Current LFP Update

__LFP Update__11.2

June 2016

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the   activities of 1) LFP National Network institutions, 2)  present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:



The 2016 LFP National Conference: Reformed and Always Reforming: Faith, Science, Art and Culture

The 26th Annual LFP National ConferenceReformed and Always Reforming: Faith, Science, Art and Culture, will take place October 14 through 16 at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Occurring in the fall preceding the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this conference offers a wonderful occasion to ‘kick-off’ the many and varied events and activities that will occur around the world in 2017. While the religious transformation that came about is probably the most notable of the outcomes from the Reformation, there are numerous other effects that resulted from this call for reform.

Speakers and artists include : Brad S. Gregory, Dorothy G. Griffin Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Notre Dame; Lea F. Schweitz, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Joanna Lindell, Curator, Thrivent Financial Collection of Religious Art, and visual artist Paul Oman.

In addition, the Fifth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, which completed its three-year fellowship in 2015, will also attend this year’s National Conference. The Graduate Fellows will attend a Reunion Conference the two days prior to the National Conference.

Registration for the National Conference opened on May 11, 2016. For more information and to register, see Augsburg College’s conference site, or visit the LFP National Conference page.  The deadline for registration is September 7, 2016.


The 2016 Workshop for Senior Administrators: Uniting Liberal and Professional Learning through Christian Mission

Immediately preceding the National Conference will be the Seventeenth Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Uniting Liberal and Professional Learning through Christian Mission. The Workshop will be held at Augsburg College, October 13-14, 2016, and aims to reimagine, in light of Christian Mission and the richness of a Christian idea of vocation, the connections between liberal and professional learning in higher education. The workshop will explore how the Christian idea of vocation connects questions of identity or meaning to what we do to help institutions of higher learning conceptualize and articulate anew the relationship between liberal learning and professional study.  Addressing the workshop will be Dr. Marilyn McEntyre, Professor of Medical Humanities at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program and Dr. Stephany Schlachter, Provost, Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.

The Workshop is offered at no cost to senior administrators at Lilly Fellows Program National Network member institutions. Each Institution is eligible to register one senior administrator (president, vice president, academic dean, provost, or equivalent). One participant from each school will be reimbursed for travel costs up to $600. Meals and hotel accommodations will also be paid for by the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts. Additional participants from member schools will be on a waiting list until September 7 and will be enrolled as slots become available. Registration for this conference opened on May 11, 2016, and the deadline for registration is September 7, 2016. For more information and to register, click here.


New Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows Selected 

This year, the Program received 121 complete applications from prospective candidates in humanities and arts disciplines vying for one of three Postdoctoral Fellowships the Program awarded. A selection committee of seven Valparaiso University faculty, with Program Director Joe Creech, winnowed the number of candidates to six finalists who visited the Valparaiso University campus. We are extremely pleased to announce that the committee’s three choices have each accepted the offer of the Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Elizabeth Fredericks earned her BA in English at Hope College. After a brief stint in publishing, she pursued graduate studies in theology and the arts at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and then completed her MA in English at Durham University. After returning to the States, she completed her PhD in English at Baylor University. Her dissertation, "'What Saves Us Is Ceremony': Ritual and Communal Identity in Regional British and Irish Literature" examined the way in which twentieth-century authors from British and Irish regional communities incorporated ritual into their works as a way of articulating and preserving communal identity against the pressures of modernity, a subject that allowed her to bring together her interests in theology and literature.

Patrick Gardner earned his BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Notre Dame and his MTS from Duke Divinity School. He recently completed his PhD in Systematic Theology from Notre Dame, where he also served as a Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar in the Theology Department. His research interests focus on developing Christian responses to the intellectual challenges of modern thought and culture. His dissertation, “Modern Pentecost: Henri de Lubac on Atheism and the Spiritual Posterity of Joachim of Fiore,” examines how these questions are approached in the theology of the French Catholic theologian, Henri de Lubac, especially in his writings on atheist humanism and twelfth-century apocalypticism. His future research will focus on constructing novel approaches to the problem of evil and its challenge to the meaning of Christian faith commitments.

Chelsea Wagenaar received her BA from the University of Virginia, where she graduated from the Area Program in Poetry Writing. She went on to pursue her PhD in English with her emphasis in creative writing at the University of North Texas, where she graduated in May. Her first collection of poetry, Mercy Spurs the Bone (Anhinga, 2015), won the 2013 Philip Levine Prize and was selected by Philip Levine. She is at work on a second collection of poems entitled The Spinning Place.


News from Former Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows

Lisa Deam’s (LF 01-03) book, A World Transformed: Exploring the Spirituality of Medieval Maps, was published by Cascade in 2015. She continues to write and speak on spiritual formation and Christian history. Lisa recently joined the Advisory Board of the Ancient-Future Faith Network, is a co-organizer of an upcoming symposium on liturgy in Charlotte, NC, and will be leading retreats in Sacramento, CA and the Center for Spirituality in Rock Hill, SC. Her website is

Mary Henold (LF 03-05) was awarded the John R. Turbyfill endowed chair in history at Roanoke College, a five year position starting in 2016-17.

Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard (LF 97-99) has been appointed Professor of Humanities and holder of the Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University. This summer, he and Mark Noll (University of Notre Dame) will have an edited book published, entitled Protestantism after 500 Years (Oxford University Press).

We’ve learned that Sarah and Jeremy Day-O’Connell (LF 02-04) are now Associate Professors in the Music Department at Skidmore College, and with their family (Gabriel (11) and Micah (13)), have settled happily in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Current Fellow Kenneth Pearce (LF 14-16) reports that he has been appointed Ussher Assistant Professor of Berkeley Studies (Early Modern Philosophy) at Trinity College Dublin beginning in the Fall of 2016. Additionally, his first monograph, Language and the Structure of Berkeley’s World, will be published by Oxford University Press and is expected to appear in early 2017. Over the past year, Pearce also has had articles accepted to the journals Philosophers’ ImprintThought: A Journal of Philosophy; and History and Philosophy of Logic.

Caryn Riswold, (LF 00-02) at Illinois College, has recently published the chapter, “Vocational Discernment: A Pedagogy of Humanization,” in the book At This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education, edited by David S. Cunningham (Oxford University Press, 2015). She also has written a review of former LFP postdoctoral fellow Linn Tonstad’s new book for, “Queering Kenosis: A Review of God and Difference” (2/19/16). Two of her op-ed articles appeared recently: in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Stop Using Religion as a Tool Against Reproductive Justice” (1/6/16); and in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, “Muslim Lives Matter” (12/18/15). Caryn’s year has also included leading a faculty and staff workshop on “Vocation and Advising” at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2015. She also has presented on religion and homophobia at two events: the Equality Institute in Springfield, Illinois, and the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender & Ally College Conference at Purdue University. In addition, she received a curriculum development grant from the Interfaith Youth Core to develop a new course in Interfaith Studies at Illinois College. She presented on related interfaith initiatives at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge in Washington, DC, in September, and at the Presbyterian and Pluralist Conference in Chicago in April. Finally, Caryn served on the Theological Roundtable of the ELCA, representing the Lutheran Women in Theological and Religious Studies group.

Jamie Skillen (LF 06-08), Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Calvin College, had a new book published this past fall (Skillen, James R. Federal Ecosystem Management: Its Rise, Fall, and AfterlifeLawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2015). He also has spent the last two academic years teaching at the Oregon Extension while on a leave-of-absence from Calvin College.

Anna Stewart (LF 12-14) shares that she recently accepted a position as Assistant Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Valparaiso University.

Julie Straight (LF 02-04) has let us know she is completing her twelfth year at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. This past year she has taken on directing Cornerstone, NNU’s program that orients first-year students to Christian liberal arts education.

Linn Marie Tonstad’s (LF 09-11) book God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Finitude, was recently published by Routledge. Linn is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School.

In 2015-16, Jeff Zalar (LF 02-04) (University of Cincinnati) gave papers and public lectures on modern German and European history before the German Studies Association and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education in Cincinnati, OH. In addition to reviews in The Journal of Modern History, he also published the historiographical essay, “Political Catholicism, 1871-1918,” in Matthew Jefferies, ed., The Ashgate Research Companion to Imperial Germany (Ashgate, 2015). The year also saw him delivering the inaugural Aquinas Lecture, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Society of Saint Paul, entitled, “The Catholic Theology of Eros, or: Why It Is a Bad Idea to Marry Your Best Friend.” In addition, Jeff also gave the Third Annual Conway Lecture in Catholic Studies, entitled, “Catholicism and the Secular Research University: Where Do They Meet?” Jeff was honored this year in receiving Recognition for Excellence in Education of Underrepresented Students by the University of Cincinnati’s Office of Ethnic Programs and Services, and won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University Honors Program, University of Cincinnati, “for exceptional devotion to student learning and innovation within the context of honors education.”


The LFP National Board Welcomes the University of Pikesville to the LFP National Network

The National Network Board met for its semi-annual meeting April 2-3, 2016 in Chicago, and along with other tasks approved the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, KY, for membership in the LFP National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities.  Welcome UPike!  


Update on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

This year the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program received 64 nominations from 36 network schools. In April, a selection committee interviewed 17 candidates for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program in Indianapolis, Indiana. Over the course of the two-day interview process, we came to know the remarkable individuals who made it to this final stage of evaluation. We will be announcing shortly the composition of Ninth Cohort, who will be mentored by Douglas Henry of Baylor University and Gretchen J. Van Dyke of The University of Scranton.  The Ninth Cohort will gather for its Inaugural Conference again in Indianapolis in August of 2016.

A very special thanks to all of you who nominated your students for this highly competitive fellowship.  Your hard work keeps this program vital, as does the education and formation that our Fellows receive at your institutions. Again, thank you.

The three active cohorts will attend campus conferences throughout the summer. The Sixth Cohort and mentors Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University and Arlin Migliazzo of Whitworth University will have their final summer conference at Saint John's Abbey Guesthouse in Collegeville, MN, in June 2016.  Susan Felch of Calvin College and Paul Contino of Pepperdine University will hold the second conference of the Seventh Cohort at Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse as well in August, 2016.  Mentor Patrick Byrne of Boston College, along with Susan VanZanten of Seattle Pacific University, will host the first campus conference for the Eighth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows at Boston College in August, 2016.

The Fifth Cohort, mentored by Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College and Father Michael Patella, OSB, of Saint John’s University and Saint John’s Seminary, which completed its three-year fellowship in summer 2015, will come together this fall for a Reunion Conference on October 13-14, 2016, two days prior to the Annual National Conference at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN (October 14-16). At the end of their reunion, members of the cohort will join the other participants of the National Conference.


Update on LFP Staff Changes 

We are very happy to announce that Joe Goss joined the LFP staff in March, 2016, as the new Program Coordinator. Joe Goss received an M.A. in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. Prior to working with the Lilly Fellows Program, Joe worked for 12 years as Assistant Director of Valparaiso University's Core Program, an interdisciplinary humanities course. He also has taught philosophy and general studies courses at Valparaiso University. Joe is in addition the assistant editor of the Owl of Minerva, a scholarly journal which focuses on the work of the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel.


Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsNetwork ExchangesSmall Grants, and Regional Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2016.

For more information, visit the LFP website.


From the Colloquium at Our Blog, Exiles from Eden 

To learn about the readings of the Graduate Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows, please see Joe Creech’s “From the Colloquium” post on the LFP-sponsored blog, Exiles from Eden.


Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.

Noteworthy News

2016 Annual LFP National Conference

Registration Closes September 7!

Registration is now open for the 2016 annual LFP National Conference at Augsburg College, October 14-16, 2016.  For more information and to register, click here.

2016 Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators

Registration Closes September 7!

Registration is now open for the 2016 annual LFP Workshop for Senior Administrators at Augsburg College, October 13-14, 2016. For more information and to register, click here.

2015 Lilly Fellows Program Book Award Winner and Finalists

Click here to see the winner of and finalists for the 2015 Lilly Fellows program Book Award!  Click here to read reviews in The Cresset of the winner and finalists.

June LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for June 2016 is now available. Click here.

Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

The LFP is now sponsoring a new blog, Exiles from Eden.  Go check it out!

National Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.