Caity Bell

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2020

Caity Bell, from Fort Payne, AL, graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 with a B.A. in anthropology and religious studies. In addition to her M.A. in religion in culture, she plans to obtain a museum certificate from the university in order to better aid her research, which examines the various ways museums both construct and influence representations, particularly  those of minority groups in the United States.

Caity will be working in northeast Alabama as an archivist after completing her M.A.

Savannah Finver

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2020

Savannah graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy/Religious Studies. After a short break from academia, she is excited to pursue her Masters degree at the University of Alabama. Her current interests are in the intersection of religion and politics in America, with a special interest in fringe groups. You’ll most likely find her curled up with a book in the corner of the library. Her hobbies include research, writing, reading, teaching, and talking philosophy with friends around a bonfire.

In 2018-19 Savannah held UA’s prestigious Graduate Council Fellowship.

After completing her M.A. degree, she will begin a Ph.D. at Ohio State University.

Emma Gibson

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2019

Emma Gibson is from Charleston, SC, and graduated from Furman University in 2017 with a B.A. in Philosophy. Her interest in religious studies led her to the M.A. program at Alabama where she was able to combine her philosophical background to the critical study of religion. She defended her thesis, “Reorienting Phenomenological Method for the Critical Study of Religion,” and completed her M.A. in Spring of 2019. While working on her thesis, Emma was drawn to the idea of applying phenomenology and critical theory to fields outside of the humanities. She is now a student at Clemson University where she is pursuing a Master’s in Architecture.

Visit her website here.

Sarah Griswold

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2018

Sarah completed her M.A. in Spring 2018, after holding the prestigious Graduate Council Fellowship for 2018-19. Her thesis, entitled “Their Throats Were Constricted: Nationalism, History, and Memorials in Nana Rao Park,” studied the methods and effects of competing histories and memorials in Kanpur, India. Prior to her M.A., Sarah completed a B.S. with a double major in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics and Religious Studies from The University of Alabama. She now works as Manager of Guest Experience at the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, GA.

Visit her website here.

Sierra Lawson

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2019

Sierra is from Wyoming and completed her B.A. in anthropology, religious studies, and Spanish at The University of Alabama and, in 2019, successfully completed the M.A. in Religious Studies, also at UA. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is based in the Religion and Culture track with a focus on social theory. In her studies, Sierra analyzes the discourses that narrate apparitions of the Virgin Mary with specific interests in the history of the Iberian peninsula and colonial Latin America. She also provides service to professional organizations in her field in the form of website management and digital curation.

Visit her website here.

Matt McCullough

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2020

Matthew is from Huntsville, AL and received his B.A. in Religious Studies and Political Science from the University of Alabama in 2017. He is interested in combining these two disciplines and studying the effects of religion in contemporary American politics. Particularly focused on competing perceptions about Christianity and the ideal relationship between church and state, he hopes to find new ways to think about how these issues impact not only elections and policy making but also the religion itself and the way individuals identify with it.

After graduation Matt plans to get involved in education, possibly working in secondary ed.

Keeley McMurray

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2020

From Huntsville, AL, Keeley McMurray graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 with a BA in Religious Studies and English and a minor in Theater.  She is primarily interested in how “religion” and its orbiting discourses can be studied as rhetoric, deployed as a tool used to organize and reproduce a specific social world.  Specifically, she is curious as to how this rhetoric functions in American politics and law, as a necessary feature that works to negotiate similarity and difference by creating governable individuals.  When she’s not lost in quiet contemplation, Keeley enjoys animals, live music, and a lot of laughing.  She hopes to be a lifelong learner, teacher and friend to all.

In 2018-19 Keeley held the prestigious National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship and, in 2019-20, Keeley was the inaugural holder of the American Examples Graduate Research Assistantship, funding by the Luce Foundation.

After successfully defending her thesis and completing her M.A. degree, Keeley will pursue her Ph.D. at Florida State University.