Student Fellows

Alberto Amaral is an 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 senior 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.


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.


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 freshman 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

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.




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.


Momena Haider is a freshman 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 freshman 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.


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.




Gabrielle Ramos is a second 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 is works in the Penn School of Nursing Office of Advising and Academic Affairs 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 even lives in the Catholic Women’s Household! She is most excited about helping coordinate medical humanities programming for Collegium.


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.





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.