Student Fellows

Alberto Amaral is a junior undergraduate studying economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He transferred to Penn after attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, for two years. During his gap year, he witnessed first-hand the polarized nature of contemporary political discourse as well as the disastrous effects of some (well-intentioned) government policies. Through the Collegium Institute, he hopes to broaden his knowledge of the humanities and find ways to encourage philosophical conversations among undergraduates. After college, he plans on working in the management consulting field before attending law school.

Philippe Becker is a sophomore undergraduate majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. As a fellow, Philippe hopes that the road of truth, virtue, and holiness will be illuminated by immersion in the classics and the Catholic school of thought. He is also looking forward to engaging with like-minded individuals that will foster an enlightening environment, to get to the heart of humanities. Outside of the sphere of academics, he enjoys the power of song, the peace of writing, and the fullness of reading. One day, he hopes to return to Venezuela and leave a positive mark for his country.

 

Anneka DeCaro is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Visual Studies. She is researching how instilled ideas combined with visual stimuli, albeit from an online ad or a basilica mosaic, shape human behavior. Coordinating interfaith service projects through iBelieve and attending various dialogues on campus, such as Abraham’s Tent, inspire her to continue exploring religious rhetoric. Her work seeks to depict cultural dialect through visual and literary outlets.

 

 

 

Matthew Hammond is a junior undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania studying biochemistry and history. He is also a member of the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences and is working towards his master’s degree in chemistry. He is currently researching the genetic component of addiction and mental illness in Dr. Wade Berrettini’s lab, and is also active in the Penn Newman Catholic Community. He is a graduate of St. John’s Preparatory School, a Xaverian-sponsored Catholic school for boys. It is there that he first developed his interest in the Catholic intellectual tradition which he hopes to further pursue with the Collegium Institute. After Penn, Matthew hopes to attend graduate school and possibly work in the field of Catholic education.

Emily Hoeven is a sophomore undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania studying English and French. Originally from Fremont, California, Emily will spend the summer studying literature and law and conducting independent research at Cambridge University as a Thouron Scholar. She has served on a branch of student government, the Undergraduate Assembly, for the past two years and writes opinion columns for Penn’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. In addition, she is the co-founder of PennFaces, a soon-to-be-launched website featuring student, faculty, alumni, and administrative stories of successes and failures in order to foster resilience in the Penn community. She is particularly interested in studying the nuances of human identity as manifested in language and culture. Through the Collegium Institute, she hopes to further explore different facets of humanistic thought and moral philosophy.

 

Mark Hoover is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a concentration in Arabic and Hebrew studies. Mark is also a co-founder and co-director of Dialoguing under Abraham’s Tent, which promotes interfaith dialogue between Penn’s Jewish, Christian, and Muslim undergraduate communities. His main research interest is the interactions between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities and their theologies in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Understanding these ancient interactions is pivotal to contextualizing the way in which their successor communities have taken shape and continue to engage with each other in the contemporary Western world.

 

 

Connie Miller is an undergraduate Ben Franklin Scholar from Lancaster, PA. Although she has not yet selected a major, she plans to minor in Russian Culture and History. Besides her involvement in the Collegium Institute, Connie leads the outreach team for Penn Faith and Action, a campus community of Christian leaders.

 

 

 

Andrea Muglia is an undergraduate studying Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Statistics in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in the ways in which business can inform purpose-driven institutions to realize their goals. As a fellow, she is interested in exploring the receptiveness of students at secular universities to Catholic intellectual tradition. Outside of the classroom, she performs in the student-run dance group Arts House Dance Company and volunteers her time as a leader of Connections faith-sharing groups with Penn Newman.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Olatunbosun Osinaike is a Cinema Studies major from Chicago, Illinois. He is currently writing, directing, and producing a student film about the struggles of students in business school. He looks forward to the institute being a forum for new interpretations of religious concepts, and gauging spiritual traditions in the technological age.

 

 

Kyle Tebo (C’17) is an undergraduate from Texas. He spent a season studying International business and Mandarin before switching to studies in philosophy and economics. Kyle is grateful to the Collegium Institute for providing a setting that nurtures familiarity with the Western humane tradition as well as a social group for sharing in an appreciation of it.

 

 

 

 

 

John Todaro studied psychology in the College. He was a brother in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity in which he volunteered at numerous events and charities around Philadelphia. He was also a member in Penn Red Cross, a certified EMT, and the founder of an investment club on campus. His academic interests include scientific research, finance, and religion. He has conducted chemical research at Penn and is currently conducting psychology research on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). He is particularly interested in the cross roads between science and religion and spends much of his leisure time discussing and reading on this topic. In the Student Fellows Program at the Collegium Institute he hoped to gain an even deeper understanding of this field through readings, lectures, and discussions. In the near future he hopes to travel abroad either on a Fulbright scholarship or other to perform research in orthodox religious societies and explore their differences.

 

Aaron Wolff (C’17) is a sophomore from Great Neck, NY. He has yet to decide on a major. As a Fox Fellow, Aaron worked for the Collegium Institute a scholarly foundation dedicated to fostering the Catholic intellectual tradition and the humanities more generally. He helped develop several programs including a summer program for high school students, a college reading group and a Collegium Fellows program. He also helped organize events and bring speakers, Remi Brague and Alan Brill to speak at Penn. He is the co-director of marketing and outreach for Giving What We Can: Penn and a writer for IMPACT Magazine.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Laura Spence, Paideia Steering Committee, is a native of Dallas, Texas, but currently lives outside Washington, D.C. She is a Senior at Villanova University, studying Humanities and Classics. She is a Presidential Scholar, co-president of The Villanova Russell Kirk Society, and a member of Back On My Feet, a non-profit running club. She has spent the last few summers working at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute in Herndon, Virginia, the Program for Academic Leadership and Success in Washington, D.C., the Kazakhstan Foundation for Cultural, Social, and Educational Development in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Her primary interests are Eurasian foreign policy, literature, foreign languages, and running.

 

Ethan Swain, Paideia Steering Committeeis a senior Humanities and Theology Major at Villanova University who hails from West Hartford, Connecticut. At Villanova, he is a co-president of the Russell Kirk Society and a member of the Villanova Jazz Ensemble in which he plays bass. Last semester he studied theology and philosophy at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University. This past summer he received an undergraduate research fellowship from Villanova with which he studied the theology of deification in St. Augustine. Ethan is also a member of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an organization committed to conservative thought and the virtues and principles of the West. Outside of school he enjoys exercise, particularly swimming and soccer.