Lilly Graduate Fellows - Eleventh Cohort


Chelsea Elzinga is a PhD student in French and Francophone literature at Stanford University. She received a BA in French and in Art History from Seattle Pacific University in 2013. After completing an MA in French from Florida State University in 2017, she taught English and French in Luxembourg as a Fulbright grantee. Her research examines the senses (particularly the olfactory) in Francophone literature, film, and culture. In addition to sensory studies, she is interested in the related fields of embodiment, postcolonial studies, and cultural history. At the root of her research are two questions: What do texts and the senses teach us about ourselves and the “Other”? How is the sensorial experience translated into the written word?

Jonathan Hall is a graduate student at Indiana University where he is pursuing a PhD in French Renaissance Literature. His interests focus on the confluence of the pre-modern and the modern, the pre-secular and the secular with reference to the distinctly literary consequences of their interactions. Broadly speaking, he is pursuing questions of secularization, memory, religion, and interactions with the Other in 16th and 17th century France. Jonathan completed a BA in French Literature and Applied Linguistics at Union University in 2019. He and his wife (a graduate student in Spanish Literature) currently live in Bloomington, IN. 

Benjamin Keoseyan received a BA in Hispanic Studies with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing from Pepperdine University in 2017, and an MA in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 2019. He is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Arizona, where he is studying Ancient philosophy. He is particularly interested in researching Plato’s views on metaphysics and political philosophy, as well as Late Ancient philosophy. He also hopes to study contemporary metaphysics, and political philosophy. In his free time, he writes poetry and is an avid birdwatcher. 

Rebecca Korf completed a BS in Biochemistry from Whitworth University in 2015 and an MA in Environmental Philosophy from the University of Montana in 2018. She will begin her studies as a PhD student in the fall of 2019 in the Logic and Philosophy of Science program at the University of California-Irvine, where she will investigate the relationship between the public, science, and the environment, especially the roles that values can and should play in scientific practice. Her work brings together research interests in applied ethics, social and political philosophy, environmental ethics, and science and technology studies.

Saribel Morales-Rivera graduated from Mount St. Mary's University in 2018 with a BA in History and Spanish, and has completed her first year at the PhD program in History at the University of California San Diego. Saribel studies modern Spanish history, primarily focusing on the relationship between the portrayals of the Spanish Civil War in Spanish literature and politics, as well as these portrayals' mutual relationship to the collective and historical memory of the Spanish people. She is particularly interested in definitions of victim and victimization, and their connection to popular politics.

Andrew Smith received a BA in History, with minors in Classical Studies and Biblical and Religious Studies, from Grove City College in 2014. He is now pursuing his MA and PhD in medieval History at Saint Louis University. His primary research interest is medieval Spain, with particular attention to political, religious, and cultural interactions between Muslims and Christians in tenth-century Al-Andalus. He hopes to place these interactions in the context of Christendom and the medieval Islamic world.

Keely Smith is a PhD student in History at Princeton University. She received her BA from Samford University in 2014, where she majored in History, Spanish, and Global Studies. At Princeton, she studies colonial America and southeastern Native Americans, with particular interest in multiethnic encounters, cultural intermediaries, and performative communication. She hopes to incorporate missionary efforts into her research on how Native Americans and European colonists incorporated religion and worldview into their strategic methods of communication.

Dawson Vosburg is a PhD student in Sociology at The Ohio State University. He earned his BA from North Park University, where he also studied sociology. He studies the intersection of race and religion in the United States, focusing on civil religion and Christianity. His research topics include the use of religion in American politics, theory of religion and worship, and worship's role in creating and responding to social structures.

Kirsten Welch is a PhD student in Philosophy and Education at Columbia University. She earned her BA from Baylor University in 2014, where she studied classics and philosophy.  After teaching elementary and middle school for two years at a Great Hearts Academies network school in San Antonio, TX, Kirsten completed an MA in Philosophy at Western Michigan University in 2018. Her research interests are primarily in virtue ethics and epistemology, focused especially on their educational implications and the formation of moral and intellectual virtues.

Mentors, Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Jane Kelley Rodeheffer is a philosopher who currently holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Great Books at Pepperdine University in California. Professor Rodeheffer received degrees from Boston College, Harvard, and Vanderbilt, where she wrote her M.A. thesis under Alasdair MacIntyre and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy. She has published a range of articles in philosophy, literature, and Asian studies, and she is the co-editor of three collections of essays. Her most recent article argues for the influence of the story of Emmaus (Luke 24) on the later cantos of Dante’s Purgatorio. Professor Rodeheffer has twice served on the Board of the Lilly Fellows Program and as Faculty Mentor of Cohorts 1 and 6 in the Lilly Graduate Fellows program. She was recently awarded the Killian McDonnell Fellowship for residence at the Collegeville Institute at Saint John’s University for the Fall of 2019, where she will complete work on a manuscript on Flannery O’Connor.

Mark Edward Ruff is Professor of History at Saint Louis University. He was trained in both American and European history at Brown University with a focus on religious history, the history of Catholicism and secularization. He is the co-editor of two books, the author of two monographs, and the co-editor of two forthcoming edited volumes. His most recent book, The Battle for the Catholic Past in Germany, 1945- 1980 was published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press and focuses on the culture wars surrounding the Catholic Church's role during the Third Reich. He is beginning work on a project involving political polarization and allegations of guilt for the First World War in 1920s and 1930s Germany. 

Noteworthy News

Lilly Network Office Closed

The Lilly Network office will be closed from Thursday, December 21-Wednesday, January 3 for the holiday break. Wishing you a joyous Christmas!

November Lilly Network Update

The Current Lilly Network Update for November 2023 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2023 Lilly Network Book Award

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce Willie James Jennings' After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging as its 2023 Book Award Winner. For more information and to see a complete list of finalists, click here.

Call for applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program

Applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty are due November 15. For more information and to apply, click here.

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.