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College Announces Student Recipients for Year-long, Interdisciplinary Fellowships

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the undergraduate students selected as recipients of the Connelly Fellowship in Religion, Science and Human Flourishing and the John T. McLaughlin, MD and Sr. Thea Bowman Undergraduate Fellowships in Ethics. The year-long fellowships foster interdisciplinary undergraduate research and allow students to work closely alongside faculty to explore their scholarly interests, culminating in a capstone project.

2022 Connelly Fellows

As Connelly Fellows, students conduct academic research and participate in theological, ethical and scientific reflection enriched by the experiences of their peers and their spiritual and religious traditions. The program also supports students’ reflective decision-making—teaching them to seek solutions, enact change and contribute to the flourishing of the human family.

John Angelella ’23 CLAS is majoring in Biology and Economics. John’s research project will explore how science can begin to examine questions of morality and well-being. Utilizing the insights of neuroscience, philosophy and religion, his mission will be to conduct an interdisciplinary dive into consciousness, selfhood, and the "good life," with the intention of building a scientifically grounded recipe for human flourishing.

Kirsten Damore ’23 CLAS is a Biology major and Psychology minor on a pre-med track. For her research, Kirsten intends to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the way in which Villanova students are able to practice and understand their faith.

Samantha Dolloff ’22 CLAS is a Biology major with a concentration in Ethics. Her project focuses on the ethics of hospice care and decision-making toward the end of life.

Andrew Moerschel ’24 CLAS is majoring in English and Philosophy. His research this semester aims to investigate the faith practices involved in grieving the loss of a loved one and their potential to alleviate mental disorders associated with trauma.

Mary Swikle ’22 CLAS is majoring in both Humanities and Theology, with a minor in Psychology. She hopes to study the intricate relationship between the sacramental vision of the Virgin Mary with our current understandings of the cosmic placement feminine bodies, and the ways in which feminine sexuality is policed and/or empowered within the realm of Catholicism.


2022 Ethics Fellows

The John T. McLaughlin, MD and Sr. Thea Bowman Undergraduate Student Fellowships in Ethics support student opportunities to research, develop and execute undergraduate co-curricular or extra-curricular programming aimed at expanding ethical discussions on topical issues. The McLaughlin Fellowship gives preference to projects on healthcare ethics and bioethics, and the Sr. Thea Bowman Fellowship supports projects that examine moral issues related to minoritized communities.

Meghan McCarthy ’23 CLAS is the 2021-2022 John T. McLaughlin, MD Undergraduate Ethics Fellow. Meghan is majoring in Psychology and will be pursuing research on the challenges faced by disabled women who need obstetrics care at major hospitals.

Morgan Torre ’23 CLAS is the 2021-2022 Sr. Thea Bowman Undergraduate Ethics Fellow. Majoring in Peace and Justice and Gender and Women’s Studies, she will be pursuing research on the ways in which disability is presented in contemporary film.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators, and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.