Daniel J. M. Cheely, Ph.D., Executive Director. Dr. Cheely is a historian of the Renaissance and Reformation. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Huntington Library, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Witherspoon Institute, the Bradley Foundation, the Catholic Record Society, and the Harvey Fellows Program of the Mustard Seed Foundation. His scholarship has been published in Church History: Studies in Christianity & Culture (Cambridge), The European Legacy (Routledge), and The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (DeGruyter), and has been presented at the Institute for Historical Research, the American Academy of Religion, Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, the Renaissance Society of America, the American Society for Church History, the Mid-Atlantic Conference of British Studies (where it was awarded the annual prize for best graduate student paper), and other conferences in the United States and Europe.
Before beginning doctoral studies at Penn, he joined Teach For America in Chicago, where he taught eighth grade for R.S. Abbott School, chaired the social science division and partnered it with local universities through the Chicago History Project, and was awarded his school’s teacher-of-the-year distinction. He is now, while serving as Executive Director of the Collegium Institute, also a Resident Senior Fellow of the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania and Lecturer in Penn’s History Department.
Katie Becker, Executive Assistant and Office Manager. Ms. Becker graduated from Hillsdale College in 2008 with a B.A. in Classical Studies, concentrating in Latin. She was a part of the national classics honorary, Eta Sigma Phi, where she took first place in the Maurine Dallas Watkins Sight Translation Contest for Koine Greek her senior year. She taught Latin at the junior high level for four years, before spending a year in Rome studying Italian at the Società Dante Alighieri. Having completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in Classical Studies at Penn, she is beginning a M.A. in Classics at Villanova this fall. She enjoys both classical and modern Romance languages, and is constantly seeking ways in which her academic studies can find action in daily life.
Elizabeth Feeney, Program Coordinator. Ms. Feeney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 with a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in Anthropology, with a particular interest in the Ancient Near East. In her senior year, she served as Undergraduate President of the Penn Newman Catholic Community and joined the Religious Studies Honor Society, Theta Alpha Kappa. After graduation, she spent a year of service with DeSales Service Works, providing case management to patients of a healthcare center serving the homeless and under-served in Camden. Currently, she is taking classes in preparation to enter an accelerated nursing degree program.
Sophia O’Brien, Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer. Mrs. O’Brien graduated summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 2009 with a B.A. in English. She was a Fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law, and subsequently worked at Princeton University as an events coordinator. With interests in art history, architecture and literature, she began to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the Master of Liberal Arts Program. In 2011, she and her husband welcomed their first child and she has since used her experience working in academic institutions and her interest in design to contribute to the mission of the Collegium Institute as a creative consultant and graphic designer.
Debbie Rabinovich, Undergraduate Intern. Ms. Rabinovich is a dedicated student committed to taking risks, tactical development, thinking big, refining details, and inspired engagement. She is studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn. She is from Charlotte, in the great state of North Carolina. Debbie is involved with many groups on campus, including CityStep, the Jewish Learning Fellowship, La Vida magazine for Latino culture, and Women SPEAK. She looks forward to exciting, meaningful work with the Collegium Institute
For the Collegium Institute’s Academic Fellows, please click here.
Board of Trustees
Daniel J. M. Cheely, Ph.D., Executive Director.
Matthew B. O’Brien, Ph.D., Chairman. Dr. O’Brien is an equity research analyst with O’Brien Greene & Co., an investment management firm in suburban Philadelphia. Before beginning his career in finance, he taught humanities at Villanova University, where he was a Veritas Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Ryan Center in the Department of Political Science, and philosophy at Rutgers University, where he was a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. Dr. O’Brien has served as a director on the boards of the Neumann Forum, the Princeton Club of Philadelphia, and Regina Luminis Academy. He received his A.B. in philosophy cum laude at Princeton University and studied Greek and Latin in the post-baccalaureate program in classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ellen Barrosse, Trustee. Ms. Barrosse is the founder of Synchrogenix Information Strategies and its subsidiaries, Synchrogenix Europe and Synchrogenix Philippines. In that role, she grew the Synchrogenix Group to be the largest regulatory medical writing company in the world. She sold the group to Certara in 2014 and continues as Strategic Advisor to its chief executive. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Mark G. Brennan, Ph.D., Trustee Dr. Brennan is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Ethics NYU Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Bruce Kuklick, Walter McDougall, and Jonathan Steinberg. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (A.B.), Cornell University (M.B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and the University of Pennsylvania (MA), Dr. Brennan has lectured and taught at both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and in Cuba, at the University of Havana. Prior to joining the Stern School, Dr. Brennan worked as an equity analyst and portfolio manager covering the financial services industry for several asset management firms and hedge funds. He began his career as a CPA at Price Waterhouse working for a variety of banking and financial services clients. He has served on the boards of the Bank and Financial Analyst Association, the Rude Mechanicals Theater Company, and policy think tanks. Dr. Brennan is also the American editor of the Quarterly Review, a British literary magazine founded in 1809.
Francis X. Maier, Trustee. Mr. Maier serves as senior advisor and special assistant to the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Before coming to Philadelphia, Mr. Maier was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver. He began his career in screenwriting and journalism, serving as editor-in-chief of the National Catholic Register and as a story analyst and screenwriter for United Artists, Warner Bros., and various independent producers and agencies.
Vincenzo La Ruffa, Trustee. Mr. La Ruffa is a partner with Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on financial services. Prior to joining Aquiline, he was managing director of Susquehanna Growth Equity, a private equity group he co-founded. Vincenzo serves on the boards of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Foundation for Excellence in Higher Education as well as the investment committee of Mercy Investment Services. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude with a B.A. in classics and a B.S. in economics from The Wharton School.
Maura Mimnagh Thibault, Trustee. Ms. Mimnagh Thibault graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in chemistry, and worked in the financial service industry for fifteen years, chiefly as Executive Director for Morgan Stanley. She is the President of Penn’s Class of ’94 and serves on the Penn Fund Executive Board.