Undergraduate Fellows

Roshan Benefo, Paideia Steering Committee Member, is an undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering and business in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at Penn.  Roshan’s interests range from philosophy to astrophysics and politics; he hopes to explore the intersection of these fields through Collegium, and is excited to engage with others interested in the humanities and sciences.

Leah Baxter

Leah Baxter is a sophomore from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Though her major is undecided, she is especially interested in linguistics, philosophy, and literature. Leah first became involved in Collegium through a dinner discussion program on science fiction. She appreciates being involved in Collegium both because they’re the kind of people who would host a serious philosophical discussion on science fiction and because she appreciates their focus on investigating truths about the world through multiple, complementary perspectives.


Tise Ben-Eka

Tise Ben-Eka is a sophomore dual-degree student at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently studying Finance in Wharton and Korean Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her interest in Collegium began when she attended Collegium’s NSO Preceptorial during her freshmen year. Apart from Collegium, she is a dancer on the Penn Hype dance team, a fellow for the Kim  Korean Studies program, and a member of AKPsi, the business fraternity. Through being a Collegium fellow, Tise hopes to better understand Philosophy in order to have a more intersectional understanding of faith and reason.

Puti Cen is an undergraduate Ben Franklin Scholar from Beijing, China. Pursuing a dual-degree in Cognitive Science and Marketing, she’s interested in decision making and artificial intelligence. When not in class, Puti loves traveling, visiting museums and learning about cool tech products. Have participated in Collegium events since her freshman year, Puti enjoys discussions with people from different religious or intellectual backgrounds and is excited to involve in the planning of events as a Collegium student fellow.

Sam Chechik

Carolyn Chow is a sophomore from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan studying Health and Societies with a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior. Through Collegium, she hopes to engage in discourse within the humanities to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge, explore disciplinary intersections such as those between faith and science and medicine and philosophy, and finally consider how such ideas might be applied to live in a richer understanding of our messy world of vivid cultures, deep suffering, great history, and rapid change. Outside of class, Carolyn is involved in brain cancer research, her church community, Penn Chamber Music, and Penn Bioethics Journal.

Charles Curtis-Thomas is a sophomore in the College, and has an intended major in PPE. From Central New Jersey, (yes it does exist) he has had a passion for civic duty his entire life. On campus, he is involved in the Undergraduate Assembly, Penn Dems, mentors inner city kids on the weekend, and does acting and poetry performances. Charles likes having a chaotic schedule, and absolutely loves being a part of the Collegium Institute. Charles has a fascination with relations among people, and is excited to join Collegium in attaining a common goal of knowledge. In the future, he hopes to improve the comradery on campus among students through usage of interconnections between religion, and make Penn the best it can be. If you have any ideas, or just want to chat, feel free to email him at

Benjamin Finnstrom is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree. His involvement with the Collegium Institute began as a PRRUCS Fellow- which enabled him to explore a range of academic research interests. As a PRRUCS Fellow, he discovered a passion for exploring the intersection of utopian ideals, urban planning trajectories, and sacred spaces. In serving within the Collegium Institute Student Association, he hopes to further the Institute’s mission and facilitate means for others to embark on intellectual investigations.

Sydney Gwynn

Sydney was born and raised in the great state of Texas and is currently a Junior studying Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys Philosophy because you can put the phrase “Philosophy of…” before any other subject and engage in a thoughtful, higher-level discussion about that topic. Sydney looks forward to being involved with the intellectual community that Collegium fosters and exploring ideas related to both religious and secular thought and how they interact.

Momena Haider is a sophomore from the UK who intends to major in Philosophy and, potentially, minor in Psychoanalytical Studies and Religious Studies. She was first introduced to the Collegium Institute during an NSO preceptorial called ‘Socrates on College’, after which she was appointed as a PRRUCS Fellow with the Collegium – a role she is continuing throughout her freshman year. She looks forward to working with the other Collegium Fellows to help develop and promote Collegium’s programs on campus. She is grateful to have found a platform at Penn where she can partake in casual intellectual discussions and help design events to bring those discussions to the Penn community.

Pearl Liu is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn. She enjoys learning from and exploring the intersection between the humanities, sciences, arts, and other methods of gaining knowledge. She is interested in exploring the relationship between humans and the world around them through multiple perspectives. Pearl hopes to gain a better understanding of what it means to engage in a process of education through her involvement with the Collegium Institute.

Gabrielle Ramos is a third year Nursing student minoring in Global Health from Woodland Park, NJ. After years of primary and secondary education in Catholic schools, Gabbie brings her strong, active Catholic faith and pursuit for the Truth to everything at Penn, including her work with Collegium. She works in the Penn School of Nursing while maintaining her position as the Youth Ministry Coordinator at St. Catherine of Siena Church, her home parish. Gabbie is involved in Student Nurses at Penn, Nursing Students for Global Health, and Penn Catholic Healthcare Association. She is active in the Penn Newman Catholic Community serving as Treasurer on the Board and Coordinator of Christ in the City. She is also the Head of Formation and Programming at the Catholic Women’s Household! She is most excited about helping coordinate medical humanities programming for Collegium.

Aditya Rao

Aditya Rao (C’21) is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, prospectively majoring in
Mathematical Biology and in Philosophy and Science and hoping to pursue a career as a
physician-scientist. His interests range from systems neuroscience, philosophy of mathematics,
science, and language, the medical humanities, bioethics, and theology. Outside of Collegium, he assists in research projects on the genetic basis of epilepsy and on tracking the progression
of multiple sclerosis through neuroimaging. He is also deeply involved with Student Committee on Undergraduate Education, the Penn Bioethics Journal, and the Penn Undergraduate Law
Journal. At Collegium, he looks forward to engaging with students and staff who share his interests—especially those fascinated by the medical humanities. Feel free to reach out for any
reason at


Tom Stevens is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He is on Penn’s Lacrosse team as well as the leadership team at the Penn Catholic Newman Center. He loved attending Collegium events as a freshman and hopes he can continue to pursue truth by exploring the intersections of faith and reason as an undergraduate fellow.  

Mateen Tabatabaei

Anthony Barr, Paideia Steering Committee Member, is a junior undergraduate from Lancaster, PA, studies History, Literature, and Orthodox Thought and Culture as part of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. He is Managing Editor of both Eastern’s “The Waltonian” as well as the Agora Institute’s academic journal “Adorans.” In addition, he is vice-president of Eastern’s Philosophy Society and is actively involved in the Montaigne Society, Eastern’s ISI Chapter. Through serving on the Committee, Anthony hopes to deepen his love for Catholic social teaching in conversation with like-minded friends.

Tobias Philip, Paideia Steering Committee, is an undergraduate studying Classics and German at Swarthmore College. His early interest in medieval art and architecture drew him into to the Catholic intellectual tradition as it flourished throughout the middle ages. Studying Greek and Latin, he seeks to investigate the Classical underpinnings of medieval Christendom. At the Collegium Institute he hopes to profit from thoughtfully engaging Catholic thought with the contemporary Humanities.