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Meet the Staff of Channing-Murray Foundation


Emily McKown, Executive Director

Emily McKown currently works as the Youth Coordinator at Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign, and she is thrilled to continue her work as a U.U. She was the first baby born into the Dakota U.U. Church in Burnsville, MN, where she attended each week, and as a young adult she taught Religious Education. Emily completed her first bachelor’s degree at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she studied social pedagogy and political economics. Her Evergreen experience bolstered her resolve for social justice, and one of the biggest issues for her was dismantling mass incarceration. During and after college Emily managed an organic bakery all the while writing and performing her own music. Emily moved to Urbana in 2018 and worked for the Cunningham Township piloting their garden program. Emily continues to invest in the local folk music scene with her own music and lifting up others on the booking committee of the Folk and Roots Music Festival. She is very happy to call Urbana home.

Rohn Koester, Facilities Manager

Rohn Koester serves as the Facilities Manager of Channing-Murray Foundation and is in charge of the overall care and maintenance of the building. He is a writer, artist, and activist who coordinates Education Justice Radio, teaches adult literacy through Project READ, and serves as an educator for student inmates at the Danville Correctional Center and Champaign County Jail teaching writing and GED. He is currently composing artistic projects with the School for Designing a Society. 


Sam Schnelle, Operational Manager

Sam Schnelle is Channing-Murray's Operational Manager and maintains in-person programs such as the food pantry and various events of the arts, as well as off-site service projects for various CMF partnerships. Sam obtained her Bachelor's degree in Music Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her passion for activism, music, and the arts in general, motivate her to utilize her artistic abilities and marketing skills to communicate justice and equality.