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The John & Pat Figge
|Inaugural 2009 - 2010 Student Fellows|
Lucy Bridgers is a senior in the School of Foreign Service. She is majoring in International History with a concentration in environmental history. Working on organic farms and at farmers' markets has given her the practical experience to complement her academic interests, and she hopes to one day have a small farm of her own. As the daughter of an Episcopal priest, Lucy grew up moving between North Florida, Virginia and Alabama. After graduation, she plans to move to Birmingham, AL, to pursue sustainable agriculture and work towards community health and development in rural areas.
For her research project on “Seeking Spirituality in Creation,” (available for download by clicking here) Lucy studied elements of the Christian tradition (represented by scholars like Wendell Berry, J. Philip Newell, and Leonardo Boff) that “express the idea that we will not become whole until we’ve recognized our place as part of Creation, not its master”. She observed the work of Christian communities that are not only working to mitigate environmental destruction, but are also using their environmental work to reach out spiritually to young people who would otherwise have no interest in Christianity.
Ben Burdick is a Freshman in the Georgetown College. He considers himself to be from Phoenix, Arizona but has moved several times in his life and his family currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally being born in the northwest corner of Connecticut, he is an avid Yankees fan and loves going back to Connecticut every summer to see relatives and see the Yankees play. He went to high school in Phoenix and came from a Jesuit school similar to Georgetown. Jesuit ideals were present throughout his high school career and led him to some great experiences through various immersion trips to different countries, service organizations, and the occasional protest trip to Georgia.
Ben’s project on “The Opportunity of Education” explored the theological and ethical implications of the recent influx of immigrant children from El Salvador to the D.C. area, the barriers that these children experience to receiving a quality education, and ways to more effectively inform immigrant parents about the educational opportunities available to their children.
Kevin Flannery hails from the western suburbs of St. Louis. He is a sophomore in Georgetown College majoring in theology with a concentration in ethics. He is especially interested in the way members of the Catholic Church, particularly the clergy, involve themselves with politics at the national, state, and local levels. In this vein, he has worked on Capitol Hill in the office of Senator Claire McCaskill as well as in St. Louis in the office of the Jesuits of the Missouri Province. While Kevin knows his work at Woodstock will be very rewarding, he also hopes to have enough free time and blustery days to fly his kite on Harbin Field.
Kevin’s paper and brief documentary on “Marriage Matters: a Catholic Liberation Theology Perspective” explored the theological basis behind Catholic organizations’ efforts to affect government policy on contentious issues, and the way in which members of the Catholic Church, particularly clergy, involve themselves with politics at the national, state, and local levels. As a case study, he followed the Church’s response to Washington, D.C.’s recent same-sex marriage legislation.
Jesse Mirotznik is a Sophomore in the SFS at Georgetown University. He is majoring in Regional Studies for Western Europe, and has a strong interest in Philosophy, Theology, Language and History. He was born and raised in a reform Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently the Co-President of the Jewish Student association. His favorite ethno-religious witticism is "When you put two Jews in a room, you get three opinions."
Jesse’s project on “The World of Fate and the World of Freedom” (available for download by clicking here) explored the concept of ‘free will’ in Catholicism, Judaism, and Existentialism, and whether the teachings of a person’s faith tradition on free will affect the way in which he or she makes difficult decisions in their personal and professional lives.
Ann Yuan is a junior in the Georgetown College, majoring in philosophy and linguistics. She was born in China and came to the United States at the age of five. She grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a suburban town near Milwaukee. Her experience with religion includes a brief stint as a Jehovah's witness, six consecutive years of youth group attendance, and a life-long acquaintance with Buddhism through her parents.
Ann is making an audio documentary on “Education and Spirituality” that explores the Chinese Buddhist concept of ‘filial piety,’ and whether incorporating it into the curriculum of Western educational systems would encourage the development of students who are less self-centered, and who will be more compassionate and inclined to promote the common good.