Faith and Reason Honors Program Gives Best Thesis Award

by Katherine Kusik '15 | May 14, 2013

Katherine Stimpfle '13 (right) receives the Best Thesis Award from Fr. Thomas Dailey, OSFS '81, director of the Salesian Center for Faith and CultureKatherine Stimpfle '13 (right) receives the Best Thesis Award from Fr. Thomas Dailey, OSFS '81, director of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture. (Photo by Nate Bridge '13)

On April 21, 2013, Kathryn Stimpfle ’13 received the Best Thesis Award at the 8th Annual Honors Colloquium, which honors the work of seniors in the Faith and Reason Honors Program.

Six other seniors, Clint Badger ’13, Anthony Calvano ’13, Catherine Fischer ’13, Joshua Langton ’13, Kelsie Massini ’13, and Scott Suleski ’13, also presented summaries of their theses.

Stimpfle is an elementary and special education major from Ottsville, Pa., and is the president of the DeSales chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi National Honors Society. After graduation, Stimpfle will enter the Sisters of Christian Charity, where she will prepare for a ministry of teaching at a Catholic elementary school.

Stimpfle’s thesis, “The Gospel of Womanhood according to Jane Eyre,” presents the oppression of women through time and the feminist movement’s failure to celebrate the unique gifts that women are given. Stimpfle relates this to Charlotte Bronte’s selfless and thoughtful character, Jane Eyre.

The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University launched the Faith and Reason Honors Program in 2001 to provide scholarship-level students with a unique opportunity to explore ways in which religious faith is integral to the experience of higher education.

Student participation in the Faith & Reason Honors Program is competitive, usually limited to a maximum of 15 students in each academic class. Membership in the program is by invitation only and requires a completed application.

In the program the students complete six one-credit academic seminars that foster conservations about the human person, God, the world, beauty, truth and goodness, as well as participate in several cultural experiences. The program concludes with a completion of a 3-credit independent study course that requires each student to write a 30- to 50-page honors thesis with the direction of a faculty thesis advisor.

Stimple’s thesis advisor was Dr. Maura Hearden, assistant professor of theology.

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