Figge Fellows

In the 2009-2010 academic year, the Woodstock Theological Center launched its newest initiative, the John & Pat Figge Woodstock Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship. These Fellowships give several Georgetown undergraduates an opportunity to do “theological reflection on the human problems of today.” Now, the Figge Fellows have a new home in the Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown University, where they continue to develop a new lens and methodology to approach their studies and life experiences.

Figge Fellows are selected through a competitive process, with the goal of bringing together students from a variety of majors and religious traditions who display a high level of academic aptitude. Fellows also have a strong interest in how theological reflection can be applied to current issues and problems. Each Fellow receives a $500 stipend for completion of the Fellowship.

Now in its twelfth year, the Figge Fellowship program looks forward to opening up to another set of Fellows. The current Figge Fellows team, along with the Catholic Studies faculty and staff, are excited to welcome a new group of students into the Georgetown community.

The 2020-2021 Figge Fellowship application is due September 20th, 2020. Here is a link (new window) to a letter with more information from the student coordinators. Here is a link (new window) to the official 2020-2021 Figge Fellowship application.

Jesuit Advisors: 

Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Leon Hooper, S.J.

2020-2021 Student Coordinators

Emma Bradley
Sarah Watson

2019-2020 Figge Fellows:

Ankushi Mitra
SFS Class of 2020
Major: International Politics – Security Studies Program
Project Name: Land Reform and the Unfinished Business of Reconciliation in South Africa: Evolving Public Christianities
Project Description: Mitra is studying the evolution of the land reform question in South Africa, analyzing South African churches’ voice in the land justice debate, their waning influence, and searching for avenues through which churches can recreate the influential and dynamic public Christianities they once offered to South Africans.

Sarah Watson
SFS Class of 2023
Project Name: Chomolungma: The Commercialization of Sacred Peaks and Ethical Challenges of Modern Day Climbing
Project Description: Watson is researching international sacred mountains specifically in the Himalayas and the impact of mountain commercialization on Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist communities. Watson is also looking at the modern ethical issues of high altitude climbing and the evolution of mountains from sacred, untouched sites to crowded tourist locations

AJ Degrado
MSB Class of 2022
Major: Finance
Project Name: Structural Development of the Early Church from the Writings of Eusebius
Project Description: Degrado is working with Prof. John O’Malley, studying early Church history from the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea. Moreover, Degrado is hoping to establish which aspects of the early Church allowed Christianity to spread at such a rapid pace.

Ana Ruiz
SFS Class of 2022
Project Name: The Faithful Citizenship of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Project Description: Ruiz is looking through the history of the USCCB’s political engagement throughout its 100+ year history, especially in the presidential election of 2016, as a model for Catholic voters to faithfully engage in politics while upholding Catholic moral and social teaching.

Maya James
COL Class of 2020
Project Name: Thoughts and Prayers: Comparing the Religious Rhetoric of President Barrack Obama and George W. Bush After Mass Shootings
Project Description: Mass shootings are commonplace in the United States, and during these highly tense and emotional moments, citizens often look to presidents to provide comfort and leadership. This project will analyze various factors that influence a presidential speech after atrocities, such as authenticity and religious phrasing. It will also include an analysis of their primary voting audience’s religion, among other factors.

Amber Stanford
COL Class of 2021
Project Name: Black Women in the Peoples Temple: Revisiting Jonestown and Drinking the Kool-Aid
Project Description: Stanford is exploring the connection between the Peoples Temple (Jonestown), its members’ desire for racial equality, and the identity of Black women. She hopes to learn the reasons for Black women joining the Peoples Temple in the context of American public life.

Past Figge Fellows

Kelsey Yurek, Marisa Putrasahan, Arin Chinnasathian, Benjamin Brazzel, Emma Bradley, Justin Potisit