News & Resources


Meet our New Board Members

Oct 11, 2011

Au Sable is pleased to announce the addition of three new board members who have graciously given of themselves to serve the Institute over the coming years:

Mr. Ryan O'Connor


Ryan O’Connor serves as the Alumni Representative on the Board and has been involved with Au Sable for nearly 15 years, attending Au Sable as a student in 1998, serving as an Environmental Education Intern in 1999, and engaging with the Graduate Fellows Program on several college campuses, including starting a precursor to the Graduate Fellows Program at the University of Michigan.  Ryan works as the Acting Lead Botanist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Endangered Resources, the natural heritage program for the state, which is responsible for collecting, synthesizing, and communicating information on endangered species and high-quality ecosystems in Wisconsin.  Ryan’s passion and expertise are in identifying, protecting, and restoring rare and declining species and ecosystems in the Great Lakes region.  He also loves to share information with others, and has taught a course on forest ecosystems at the University of Michigan Biological Station.  He previously worked as a Conservation Scientist for the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) and the Michigan natural heritage program, where he co-authored the book Prairies and Savannas of Michigan: Rediscovering our Natural Heritage, published by Michigan State University Press.  The goal of the book and his life are to help others see and appreciate the beauty of the local environment, make scientific information accessible to those who need it, and encourage good stewardship.  He holds master and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.  

Ryan grew up with a close relationship with Christ.  He enjoys pursuing knowledge of God’s word as it relates to creation care and daily life through personal study, courses offered by his church, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.  In addition to attendance at his church, he is involved in an intentional Christian community that meets weekly for spirit-filled prayer, praise, and fellowship. He grew up in the Traverse City area of northern Michigan, and currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

Charlene Kalebic, J.D.


Charlene Kalebic currently serves as Counsel for the firm of SchiffHardin, a general practice law firm headquartered in Chicago with offices in seven cities.  As legal counsel to privately-owned companies and not-for-profit organizations, Charlene has expertise in many areas of law, including corporate governance, shareholder and employee disputes, contract negotiations, and the maintenance of tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and a B.A. in Accounting and Business Administration from Augustana College (Rock, Island, Illinois).

Charlene also has served as Chief Financial Officer of Probus Publishing Company, as financial analyst for Culligan International, Inc. and Lane Industries, Inc., and as staff auditor for Arthur Andersen and Company. She is currently a member of the Board of Regents of Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois), and also serves Trinity College as an adjunct faculty member, where she teaches a (very popular) course in business law. As former law clerk to the Honorable Morton Denlow of the federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Charlene has written numerous published judicial opinions, and is the author of several published articles, including “Children, the Unprotected Minority” (Regent University Law Review 2002-2003), “The Constitutionality of Human Cloning” (University of Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 1998), and “Banning Human Cloning” in The Reproduction Revolution (Eerdmans and Trinity International University Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, 2000). A person who came to Christ at a young age in a devout Christian family, Charlene has continued to grow in her faith in Christ and her capacity to serve others. Married and mother of five children, Charlene and her family attend Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois. Charlene has served in various roles and ministries both within and outside of Christ Church, including being a past member of the Christ Church Board of Deacons, the Christian International Scholarship Fund, Illinois Citizens for Life, the Illinois Family Institute and Life Builders Ministry, an organization which provides support to AIDS orphans. Charlene has recently entered into a publishing agreement with Christian book publisher Deep River Books for her first book.  

Mr. Vincent Morris


Vincent Morris graduated from Gordon College in Massachusetts with a dual major in Youth Ministry and Biblical and Theological Studies. After a decade as a youth minister in the western suburbs of Chicago, he embarked in a new direction as Manager of Risk, Environmental Health and Safety at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Eventually promoted to his current position as Wheaton’s Director of Risk Management, Vince is responsible for a wide range of duties encompassing the health and welfare of students, faculty, staff and visitors at the College.

He has been a member of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) since 1998, where he has served as past president and past member of its board of directors as well as chair and participant on many of its task forces and committees. Vince also served as URMIA’s publications editor, and is widely published in his field. Beyond his professional activities, Vince continues to interact with, mentor, and develop the faith of students by hosting student groups in his home. Through his Christian faith, which was nurtured by his parents, Vince has discovered his gifts for leading others to a mature faith in Christ and to confidence in God that propels them into a meaningful life of service. Among his academic and professional credentials, Vince earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College, where he wrote his master’s thesis entitled, “Eighth-day creators: A Christian environmental stewardship ethic based on the ‘image of God’ in the doctrine of creation.” He is an Illinois-certified CPA, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Wheaton College, expecting to graduate  in May 2012. Vince is a member of Immanuel Presbyterian Church of Warrenville, Illinois, the same church where he worked as a youth minister, and continues to serve in this community.