Gabriel Calvo '21 CLAS has been awarded a John & Daria Barry Scholarship to support his graduate studies at Oxford University. This October, Gabe will begin reading for an MPhil in Theology at Oriel College, returning to the university where he studied at Blackfriars Hall during Hilary and Trinity terms 2020. The Barry Scholarship is "awarded in recognition of a student’s dedication to the academic vocation and the pursuit of truth" and "is currently the most generous scholarship available for study at the University of Oxford."
Gabe leaves Villanova as a double major (Honors Program) in Humanities and Philosophy. Reflecting on his time at Villanova, Gabe writes: “The decision to study Humanities and Philosophy was ultimately the only one for me. To study life’s deepest questions across subjects with a firm foundation in the Augustinian tradition is all I could ever ask for in a major. The community cultivated around a love of learning was what drew me most of all.” Awarded the Catherine Barr Windels ‘75 CLAS scholarship to study abroad at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University, he made the most of his time there before being recalled to his home in New Mexico due to the pandemic: “While sightseeing with one of the Dominican friars who lived in Oxford, I asked about an inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia stories that I had heard was in the vicinity, only to have him show us the lamppost and the lion right under our noses. That kind of thing would happen all the time because the city of Oxford had such a deep history.” It’s fantastic that Gabe will now be returning to Oxford as a graduate student. And where next? “I think the most likely avenues for me right now are teaching, the religious life or both. It will be wherever I think I can best serve Christ, the Church and promote the liberal arts in education."
Timothy Long ’20 CLAS graduated from Villanova University as the Karol Wojtyla Medallion for Excellence in the Humanities awardee. A former recipient of the Catherine Barr Windels Scholarship for study at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford (2019), he was also among six graduating seniors in 2020 to receive Villanova’s prestigious Falvey Scholars Award for his Humanities Honors thesis, “Even the Mercy of the Lord Burns: Violence, Distortion, and Grace in Flannery O’Connor, Jacques Maritain, and Karl Barth.”
In Fall 2021, Tim enters the second year of his Master of Divinity studies at the University of Notre Dame, where, despite the pandemic conditions, he enjoyed a packed first year of theological studies that took him from history to systematic and sacramental theology and “the strange new world of the bible,” as Karl Barth once described. Tim also served as a catechist in a local parish. After his vaunted career as an RA at Villanova, he is returning to residential life as an assistant rector at Notre Dame and looking forward to doing what he can to care for residents as “whole persons and inviting them to think about the permanent things.”
Caroline Arnold ’20 CLAS received the 2020 Department of Humanities Senior Essay award for her Humanities/Honors thesis, “Insignes pietate viri: Virgil, Augustine, and Dante on the Virtue of Piety.” Her ambitious essay looked toward a rehabilitation of the virtues of piety, understood not as mere private devotion or fidelity, but in its full scope, which she disclosed in close readings of Virgil’s Aeneid, St. Augustine’s Confessions, and Dante’s Vita nova and Divine Comedy. This nearly eighty-page thesis was the culmination of work that she began as a 2019 recipient of a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Now a graduate student in Philosophy at Boston College, we checked in with Caroline to see how her year has gone: “The first year of grad school has been a wonderful (and exhausting!) time. I’ve enjoyed a pretty broad range of philosophy classes, from the Stoics and Epicureans to Aristotle to Kant and Hegel. And all but one were fully in-person! Community life at BC was a bit complicated due to COVID, but I still managed to find a great group of philosopher friends (and a few theologians, too) in the department and through the Lonergan Institute. Aside from classes, I’ve been enjoying working part-time as a nanny, upping my running game, and exploring Boston! During summer 2021 I’m working on my Greek, studying Augustine and William Desmond (of course), and preparing to apply to doctoral programs.” We wish Caroline good luck as she takes these next steps in the intellectual life.
Robert Bulka ’21 CLAS is the most recent winner of the Karol Wojtyla Medallion for Academic Excellence in Humanities. A double major in Political Science and Humanities (Honors Program), Rob has consistently modelled the academic excellence and love of wisdom that the Department of Humanities strives to cultivate. Rob’s Humanities/Honors thesis, “The Thrasymachus Effect: Personal and Political Effects of Philosophical Relativism,” was a tour de force of his interdisciplinary interests throughout his time in Humanities. Rob begins studies in law at Duke University School of Law in fall 2021.