The Institute supports graduate students enthusiastically pursuing the truth and using their scholarship to transform academia and the broader culture. It recruits the highest-caliber graduate students to matriculate in the Master of Arts in Human Rights, as well as in Catholic University’s doctoral programs in politics, economics, history, philosophy, and theology, providing them the resources to rise as leaders in their fields.
Vincent Birch is a doctoral student of historical and systematic theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies. His research interests are focused on the ways theological knowledge fits and perfects the human person. Vincent received both a B.S. in Mathematics and Philosophy and an M.T.S. in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame.
Monica Burke, originally from Danville, Pennsylvania, is a first year graduate student in the School of Philosophy. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Christendom College, where she received the Outstanding Philosophy Major Award for the Class of 2017. Her research interests include political philosophy and natural law with a focus on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.
Jeanne-Michelle Datiles is a doctoral candidate in History. A former lawyer, her research focuses on religion, law, and society in late medieval and early modern England, especially the transformation and shaping of memory and identity throughout the English Reformations. Related research topics include recusancy and other forms of religious/political resistance, the preservation of memory, the role of women and familial networks, and the cultural interchange between domestic and exile networks across geographic, generational, and religious communities. Her academia page can be found here.
Meghan Duke is a doctoral student in historical theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies. She received her BA from Thomas Aquinas College (California) and her MTS from the University of Notre Dame (Indiana). Her current interests include the theology of Thomas Aquinas, Albert the Great, Bonaventure and the topics of faith, vision of God, and beatitude.
Sarah Dunford is a doctoral student in Political Theory. She holds a B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.
Genevieve Frank, a Kansas City native, is a student in the School of Philosophy. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Spanish. Her research interests include philosophy of education and the human person.
Joseph Gazaille is a graduate student in the School of Philosophy. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Providence College. His research interests include moral philosophy and the philosophy of education, with a focus on the ways in which different elements of culture affect one’s moral development. Currently, Joseph is working on a project that explores the role of eros in moral development in Plato’s Phaedrus.
Micah Harris is a doctoral student in Political Theory. He has worked in the Senate, the White House, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and elsewhere in the national security community. He holds an M.A. in Liberal Arts from Saint John’s College in Annapolis. His novel, Only Small Things Are Good, was published in 2018 and described by a former Assistant Secretary of Defense as “a must read for anyone who wants to understand life in the Pentagon.”
Patrick Jones is a PhD student in Moral Theology. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Saint John’s College, Annapolis, and his M.A. in Theology from the Dominican House of Studies. His research interests are at the intersection of Theology and Politics, with an emphasis on Saint Augustine’s relevance to modern political theology.
Camelia Lelesan is a Ph.D candidate in Political Theory. Camelia holds a BA in Philosophy from the Babes-Bolyai University (Romania), a Master of Philosophy from the University of Sorbonne (France), a MA in Political Studies from the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (France), and is an alumna of Ecole Normale Superieure (France).
Daryl Li is a student in the School of Philosophy. Daryl holds a MA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD). His research interests lies in investigating the limits of human knowledge vis-à-vis the possibility of human freedom, with an emphasis on the dialogue between Socratic philosophy and German Idealism.
Jonathan Lindley, originally from Upper Chichester, PA, is pursuing his Masters of Social Work in the National Catholic School of Social Service. He received his B.A. from Villanova University in Psychology and Humanities. Jonathan is interested in serving the psychiatric population through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.
Elizabeth Harper McCarthy is a first year Masters student in the School of Architecture and Planning. She received her B.F.A from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she trained in the classical theatre. She joins the School of Architecture’s Concentration in Classical Architecture.
Jason Paone is a doctoral student of historical and systematic theology whose research focuses on the confrontation of classical Christianity with philosophical modernity and its epistemological problematics. Jason holds a B.A. in philosophy and classics from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.T.S. from Duke University.
Bridget Safranek Knuffke
Bridget Safranek Knuffke, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, is a student of the School of Philosophy. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Dallas. Her research interests include the philosophy of law and bioethics, as well as questions related to virtue ethics and natural law theory.
Ian Tuttle is a second-year doctoral student in political theory. From 2014 to 2017, he was a fellow with the National Review Institute in New York City. He has been regularly published in, among others, National Review and The New Criterion. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD).
School of Arts and Sciences: Politics
Morgan Whitmer is a doctoral student of Political Theory. A recent graduate of Hillsdale College (Michigan), where she majored in Politics and minored in Classical Education, she participated in the George Washington Fellows Program, the Collegiate Scholars Program, and the Washington Hillsdale Internship Program.
Analucia Franco, an honors graduate from The Catholic University of America, was a part-time student last semester in the Master of Arts in Human Rights program. This fall, she joins the program as a full-time student. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in a local nonprofit, preferably one focused on addressing food insecurity. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, playing the acoustic guitar, and taking care of her pets.
Jane Jagas is from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She earned her B.A in History from the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) with a specialization in War, Revolution, and Social Upheaval and a minor in Fine Arts Studio Practice. She has worked as a technical writer, tutor, and archives assistant over the last few years and spends her free time oil painting. Her research interests include the political, social, and religious implications of conflict, genocide, and social movements with a particular focus on the intergenerational impacts of historical events. After receiving the human rights degree, she plans to work on human trafficking issues either in government or with an NGO.
Hannah McIntyre is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Religion from Hillsdale College in 2018, where she also earned 11 All-American honors as a cross country, indoor, and outdoor track athlete. She has worked as a GED teacher at a youth shelter and an associate financial planning representative since graduation. Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors with her five siblings. She is considering pursuing a job in the nonprofit sector after finishing the M.A. in Human Rights.
Gillian Richards is from Hyattsville, Maryland, and graduated from Catholic University with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in economics. She also worked as a copy editor while at Catholic University. Her interests include the philosophical underpinnings of law and public policy, Catholic Social Teaching, and the role of mediating institutions. In her free time Gillian enjoys running, playing the piano, and having friendly philosophical debates. After graduation, she hopes to pursue either a law degree or a Ph.D. in political economy, and eventually work at a think tank in Washington, D.C. on issues related to human trafficking.
Tom Shakely serves as Chief Engagement Officer at Americans United for Life (AUL), responsible for brand, communications, and development. Tom is also a Research Fellow at the Center on Human Exceptionalism, which strives to awaken the conscience on human rights and responsibilities as well as bioethical issues. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University, M.S. in Bioethics from the University of Mary, and Certificate with Distinction from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Health Care Ethics.
Brandon Showalter has been a full-time journalist with The Christian Post in Washington, DC since the summer of 2016 covering a wide range of topics of theological interest. He earned a B.A. (cum laude) in International Studies and Spanish from Bridgewater College of Virginia in 2007; is a fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, & Law; and graduated in 2015 from a three-year non-degree program at Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California. His favorite thing to do in life is to sing. Upon receiving his degree in human rights, he plans to write and report on human rights issues.
Francisco Socrates holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila) and an MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). After a year as a part-time student (spent in his home in Manila) due to restrictions on foreign student visas because of Covid, he joins the program as a full time student in the fall of 2021. He is currently part of Universitas Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization promoting principled leadership. He hopes eventually to become involved in human rights work in the Philippines. He is interested in the question of the grounding of human rights. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the outdoors, playing the guitar, and reading novels.
Afghani Barakzai is Corporate Recruiter at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. Prior to that, she held positions as Project Manager for Mobile Money Program and Senior Administrator at USAID, and Human Resource Manager at Asia Consultancy Group (ACG). She was also a Visiting Fellow in the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Afghani holds degrees from Kabul University and Georgetown University, and certificates from Arizona State University and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She is completing the M.A. in Human Rights at Catholic University as a part-time student.
Apply to our Graduate Scholar program
Questions? Get in touch!
About the IHE
The Institute for Human Ecology (IHE) at The Catholic University of America is the nation’s leading academic institute committed to increasing scientific understanding of the economic, cultural, and social conditions vital for human flourishing.