Associate Director of Operations
Associate Director for Programming
A native of Brazil, João brings to the HTI team a unique combination of experiences in the church, academia, and business world. Over the last two decades, he planted and led churches, taught college classes, and managed businesses in the hospitality, food, and construction industries. João holds a Ph.D. in religion from Baylor University, and is the author of four books and several peer-reviewed articles. In addition, João currently serves as the Unit Chair for Latinx Religions at the AAR Southwest, as co-director of the Baptist Scholars International Roundtable, and as a member of the Commission on Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice of the Baptist World Alliance, 2020-2025 Quinquennium. He is co-editor of the Perspectives on Baptist Identities Series, published by Mercer University Press.
Vanessa Ríos Valentin
Assistant Director of Programming
Vanessa Ríos Valentín is a Humanist Chaplain & Celebrant with over two decades of experience as an educator, conference speaker, and training instructor. Additionally, she has worked as a hospice chaplain as well as a crisis counselor. Vanessa received her B.A. in psychology from Montclair State University; M.Div. with specialization in Chaplaincy from Claremont School of Theology; and is currently a Ph.D. student in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her research work is on religious trauma and indigenous Taíno culture. Vanessa aspires to carry out HTI’s mission of cultivating Latinx leadership with a holistic approach in the areas of community, education, and mental health.
Suzette Aloyo, a descendent of Puerto Rican parents, grew up in the Bronx, New York. The majority of Suzette’s career was spent in the legal field. First as a paralegal in corporations then 13 years in a prominent NY law firm working on trusts & estates, corporate and labor law. Moving to the Princeton area in 2000, Suzette has been aware and a part of the Princeton Theological Seminary community through her husband, Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr. Over the past seventeen years, Suzette has also served as administrative assistant and office manager at a couple of area organizations. She looks forward to bringing to HTI her talents and skill set to further the objectives of the program.
Database Research Assistant
Noreen Santos, who is Puerto Rican, was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Graduating with a BS in Business Administration, Noreen worked as a programmer/analyst, 13 years in NYC’s Financial District. Always involved in church from young, she accepted God’s calling on her life to enter Princeton Theological Seminary obtaining her MDiv in ’02. Afterward, she served the Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer of East Brooklyn as pastor for 16 years. As the church experience ended, seeking God’s guidance brought her back to familiar ground, Hispanic Theological Seminary where she worked as a student aide while enrolled at PTS. She looks forward to working with the HTI in meeting their goals.
Miluska (Milly) Silencio
Miluska (Milly) Silencio is many things. As an educator, a spiritual advisor, a mentor, and a Dreamer – among so much else – Milly supports her community with a unique passion and vibrancy. Her current professional experience includes being a former higher education administrator, currently serving as a licensed clergy with the Evangelical Covenant Church and as the founder of Hoping Greatly, where she uplifts others through her story of resilience as an undocumented immigrant. She holds degrees from Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary and Hunter College, and is on the road to ordination.
Carlos is a senior MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a Chicano California native born and raised in the Harbor Region of Los Angeles County. In 2018, he earned his BA in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Carlos considers himself a budding biblical scholar whose research interests are influenced by his faith-shattering and faith-edifying experiences in the academy. Wanting to teach in Christian higher education and publish in his field, Carlos is intent on pursuing a PhD in biblical studies. Upon graduating at the end of the 2021/22 academic year, Carlos hopes to return to PTS as a ThM candidate.
Amanda Calderon is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Being born and raised in Philadelphia PA, Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Temple University. She has loved being part of the HTI family this past year and hopes to work in education in the Latinx Community.
Isabel is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She comes from Reading, Pennsylvania and graduated from Messiah University with a bachelor’s in Biblical and Religious Studies and English. Prior to working as a student aide, Isabel worked with HTI during the Professional Development Conference for several years. Her connection to the HTI staff solidified her decision to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. Isabel hopes to contribute to empowering the Latinx community through her work at HTI.
Johanna Romano Matos
Johanna Romano Matos is a first-year M.Div. student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She was born in New Brunswick NJ, however, raised in Somerset, NJ. Johanna obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Kean University. Although she is an entering student, she has grown a strong bond with the HTI department and is looking forward to working with HTI for the following years of her M.Div. program.
Mavet Sarai Mendez
Mavet Sarai Mendez is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She was raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and is of Guatemalan descent. Sarai received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Kean University and is hoping to work in the mental health field within the Latines community. Sarai’s faith is integral to her vocational and ministry formation as a long-standing leader within the life of the church. Sarai enjoys being a part of the HTI familia and is excited to learn more about her community and the different ways in which Latines voices are being used.