Cru is a community where the gospel captivates hearts, transforms lives, and launches men and women into a lifelong adventure with Jesus Christ.

/ our team /

IMG_6897
Tom & Joanna Sperlich Campus Director

thomas.sperlich@cru.org • joanna.sperlich@cru.org

Tom and Joanna met each other through their involvement with Cru at Penn State. After receiving degrees in Psychology, they got married and joined staff all within a month in 2006. In 2016, Tom was named the Campus Director for Penn State Cru, and throughout his and Joanna’s staff life, their love for PSU students and Happy Valley has only grown.

Emma, who is almost five, brings unimaginable joy and delight to her parents. She likes to take her dolls for stroll through the neighborhood and is diligently learning German. Jacob, the younger brother, receives lots of love—both wanted and unwanted—from Emma. Jacob is the smiliest boy who ever lived and is currently into solid foods in a big way. Tom is an avid reader (think classics, spiritual formation, and fantasy), loves to play games (current top shelf ones are Dominion, Dixit, and Hanabi), is still a raging fan of Lost, and is addicted to Coke (the drink). Joanna enjoys the challenge of trying a new recipe, especially if it is a dessert. She loves to sit down with a good cup of coffee and either a good book or a great friend. She also can’t get enough of Emma and Jacob’s laughter and personality.

  • facebook
  • facebook
  • flickr
IMG_6897
IMG_6897
Tom & Joanna Sperlich Campus Director

thomas.sperlich@cru.org • joanna.sperlich@cru.org

Tom and Joanna met each other through their involvement with Cru at Penn State. After receiving degrees in Psychology, they got married and joined staff all within a month in 2006. In 2016, Tom was named the Campus Director for Penn State Cru, and throughout his and Joanna’s staff life, their love for PSU students and Happy Valley has only grown.

Emma, who is almost five, brings unimaginable joy and delight to her parents. She likes to take her dolls for stroll through the neighborhood and is diligently learning German. Jacob, the younger brother, receives lots of love—both wanted and unwanted—from Emma. Jacob is the smiliest boy who ever lived and is currently into solid foods in a big way. Tom is an avid reader (think classics, spiritual formation, and fantasy), loves to play games (current top shelf ones are Dominion, Dixit, and Hanabi), is still a raging fan of Lost, and is addicted to Coke (the drink). Joanna enjoys the challenge of trying a new recipe, especially if it is a dessert. She loves to sit down with a good cup of coffee and either a good book or a great friend. She also can’t get enough of Emma and Jacob’s laughter and personality.

  • facebook
  • facebook
  • flickr
0X0A1991
0X0A1991
Mike & Bec Shepski Staff

mike.shepski@gmail.com • bec.shepski@gmail.com

Mike grew up in the Susquehanna Valley of Central PA and is 2002 graduate of Penn State. He’s been on staff with Cru for 10 years, eight of those years in Melbourne, Australia serving both as a campus, and state director. He’s been married to his wonderful Australian wife, Bec, for the past 8 years. Mike’s focus this year will be helping our students understand how they can best intersect the beauty of the gospel message with the lives of their Penn State friends. He loves his wife and kids, ministering on campus, and enjoys watching and playing sports (American and Australian).

Bec grew up in Australia and has only lived in the States for a year with Mike and their three children Ellie (5), Ezra (2) and Josiah (5 mths). She attended LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Victoria however it wasn’t until she met Mike in 2004 that her heart was captured for the call to reach the nations. God convinced her of her personal responsibility to be an ambassador for him wherever her feet may fall. She has a passion for neighborhood ministry, mental health (prior work as a social worker with expertise in first episode psychosis and forensic mental health) and loves to bring Christ into the middle of a crisis. She also loves food/nutrition (ie. total coffee snob and foodie – all the way), social justice and asking tough questions. Bec remains committed to seeing Australia reached with the gospel and building up life-long, world-focused, kingdom-visioned missionaries.

  • facebook
  • facebook
Hollemans
Hollemans
Ashley & Heather Holleman Staff

ashley.holleman@cru.org

Ashley and Heather Holleman are on staff with Faculty Commons—the graduate student and faculty ministry of Cru. Ashley serves as the Executive Director of Graduate Ministry for Cru. In that role, Ashley and Heather also serve with the local Penn State Faculty Commons team. Heather also teaches freshman and senior level writing courses in the English department at Penn State. They met in 1998 while in grad school at the University of Michigan and married a couple of years later. In 2003 after finishing their grad degrees, they joined staff with Cru. They moved to Penn State in 2007. Ashley is from a small town in central North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1996. In his spare time, Ashley enjoys building furniture, gardening, watching Carolina basketball (and sometimes Carolina football), and reading. Heather is from northern Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1997. In her spare time, Heather blogs daily at Live with Flair, writes, practices her photography, hosts neighborhood parties, and attempts Italian cooking. Her favorite verb is grapple. Her latest book, Seated With Christ (Moody), will be released in October. Ashley and Heather have two social daughters and thus have now begun an unofficial chauffeur business.

Alex-and-Hannah-Engagement-Photo_289
Alex-and-Hannah-Engagement-Photo_289
Alex & Hannah Verseput Staff

alex.verseput@cru.org • hannah.verseput@cru.org

Alex here! Born in Texas and raised in Alaska, I was blessed with a loving community of Christians to encourage my steps towards a relationship with God. As such, in the last 25 years God has brought me from apathy, to intellectual acceptance of the truth, to a heart broken over my own sin, to a passion of inviting others to the Good News. Much of this transformation in my life came during my time at Calvin College and after. After graduating in 2011, I came to Penn State as a graduate student. After one year into a long Chemical Engineering program, God called me in a new direction and placed me in full-time ministry with Cru. He is daily teaching me to walk by faith and praise His name. Most recently, God has blessed me with an incredible wife, Hannah, and uses our marriage daily to guide me to worship Him! Some of my hobbies include board games, driving, watching movies, and occasionally exercise and reading. Beyond these frequent endeavors, I love free food, spontaneous late-night movies, kite-flying at midnight, and paintball outings. Finally, while I’m no longer a typical student, I continue to love learning and have been learning about astrophotography, soteriology, and home care maintenance.

Hannah was born in Northern New Jersey and raised in Southwest Florida. Coming to Penn State was what you can call an experience. Being raised in a Christian home was deemed upon her life as a foundational blessing but became revolutionary when she became involved with Cru her freshman year. The Lord took what was a private, secretive thing in Hannah’s relationship with Him into becoming a personal, attractive thing. She was taught how to “live the talk” so she joined staff in Winter 2012 and says she’s “Abundantly overjoyed to be settled back into a place I call home. God surely has been unleashing Himself onto my life that I eagerly anticipate His overflow on this campus. We are!”

Josh Kerr
Josh Kerr
Josh Kerr Staff

I was born and raised just south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in a Christian home, which, looking back was a tremendous blessing and foundational to the path my life would take. As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a Penn Stater. I’m not quite sure how it all started, but from a young age you could say I was somewhat “obsessed” with Penn State….football. My dream came true after high school when I became a student at Penn State; in fact I loved it so much I decided to stay for an extra degree. After finishing my master’s degree in the fall of 2010, I moved to Denver Colorado for work.
Little did I know that God would use my time in Denver to being to mold me and prepare me for the ministry He was calling me too. While in Denver, God worked through my church, various people, and circumstances to help me understand what it meant to live intentionally and missionally in all areas of my life. This understanding turned into a strong desire to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. I already mentioned that I like Penn State, right? Because after living in Denver for two years I returned to Penn State to pursue my Ph.D. Shortly after beginning my Ph.D. I began to realize that God had other plans for me and that He was using this time to help me catch the vision for doing ministry with Faculty and Graduate Students. As a result, I left my program in the spring of 2013 and joined staff with Cru and was placed back at Penn State.
After all this time, I think I may be becoming a townie, which is just fine with me. In my spare time I love to eat ice cream, run, eat ice cream, hike, eat ice cream, eat cereal, eat ice cream again, watch sports, read, eat some more ice cream, hang out with friends, have a little more ice cream, snowboard, and of course eat ice cream, play/listen to music, and I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I also like to eat ice cream.

IMG_4336
IMG_4336
Tobin & Cassandra Simonetti STAFF

tobin.simonetti@cru.org • cassandra.simonetti@cru.org

Tobin and Cassandra met while students at Penn State. They were involved in a wide variety of capacities within Cru during their time in Happy Valley. After graduation the Lord sent them out, Tobin headed overseas and Cassandra headed to Washington, DC. They love serving with Cru here at Penn State. Tobin serves part-time with Cru and is a Food Science Research Tech for Penn State and Cassandra serves full-time with Cru.

They are passionate about creating the space for everyone around them to come to know Jesus more, no matter where they are in their faith. It is their joy to exhort, encourage, and equip those around them to walk fiercely with the Lord. And it is a privilege to serve at Penn State.

Tobin loves anything to do with food. With a degree in Food Science, he’s always uncovering new things in the kitchen, firing up the grill, and enjoying creating delicious dishes. He’s always up for a good story, whether in a new movie, the pages of a book, or the life of a friend. Cassandra loves quality time with friends, bringing beauty and life to something old or unwanted, crafting and creating, as well as pursuing health and fitness.

When a new adventure is beckoning, both Tobin and Cassandra love to jump right in.

We’re looking forward to getting to know you!