Lilly Graduate Fellows - Tenth Cohort

Aaron Abma studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy.  He completed a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Philosophy at Calvin College in 2016, and he spent the spring of 2017 studying the work of Augustine and the philosophy of Special Relativity at Oxford.  His research interests include the philosophy of physics, virtue ethics, and medieval philosophy.

Richard Burke is a student at the University of Virginia working toward a PhD in American Politics. He received his B.A. in Politics from Fairfield University in 2017. His approach to understanding American politics is by examining historical developments over time. Richard's primary scholarly interests center on how philosophical and religious ideas, as well as religious groups and organizations, have shaped American political parties and public policy. 

Michael Burton received his B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from Pepperdine University in 2017. In the fall of 2017, he will enter the PhD program in Philosophy at Yale University. He is interested in metaphysics, logic, and the philosophy of mathematics. He is especially interested in the natures of space and time

Thomas D’Addario received a B.A. in English (with a Creative Writing emphasis) from Hope College in 2016. He will continue his creative writing studies by pursuing a MFA in Poetry at the University of Montana in Missoula. His interests lie in exploring poetry's functions in spirituality and social justice.

Stephen Ferguson is a PhD student in Philosophy at Fordham University.  He received his B.A. in philosophy, with a minor in Economics, from Boston College in 2015, where he also received a M.A. in Philosophy in 2017.  Rooted in the hermeneutic retrieval of the history of philosophy, he primarily studies the political-theological dialectic of Athens and Jerusalem and its intersection with cognitional theory.  He is also interested in the thought of Bernard Lonergan.

Daniel Gee is a DMA candidate at the University of Southern California, where he is studying Choral Conducting with minor fields in Orchestral Conducting and Composition, and serves as Associate Conductor of the Oriana Women's Choir. He graduated as First Senior at Westmont College in 2013 where he double majored in music composition and philosophy. After earning his M.M. at USC, Daniel taught theory and composition at Westmont for a year long sabbatical replacement, and as a composer has since fulfilled commissions for the Westmont Orchestra, the Quire of Voyces, and the Westridge Chamber Orchestra. Daniel's current professional work involves serving as Conducting Fellow for the Long Beach Symphony and as Artistic Director of Choirs at Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley. His research interests include settings of the Passion and Latin American choral music.

Bridget Safranek received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Dallas in 2017. In the fall of 2017, she will begin the MA/PhD program in philosophy at the Catholic University of America as a fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology at CUA. She plans to focus on ethics and metaphysics as the fundamental foundations for bioethics, and is also interested in virtue ethics and natural law theory.  

Shannon Sandridge is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. She received her B.A. in 2017 from Baylor University, where she studied Philosophy and German. Her primary interests are in metaphysics, especially philosophy of mind and free will. Additionally, she would like to study the metaphysics of the mind as understood by ancient philosophers in order to make use of their insights in contemporary accounts of mental causation, consciousness, and the mind-body problem.

Hannah Scupham is a PhD student in nineteenth-century British Literature at the University of Kansas. She graduated from Valparaiso University in 2013 with a B.A. in English and German, and a minor in Political Science. After spending a year teaching English in Germany with the Fulbright Program, Hannah completed an M.A. in English Literature at the University of Kansas in 2017. Hannah is interested in semiotics, embodiment, popular fiction, and gender studies, and her Master’s thesis centered on the sensation fiction works of Wilkie Collins. Her research as a PhD candidate explores nineteenth century social novels with a particular focus on the intersections of marriage, gender, and sexuality.

Elisa Torres is an M.A. student in Philosophy at the University of Dallas where she plans to earn her PhD through the University’s Institute of Philosophic Studies.  Graduating Belmont Abbey College in 2017 with a B.A. in English and Theology, she also completed minors in Christianity & Culture, Medieval Studies, and Political Philosophy.  Torres was a member of the St. Thomas More Scholarship program, and in her senior year was given the “Outstanding St. Thomas More Scholar” award.  Torres was also the English Department’s "Student of the Year," and wrote her senior thesis on the concept of “pietas” in Virgil’s Aeneid.  Torres hopes to continue the interdisciplinary approach of her undergraduate work during her time at the University of Dallas.  While focusing on such topics as anamnesis, piety, convention/nature, and the art of dialectic, Torres plans to maintain a deeply literary and political engagement with such philosophical ideas.

Mentors, Tenth 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), which won the 2016 Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize. Dr. DeBoer served as mentor for the Fifth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows.

John E. Ware is a Professor of Music at Xavier University of Louisiana, in New Orleans, where he teaches Voice and Conducting, and is the Conductor of the Xavier Concert Choir and University Chorus. With extensive training as a classical singer, Dr. Ware has chosen to use this aspect of his education and experience maintaining a vigorous studio of aspiring vocalists where he works with some 15 young singers each year. Several of his students have been accepted to some of the nation’s premier graduate schools and have gone on to significant performing careers. Dr. Ware is the designated Rosa Keller Endowed Chair in Music at Xavier University and has composed and presented several original choral works. He holds memberships in the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a state officer in the American Choral Director’s Association. He is Conductor and Musical Director of the New Orleans Black Chorale, a group dedicated to the preservation of the American Negro spiritual and the art music of African American composers. In 2010 the city of New Orleans honored Ware with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the chorale in performances and research related to Images and Metaphors in the American Negro Spiritual. Dr. Ware has also served on the Lilly Fellows Program National Board.

Noteworthy News

September LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for September 2021 is now available. 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.

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.

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." 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.

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.

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.

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.