Religion & Philosophy Department

Lebanon Valley College

Academic Honors

inquiry 2014

On Thursday, April 10th, Lebanon Valley College enjoyed a day-long celebration of student learning. The day’s events were a culmination of INQUIRY 2014, and included the distribution of academic awards and scholarships.

The department’s first award was given to Alyssa Nissley. Alyssa was the recipient of the G.A. Richie Memorial Ministerial Scholarship Award. This award is given annually to a major in the Department of Religion and Philosophy on the basis of academic achievement and financial need, in memory of Dr. G.A. Richie, former professor of Bible and Greek at Lebanon Valley College.

The second award was given to Daniel Kimmel. Daniel was given the The Martha U. Peiffer and Dr. Harold S. Peiffer ’42 Award in Religion as the Outstanding Senior in Religion.

The third award was given to Marquis Bey. Marquis was given the Donald E Byrne, Jr. Award for Undergraduate Research. This award is named in honor of Professor Don Byrne for his decades of exemplary teaching, which combined inspiration interdisciplinarity, and rigor with the highest of expectations. To be given to the Religion or Philosophy student who has distinguished him/herself the most through undergraduate research.

The fourth award was given to Ashley Ferrari. Ashley was given th Award of Excellence in Philosophy as the most outstanding Philosophy major at LVC.

The final award was given to Anna Quinn. Anna was the recipient of the David E. Long/ Abram M. Long Memorial Ministerial Scholarship Award. This award was established in 1965 by the Reverend Abram M. Long, Class of 1917, in memory of his father, the Reverend David E. Long, Class of 1900. The award is based on merit, and is given annually by the Department of Religion and Philosophy to a student preparing for the ministry and/or a life of service.

2014 Theta Alpha Kappa Inductions

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On Tuesday, April 8th, five students from the Department of Religion and Philosophy at LVC were inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for Religious Studies and Theology.

In addition, graduating senior Daniel Kimmel was given a monetary prize from the national office of Theta Alpha Kappa in recognition of his scholarship and dedication to excellence in religious studies and theology. Daniel is graduating this year with a double major in English and Religion, and a minor in Classics. He has a perfect 4.0 GPA. For the past two years he has presented his research at the North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy. He was inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa last year as a part of our inaugural class. He is also a member of the English national honors society and Phi Alpha Epsilon. Next year, he will be attending Lehigh University as a Teaching Fellow to begin work on his Master’s Degree in English.

Theta Alpha Kappa is an affiliated society of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.

A brief profile of each of the inductees is listed below. Congratulations to them all.

Alyssa Carter:
Alyssa Carter graduated from LVC with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology. While still a student, she worked as an assistant in LVC’s Counseling Services for three years. The current director of Counseling Services, Stevie Falk, credits Alyssa with being absolutely “instrumental” to her success by providing a bridge between the office’s past activities and its present work. Alyssa assumed the responsibility for regularly publishing the Counseling Services Newsletter “Stepping Stones”. She also organized many of the outreach and educational events. And in addition, she was President of the LVC chapter of Active Minds, a leading national organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health issues. Alyssa currently works as a Psychiatric Assistant at Philhaven, the Counseling and Mental Health Hospital located in Lebanon, PA.

Miranda Milillo:
Miranda is currently completing her sophomore year at LVC. She is a Religion major and is actively involved in LVC’s service fraternity APO. She was recruited to the Religion department by Professor Sayers after taking his First Year Seminar class in Dystopia and after spending a short study abroad experience in London where she and several of her classmates spent the week investigating the religious diversity of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. She is a gifted reader and a natural leader. She participated in this year’s Habitat for Humanity’s national alternative spring break program in Pendletin, W.V. where she along with 21 other LVC students and staff helped families obtain simple, affordable housing.

Alyssa Nissley:
Alyssa is completing her junior year at LVC. She is an active and engaged student leader on campus who excels in the classroom and who has also been recognized for her off-campus community service. She has been awarded an Arnold Grant for Experiential Education for a Collaborative Research Project with Dr. Matt Sayers on “Developing a Theory of Religious Change”. She spent last spring semester studying abroad in Argentina. She is currently enrolled in the yearlong Race and Religion Undergraduate Research Symposium in which she has conducted independent research by doing a womanist theological analysis of Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple, which she has presented at the North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy and at the national undergraduate conference on “Democracy Realized” at Allegheny College. She works a plethora of jobs at LVC, including her work as the student assistant in the Religion and Philosophy office suite where she provides invaluable assistance to Becky Corum.

Rebecca Sausser:
Becky is completed her sophomore year at LVC. She is a double major in History and Religion. She is also active in the LVC service fraternity APO. She is famous for her assortment of hats. And for her constant good humor. She is a trained clown and loves to do balloon animals for friends and children. She has a twin brother, who looks nothing like her. She plays the ukulele. As testament to her outstanding qualities as a student, she was one of the brave few to tackle Sanskrit as a freshman. She was also one of the brave few not just to take the Religion and Race symposium this fall, but to allow some of these difficult texts to work like mirrors on her own experience.

Elizabeth Zeiner:
Liz is completing her junior year as a double major in Religion and Sociology. She has studied abroad at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. Like Miranda, she also participated in this year’s Habitat for Humanity’s national alternative spring break program in Pendletin, W.V. She loves the color green. She is a remarkable student who has willed herself to success, a true testament to earnest, hard-work. After graduating, she is interested in pursuing either a job with the FBI or to continue her studies at the graduate level.

A photo album from the induction ceremony are available at the departmental Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.758822440808303.1073741844.471241416233075&type=1.

Undergraduate Research

2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium on Race and Religion

2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium on Race and Religion

IMG_5466 Respondent Professor J. Kameron Carter (Duke University)

NAUCRP Award

NAUCRP Awards for Most Outstanding Papers of the Conference

March was an extremely full month for Religion and Philosophy students at LVC. It began with 8 students presenting at the 7th Annual North American Undergraduate Conference on Religion and Philosophy. The conference was hosted by LVC, with Monica Coleman as the guest speaker. The conference included undergraduate participants from 18 different colleges and universities from 14 different states. Two LVC students–Dylan Matusek and Megan English–won prizes for most outstanding paper of the conference. You may find out more information about the conference at https://www.facebook.com/events/215628635275820/.

The following weekend, six students from the Symposium course on Religion and Race traveled together with Professors Vahanian and Sayers to Allegheny College for an undergraduate conference on the theme of “Democracy Realized.”

Fresh on the heels of that trip, Professor J. Kameron Carter from the Divinity School at Duke University visited campus for the culminating public events of the Religion and Race Symposium. On Monday evening, Carter gave a public lecture on “Postracial Blues” in which he provided an analysis of the contemporary films Avatar and District 9 from the perspective of critical race theory and theology. On Tuesday, Carter acted as the official respondent to the original research papers delivered by LVC students. Photos of this event are available at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.755947694429111.1073741843.471241416233075&type=1