First UU Houston Staff
MINISTERS & STAFF
Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen
An award winning preacher, scholar and social justice organizer, he has served the congregation since 2018 when he arrived in August as Intern Senior Minister. Since August 2020 he has served as the congregation’s Developmental Senior Minister (through September 2025).
From February 2022 to January 2023, he was a Community Stories Fellow with the Crossroads Project, affiliated with Princeton University’s Center for Culture, Society, and Religion. Prior to that, from 2018 to 2020, he was an African American Religious Studies Forum Affiliate with Rice University’s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning.
His MDiv. is from Meadville Lombard Theological School. He has a PhD in American Studies and an AM in History from Harvard University where he wrote a dissertation on the relationship between theology and populism. He completed my undergraduate studies at Denison University.
He has offered sermons, led workshops, and presented my research to over one hundred congregations, academic institutions and conferences, art museums, and community organizations throughout North America and Europe including: Harvard Memorial Church, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Rice University, Rothko Chapel, the Confederación General de Trabajo (Spain), the Industrial Workers of the World (Centennial Conference), L’Association française d’Etudes Américaines (France), and Starr King School for the Ministry. He has taught at Meadville Lombard Theological School and at the Pre-College program of Harvard College.
He is the author or co-author of two religious education curriculums and over three dozen published essays, articles, book chapters and poems. Portions of his work has been translated into Danish and Spanish and has appeared in scholarly journals and other venues such as: the Houston Chronicle; UU World; Religion, Politics, and Ideology; the Industrial Worker; Sightings; and KATALOG—Journal of Photography and Video.
He is currently working on two books. The first is on the varieties of populism in the United States. The second is an overview of contemporary Unitarian Universalist theology. In the spring of 2019 he gave the Minns lectures on Unitarian Universalism and American Populism.
Read Colin's Blog
Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life
Rev. Scott came to the First UU Church of Houston to serve as Assistant Minister. Scott served as Sabbatical Minister at his home church, the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and completed his Ministerial Internship at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. Scott graduated in 2016 with his Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School.
Director of Religious Community
Carol leads our Children’s and Youth religious education and our Adult Program opportunities with a talented and devoted group of volunteers. She loves working with our church community of all ages, from baby to elder. As music is one of her passions, Carol shares her musical talents in our worship services and in our online group meetings (RE with families group and String Band). You will find Carol gathering people together to take action on issues of urgent concern, such as our climate crisis, safety for upcoming elections and protection of our democratic processes.
Tawanna Grice, M.B.A.
Director of Finance and Operations
After an extensive career and experience in top financial and accounting management, Tawanna joined us to direct our finance and facilities departments. She graduated with an MBA from Texas Women's University, serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at First Unitarian Universalist Church, and she is also a board member at a local credit union association.
Dr. Jolie Rocke
Director of Music
A soprano and native New Yorker, Rocke is renowned for sharing the gift of song across the world. For more than thirty years served as a music teacher, program director, arts curriculum specialist, and consultant in Connecticut and Texas In 2014, she was honored with the Amistad Center for Art & Culture Spirit of Juneteenth Award. A Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame 2012 Honoree, Rocke received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Early Childhood Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.
Margarita Arevalo has over 20 years of project management experience working in the construction industry in Houston. As a Houstonian by birth and Aggie by choice, she spends her time volunteering in the community with many organizations and supports Aggie events near and far. She obtained two Bachelor's of Science degrees at Texas A&M University and a MBA at Prairie View A&M University.
AV & Communications Coordinator
Christian spent 20 years teaching middle school and high school theatre, as well as speech, dance, and broadcast journalism. He joined the church in 2019 and has expertly led our online video production. Christian was a performer in the local theater and contemporary dance communities. He is married and has two children.
Born and raised in Houston by hard-working immigrant parents from Mexico, Gaspar has always been fascinated with different cultures and the search for truth. Right out of highschool, he did missionary work in Mexico and Washington DC, afterwards getting his Bachelor's in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Gaspar is an avid bookworm, a lover of movies, an amateur musician, and at all times a deep thinker. His motto in life is "infinitum qua finitum", "the infinite rather than the finite".
Chelsea de Souza
Chelsea de Souza is a Steinway Young Artist equally at home in the worlds of traditional and new music. She has appeared in concert as a soloist and chamber musician across the US, Belgium, France, Germany and India, and performed live on NBC TV and Kansas Public Radio. Growing up in Mumbai, India, Chelsea’s musical roots were grounded in a blend of western classical and popular styles, and she brings this diversity of musical experience and interests to the music of First Unitarian Universalist Church. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Politics and in Piano Performance and Vocal Accompanying from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a Master’s degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. She is now pursuing her doctorate at the Shepherd School of Rice University, while performing as a Young Artist Fellow with the DACAMERA Chamber Music and Jazz Series in Houston.
Cymphoni Pringle attended the University of Houston for a while. She majored in cello performance and minored in composition. In addition to formal training, Cymphoni has worked with many musicians of various statuses and has happily received wisdom and guidance from them. The professors of “The School of Hard Knox,” as she puts it.
Cymphoni has accomplished quite a few things from performing with well renowned ensembles such as The Color of Music Festival and the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, to officially becoming an international musician after performing with the Tarragon Theater in Canada! But more recently, she has orchestrated an entire Rap concert (rap artists and orchestra) and in 2022 became a fiscally sponsored artist!
Cheryl D. Rivers
Cheryl serves as the part-time Bookkeeper and provides support to the Business Administrator in managing the church’s financial affairs. She has over 25 years of experience in financial management with several faith-based and non-profit organizations. Cheryl embraces the First UU Church culture because it promotes diversity and equitable living for all.