Ciara Eichhorst

Ciara Eichhorst

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2023

Advisor: Russell T. McCutcheon 

Ciara graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2021 with a B.A. in Philosophy & Religion and Psychology. In 2019 she was a recipient of the NWU Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant, which allowed her to explore pathways for designing a course on “New, Emergent, and Alternative Religions” as part of the U.S. Religious Diversity course at NWU. She has held internships with the Lancaster County Department of Corrections, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department, and the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Ciara is particularly interested in the way classifications, identity formation, and rhetoric are mobilized in the interaction between law enforcement and New, Emergent, and Alternative religions. She hopes to use her degree from UA to pursue a career in federal law enforcement.

Photo of Jacob Barrett in front of Presidents Hall stairs

Jacob Barrett

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Russell T. McCutcheon 

Originally from Colorado Springs, Jacob Barrett received his B.A. in Philosophy & Religion from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2020. A second year M.A. student, he has presented papers at the Rocky Mountain-Great Plains regional, Southeast regional, and annual meetings of the American Academy of Religions as well as the British Association for the Study of Religion. His presentation at the Southeast regional meeting of the AAR won the AAR/SE Graduate Student Paper Award. He has published in Implicit Religion and is under contract with Equinox and Bloomsbury to contribute chapters to forthcoming volumes. He is interested in pursuing questions about religion and governance, law, and the state through contemporary examples from American politics.

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Joseph DeFrank

Joseph DeFrank

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Michael J. Altman 

Coming to REL’s M.A. in the Fall of 2020, Joseph DeFrank from Canton, GA, graduates in the Spring of 2020 with a B.S. in History and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Young Harris College. An Irish-American scholar for an academic year at Queen’s University of Belfast, some of his main interests include the study of religion in the United States, new religious movements, and what the future of “religion” might be.

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Kyle Ashley

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Edith Szanto 

From Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Kyle Ashley is continuing on with the Department after receiving his B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Alabama in the Fall of 2019. Kyle's interests include imperialism, governmentality, and the intersection between media and power (with a particular focus on American discourses concerning Iran). In Spring 2020 Kyle served as a Teaching Assistant for the Department of American Studies. Visit his website.