Kyle Ashley

M.A. (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.

Justin Barrett

Jacob Barrett

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Beginning the M.A. in the Fall of 2020 and from Colorado Springs, Jacob Barrett graduates in May 2020 from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Philosophy & Religion and Biology. He was the 2019 recipient of the Nebraska Wesleyan Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant to investigate and implement a redesign of the World Religions course at NWU. Data from his project is being featured in a forthcoming volume in the NAASR “Working Papers” series, in an edited volume to be entitled, On the Subject of Religion. He is interested in studying how definitions of religion impact religious freedom cases, how mindfulness/spirituality movements are reshaping discussions around religion, and the plasticity of religion.

Erica Bennett

Erica Bennett

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

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.

Jack Bernardi

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2021

Advisor: Merinda Simmons 

Jack Bernardi is back at his alma mater to pursue the REL MA after earning a BS in Pure Mathematics in 2017. His current research interests are primarily focused on applying strands of literary theory and phenomenology to emerging areas of American pop culture. In his free time, he’s either writing, playing tabletop games, or trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up with current music releases.

In 2019-20 Jack held the prestigious Graduate Council Fellowship and served as a half-time in the Fall of 2019 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for American Studies. For 2020-21 he will hold the position of Graduate Research Assistant to the American Examples initiative in the Department.

Marco Morillo

Marco Bohnett

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Starting the M.A. in Fall 2020, Marco Bohnett 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 her M.A. at UA.

Joseph DeFrank

Joseph DeFrank

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

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.

Phoebe Duke-Mosier

Phoebe Duke-Mosier

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

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.

Morgan Sadie Frick

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2021

Advisor: Russell T. McCutcheon 

Morgan Sadie Frick, from Dallas, TX, graduated from the University of Alabama in May 2019 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. She is interested in applying social theory to everyday life in order to better understand the world around her and the people who inhabit it. Morgan maintains an interest in the way individuals use language to achieve particular purposes and hopes to incorporate this in her M.A. research. She spends majority of her free time fawning over her Chihuahua, Dobby, and reading Stephen King novels.

In 2019-20 Morgan held the prestigious National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship and served as a half-time in the Fall of 2019 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for American Studies.

Visit her website.

Sonya Harwood

Sonya Harwood

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

Starting the M.A. this coming Fall, Sonya Harwood 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.

Allison Isidore

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2021

Advisor: Richard Newton 

Allison Isidore, from Montclair, NJ, graduated from McDaniel College in May 2019 and received a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in History. Her focus is on the relationship and impacts religious minorities had on the Civil Rights Movement. In her spare time, she plays golf, bike rides, sits in a hammock reading books and spends time on the beach.

Peyton Mitzel

Peyton Mitzel

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

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.

Jeremee Nute

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2021

Advisor: Steven Ramey 

Jeremee Nute is originally from Bevier, in the east corner of Missouri. He graduated from Missouri Western State University in May 2019 with a B.S in Mathematics Education and Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies. His research interests include Chinese religiosity, secularism, comparative studies, and philosophy of religion. He plans on obtaining his Ph.D someday in religious studies. In his spare time, he goes birding with his partner, plays with his two dogs and kitten, and enjoys watching terribly produced horror movies.

Ana Self Schuber

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Advisor: Steven L. Jacobs 

Ana Self Schuber is currently the Program Manager for the New College LifeTrack Program on the UA campus, which assists adult students in the completion of their bachelor’s degree.  Ana has been an instructor for various programs at UA since 1991 and begins the MA in Religious Studies part-time in the Fall of 2018.  She has taught courses in the Folk Arts and Haunted Alabama, and belongs to the Alabama Folklife Association, the West Alabama Quilters Guild and the Alabama Gravestone Society. She received a B.S.E in Theatre/Speech and English from Central Missouri State along with a M.A. in English.  Additionally, she completed a M.A. in Women’s Studies from The University of Alabama.

Judah Siekkinen

Judah Siekkinen

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2022

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.

Emma Welch

Emma Welch

M.A. (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.