Lilly Graduate Fellows - Fifth Cohort


Luca M. Battaglia received his B.A. in Classics and Theology from Seton Hall University in 2012.  This fall he will begin the M.A./Ph.D. program in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America.  His main interests are metaphysics and virtue ethics, with particular attention to the philosophical insights of both ancient and medieval philosophers.  He is also interested in phenomenology and the philosophical thought of Karol Wojtyła, later Pope John Paul II.

Sarah Berry is a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Connecticut, with a BA from Baylor University and MA from Boston College. She studies twentieth-century literature, especially poetry and drama, with special attention to the ways that poetic and dramatic genres overlap. She has published work in Literature Film Quarterly and the Irish Literary Supplement. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Voice in Twentieth-Century Verse Drama,” is a comparative genre study that considers the political implications of formal techniques used in verse plays from England, Ireland, Nigeria, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Nicole Bouchard received her Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Mathematics from Northwest Nazarene University in 2012.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in English literature at Baylor University.  Nicole’s areas of interest include Victorian literature and composition pedagogy, and her dissertation project explores representations of malady and madness in nineteenth century literature.

B. Kevin Brown is a doctoral candidate in Systematic Theology at Boston College. Previously, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Theological Studies in 2008 and a Master’s Degree in Theology in 2011, from Loyola Marymount University. Kevin’s dissertation explores the contributions the work of Sandra Schneiders makes to contemporary Catholic ecclesiology and the implications of her work for Christian discipleship and the church’s social mission in the world. His research also includes projects in ecclesiology, ecumenism, methods of dialogue, the theology of Jon Sobrino, ministerial religious life, and emerging theologies of ministry and order. Kevin’s work has been published in Visions of Hope: Emerging Theologians and the Future of the Church (Orbis 2013) and the National Catholic Reporter. From 2012 to 2015, he was a Lilly Graduate Fellow in Humanities and the Arts. Additionally, he has served on the planning teams for several national and international conferences including Catholic Ecclesiology in the Third Millennium: A Symposium Honoring Thomas O’Meara, Our Common Home: An Ethical Summons to Tackle Climate Change, and the 2016 Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Laura Carlson received a BA in English Literature from Gordon College (Massachusetts) in 2008 and a MDiv (2011) and STM (2012) from Yale Divinity School.  She is in the fifth year of her doctoral program in Hebrew Bible at Yale University, where she is writing a dissertation on the relationship among archival practices, communal post-traumatic recovery, and the writing of history in the books of Ezra-Nehemiah. 

Lauren Eriks Cline is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. She works on drama and performance, especially performance historiography and Shakespeare performance studies. Her dissertation develops a new method for reading first-person accounts written by theatrical spectators in conversation with representations of performance in realist novels.

Jessica Lauren Criales is a PhD candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She studies colonial Latin American and early American (US) history, focusing on questions of conversion, evangelization, and religion among indigenous groups. Her dissertation analyzes the efforts of Christian indigenous peoples to create spaces that were exclusively indigenous as well as fully Christian. She has taught courses in colonial Latin American history as well as the US 1 survey course, and has a BA in History from the University of Notre Dame (2008, magna cum laude) and a Master’s in Spanish and Latin American Linguistic, Cultural, & Literary Studies from NYU (2012). She lives with her husband and son in Chicago.

Lauren Dodds is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include the history of collection and display, museum studies, and early modern Italian art. Her dissertation, “Collecting the Renaissance: The Samuel H. Kress Collection of Italian Art, 1920-1961” examines how the Kress Collection’s formation represented new approaches to collecting the past, the Kress Foundation’s gifts contributed to the development of mid-century American museum practices, and how the creation and dispersal of this focused collection re-inscribed the centrality of the Italian Renaissance in American cultural institutions. Prior to beginning the PhD program at USC, Lauren interned at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and gained experience at the Dallas Museum of Art, Frederick R. Weisman Museum in Malibu, and Getty Museum. She graduated summa cum laude from Pepperdine University in 2008 and received her MA in art history at Southern Methodist University in 2011. 

Kristin George Bagdanov received her MFA in poetry at Colorado State University. She is currently a student in the PhD English literature program at U.C. Davis. Her current research interests include 20th century American poetry, ecopoetics, lyric theory, and new materialisms. Her poetry can be found in The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review and other journals. She is the poetry editor of Ruminate Magazinewww.kristingeorgebagdanov.com

Josh Hasler earned a BA in philosophy from Gordon College in 2009 and a MTS in theology from Boston University in 2011. His doctoral research at Boston University is on religious rhetorical techniques in American literature in general, and apophatic language in the novels of Cormac McCarthy in particular. He’s from Colorado.

Gabrielle Hovendon  is a PhD student in English with a creative dissertation at the University of Georgia. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including The Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, Southwest Review, Redivider, VERSE, and Ninth Letter. She has recently been the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center fellowship and a Richard Devine Fellowship. Her work, which includes short stories, hybrid pieces, and novels, aims to present alternative modes of femininity and to interrogate and subvert traditional social narratives. Her dissertation is a polyphonic novel about the lives of two 19th-century mathematicians.

Karen Kovaka received her Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Environmental Geoscience from Boston College in 2012.  She is completing a PhD in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research areas are philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, and environmental ethics and policy.  In the philosophy of biology, she is interested in the foundational concepts and processes of evolution, particularly in debates about the concepts of inheritance and biological individuality. She also studies the interface between science, science policy, and public understanding of science, including how public opinion about environmental issues such as climate change may be sensitive to widespread misconceptions about the nature of science.

Stephen Margheim studied Greek, Latin, and Philosophy as an undergraduate at Baylor University. Upon completion of his BA, he attended the University of Pennsylvania to pursue his Master’s in Classical Studies. With his Master’s firmly in hand, Stephen now reads and writes a few new languages; as a software developer he now builds web apps professionally.

Michael Spory is a design professional and educator based in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Michael is a 2011 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, where he received his BA in Art, Photography, and Communications. He received his Master’s of Architecture in 2015 from the College of Design at Iowa State University. A practicing architect, Michael currently works professionally as a designer of learning environments for the international AE firm Stantec, while also maintaining a small freelance photography and design business. Michael has served as an assistant professor of art at Eastern Mennonite University, teaching courses in design, photography, communications, and new media, along with previously teaching design studios at Iowa State University and professional experience in marketing, sales, communications, and business operations. His interdisciplinary research and practice focuses on integrated systems, design thinking as a catalyst for community and economic transformation, and design methodology for peacebuilding and resilience.

Jordan Taylor is a PhD student in history at Indiana University–Bloomington, where he is completing a dissertation about the politics of information in early America during the Age of Revolution. He received his received a BA in History from the University of Dayton in 2012. He is also currently Digital Projects Editor at the Journal of American History.

Elizabeth D. Wilhoit received her PhD in communication from Purdue University in 2015. She is an assistant professor at Auburn University. Her research focuses on materiality and non-human agency in organizations and organizing, exploring the role of bodies, spaces, and objects in formal and informal organizations. She also studies women’s careers and leadership. Elizabeth teaches on organizational communication topics including small group communication, leadership, and creativity. Her research has been published in outlets including Organization StudiesCommunication Yearbook, and Gender, Work & Organization.

Mentors, Fifth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Lisa DeBoer teaches the History of Art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Her areas of interest include early modern print culture and the uses of the visual arts in Christian worship. She is the author of “The Sidelong Glance: Battlefield Emotions in the Art of the 17th century Dutch Republic,” in Battlefield Emotions 1500-1850: Practices, Experience, Imagination, Eds. Erika Kuipers and Cornelis van der Haven (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017), and The Visual Arts in the Worshiping Church (Eerdmans, 2016).

Father Michael Patella. OSB  is a professor of New Testament and teaches in both the undergraduate theology department and the graduate School of Theology and Seminary at Saint John’s University, where he serves as seminary rector and the director of the graduate school’s Holy Land Studies Program.  He earned a License in Sacred Scripture from Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute and a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the École biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem.  He has published in the areas of Luke, Mark, Paul, angels, and demons, and also has written for The Bible Today and Give Us This Day. His most recent book, Word and Image: the Hermeneutics of The Saint John’s Bible, the fruit of his work as chair of the Committee on Illumination and Texts for The Saint John’s Bible, won the Catholic Press Association’s award in Biblical-Academic.  Fr. Michael is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association.

Noteworthy News

Announcing the Winner and Finalists of the 2016 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction

We are happy to announce the winner and finalists of the 2016 Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction.  Please click here.


February LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for February, 2017 is now available. Click here.


National Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.


Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

The LFP is now sponsoring a new blog, Exiles from Eden.  Go check it out!