Lilly Graduate Fellows - The Eighth Cohort


Chelsea Chamberlain received her BA in history from Whitworth University in 2012, an MA in history from the University of Montana in 2015, and is currently pursuing a PhD in US history at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in questions of state power, bureaucratic democracy, and categories of impairment/disability. Her research focuses on changing medico-cultural strategies for identifying and segregating individuals with perceived moral and mental defects in the long Progressive Era (about 1870-1930).

Cara Christenberry received her BA in history with a minor in classical studies from Grove City College in 2015. In fall, 2015, she will enter the University of Chicago's Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department to pursue a PhD in ancient Near Eastern history. Her primary research interest is the history of Sasanian Iran. She plans to study the development of political culture in this last pre-Islamic Persian Empire and hopes to help reincorporate its history into the larger context of the late antique world.

Sidney Christman received her BA in classics with a history minor in 2013 from Loyola University Maryland. She received her MA in Greek in 2015 from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and she will continue her doctoral studies in Classical Philology in fall, 2015, at the University of Virginia. Her primary research interests are Greek epic and archaic poetry, particularly Homer, the Homeric Hymns, and Sappho. Working within this time period and genre of literature, she focuses on motifs of mirth and humor, as well as themes of gender, sexuality, and power.

Nathan Cornelius received his BMus in guitar performance from Bethel University in 2012 and his MM, with a dual concentration in composition and guitar performance, from the University of Denver in 2015. He is currently pursuing a DMA degree in guitar performance, concurrently with an MM in music theory pedagogy, at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. His performances and research focus on classical guitar music since the mid-twentieth century and how it reflects modern and postmodern cultural conceptions of time and memory. He also seeks new ways to express such ideas and beliefs in music through his work as a composer and a music theorist.

John-Paul M. Heil received his BA in history, Italian studies, and philosophy from Mount St. Mary's University in 2015. In the fall, 2015, he will attend the University of Chicago to pursue a PhD in history. He studies late Italian Renaissance history with a focus on the political and intellectual spheres in Florence during the sixteenth century.

Sarah Horton received her BA in philosophy from Grove City College in 2015. In the fall of 2015, she will enter Boston College’s PhD program in philosophy. She will focus on 20th-century French thought, especially phenomenology, which interests her because of its emphasis on concrete human existence in the world. She is particularly interested in the implications of 20th-century French philosophy for ethics.

Camille Kennedy received her BA in philosophy and French in 2013 from the University of Dallas. She is currently pursuing an MA in philosophy from the University of Dallas and will be starting the MA/PhD in French at Rutgers University in the fall of 2015. Her interests include philosophy of language, particularly in the continental tradition, and theories of translation.

Xavier M. Montecel received his BA in theology and philosophy, with a minor in medieval studies, from Fordham University in 2012. He completed a MA in Ethics and Society at Fordham during the following year. In 2015, he graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a MTS, concentrating in Religion, Ethics, and Politics. Xavier is pursuing his doctoral education and professional formation as a Flatley Fellow in Theological Ethics and Presidential Scholar at Boston College. His primary research interests concern the intersection of sacramental theology and Christian ethics, and in particular how sacramental and liturgical practices condition moral subjectivity and shape Christian identity. He wishes also to consider how a renewed theology of the sacraments as ethical actions can support and sustain a Christian commitment to ecumenism, ecological responsibility, and liturgical reform.

Chase Padusniak received a BA in English with a minor in medieval studies from the College of the Holy Cross in 2015. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in English at Princeton University, where he specializes in medieval literature with an emphasis on the intersections among modern and post-modern philosophy and late-medieval English poetry, prose, and mystical theology. Chase has a particular interest in exploring and criticizing the idea of "modernity" through the lens of pre- and post-modern thought. Through his work, he hopes to develop a more robust understanding of what it means to be "medieval" or "modern," especially as regards the ontological value of technology.

Nathan Smolin received a BA in classical studies from Samford University in 2015. He is continuing his education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill by pursuing a PhD in classical studies beginning in the fall of 2015. There he aims to study early Christian engagement with Greco-Roman philosophy and religion within the periods of the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity. More generally, he considers himself a student of the Catholic intellectual tradition in all periods, with a special emphasis on areas of cultural and intellectual contact.

Mentors, Eighth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Patrick H. Byrne is currently Professor and formerly Chairperson of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the founder and first Director of the Boston College PULSE Program for Service Learning, and is a continuing teacher in the Program. He was Senior Lilly Fellow (1995-96) as well as National Network Board Member for the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts. His teaching and research/publication interests include philosophy of service learning and social justice; the relationships between science, evolution and religion; and the thought of Bernard Lonergan, Albert Einstein, and Aristotle. His recent publications include: “Discernment and Self-Appropriation: Aristotle, St. Paul, Ignatius and Lonergan,” Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education (2014), “The Integral Visions of Teilhard and Lonergan: Science, the Universe, Humanity and God,” Teilhard’s Vision for the 21st Century (2014); “Universal Rights or Personal Relations?” in Christianity and Human Rights: Christians and the Struggle for Global Justice; “Foundations of ‘The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research,” (2008),The Dialogue Between Science and Religion: What We Have Learned from One Another? (2005); “The Good Under Construction and the Research Vocation of a Catholic University,” Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice (2003), Analysis and Science in Aristotle(1997). He has recently completed a manuscript on the ethics of Bernard Lonergan, The Ethics of Discernment: Lonergan’s Foundations for Ethics, and served as a mentor to the Third Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows.

Susan VanZanten is Professor of English at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington. VanZanten holds a B.A. in English from Westmont College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Emory University.  Her academic memoir, Reading a Different Story: A Christian Scholar’s Journey from America to Africa, was published in 2013.  Other books include Literature Through the Eyes of Faith, with Roger Lundin (1989); The Story of South Africa: J.M. Coetzee's Fiction in Context (1991);Postcolonial Literature and the Biblical Call to Justice (1994);Truth and Reconciliation: The Confessional Mode in South African Literature (2002);Mending a Tattered Faith: Devotions with Dickinson (2010); and Joining the Mission: A Guide for (Mainly) New Faculty (2011).  VanZanten has also published numerous peer-reviewed articles and general essays about American literature, African literature, women’s literature, and higher education. At Seattle Pacific University since 1993, she founded the SPU Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development and was its director for ten years, and she has also served on the Lilly Fellows Program National Network Board, as Vice-President of the Conference on Christianity & Literature, and on the Faith/Learning/Living Commission of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.  VanZanten was mentor for the Third Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows.

Noteworthy News

Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship Application Status

Applicants for the 2017-2018 Two-year Residential Postdoctoral Fellowships at Valparaiso University will be contacted regarding the status of their applications in the first or second week of March, 2017.


Call for Nominations for the 2017 Lilly Fellows Program Book Award

We are now accepting nominations for the Seventh Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2017.  The Nomination Deadline is March 1, 2017.  For more information, please click here.


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!