Westar Institute, along with its publishing imprint Polebridge Press, is managed by a Board of Directors, volunteers, and small staff. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the people behind the everyday operations of Westar!

Meet the Staff

Arthur Dewey

Publisher Arthur J. Dewey is Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati. A distinguished teacher, writer, translator and commentator, he is the author of Inventing the Passion: How the Death of Jesus was Remembered (forthcoming 2017) and co-author of The Complete Gospel Parallels (with Robert J. Miller, 2011) and The Authentic Letters of Paul (with Roy W. Hoover, Lane C. McGaughy, and Daryl D. Schmidt, 2010). Dewey’s poetry has appeared in Christian Century and his poetic perspective aired on the Saturday Morning Edition on Public Radio Station WVXU (91.7) in Cincinnati for more than a dozen years. Read academic CV. Contact Arthur.

Maria Finlinson

Chief Financial Officer Maria Finlinson was born in Latin America where she concluded her studies and found herself pulled into the finance industry. She has spent the last 18 years growing and expanding her expertise in all aspects of finance, accounting, and taxes.  Maria is published in Who’s Who of America and Who’s Who of Professional Women. She was presented with the Global Finance Leader Award by the Global Conference on Insurance & Finance in 2020., and she received the Outstanding Leadership Award at the Money 2.0 convention in 2022. Maria has served as a panelist for various finance conferences. Married to her husband, David Finlinson, for many happy years, she is the proud mother of two daughters. Maria spends her free time cooking for her family, watching TV, and relaxing with her husband, daughters, and two dogs. Contact Maria.

David Galston

Executive Director David Galston is the author of three books, Archives and the Event of God (McGill-Queens Press, 2010), Embracing the Human Jesus (Polebridge Press, 2012), and God’s Human Future (Polebridge Press, 2016). He holds a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg, a M.Div. from Vancouver School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from McGill University. David works cooperatively with the Westar Board of Directors and academic seminars, he helps to recruit scholars, participates in conference planning, assists in defining the development and direction of the Westar Institute.

Read Academic CV. Contact David.

Barbara Hampson

Assistant Fourth R Editor and Copyeditor Barbara Hampson has an M.A in Music Criticism and a Bachelor of Music from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; a Bachelor of Education in Music and English from the University of Toronto; and has taken courses with the Editors’ Association of Canada. She worked in communications for a regional office of the United Church of Canada where she was the webmaster and the editor of Contact, a quarterly newsletter. For several years she served as co-editor of Axial, the journal of the SnowStar Institute in Canada.

Linda Hodges

Communications Director and Assistant to the Executive Director Linda Hodges has been a Westar associate member since 1993 and joins the staff after serving for three years as Westar Board of Director’s Chair of the Marketing and Membership committee. After earning a Master of Theological Studies degree from Pacific School of Religion, she worked at the Rockridge Institute under the direction of Dr. George Lakoff where she coordinated the national online conference, Spiritual Progressives: A Dialogue on Values and Building a Movement. Linda helped helm PSR’s academic journal, “Progressive Christian Witness” and worked with Westar Scholar Sakari Hakkinen as a research assistant on several book projects.  She served for 10 years as a Unitarian Universalist Church Administrator. Contact Linda.

Perry Kea

Volunteer Staff  member Perry Kea is a Fellow of the Westar Institute. Perry served as the Chair of the Board of Directors from 2014 – 2019. During his tenure as Chair, Perry guided Westar through staff changes, organizational re-structuring, and program revision. As a Fellow, Perry has contributed to Westar publications and seminars, and he co-Chaired the recent and first Westar Mini-seminar on the Bible and Human Sexuality. Perry is Associate Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Perry.

Robaire Ream

Art Director/Production Manager Robaire Ream manages graphic design and production for a wide range of materials, including Polebridge Press books and audio-visual materials, The Fourth R, Forum, meeting promotions, mailers, and anything else that needs a creative touch. He has more than 30 years of graphic design and production experience, with a diverse graphic design résumé that includes work as a stained glass window designer, art instructor, and prop and background designer for Warner Bros. Animation. His illustration talents can be seen in Stones and Bones (2007), a children’s book about evolution. He has a graphic arts certificate from Ecole Sornas, France, and studied graphic design at California State University Northridge.