Meet the Collective!


Marni Fritz 


Marni Fritz is the full-time Administrative Assistant and NewPeople coordinator for the Thomas Merton Center. Her main duties include: overseeing the weekly activist E-Blast, coordinating NewPeople, designing and mailing graphics for events, and handling the internal coordination of office activities. Marni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from SUNY Geneseo, is the secretary of the board of the Pittsburgh-Matanzas Sister Cities Partnership, and an active member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).HJB


Christina Acuna Castillo


 Christina Acuna Castillo is NewPeople’s Print Editor. She attends the University of Pittsburgh studying literature, Latin American studies, and digital media. Formerly, she worked at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium doing animal care and conservation work in the education department. She also worked at New York’s Island Harvest as the Spanish educator and food distributor. She recently started working with the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) advocating for indigenous rights, Latino liberation, divestment from policing and investments into brown and black communities.



Angelica Walker

.Angelica Walker graduated Penn Hills High School in 2014, and is now a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying social work, writing, legal studies, and political science. Angelica interns at the Thomas Merton Center as a journalist for the NewPeople Newspaper. She is passionate about criminal justice reform, mental health awareness, LGBT rights, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. She loves her curly hair, Chance the Rapper, and Steven Universe.

Nijah Glenn

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.Nijah Glenn is a senior biology major with a minor in biochemistry, and volunteers/interns for the Thomas Merton Center. Part of her duties include feminist based journalism and volunteering for First Fridays. In her time outside of the center, she chairs the social change committee of Three Rivers Community Foundation, volunteers for causes ranging from HIV/AIDS education to children’s advocacy, and tries to use activism to make both the scientific and medical fields more equitable. In her time not at TMC, you can find her exploring art galleries, with a group of friends at brunch, in community forums discussing equity, or addressing healthcare disparities.

Vivian Le


Vivian Le is currently a student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She interns at the Thomas Merton Center as the digital media editor for the NewPeople Newspaper. Right now, her hobbies include wanting to write (and then not writing), getting eight hours of sleep a night, and watching a rotating selection of TV series on Netflix.

Jim McCarville 


.Jim McCarville serves on the TMC Editorial Collective and Board of Directors. Currently he also serves on the APP (Association of Pittsburgh Priests) Steering Committee. He retired after working forty years in the public maritime and river port sectors both in the US and Latin America. Jim enjoys walking, writing, listening and learning. He met his wife while serving in the Peace Corps in Brazil. Together they have walked three different kinds of Caminos to Santiago. Ask him about it and he won’t quit talking. If you need to find him, he’s the guy with the hat.



Rianna Lee


Rianna Lee is a senior at Duquesne University, with a double major in International Relations and Sociology. Her interests include all things gender, sexuality, feminism, women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights, social consequences of war, and international conflict. When she’s not writing or fighting the patriarchy, you’ll find her exploring the city with her friends, taking way too many pictures, doing yoga, or playing with her two guinea pigs, Thor and Loki.





Bette McDevitt


 Bette McDevitt first came to the Merton Center, in the 1980’s, as a member of the staff. One of the best moves she ever made. She came from a small town, where the peace group consisted of 12 wonderful people, to a place where the many many  people who came through the door were the movers and shakers of the movement for peace and justice. For the past twenty years, Bette has written for magazines and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. She has made sure ever since to stay close to the Center, to  those same people, and the others drawn to the movement to change the world, soon and very soon.




Joyce Rothermel
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Joyce Rothermel has been a member of the Merton Center since 1974 when she first came to Pittsburgh. She served on the staff of the TMC from 1977-1987, and worked as CEO of the Gr. Pittsburgh Community Food Bank from 1987 until she retired in 2011. Currently, she is on the board of the Merton Center and serves on the Editorial Collective of NewPeople – writing articles, editing and proofing.






Neil Cosgrove

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Neil Cosgrove has been a member of the editorial collective since August, 2014 and a member of the Merton Center board since January, 2016. Prior to becoming active at the Center he spent 40 years teaching writing, beginning in a high school and then moving on to a two-year college and a university. Even before that he worked on a couple of newspapers, experience that has helped him in his work on The NewPeople. Social Justice issues are his primary focus at the Center and he was quite active as a union member while teaching, serving as a shop steward, a local treasurer, a strike chair and picket organizer, and on a grievance committee.

Jo Tavener


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Jo Tavener spent most of her life on two projects: spreading the word of radical feminism (she is a founding member of NY Radical Feminists); and becoming a filmmaker, which she was only partially successful. Yet, her students at NYU and CCNY went forth and made Hollywood and Indie Films. Jo came to Pittsburgh and got her PhD in Critical Media and Cultural Studies. At present, she is trying to impart what she learned through her blog, Cultural Watch, that can be found in the NewPeople Newspaper and website. She is a member of the NewPeople editorial collective, working as an editor and writer.
Molly Rush

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Molly Rush co-founded the Merton Center in 1972. She was on staff as the director/organizer from 1973 to 2006. Currently, Molly is board member, and serves on the NewPeople Editorial Collective. She also is an active member of Health Care 4 All PA.