Ciara Eichhorst

Ciara Eichhorst

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2023

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.
Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2023

Katie Johnson begins the M.A. program in the Fall of 2021 after graduating from The University of Alabama in May 2021 with a major in Anthropology and minors in Ancient Greek and Latin. She was also part of UA’s Honors College. Katie is originally from Sylvania, Alabama. Her interests include history, archaeology, religion, and the study of myth. Specific research interests include expressions of identity in religion, particularly concerning classical civilization’s impact. She hopes to pursue a career in museums.
Peyton Mitzel

Peyton Mitzel

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Steven Ramey 

Peyton Mitzel graduates from Temple University in 2020 with a B.A. in English and Religion. Peyton finds the relationship between literary theory and the study of religion fascinating, while also having an interest in their connection to philosophy.

Phoebe Duke-Mosier

Phoebe Duke-Mosier

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2023

Phoebe Duke-Mosier graduated from Hamilton College in May 2019 with a degree in Religious Studies. Her senior thesis, "Drinking the Kool-Aid: Discourses of Death at Jonestown," was selected for publication in the Fall 2020 issue of The Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa. After graduation, she joined the court procedures team at Goodwin Procter LLP, a Global 50 law firm. She has broad research interests, including religion's relationship with popular culture and consumerism, discourses and practices surrounding death, and the intersection between the religious and the paranormal. Phoebe was selected as UA's sole recipient of the very prestigious David Francko Graduate Fellowship for 2020 -- a fully-funded award for the duration of her M.A. degree at UA. She begins the REL MA in Fall 2021.
Judah Siekkinen

Judah Siekkinen

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Steven Ramey 

Judah graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.A. in Religious Studies & Geography. He is interested in nationalism, feminism, mysticism, and pop culture. He hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Religious Studies.

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Erica Bennett

Erica Bennett

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Vaia Touna 

Beginning the M.A. program in the Fall of 2020, Erica Bennett is from Louisiana but has spent the last four year at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She will be graduating with a B.A. Honors in May of 2020 with a dual major of Religious Studies/ Sociology and Anthropology, and minors in both Theater and Mathematics. Her Honors  thesis is titled: “Normalizing New Religious Movements: A Deeper Look into the Effects of Social Opinions of New Religious Movements in the Southeastern United States,” which was accepted for presentation at the Macksey National Undergraduate Research Symposium. Erica hopes to continue her research into New Religious Movements and the lives of their followers, possibly leading towards a Ph.D.

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Emma Welch

Emma Welch

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Starting the M.A. in Fall 2020, Emma Welch, originally from Toney, AL, will graduate in May of 2020 with a B.A. in Religion from Samford University. Her interests include religion’s relationship to violence as well as how the theologies of marginalized groups are shaped by their situation.  She was a runner-up for Theta Alpha Kappa’s 2020 Clark Award (for best undergraduate essay) and, after the completion of an M.A., she hopes to pursue a Ph.D in the field of religion. Visit her website.
Sonya Harwood

Sonya Harwood-Johnson

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: Steven Ramey 

Starting the M.A. this coming Fall, Sonya Harwood-Johnson is originally from Grimes, Iowa, and receives her B.S. in Anthropology and Religious Studies, with a minor in Environmental Studies, from Iowa State University in May of 2020. Her research has focused on American Esoteric traditions, such as Wicca and the Feminist Reclaiming movement. Her paper, titled “Esoteric Negotiation: An Insider-Outsider Perspective” was accepted to the UMAAR conference in April 2020. Sonya is passionate about ethnographic research and hopes also to earn a Museum Studies certificate.

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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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Marco Morillo

Marco Pflanzen

MA (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Advisor: K. Merinda Simmons 

Starting the M.A. in Fall 2020, Marco Pflanzen is from Ashburn, VA, and graduates from Shenandoah University in 2020 with a B.M. in Violin Performance and a Minor in Religious Studies. Their current research primarily focuses on considering the relationship between sex and secularism and its impact on economic, social, and political structures in the United States. They also enjoy researching within the disciplines of feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, crip theory, and musicology.

Marco was awarded an A&S Dean’s Merit award for both years of their M.A. at UA.

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