The Reverend Lisa Garvin
Chaplain and Minister to the University
The Reverend Lisa Garvin is SMU's Chaplain and Minister to the University. As Chaplain, she leads religious and spiritual life on campus and serves on the Student Affairs Vice-President Leadership Team. With the staff of the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, and the Center for Faith and Learning, she provides ethical leadership to the SMU community, cultivates multi-religious community, and mentors students in integrating faith and learning.
Lisa is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and connects the church to the world through ministries of justice and compassion. She seeks to create space for authenticity and exploration – where students, faculty, and staff come together for sacred encounters that nourish the soul and inspire faithful engagement in the world.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies from Millsaps College, a Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and a Juris Masters in Human Rights from Emory School of Law.
Prior to her appointment at SMU in October 2020, she served as the associate dean of the chapel and religious life at Emory University for eight years, college chaplain at Millsaps College for three years and held two appointments on the staff of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Lisa serves on the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society. She previously served on the Board of Trustees at Millsaps College, the Georgia Prison Ministry Board, and the local advisory board for AID Atlanta.
The Reverend Dr. Veronica Davis
Associate Chaplain to the University
The Reverend Dr. Veronica (Roni) Davis received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from SMU. She completed her B.A. in Political Science and her B.B.A in Business Management in 2010 and received her M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology in 2015. She recently finished her Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Development from the University of Texas Arlington in the summer of 2019.
Veronica has been an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, USA since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs, having coffee with friends, and gardening.
Sungman (Tyler) Kim, M. Ed.
As the coordinator of the Chaplain's office, Sungman (Tyler) Kim works closely with the Cooper-McElvaney Fellows to guide and mentor their social-justice research projects. He oversee the logistics and work on development opportunities of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage and lastly, facilitate a weekly cultural discussion through the Tea Connection program, which aims to foster a welcoming environment and to increase intercultural competence.
Tyler, received his M.Ed in Higher Education Policy and Leadership from the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development in the summer of 2018 and is excited to be able to continue to work in the lovely campus of SMU. As of Fall 2020, Tyler started his doctoral studies and is pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Educaton and Leadership.
Tyler grew up as a missionary kid living in the Philippines for over 18 years and went back to his home country South Korea to get his bachelors degree in political science from Sogang University. Personally, Tyler identifies as a, 'Third Culture Kid,' and is passionate about reaching out to other TCKs.
Rabbi Heidi Coretz
Jewish Chaplain to the University
Rabbi Heidi Coretz grew up in South Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Jewish Studies. During her college years, she was an active leader in Hillel and was inspired to pursue the rabbinate. Upon graduation, she began her studies at the Reform Rabbinic Seminary, Hebrew Union College and was ordained as a rabbi in 1995. Heidi has served congregations in Tulsa, Lubbock, Arlington, Longview and Frisco.
Since 2004, she has been the Director of Hillel, the Jewish campus ministry at SMU. Along with her work building Jewish life, she has been active in the broader SMU community, working on many interfaith endeavors and partnering with organizations across lines of difference. Heidi, her husband, Alan, and their daughter, Hannah, enjoy travel, the arts, as well as working to build sacred community and make a difference.
Dr. Bilal Sert
Muslim Chaplain to the University
Dr. Bilal Sert received his doctoral degree from Texas Woman's University in Sociology. His research interests include race, ethnicity, international migration, Muslims in the West, immigrant communities of the US, and identity issues for Muslim youth in the US. Parts of his academic work resulted in a book entitled Turkish Immigrants in the Mainstream of American Life: Theories of International Migration that he published in 2018. He has also authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on international migration, migrant’s adaptation, and sociology of terrorism.
Dr. Sert has an extensive experience in teaching at various institutions and colleges and presented at conferences and seminars. He taught sociology courses at Texas Woman’s University, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and Prairie View A&M University.