About Wakoh Shannon Hickey


Wakoh Shannon Hickey is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Alfred University in New York.

She earned a Ph.D. in Religion & Modernity at
Duke University. Her academic specialties are American religious history; Buddhism in the United States and East Asia; and religion and medicine.

Wakoh also holds an M.A. and an M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion, where she studied Buddhism and Christianity. She earned a B.A. in political science at the University of California Berkeley, where she was a U.C. Regents Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

She is co-editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal Buddhist-Christian Studies. Before she became an academic, she worked as a journalist, editor, and professional trainer in a variety of settings.

She ordained in 2003 as a priest of Sōtō Zen, which she has practiced since 1983. She worked as a chaplain in three hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, and from 2004-2007 served as the Buddhist chaplain for Duke University and Medical Center. The Buddhist name Wakoh, which she received at ordination, means “Harmony and Happiness.” (和幸)

Wakoh is also a joyful InterPlayer.

Contact Information:

Alfred University Division of Human Studies

1 Saxon Drive

Alfred, NY 14802

(607) 871-2704

wakoh@alfred.edu or


Photo by Sandra Chandler: