Our Team

We are a group of staff members and volunteers dedicated to serving the students of The University of Arkansas and making the name of Jesus known!

Austin and Amanda Olinger

Campus Directors

In John 10:10 Jesus says “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Austin and Amanda experienced this in many ways throughout their college experience. Through one-to-one discipleship, daily Bible reading, and watching peers follow Jesus in authentic ways, they realized that true life was found only in Jesus. This continues to be their aim each day, to help college students see and experience the life that only Jesus can bring. Austin and Amanda grew up in Kansas and went to Emporia State University where they first met and got married. They then moved to Denver to attend Denver Seminary before joining the Navigators at Kansas State and now serving as the Campus Directors at the University of Arkansas since 2015.

austin.olinger@navigators.org amanda.olinger@navigators.org

Joy Meekins

Navigator Staff

Inspired by the words of Jesus in Luke 12:48, Joy has a desire to make Jesus and the Bible come to life with others. She has been on staff with The Navigators since 2004, and has specifically been serving on the University of Arkansas campus since 2006. She loves hanging out, listening to audiobooks, and going on adventures both near and far. A fun fact about Joy is that she can say the 50 states in alphabetical order, and of those states she has visited 48!


Ellen Tate

Navigator Staff

Ellen joined The Navigators staff in 2018 and came to the University of Arkansas in 2020. During her time in college, Ellen developed a desire to help the next generation know and follow Jesus. This led her to go on staff with The Navigators, where she has the privilege of mentoring college women as they discover the Gospel. In her free time, Ellen likes to hang out with her husband Carter, her friends, and cook. What you may not know about Ellen is that she was the regional spelling bee champ for 5 years straight! She would love to get tacos or coffee with you!


Ashley Cain

Navigator Staff

Ashley is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas. Her time in college was filled with God-centered community and spiritual growth that let her to begin serving with the Navigators at her alma mater in 2020. Her hobbies include painting, video games, and curling up with her cat Dorian while watching YouTube. Other than Jesus, Swedish Fish and rootbeer are the fastest ways to her heart, and she is absolutely always down for a good game night.


Kenna Bohannon

Navigator Staff

Kenna recently graduated from the University of Arkansas, where she joined The Navigators in 2018. The Navigators had an immense impact on her personal spiritual journey, and through the Navs, God developed in her a desire to show the love of God to college women. Because of this love, Kenna was led to join staff in 2021. Kenna loves cheesy rom-coms, buying books, and going to Goodwill. You can usually find her wearing Chacos year-round, and she is always down for a chocolate milkshake and a fun-filled game night!


Michael and Amanda Torres

Navigator Staff

While Michael and Amanda were in college, God used life-to-life discipleship to help them grasp that He could use their ordinary lives to advance His Kingdom.  Their desire to see the Lord do the same transformative work in students’ lives through the gospel led them to join staff and continue His work on college campuses. They have served at Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, and have now joined the team at the University of Arkansas. In their free time, you’ll find Michael playing all the sports, Amanda doing artsy-craftsy-nifty projects, and both of them attempting to take their beagle for a walk and beating their friends in game nights.

michael.torres@navigators.org amanda.torres@navigators.org

Jacob and Claire Cheatham

Navigator Staff

Jacob and Claire got married in March 2020 and moved to Fayetteville shortly after. They practically live on the trail and love to find the next adventure, whether it is a hike or a new restaurant to try. They both love to read while cuddling their dog, Pepper. Jacob has been on staff since 2018, and Claire joined in 2020. Jacob has a passionate love (obsession) for coffee, and Claire may or may not believe that Bigfoot exists.

jacob.cheatham@navigators.org claire.cheatham@navigators.org

Michael and Jill Ellenbarger

Associate Navigator Staff

Michael has been on staff with The Navigators since 2008. He attended the U of A in the early 2000s and was blessed to be one of the students involved when the Nav ministry was restarted here! Dr. Jill got her doctorate in Chemistry and a husband from her time at Texas A&M. They are both passionate about engaging with eternal things, and they see discipleship as of the utmost importance. They are stoked to host events and trips for students!


Bart and Karen Brown

Associate Navigator Staff

Bart and Karen met The Navigators as freshmen in the late 1970’s at the University of Arkansas. As young believers, they were helped greatly in learning the basics of the Christian life. Through their involvement, they established life-long friendships and gained purpose in their lives: to know Christ and to make Him known. The Browns have stayed involved with Navigators in community and collegiate ministries throughout their 40 years of marriage while running a small business. Their family life and service in the local church have been enhanced by experience with Navs.