Student Fellows 2016

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. 



Stephanie Culy

Roseville, California

Senior: Multimedia Communications


I grew up in beautiful Northern California and would never think of living anywhere else! I look forward to marrying this June and embarking on the adventure of becoming one and starting a family. I also eagerly pursue the completion my degree in Multimedia Communications this May with the hopes of entering into the field of graphic design upon graduation.


The Hildebrand Project speaks to me on two levels. The first, is a desire to dive deeper into Dietrich von Hildebrand’s works on the dignity of the person and beauty as a means of rekindling a sense of childlike wonder of the world around me. Second, my passion for graphic design stems from the desire to reclaim and create beauty. The world no longer listens to the true nor the good, however it still remains open to the power of the beautiful. This is where I seek to empower the New Evangelization.



Rose Deemer

Whitmore Lake, MI

Freshman: Catechetics and English


I am a freshman student and aspiring author with a passion for goodness, truth, and beauty, particularly as they are found in the written word, in nature, and in the human person. In my free time, I enjoy music, theater, reading, trying to write, and watching the sunset over the Great Lakes.

I am drawn to Dietrich von Hildebrand’s philosophy because it provides an understanding of the dignity, complexity, and identity of the human person, an understanding which contemporary society and culture desperately need. I am fascinated by his philosophy of beauty and its important role in human life.

Anne Foster

Holidaysburg, PA

Junior: English and Philosophy


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.



Benj Klare

Cincinnati, Ohio

Sophomore: Theology and Philosophy


I am a born and raised Ohioan, native to Cincinnati. I come from a family of nine and am one of a nearly innumerable amount of cousins. My hobbies consist of varied attempts at philosophy and theology, much camaraderie, the occasional workout, aspiring to the spiritual life, and more often than not a growing want of sleep and/or food. 


Once bordering on skepticism concerning the value of the individual, I was delighted to stumble upon the refreshing personalism of Hildebrand, Wojtyla, and other similar thinkers. This new philosophical approach has already radically vivified my life and I am excited to see how it will continue to do so through the Hildebrand Project.


Emma Lindle

Cincinnati, Ohio

Junior: Catechetics

 I enjoy soccer, running, and reading the catechism. Mother Teresa is my hero and I’ve been formed well by Dominicans in high school youth group and about a year in the convent. Now I’m here with the Franciscans in Steubenville living the dream studying catechetics. My favorite dish is a tie between my mom’s chili and cornbread and Russian Borscht. 

It was “The Privilege of Being A Woman” and “Letters to a Young Bride” by Alice Von Hildebrand, my first philosophy professor, and a good friend that led me to the Hildebrand Project. The way Hildebrand is able to communicate the depth of the human experience in tangible terms is what I love most. This project reaches out to us at this moment in time when we need to here again that man is worth the dignity of love.



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.


Catherine Yanko

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Junior: Theology and Philosophy


Growing up, I was always the girl with the book hiding under her desk during class. Reading and conversation still hold to be among my favorite activities. I prefer both with a cup of coffee in hand. My dream coffee date would be with Karol Wojtyla and Edith Stein. 


As I began to pursue knowledge of God, I realized I did not have the proper philosophy to maintain my beliefs. For me, the philosophy of the person became foundational to understanding God. The personalist philosophers have become my heroes and as familiar as friends. By participating in this Project, I hope to come to a clearer knowledge of God and myself. 



Also See:

The Student Fellows' blog: Truth from the Heart

Hildebrand Project Student Fellowships

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