Student Fellows 2014

Hildebrand Student Fellowships offer graduate and undergraduate students at Franciscan University of Steubenville a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain personal, intellectual, and professional development while working closely with Hildebrand Project on core initiatives. Learn more about the Fellowship here. 

Alexander Anderson
West Des Moines, IA
MA Philosophy Candidate

I grew up in central Iowa, and attended Iowa State University where I earned a BA in Philosophy in August 2012. From there I spent a year at the Houston Catholic Worker before I came to Franciscan to continue my studies in Philosophy. 

Dietrich von Hildebrand’s thought, like the philosophy of the Catholic Worker movement, is deeply rooted in personalism. It’s this aspect that first drew me to his philosophy. He understands deeply that philosophy begins in wonder, which is something rather important to me. 

Veronica Buehnerkemper
Kelseyville, CA
Senior: Computer Science and Mathematics, Minor in French

Some of my favorite things to do are dance, travel, and coordinate events, as well as study mathematics and computer science. After college, I would love to work as an event coordinator or high school teacher, and I plan to eventually move back to the country!

The Student Fellowship program gives us a unique opportunity to further the mission of the Legacy Project in creative ways, and allows us to reach out to our peers and spark their interest in philosophy through the works of Dietrich von Hildebrand.

Theresa Corgan
Spring Lake, MI
Senior: Humanities and Catholic Culture, Minor in Philosophy

I am passionate about the Catholic intellectual life and its role within modern culture. I am also an internationally competitive Irish dancer with plans to pursue Fine Art after graduation. 

Reading Hildebrand’s works has had a profound impact on my understanding of a virtuous life, as his thought engages the deepest aspects of my personality and humanity. It has given me a deeper and more tangible way of seeking God. 

Grace Davies
Boise, ID
Senior: Philosophy

I admire Dietrich von Hildebrand as a philosopher who possessed great clarity in the sphere of values. Furthermore, he was a man of integrity – his philosophy sincerely permeated his personality and his life. Not only did he herald the value of persons, but also he was deeply and intentionally sensitive to the unique values of every person he encountered.

As a student of philosophy who plans to continue on in the field of philosophy, I hope to achieve Hildebrand’s depth of integrity: to discover, and then conform my life, to what is true.

Kaitlin Fellrath
Mobile, AL
Senior: History and Political Science

My interests include politics, international affairs, running, and classic literature.

The philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand is highly accessible to people like myself who have little experience with heavy philosophical texts. It is also incredibly relevant to today, and it would not be an overstatement to suggest that an understanding of Hildebrand’s value philosophy could transform Western civilization.  It is for this reason that I am glad to be involved in the Hildebrand Legacy Project through the Student Fellows Program. 

Anne Foster
Holidaysburg, PA
Senior: English and Philosophy, Minor in Theology

I am an aspiring writer who recently acquired a passion for philosophy.  It is my dream that someday my writings will affect humanity in a way which brings them closer to truth.  However, I would be equally as content as a stay at home mom who creates fantastical bedtime stories for her children.

My relationship with Dietrich von Hildebrand began my first semester of college in my first philosophy class.  Hildebrand’s writings awakened in me an understanding of the human person enlightened by divine truth.  I knew that Hildebrand’s philosophy needed to become a part of my studies and my life.  His philosophy continues to perfect the way I think, but more importantly, the way I love.

Evelyn Hildebrand
Springfield, VA
Senior: Philosophy, Minor in Human Life Studies

Some of the things that make me come alive are climbing trees, running, George Strait and people.  Watching the sunset over Assisi changed my life. C.S. Lewis, John Paul II and Mother Teresa are three of my heroes.  I love writing - I want to use language to communicate the truth with charity, clarity and wit. 

My first philosophy class, Philosophy of the Human Person, introduced me to a whole new world, clothing my passion for human dignity with words like personalism, phenomenology and self-presence.  Dietrich Von Hildebrand maintained incredible sensitivity in recognizing and responding to the good, the beautiful and the true.  I want to see what he saw and respond to the truth with his courage.

Julia Premus
Southington, CT
Sophomore: English - Writing Concentration

The realm of the aesthetic has captivated me from a young age and remains a close friend to this day. I care deeply about social justice issues, and welcome the diversity and unconventionality of beauty. I have a special place in my heart for Paganini, Ray Bradbury, and Nintendo.

Hildebrand’s thought ties in for me especially in his Aesthetics, where contemplating beauty plays an essential role in experiencing the full reality of human existence. This combination of the aesthetic with such a deep sense of personalism attracts me to his philosophy. 

Cristina Ramos
Alameda, CA
Senior: Political Science and Theology, Minor in Philosophy

The youngest of six and from the diverse Bay Area, I have always appreciated discovering beauty within the complexities of life.  I am passionate about social justice issues and Catholic Social Teaching.  Travelling the world and working with the Church in missionary work is what I hope for after graduate school. 

The works of Hildebrand continues to draw me deeper into my faith life and a more purposeful way of living.  His insight inspires me to become more reflective and meaningful in the things I do and say.  Essentially, Hildebrand has played a significant role in shaping the person I am.

Joseph Rooney
Ojai, CA
Freshman: Philosophy and Theology

What would you say if I told you I wanted to become a priest and be martyred in Russia? Indeed, I am in formation for the priesthood and I hope to do missionary work in Russia, although, “martyrdom” is not actually part of the plan.

Philosophy is a way of life for me. I am so grateful for this outstanding opportunity to undergo the intellectual and personal formation that can come from reading Dietrich von Hildebrand, especially if it is done under the watchful eyes of the masters.

Courtney Shingle
Weirton, WV
Senior: Psychology and English

I grew up surrounded by the creative sphere – art, design, music – and strive to incorporate that into every aspect of life. I work hard to bring joy to those around me and truly live my faith. I love nature, decaf coffee, and the stars in a clear night sky. I hope to someday work in both marketing and adolescent counseling.

I was drawn to Hildebrand’s work by his view that beauty is essential. I have seen beauty everywhere, in the strangest places, and it has always made a great impact on me. Many don’t appreciate the value of the aesthetic realm, but it is the focal point of my life.

Liz Stein
Cincinnati, OH
Freshman: Theology and Philosophy

In my free time I enjoy watching YouTube videos of Pope Saint John Paul II, reading, singing, and the stars. I am proud to share a portion of my baptismal name with St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), because she is one of my heroes.  In my post-collegiate life I hope to be a teacher.

The works of Dietrich von Hildebrand and others like him have helped me to sift through the fog of post-modern secularism, giving me a defense against the mixed messages which are so often offered to the youth in our increasingly materialistic world, and a clearer glimpse of who the human person really is. I believe that this message of a clear identity of self is of the utmost importance.

Anna Smith (Fall 2014)
Centerville, VA
Senior: Middle Childhood Education, Language Arts and Social Studies Licensure

I love all things right-brained including singing, painting, reading, writing, and theatre. I have always wanted to become a teacher and would love the opportunity to teach students of different cultures and backgrounds. Some of my hopes and dreams include mission teaching, living in Rome, and getting a masters degree in English.

I first became interested in Christian Personalism through my exposure to St. Edith Stein’s life and work. Hildebrand attracts me because his work and his life both bear courageous witness to truth. I am excited to learn and grow in my ability to understand and love others through my study of Hildebrand.

Daniel Francis Easler (Fall 2014)
Owl's Head, ME
Junior: Philosophy, Minor in Economics

I am 33 years old, returning to school after some time serving as a U.S. Army Paratrooper and pursuing other endeavors of interest to me. I am married to the beautiful Ayla Kay, mother of my daughter Serenity Euphrasia and of another (Mikhael or Felicity) on the way. My interests are too many to number but tend to be human centered. It seems that everything I learn about us fascinates and frustrates me. I’ve always been a day-dreamer, so naturally I gravitated to Philosophy in the hope of making a living from it.  

Hildebrand’s philosophy cuts through the haze (or the maze) of conflicting thoughts, the cacophony of voices that permeate our society. It does so by focusing on that which really grips me the most, the human person.

Also See:

The Student Fellows' blog: Truth from the Heart

Hildebrand Project Student Fellowships

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