Lilly Graduate Fellows - Twelfth


Miriam Ambrosino is a PhD student in Philosophy at Stony Brook University. She received her BA in Philosophy from Fordham University in 2017. In 2021 she received her interdisciplinary MA at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a thesis titled Affect as Critique: The Emotional Work of the Critical Philosopher. In her research, she investigates the affective social self and how philosophers can participate in social justice work through contemplative practices. Her focus on affective life prompts her study of the relationship between an informed aesthetic mode of inquiry and the question of moral-perception and reflection on the part of the scholar. Miriam considers herself a NY bred Philosopher and is committed to attending to the local socio-political context of her studies.

Elspeth Currie received a BA in History and Classical Studies from Gordon College in 2016 and an MSt in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford in 2017. After teaching Latin and history at classical Christian schools for several years, she is now pursuing a PhD in history at Boston College. Her research focuses on women’s Latin education and intellectual lives within the humanist household of early modern England. She is particularly interested in the connections between women’s intellectual agency and their familial ties. 

Shaun Evans is a PhD student in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, with a concentration in the History of Christianity. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a BA in Philosophy-Theology and Classics and in 2020 with an MTS. His research focuses on medieval theology, especially on the topics of Christology and grace in Thomas Aquinas.

Hannah Keller is a PhD student in history at The Ohio State University. She received a BA in history and French from Mercer University in 2019 and a MA from Western Michigan University in 2021. She examines a variety of sources (chronicles, literary works, genealogies, etc.) to explore the intersection between marriage and violence in the Middle Ages. She currently studies a handful of marriages in fifteenth-century England that were used to damage the political capital of rival lords. In the future, she plans to explore other marriages that did not conform to expected patterns, particularly those involving abduction.

Arah Ko graduated with a BA from the Wheaton College English Honors program in 2018. She is an MFA candidate in creative writing with a focus in poetry at the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH where she serves as an editor at The Journal. Arah is the runner-up for the Fugue 2020 Poetry Prize and the 2018 Luci Shaw Fellow for Image in Seattle, WA.  Her work orbits themes of mythology, East Asian diaspora, trauma, and faith and can be found in RuminateSiderealNew Reader MagazineThe Cresset, and other journals.

Rebecca Mott is an MFA student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2018 she received her BFA with an emphasis in Painting from Biola University and became a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors College. As a graduate student, Rebecca is developing a practice that integrates art and artificial intelligence. Her ongoing project aims to create and train a Generative Adversarial Network that will produce images that seamlessly identify and reflect the artistic style and tendencies of her paintings. Through this process, she hopes to engage with questions pertaining to anthropocentrism, object permanence, gender and labor, and the value systems that shape and surround art and its futurity. 

Jamie Myrose is a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Boston College. She graduated from Boston College in 2018 with a BA in Theology and Philosophy with a concentration in the Great Books. She then graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2020 with an MTS in Systematic Theology. Her research focuses on the intersections of feminist theologies and theological anthropology, particularly around questions of human and divine relationality. She is also interested in the interplay of environmental justice and Christian spirituality.

Alex Raycroft completed a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Calvin University and will begin her studies as a PhD student in Philosophy at Georgetown University in the fall of 2021. Her areas of interest are in ancient and medieval ethics as well as feminist reconstructions and criticisms of them. Raycroft hopes to study systemic oppression and its influence on the development of moral character. Specifically, she’s interested in what this might mean for an individual’s (or a collective’s) ability to flourish, and is hopeful about the possibilities of community for combatting moral damage. 

Olivia Stowell is a PhD student in the department of Communication & Media at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in English and Theatre Arts from Westmont College in 2019 and her MA in English Literature from Villanova University in 2021. Her research focuses on race, embodiment, performance, and temporality in contemporary television, particularly in reality cooking and food TV. In her doctoral studies, she hopes to bring an interdisciplinary approach to her study of how race is represented, defined, and packaged in the contemporary popular imaginary.

Benjamin J. Young is a PhD student in History at the University of Notre Dame. He received his BA in History and Religion in 2021 from Baylor University, where he also minored in Classics. Young is a historian of the modern United States whose research engages the intersections of religion, politics, culture, and metropolitan development. He is particularly interested in the formative influence of the rise of suburbia in the shaping of the American religious landscape after World War II. His inquiries occasionally range farther afield into global religious history, urban theory, neoliberalism, and American evangelicals’ relations with white-minority regimes in twentieth-century Africa.

Mentors, Twelfth Cohort of the Lilly Graduate Fellows

Martha (Marti) Greene Eads serves as professor of English at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she has taught since 2003. She studied literature and theology at Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Durham (UK) before holding a Lilly postgraduate fellowship in the humanities and arts at Valparaiso University. She is EMU's LFP faculty representative, having also served on the graduate fellowship selection committee and the national network board. Her research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century drama, English modernism, and contemporary Southern fiction, and her articles on those topics have appeared in Appalachian JournalChristianity and LiteratureThe CressetModern DramaThe Southern Quarterly, and Theology. Her most recent project focuses on the function of hymns in novels by Wendell Berry, Doris Betts, Denise Giardina, Robert Morgan, and Ron Rash. In a sabbatical scheduled for Fall 2021, she will use Rash's short stories to address trauma and foster resilience among formerly incarcerated individuals who struggle with addiction. While she enjoys working with traditional undergraduates, Eads finds that inviting community learning partners into their conversations deepens and intensifies learning for all. In her "American Manhood" course, EMU students read and write poetry alongside incarcerated men in workshops at the Coffeewood Correctional Facility. She also teaches multigenerational courses that alternate meeting between EMU and on the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community campus next door, facilitating spirited conversation, hilarious readers' theater productions, and memorable field trips for learners ranging in age from 18 to 89. Her VMRC bibliotherapy internship program provides opportunities not only for English majors but also for students in health sciences fields to develop patient-interaction skills through using literature in clinical settings. Eads is the winner of EMU's 2020-21 Excellence in Teaching Award in the tenured faculty category.

Charles Strauss is an associate professor of history at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He teaches interdisciplinary courses in "the Mount’s" integrated and sequential core curriculum, including First-Year Symposium, America in the World, and Global Encounters. He also teaches history electives in his research areas, including U.S. Foreign Policy, Cold War America, The 1980s, Catholics in the Movies, and Modern South Africa. His research has focused on the intersection of religion, politics, and foreign policy in the United States from 1945 to the present. He has published journal articles in U.S. Catholic Historian and American Catholic Studies on the role of U.S. Catholic missionaries in political debates over U.S. foreign policy in Central America during the Cold War. He has contributed to an edited collection on the history of Catholic higher education since the 1960s and is currently editing a volume of essays on the history of Mount St. Mary’s, the second oldest Catholic college in the United States. A final area of interest is the history of Catholicism in southern Africa. His education includes a BA in History from the College of the Holy Cross, an MA in Historical Studies from the University of Cape Town, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of Notre Dame. After serving one year teaching in the Writing and Rhetoric program at Notre Dame, he held a Lilly postgraduate fellowship in the humanities and the arts at Valparaiso University. In 2018 he was appointed the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the American Catholic Historical Association, the main scholarly association in the field of Catholic Studies. 

Noteworthy News

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.