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Lilly Fellows Program Names Graduate Fellows

Lilly Fellows Program Names Graduate FellowsThe Valparaiso University-based Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts has selected 16 graduate students from across the country to participate in its effort to support outstanding students who have a desire to explore the connections between Christianity and higher education and become teacher-scholars at church-related institutions.

The 16 fellows were selected by a nine-member selection committee which interviewed 24 finalists in April in Indianapolis. The fellows met in early August at a three-day inaugural conference in Indianapolis with their mentors – Susan Felch of Calvin College and Bill Portier of the University of Dayton – and the Lilly Fellows program staff.  Special guests included Dr. Mel Piehl, dean of Valpo’s Christ College and Dr. Stephanie Paulsell of Harvard Divinity School who, drawing on Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” addressed the subject of the vocation of the Christian scholar.  The fellows participated in discussions centered on this theme as well as the theme of hospitality.


Following the course of the first cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, this second cohort of graduate fellows will embark on a long-distance colloquium drawing on classical theological and other texts to continue to explore the themes of hospitality in friendship as they pertain to the academic vocation.

The fellows will also engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships and participate in the second of four conferences in August 2010 at Calvin College.  All 16 are pursuing doctorate or equivalent degrees.

The graduate fellows are:
  • Jonathan Buttaci, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Devin Byker, who received his bachelor’s degree from Calvin College in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in English literature at Boston University.
  • Paul Camacho, who received his bachelor’s degree and master’ degree in philosophy from Boston College in 2007 and 2009 respectively and will pursue a doctorate in philosophy at Villanova University.
  • Joel Scott Davis, who received his bachelor’s degree from Samford University in 2005 and a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University in 2007; he will pursue a doctorate of musical arts in composition at Claremont Graduate University.
  • Kristen Gaylord, who received her bachelor’s degree from Westmont College in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in art history at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.
  • Amanda Dykema, who received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2004 and her master’s degree in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; she will pursue a doctorate in English at the University of Maryland.
  • Brian Hamilton, who received his bachelor’s degree from Messiah College in 2006 and his master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2009. He will pursue a doctorate in moral theology at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Heidi Hausse, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in history at Princeton University.
  • Nicholas Jacobson, who received his bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University in 2007 and will pursue a doctorate in the history of science and technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Emily Neumeier, who received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 2008 and will pursue a doctorate in art history at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Stephen Ogden, who received his bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College in 2005 and his master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School in 2009.  He will pursue a dual doctorate in philosophy and religious studies at Yale University.
  • Mike Popejoy, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and will pursue a doctorate in philosophy at Purdue University.
  • Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, who received his bachelor’s degree from Concordia University-Portland in 2005 and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Reed College in 2008.  He will pursue a doctorate in history at Columbia University.
  • Kelly Vincent, who received her bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
  • Rachel Schneider Vlachos, who received her bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University in 2006 and will pursue a doctorate in religious studies at Rice University.
  • Paul Zajac, who received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in Maryland in 2009 and will pursue a doctorate in English literature at Pennsylvania State University.
The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is a five-year pilot program funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The program will select three cohorts of 16 graduate fellows each from the current 91 schools that make up the LFP national network of church-related schools. Lilly Graduate Fellows participate in a three-year program in which they meet regularly with a mentor, attend four conferences, participate in a long-distance colloquium and receive three annual fellowship awards of $3,000 to use at their discretion.  For more information on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, visit http://www.lillyfellows.org.

The Valpo-based Lilly Fellows Program began in 1991. Since its founding, the program has provided postdoctoral fellowships for teacher-scholars who seek to enrich their intellectual and spiritual lives while preparing for leadership roles in church-related higher education. The program also supports mentoring programs for new and junior family members at network institutions, exchange programs showcasing distinctive programs that highlight the church-related characteristics of institutions and conferences examining matters of interest to those involved in Christian higher education.
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