Navigator Staff


Peter Trautmann
NYC Collegiate Director

Peter is a graduate of NYU and has received his Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary . He joined the staff of The Navigators so that he could provide others the same kind of authentic community that was so transformative for him in his college years. He loves John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 


Brendan and Rachel Mahar
NYU Campus Director

Brendan and Rachel have been married since 2012, and both have been involved with The Navigators since their freshmen year of college.  Brendan grew up across the US, London, and Australia and graduated from Marymount Manhattan in 2011.  Rachel is from Newport Beach, California and graduated from NYU in 2012.  Their passions include art, history, philosophy, and Settlers of Catan.



Jared and Jana Parsons
NYU Tandon Campus Directors

Jared and Jana are high school sweethearts who met in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Due to the deep, personal investment they received in college they decided to join staff with The Navigators 6 years ago. They served at Iowa State University for 5 years and loved helping students there learn to be disciples of Jesus who make other disciples. They recently moved to NYC to be the campus directors for The Navigators at NYU Tandon! Their interests include exploring New York City, studying the Bible, and watching cat videos.


Leann Sebald
Associate Campus Director

Leann is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, where her study focused on dance, biology and psychology. She was involved in the Christian Fellowship at Marymount and NYU throughout her college years. Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania, she found a new home in the city through the loving community that exists within The Navigators. Serving on staff with The Navigators at NYU, Leann hopes to come alongside students and support them as they transition and grow during their time in school. 

Sarah Esselborn
Staff in Training


Sarah first met The Navigators as a freshman at Boston University in 2010. While she pursued a degree in human physiology tracking towards medical school, God greatly used The Navigators community at BU along with her mentor, Becca, to deepen her walk with God. In her 3rd year at BU, God made it clear that she was to “pause” going to medical school immediately after university, which opened the door for her to join staff with the Navigators upon graduation in 2014. Sarah spent her first 2 years on staff with The Navigators in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and then the next 2 years serving at Boston University. It is with great joy that Sarah now joins the New York University staff team. Sarah is passionate about investing in and equipping the next generation of leaders to share the gospel in their own countries and contexts. 

Benjamin Ness
Staff Intern


Ben loves adventure, but not as much as he loves people and seeing them live a full life. Ben grew up trying to figure out what it meant to have that full life, and found that with the help of his Christian mentors. It his my joy to be able to do that for others now. A fun fact about Ben is that he once gained 14 pounds in 20 hours. Two random things that I love to do when I get the chance are skydiving and downhill skiing.

Cydney Swain
Staff Intern


Cydney is a recent graduate of Florida State University, where she studied International Affairs and Social Work. When she got involved with The Navigators in college, she started to study the Bible more deeply and came to understand the true message of Christ’s love and understand having a personal relationship with Jesus in a whole new way. Cydney comes from a small Georgia town, but upon visiting New York City the summer of 2017 she fell in love with the city and dreamed of coming back after graduation and to walk alongside students and help them experience the love of Jesus that she has experienced for herself. She brings her love of college football, all things Florida State University, and warm weather with her from the south to the big city.

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