Gary L. McDowell Institute 2023-24 Student Fellows Program

True to the principles that inspire the McDowell Institute, the Student Fellows Program seeks to engage ideas across the ideological spectrum and is designed to enrich the intellectual experience of students interested in political, social, and economic thought. 

The 2023-24 fellows participate in a co-curricular reading group focused on Zena Hitz's "Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life" (Princeton University Press, 2021). “Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz’s own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfillment, Lost in Thought is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought.” Zena Hitz is a Tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, as well as the founder and president of the Catherine Project.

Fellows discuss enduring questions raised by the text and apply insights to contemporary issues. 

Students interested in becoming a McDowell Fellow should email McDowell Institute co-director Dr. Dan Palazzolo and administrative coordinator Katherine Rockwell a statement of interest in the program and the name of a University of Richmond faculty member who is willing to serve as a reference. A selection committee will begin reviewing applications on Sept. 15.

2023-24 Seminar Leaders

Kevin Cherry

Dr. Kevin Cherry,
Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Jessica Flanigan, 
Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL), Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics and Democratic Values

2023-24 Scholar-for-the-Day

Zena Hitz,
Tutor at St. John’s College and the author of "Lost in Thought"

2023-24 Student Fellows

Brett Barnes, '25, mathematics and computer science majors

Shelby Campbell, '25, business administration and PPEL majors

Kate Chasin, '26, leadership studies major

Samara Chowdhury, '25, leadership studies major

Abby Clar, '24, leadership studies and business administration majors

Tyler Concaugh, '24, PPEL and leadership studies majors

Olivia Cranshaw, '24, business administration major

Alafair Cutler, '24, leadership studies major

Melanie Day, '25, leadership studies and political science majors

Maddie Fellner, '25, leadership studies and political science majors

Campbell Finch, '24, political science major

Claire Geibel, '26, business administration major

Holden Habermacher, '27, undeclared major

Peter Hawes, '24, philosophy and English majors

Rodrigo Herrera, '25, political science major

Anna-Laura Houston, '25, leadership studies and English majors

Isabelle Huggard, '24, economics and PPEL majors

Mark Johnson, '24, leadership studies and music majors

Adam Kasti, '27, undeclared major

Olivia Kivort, '24, business administration and PPEL majors

Kalina Kulig, '26, PPEL major

Harrison Lehman, '25, leadership studies and PPEL majors


Malena Lo Prete, '26, art history and political science majors

Sarah Marghub, '26, undeclared major

Annie Michael, '24, PPEL major

Shelby Mokricky, '24, leadership studies and health studies majors

Ella-Brooke Morgan, '27, undeclared major

Lauren Oligino, '24, leadership studies and political science majors

John Paschold, '26, political science and French majors

Olga Rokhlenko, '27, undeclared major

Nick Ryan, '27, undeclared major

Katie Sinclair, '26, political science major

Charlotte Tisdale, '26, leadership studies major

Hannah-Claire Ward, '26, psychology major

Ella-Grace Will, '26, psychology major

*Not pictured: Lindsay Kramer, '25, leadership studies and health studies majors