Lilly Graduate Fellows - First Cohort


Kristen Bergman Waha is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. She received her B.A. in English from Westmont College in 2006. Kristen specializes in nineteenth-century British, French, and colonial Indian literatures in Tamil and English. Her dissertation project focuses on women’s religious conversion narratives in British Victorian and colonial Indian novels and autobiographies, arguing that increasing educational opportunities allow women converts to act as cultural translators between religious and cultural communities in colonial and metropolitan areas. Her second project examines translations of Indian texts and their reception in the nineteenth-century British and French press.

Susan Bilynskyj Dunning received her BA in Classics and Linguistics in 2008 from Seattle Pacific University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Classics at the University of Toronto, where she received her MA in 2010. Susan's specialization is in Roman Religion; her dissertation will examine the history and development of the Ludi Saeculares (Secular Games) from the Republic to the Empire. She is also interested in Roman and Greek hymns and prayers, early Christian liturgy, and Indo-European linguistics.

Bethany Carlson (MFA, Indiana University, 2012) is an MDiv candidate in the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale Divinity School. She is interested in exploring manifestations of the sacred in poetry and religious texts, and, more specifically, how words and the interstices among them can gesture at redemptive truth while providing a new space for critical thought in the art and faith dialogue.

Ian Corbin received his Bachelors Degree in 2006 from Gordon College and his Masters degree in Theology from Yale Divinity School in 2008. This fall Ian is entering the philosophy department at Boston College, intending to study the philosophy of politics and art, with an eye to understanding how politics and art interact and shape each other.

Kirstin Hasler Brathwaite received her Bachelors Degree in 2007 from Gordon College, a Masters Degree from Queens University Belfast in 2008, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. Kirstin specializes in international relations, especially the role of ideas and identity in violent conflict. Her dissertation, Symbols and Sacrifice: The Role of Nationalism in Combat Effectiveness, addressed the question of why some militaries are more effective in combat than others. Kirstin is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at James Madison College, Michigan State University.

Nathan Kilpatrick received his Bachelor's degree in 2006 from Azusa Pacific University and went on to graduate work at Baylor University, where he completed his Ph.D. in literature and religion in 2014. His dissertation, entitled Personalism and Popular Genres: American Catholic Fiction after Vatican II, is currently under consideration as a monograph. He is currently underway on a second project, an examination of the relationship between the Gothic and the domestic in contemporary American women writers from the Puritan tradition. His existing scholarship has appeared in Religion and LiteratureLiterature and Belief, and Logos. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Angela Heetderks is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Oberlin College. She received her B.A. and B.M. from Wheaton College in Illinois (2006) and completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan (2014). Her book project, Fools' Play: Performing Cognitive Disability in Premodern English Literature, argues that the early English literary fool serves as an avatar for cultural concerns about the frailty of cognitive ability. Her second project examines the five senses in trans-Reformational English literature.

Jessica Morton received her Bachelors Degree in 2008 from the University of Notre Dame. Morton will be entering the PhD program in English Language and Literature in the fall at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. She plans to study late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and Irish literature, with an interest in nation, war, and terror.

Benjamin Safranski received his Bachelors Degree in 2006 from Belmont Abbey College and a Master of Theological Studies degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Church History at The Catholic University of America, specializing in Latin Patristics. He is currently revising his dissertation titled "Cyprian of Carthage and the College of Bishops," which engages ecclesiology and collegiality in the 3rd century African church.

Andrea Smith-Rippeon received her Bachelors Degree in 2007 from the University of Dayton. This fall she will enter the doctoral program in Political Science at Indiana University with a focus on comparative politics and secondary interests in political theory and East Asian politics. She is particularly enthusiastic about Chinese minority policy, legal reform, and issues of nationalism.

Samuel Stoner received his bachelors degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Tulane University in 2014.  He has broad interests in the history of philosophy, and his research focuses on modern philosophy, with a special emphasis on the thought of Immanuel Kant.  He is currently a Post-doctoral Fellow in Western Heritage and Philosophy at Carthage College.

Donovan Tann is a member of the English faculty at Hesston College in Hesston, KS. Tann received his B.A. in English from Eastern Mennonite University in 2008 and his Ph.D. in English from Temple University in 2014. Tann’s research focuses on the intersections of literature, gender, and religious thought in seventeenth-century England and early America. His work in the classroom has included composition and interdisciplinary humanities courses as well as courses in Shakespeare, early modern English literature, and world literature.

Johanna Brinkley Tomlinson received her BA in English from Valparaiso University in 2008 and her PhD in English from The University of Iowa in 2014 with specializations in 19th c. British Literature, children's literature, and empire studies. Her dissertation "Playing with Words: Child Voices in British Fantasy Literature 1749-1906" examines the possibility for literary representations of child voices to unsettle expectations regarding children's relationship to language.  Currently, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Iowa teaching courses in Victorian literature and 19th c. literature and culture.  Her scholarship on Rudyard Kipling and empire has appeared recently in Children's Literature Association Quarterly.

Amanda Weppler received her Bachelors Degree in 2008 from Baylor University. She will be studying in the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame. Her greatest interest is the works of Dante, so she will be probably be concentrating her work in the fields of Italian and philosophy/theology. She is also interested in the influence of the Middle Ages on modern literature.

Mallory Wilhelm received her Bachelors Degree in 2008 from Grove City College. Wilhelm intends to study modernist literature in the Ph.D. program at Penn State University. Her areas of interest include the novel (British and American), French poststructuralist theory, and the intersections among literature, religion, and philosophy.

Mentors, First Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Dr. Jane Kelley Rodeheffer
is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Great Books in the Humanities at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.  A philosopher, she holds degrees from Boston College, Harvard, and Vanderbilt (M.A., Ph.D.).  Professor Rodeheffer has published a range of articles in philosophy, literature, and great books, and she is the co-editor of three collections of essays.  Her awards include the Brother J. Robert Lane Chair in Humanities and the Brother Charles Severin Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2011 Graven Award from Wartburg College, which honors a Christian whose faith informs her work in the world.  She served as one of the mentors of the First Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows.  She is also a co-mentor of the Sixth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows.

Dr. Michael Beaty 
Dr. Michael D. Beaty has been at Baylor University since 1987, holds the rank of Professor of Philosophy and is currently chair of the philosophy department. Also, he has served as Vice Provost for Faculty Development at Baylor and was founding Director of Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning. Dr. Beaty holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University, an M.A. in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Notre Dame. His areas of academic specialization include Christianity and Higher Education, Philosophy of Religion, and Moral and Social Philosophy. Dr. Beaty was voted Outstanding Tenured Faculty member at Baylor in 1994. He was Visiting Distinguished Scholar and Research Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture, the University of Notre Dame, spring, 2005.  

Noteworthy News

LFP Office Closed for Holiday Break

The LFP office will be closed December 20, 2021-January 4, 2022. We wish you a joyous Christmas celebration!

November LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for November 2021 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship

The 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and the Arts will be taking applications through January 19, 2022. To learn more about this two-year, residential postdoctoral fellowship at Valparaiso University, click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2021 LFP Book Award

We are pleased to announce that On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom by David I. Smith has won the 2021 LFP Book Award. For more information and to see the five finalists, click here.

Grove City College Hosts Regional Conference

Grove City College invites participants and presenters for a regional conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads" April 7-9, 2022. For more information, click here.

Hope College Big Read

Hope College is hosting a Network Exchange March 6-8, 2022 to showcase their annual month-long community-wide reading program. Click here for more information.

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

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

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.

Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference at Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is hosting a conference on April 8, 2022 entitled Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference: Problems and Possibilities. For more information, click here.

Vatican II and Higher Education: Leading Forward

Sacred Heart University will host a regional conference on October 13-15, 2022 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Vatican II and the University's founding. For more information including a call for papers, click here.