Student Fellows 2015

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. 

Joseph Anderson
Tracy, CA
Senior: British and American Literature 

After growing up among the golden hills of California, I left home to go to college in the cloudy, pacific northwest. After two years in university there, I discerned a calling to transfer to the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I have also worked as a writer in San Francisco, California, and my work has been printed internationally.

I was introduced to Hildebrand's philosophy under the instruction of Dr. Morrissey of the Catholic Pacific philosophy faculty. Since then, studying Hildebrand has inspired my perception of life, love and meaning. I look forward to continuing my growth as a part of the student fellowship. 

Hannah Bruckner
Toledo, OH
Junior: Theology

After living in Europe for four months through the FUS Austria program, my greatest passion in life is encountering beauty.  My favorite things include the Church, studying, artwork, espresso, music, travel, prayer, and good friends.  I am so excited to be a small part of the Hildebrand Project.

I initially disliked philosophy for several years until my heart began to soften and change during my travels.  Beauty seemed to capture me, and I gradually learned how to respond to value.  I developed a strong love for philosophy and for Hildebrand’s view on aesthetics in particular. 

Martha Egan
Franklin, WI
Sophomore: English and Theology, Minor in German

I am the third of eight kids in my family. I learned early on that if I wanted to do something, I needed to just go out and do it. Some things I enjoy are good conversations, singing, reading, playing the ukulele, and all things Irish. After graduation, I plan on teaching.

I am thrilled to work with the Student Fellows in studying and promoting Dietrich von Hildebrand’s philosophy. I have been very inspired by St. Pope John Paul II in his teachings on personalism, and am overjoyed to continue this study with Hildebrand’s writings.

Josh Merlo
Rochester Hills, MI
MA Philosophy Candidate

I am a master’s philosophy student who dutifully follows the Detroit Red Wings and Michigan Wolverines; enjoys reading science fiction works instead of Aquinas and Aristotle; and maintains a healthy interest in politics, science, and Leibniz. My hobby is sleeping.

Ethics is not a matter of a capricious deity commanding obedience. Metaphysics cannot be entirely based on the empirical. The epistemological questions raised by the Enlightenment are the questions that still haunt traditional theism and classical philosophy. Hildebrand’s value-laden understanding of the universe can provide answers to these questions.

Julia Premus
Southington, CT
Junior: English - Writing Concentration

The realm of the aesthetic has captivated me from a young age and remains a close friend to this day. I am passionate 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. 

Lindsay Russell
Allen Park, MI
Senior: Philosophy

I like to think about the way that Philosophy underlies daily life.  I sometimes find myself thinking about the unrepeatability of the human person at the grocery store, or the beauty of nature on my walks to class.  These musings affect the way I live my life, and for that I am grateful.

I have only been studying philosophy for a year, but I have been captivated from the first class. I joined the Hildebrand Project because it promotes the subject that I love, and I am so proud to be part of it. 

Liz Stein
Cincinnati, OH
Sophomore: 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. 

Also See:

The Student Fellows' blog: Truth from the Heart

Hildebrand Project Student Fellowships

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