate of the Center in December of the same year. Her work includes managing the 1,000 plus subscriptions to print and electronic periodicals as well as other aspects of the Center’s extensive periodical holdings. She also serves as a Reference Specialist. Tamara is a graduate of Andrews University with a BS degree in Photography. She also holds a masters degree in art education. Tamara has worked previously as a teacher as well as spending 2 years in Taiwan, teaching high school art at Taiwan Adventist Preparatory Academy.

Eric Koester

Eric Koester

Eric Koester
Adventist Digital Library Lead Manager

Eric joined the Center for Adventist Research as the Digital Systems Manager in April of 2015. He has a strong background in managing digital resources and developing software solutions. He has been working aggressively with Julie Johnson to develop the software plan as they launch the Adventist Digital Library (ADL). He became Lead Manager when Julie Johnson stepped out of that role.

 

Heidi Magesa

Heidi Magesa
Project and Event Manager

Heidi began as the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Adventist Research in July of 2013. In June of 2015, she transitioned into the Project and Event Manager position.  Her duties cover a broad spectrum including coordinating study tours, planning symposiums, preparing printed materials, producing exhibits for display, and assisting Dr. Burt with his classes. Heidi is a graduate of Andrews University with a BT in Graphic Arts Imaging and an AS in Business.

Head and shoulders portrait of Jenny Rojas

Jenny Rojas

Jenny Rojas
Administrative Assistant

Jenny became the Administrative Assistant of the Center for Adventist Research in June, 2016. She is responsible for responding to patron requests, ordering supplies and many other office duties.  She is the one you will most likely interact with if you contact the Center.  She also serves as a Reference Specialist helping researchers who come to the Center. Jenny is a graduate of Andrews University with a BA in Religion.

 

Alice Williams

Alice Williams

Alice Williams
University Archivist, Andrews University Archives

Dr. Alice Williams has been University Archivist since 2010. Previously she held the position of Director of University Assessment; Director, Institutional Excellence; and North Central Association Accreditation Self-Study Coordinator. She also was an Associate Professor of Nutrition at Andrews University from 1983-88, and 1993-2000. Dr. Williams received her PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1979.  Her dissertation was entitled: Conforming and Nonconforming Food-Related Behavior, Values, and Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Young Adults. She also serves on the local infant mortality review committee, is on the board of the Berrien County Mental Health Authority, and is involved in various roles at Pioneer Memorial Church.

Daniel Drazen

Dan Drazen

Dan Drazen
Editor, Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index

Daniel J. Drazen has served as the Editor of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index since 1992.  He has a BA in theology from Andrews University and an MA in library science from Rosary College [now Dominican University], River Forest, Illinois. His past experience includes being an information specialist for DataQue International in Chicago, and the librarian at the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in Park Ridge, Illinois. While at DataQue, Dan did extensive online searching, as well as indexing and abstracting. He is the author of two books on Samuel, Samuel: One Small Light, and Samuel: Tears of a Nation.