Meet the CPYU Staff

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Walt and Lisa Mueller

Walt Mueller is the founder and President of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding and has been working with young people and families for 31 years. As a result of his work with CPYU, Walt has become an internationally-recognized speaker and author on contemporary youth culture. He has written extensively on youth culture and family issues and is the author of the following books: The Space Between: A Parent's Guide to Teenage Development (Zondervan, 2009); Opie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: Where Faith, Family, and Culture Collide (Standard Publishing, August 2007); Youth Culture 101 (Zondervan, June 2007); I Want to Talk With my Teen About Movies, Music & More (Standard Publishing, September 2006); Engaging The Soul of Youth Culture: Bridging Teen Worldviews To Christian Truth (InterVarsity Press, February 2006); and the critically acclaimed Gold Medallion Award winner, Understanding Today’s Youth Culture (Tyndale House, 1994). He is also a regular contributor to numerous journals and magazines. A graduate of Geneva College (B.A.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Walt earned his doctorate at Gordon-Conwell in “Ministry to Postmodern Generations.” Walt has served in ministry with the Coalition for Christian Outreach and as a youth pastor in churches in Johnstown, PA and Philadelphia. Walt's wife Lisa has served behind the scenes since day one as CPYU’s secretary. A graduate of Geneva College who has a background in radio, Lisa’s voice can be heard on CPYU’s daily Youth Culture Today radio spot. Walt and Lisa live in Elizabethtown and have four children.

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Cliff Frick
(e-mail)

Clifford Frick is CPYU’s Vice President of Administration. Besides handling administrative duties, he also coordinates donor relations, the CPYU speakers bureau, fund raising, all CPYU conferences, training seminars, and events. Cliff has over 20 years experience in non-profit and event management.  Prior to joining CPYU in 1996, he was Director of Communications for a Harrisburg, PA non-profit think tank and previously worked for public policy non-profit organizations in Washington, DC. Cliff received his B.A. in Communications and minor in Political Science from Messiah College. Cliff and his wife, Mary Pat, have two daughters.

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Chris Wagner
(e-mail)

Chris Wagner is the Media and Research Specialist for CPYU. His major focus includes web site management and production of CPYU's Youth Culture e-Update, as well as researching and writing for CPYU’s newsletter and web site. He also plays a role in the production of CPYU’s video resources. Before joining CPYU full-time in January 2004, he served as an intern with CPYU while a student at Geneva College. He previously volunteered as a youth group leader and camp counselor. He received his B.A. in Youth Ministry from Geneva College in December 2003. He and his wife, Beth, live in Elizabethtown, PA and have two sons and a daughter.

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Derek Melleby
(e-mail)

Derek Melleby is the Director of CPYU's College Transition Initiative. This initiative will help college bound high school juniors and seniors, and their parents, successfully make the transition from high school to college. Derek graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2000 with a B.A. in Political Science. While at Bloomsburg, Derek was the president of Athletes in Action, a sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. After graduating, Derek was on staff at the Evangelical Free Church of Hershey through the Coalition for Christian Outreach. In 2004, he completed a M.A. in Higher Education at Geneva College. He is the coauthor of The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness: A Guide for Students (Brazos Press, 2007). His wife, Heidi, is a public high school teacher and they live in Mount Joy, PA. Derek and Heidi have two sons.

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Paul Robertson
(e-mail)

Paul Robertson, an Associate Staff Member of CPYU, makes CPYU presentations across the United States and Canada. Based in Toronto, Canada, Paul currently serves as the Youth Culture Specialist for YOUTH UNLIMITED (formerly Toronto Youth for Christ). He also teaches classes on Youth Culture and Parachurch Youth Ministry at Tyndale College. Paul and his wife, Marg, live outside Toronto.

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Marv Penner

Marv Penner is an Associate Staff member of CPYU. He is an internationally-known author, professor, motivational speaker, and youth ministry expert. He is currently the executive director of All About Youth and oversees the Canadian Center for Adolescent Research, an organization which conducts research on Canadian youth culture. In addition to his teaching, speaking and writing, Marv is a licensed marriage and family counselor specializing in parent/adolescent conflict resolution, sexual abuse recovery, eating disorders and marriage and family issues. He received his MA degree from Grace Seminary in 1985, and his D.Phil degree from Oxford Graduate School in 1993.

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Rich Van Pelt

Rich Van Pelt is the National Director of Ministry Relationships for Compassion International. Rich trains thousands of educators, counselors and youth workers each year in adolescent crisis intervention and teen suicide prevention and response. His expertise springs from more than three decades of youth and family work, including ten years with incarcerated youth in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He has helped kids and parents navigate some of life’s toughest stuff. He is the author of several books including The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Kids in Crisis and A Parent’s Guide to Helping Kids in Crisis.

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David William "Duffy" Robbins

Duffy Robbins is an Associate Staff Member of CPYU. He is the Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania and is a thirty-five year veteran of youth ministry. Duffy speaks around the world to teenagers and people who care about teenagers. Duffy has his D.Min. in Youth and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, and  is the author of numerous books including  Ministry of Nurture, This Way to Youth Ministry: An Introduction to the Adventure, Speaking to Teenagers (which he co-wrote with Doug Fields), Youth Ministry Nuts and Bolts and Enjoy the Silence (which he co-wrote with a wonderful girl named Maggie Robbins that he married 35 years ago).

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Amy Flavin

Amy Flavin is an Associate Staff member of CPYU. Amy is a therapist in New Jersey with over 16 years experience having worked extensively with adolescents and families. She is also an adjunct professor at Nyack College in Manhattan. She teaches Adolescent Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, Child Psychology and Family Counseling. Amy received her MS in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is a Member of the American Psychotherapy Association and a Board Certified Professional Counselor.

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Jason Soucinek

Jason Soucinek is an Associate Staff Member of CPYU. He is also the Executive Director and Founder of Project Six19, a nonprofit ministry dedicated to talking honestly about matters of sexual integrity. He loves to engage his audiences “where-they-are” and approaches God’s design for sex with relevancy and creativity. Recognized for his contributions and work with all ages and groups, he is a regular seminar and conference speaker. He has also written articles on issues surrounding sexuality for multiple magazines and news outlets.

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John Fischer

John Fischer is an Associate Staff Member of CPYU. His books Fearless Faith and Finding God Where You Least Expect Him have helped shape our worldview at CPYU and continue to be at the top of CPYU's suggested reading list. John's career spans over thirty-five years of distinctive ministry, first as a singer/songwriter, recording artist and pioneer of Jesus Music, then as a best-selling author, and currently as a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, churches and colleges/universities nationally. John's body of work includes 12 albums, 15 books, and numerous articles for a variety of publications. John graduated from Wheaton College, Illinois.