Graduate Scholar Recipients

Darin Freeburg Joseph Kirby
Brandon Gordon Maggie Ann Labinski
Victoria Grebe Matthew Murdoch
Joshua Harris Tessa Satherley

Graduate Scholar Winners

Darin Freeburg
Darin-FreeburgDarin Freeburg is a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. He conducts his research at the Center for the Study of Information and Religion, housed in the Library and Information school at Kent State. Darin is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University, and received his Master of Theology degree at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Brandon Gordon
Brandon-photoBrandon Gordon was born in Alabama, USA. He has moved his way up to Ohio to study philosophy at Kent State University, where he is in the second year of the MA program. Gordon completed his Bachelor’s of Arts in psychology and minored in philosophy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He presented his honors thesis, “Religious Men’s Affective Response to Sexual Stimuli”, at the International American Psychological Association conference (2009) in Toronto. Recently, he traveled to Greece to study ancient pagan religions. Gordon decided to pursue graduate work in philosophy rather than psychology because of his interest in ethical and Eastern religious claims that cannot be tested empirically. Gordon is now working on his thesis, “The Ethics of an Actualized Romantic Relationship” and the Harvard Religious Pluralism Project. He is considering joining a Buddhist monastery abroad before applying to PhD programs in philosophy.

Victoria Grebe
Victoria-Grebe-photoVictoria Grebe completed her undergraduate degree in English and Theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where she gained First Class Honours and won the Rideout Scholarship. She went on to complete her Masters at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) where she specialised in Middle Eastern Studies and wrote a dissertation on sectarianism in Syria that showed alarming prescience, given the events of 2011. She returned to Cambridge to write her PhD in the anthropology of religion, a comparative ethnography of two religious groups in Lagos, Nigeria. Her research uses deliverance and healing ministries as a window into the study of religious and political change in twenty-first century Nigeria.

Joshua Harris
Joshua-Harris2Joshua Harris graduated from California Baptist University in Riverside, California in 2010 with a BA in English and Philosophy. He is currently a graduate student at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. Joshua’s research interests include: philosophical and theological hermeneutics, metaphysics and ontology, and political theology.

Joseph Kirby
Joseph_KirbyJoseph Kirby was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities, he went to Okayama university and studied Japanese history for two years. After this, he returned to Canada to do a Master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is currently in the second year of a PhD in philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies, a small graduate school in downtown Toronto. He is interested in the relationship between technology and biology, science and religion, and Christianity and Buddhism. He has hiked around the 88 temples pilgrimage in Shikoku 1.5 times, and he hiked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain once.

Maggie Ann Labinski
I am a Dean’s fellow at Loyola University Chicago. I completed my MA at Boston College with emphases in Medieval Philosophy and French Phenomenology. My current research interests include Augustine, Feminist philosophies, and Philosophy of Religion. My dissertation explores Augustine’s theory of education.

Matthew Murdoch
MMurdoch-photoMatthew Murdoch a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Social Psychology at Carleton University. His research interests include, but are not limited to: the psychology of religion/irreligion, social constructionism and discourse, gender and sexuality, critical psychology, agency and identity, and environmental/architectural psychology. Following from his past research into religious and nonreligious men’s attitudes toward women, he is now moving into more specific explorations. Examples include of the bidirectional relationship between religious and gender identities among Canadian Muslims and the perceived agency of Muslim men and women in Western discussions of burqa and niqab. To take out his academic frustrations, he enjoys aggressively flossing, swimming, baking, and playing dodgeball.

Tessa Satherley
Tessa Satherley is a PhD student at the Centre for Jewish History and Culture within the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She researches the interplay between theosophy and politics in the contemporary Jewish settler movement in the West Bank (known by settlers as the biblical territories of Judea and Samaria) and, in recent history, Gaza, and she tutors on the history of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. She was a 2008 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from Australia to Israel. She holds undergraduate degrees in Arts (History) and Science (Physics), completed under a National Scholarship at the University of Melbourne.