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On The Wings of Truth - Honors Thesis

Each Spring semester, the students in the Senior class of the ► Faith & Reason Honors Program undertake a 3-credit independent study, the culmination of which is a 30-50 page honors thesis.  The topic of the thesis is chosen by the student, with the approval of the faculty advisor and the director of the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture. 

The best thesis each year, as judged by the Review Committee of the Salesian Center, receives the annual "Faith & Reason" award.

The honors theses are grouped below according to class year.  To see all the theses in a given year, follow the class links below.  To read any particular thesis, click on the name of the student-author below:


Class of 2016

trophy> Ryan Fischer (BIO)
"Modern Day Frankenstein or Medical Marvel: A Bioethical Evaluation of Human Head Transplantation Based on the Catholic Understanding of Human Dignity"

> Casey DeStasio (BIO/CHEM) - "The Ethics of Animal Testing in Medicine in Accordance with the Catholic View of Animals"

> Janalyn Frederick  (BIO/TH) - "The Importance of Interfaith Dialog Between the Mennonite and Catholic Churches"

> Hutton Jackson (COMM) - "The Underlying Causes of Sexual Violence: How Pornography, Sexual Violence Depicted in Ineractive Media, and Sexualized Advertising Are Contributing to Sexual Violence in Society"

> Matthew Jesiolowski  (BIO) - "A Discussion on Artificial Intelligence" 

> Robert Johnson  (TH/HIST) - "The Holy Roman Empire and the Thirty Years' War: An Analysis of a Religious Conflict"

> Monica Lupin (BSN) - "End of Life Decisions"

> Theresa Marlin (MATH/BIOCHEM) - "The Scientific Basis for Human Personality"

> Emily Marshall  (DA) - "Physical Activity and its Effects on Childhood Development and Success"

> Darryn McCauley  (BIO) - "Sighting Through the Wrong Scope: Why Complex Psychological Phenomena Defy Scientific Explanation"

> Kaitlyn Mills (CJ) - "Mental Illness in the Modern Age: How Stigmatization Violates the Dignity of the Human Person"

> Brittany Pierzga (COMM) - "Native American Cultural Appropriation: A Misinformed America, an Underrepresented Culture, a Stolen Dignity"

> Amanda Tarantino (BSN) - " The Need for Christian Humanism in the Care of Older Adults"

> Stefanie Wolcott (IP/MK) - "Global Migration Trends, Human Rights Concerns, and Catholic Social Teaching"


Class of 2015

> Alexandra Romanyshyn (PL/EN)
"Literary Analysis: Contrasting Tradition and Modernism

> Katherine Bortz (CM) -"Star-Crossed Plotlines: Discussions of Determinism and Free Will in Young Adult Literature"

Ashley Caroff (HI) -"A Call for Equality in Educational Opportunities for All Students"

> Jennifer Fay (CJ) - "The Modern Educational System: Historical Influences and Pursuit of Knowledge Equality"

> Seth Foreman (SX) -"Sports and Professional Athletes Impact Our Youth"

Nicholas Johnson (PL) -"On The Kingdom of God: Maria Christus Vincit, Quod Deus Vult"

> Jessica Mathiesen (BICH/BI) "The Ethics of Human Stem Cell Research"

Casey Schermick (SS/MK) -"Athlete Philanthropy: A Review of the Moral Obligations for Professional Athletes"

> Stephen VanDoran (PO) "Medical Marijuana Policy"


Class of 2014

> Kristin kavanaugh (DA/SX)
"Dance, A Gift Stolen"

> Elizabeth Blaisse (BI/CH) - "Personhood: What Makes Us Human"

> Colleen Gallagher (SX/BI/PL) - "On the Ethical Implications of the Commercialization of the Fitness Industry"

> Joshua Gregory (BiCh) - "An Analysis of the Quality of Care Provided by the American Health Care System"

> Julia McMahon (BI)- "Environmental Ethics and Moral Obligations toward Creation"

> Matthew Radziwill (AB) - "Bridging the Growing Income Inequality Gap in Pursuit of the American Dream"

> Kevin Regan (PH/PO) - "The Catholic Citizen: The Problem with and the Solution to the Liberal Quandry"

> Kolbe Rubin (SX/DA) - "The True Artist"

> Bethany Wall (TH/PH) - "The Fulfillment of Reason in Love"

> Daniel Drain (PH/TH) - "Metanoia: Re-cognizing the Gift of Being"

> Joseph McDaniel (PH/HI) - "Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding of Media and its Fulfillment in the Incarnation"

> Dana Yurgosky (MB/BUSA)- "Business and Ethics: An Intertwining of Reason and Spirituality for Profitable Ventures"


Class of 2013

> Kathryn Stimpfle (EE)
"The Gospel of Womanhood According to Jane Eyre"

> Clint Badger (BiCh) - "An Investigation into the Scientific and Ethical Implications of Synthetic Cellular Biology"

> Anthony Calvano (HI) - "The Intrinsic Relationship between Faith and Reason Evidenced in the Just War Theory"

> Catherine Fischer (DA/MFS) - "Marriage: Real Unity Requires Real Difference"

> Jonathan Langton (CJ) - "Digital Forensics and Law Enforcement: An Impending and Necessary Paradigm Shift"

> Kelsie Massini (PO) - "U.S. Domestic Violence Legislation and the Application of Catholic Social Justice Theory"

> Scott Suleski (CJ) - "When the Badge Comes Off: An Informative Analysis of Side-Effects of Careers in Law Enforcement"


Class of 2012

> Robert Zanneo (MA/ED)
"The Negative Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: The Difference Between Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation"

> Nicholas Ardito (SS) - "Corruptionand Sports: A Relationship That Needs to End and What the Law Can Do to Help"

> Jordan Blank (PL) - "Theodicy and Utilitarianism: To Get God Off the Hook, Have We Ceded Too Much Ground?"

> Bridget Clark (BI) - "Assessing Ethical Concerns Involving Genetic Probing and Gene Therapy in the Treatment of Disease"

> Katelynn Heinrich (CH) - "DNA and Fingerprints: Useful Forensic Tools or Challenges to the Justice System?"

> Nicole Kowalsky (MA) - "Mathematics in Nature: A Link to God?"

> Deborah Lubov (AB) - "The Role of Accounting in Recent Global Financial Crises in Italy and the Entire Euro-Zone"

> Melissa Millili (BI) - "The Physician's Oath: A Professional's Covenant with Life"

> Colleen Shelley (MA/CH) - "The Innate Unity and Sociality of Humanity and the Call to Service"


Class of 2011

> Benjamin Foster (BI)
"An Examination of the Intrinsic Ethical Concerns Associated with Synthetic Biology"

> Steven Cougan (CJ) - "A Critical Evaluation of Police Regarding Values"

> Caitrin Dougherty (CH) - "Crimes Against Children"

> Cory Foster (BI) - "The Human Mind: A Phenomenological Enigma?"

> Caitlin Lenker (CM) - "How Fictional Television Moms Have Promoted & Challenged Ideas about Motherhood"

> Stephanie O'Grady (TH) - "Thirst for Fullness: An Application of John Paul II's Theology of the Body to the Twilight Saga"

> Emily Rau (EN) - "Ralph Waldo Emerson as the Father of Transcendentalism"

> Alison Steibe (BI) - "To Give or Not to Give: The Morality of Organ Transplantation in the Modern World"

> Shannon Sulick (TH) - "The Little Doctor: The Controversy Surrounding St. Thérèse of Lisieux"

> Jessica Weaver (BI) - "A Study of Social Norms"


Class of 2010

> Nicholas Schenk (BI)
"Personhood or Dignity: What Is the Foundation of Bioethics?"

> Ryan Blacker (AB/FN) - "Corporate Greed vs. Social Responsibility: Business Ethics for the 21st Century"

> Amanda Hartzell (EN/HI) - "Maritain's 'Madness' in Hamlet: Language as Creator, Dramatist, and Inspiration"

> Matthew Kuhner (PL/TH) - "Heaven Held Back: On the Reductions in Secularism and Fulfillment in Trinitarian Love"

> Margaret Wakelee (PL/TH) - "@ God: The Struggle to Pray in a Technological Age"


Class of 2009

> Lauren Greene (EN/ED)
"Thomas Merton: A Study of 20th Century Ideas for the 21st Century American Catholic"

> Marie Connelly (CH) - "Using Genetic Engineering to Combat World Hunger"

> Gretchen Dietz (EN) - "A Threat to Democracy: Corporate Ownership of the Media in the United States and Italy"

> Alyssandra Docherty (TR) - "Television, Women and True Self-Worth"

> Kathleen Glynn  (DA) - "A Universal Undertow: The Sweeping Effects of Cancer on Man's Faith"

> Brenda Haggerty (BI) "Highs & Lows: America's Relationship with Drugs"

> Robert Killion (TVF)"An Examination of Humanity's Purpose through the Experience of Threatre and Film"


Class of 2008

> Rachel Coleman (BI)
"The Sins of our Fathers: The Current Generation and the Vice of Acedia"

> Christian Barber (PS) - "The Importance of Student Affairs to the College Experience"

> Heather Katz (NU) - "How Pregnancy Became an American Disease"

> Michael Nass (PS/MF) - "Father Knows Less"

> Pawel Paczuski (MA) - "Language-Logos Reflects Logos: True Communication Transmits Truth, Not Falsity"

> Jill Sledziewski (CH) - "Genetically Modified Food in Africa" 

> Michael Young (CS) -"Hooking the Fish: Dangers that the Internet Provides to Pathological Gamblers"


Class of 2007

> Elizabeth Pfister (NU)
"The 'Human' in Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Focus on a Domestic and South African Stigma"

> Joanna Armstrong (ES) - "Developing an Entomological Theology"

> Jason Benincasa (SX) -"Something to Remember: The Journey of Being Human"

> Megan Diehl (TR) - "The World Onstage: The Importance of Thatre to the Soul & Society"

> Katie Farina (PS) - "The Evaluation of the Validity of Christianity through the Dynamic Relationship of Faith & Reason"

> Ernie Justice (CS) - "Protestants & Catholics: Will There Be a Time When They Reunite?"

> Theresa McGinley (BI) - "Life into Death? or Death into Life?"

> Joseph Newman (BI)- "For the Sake of Suffering"

> Joseph Pedone (LG) - "In media res:A Defense of the Unseen, Absolute Reality"

> Brian Zumbrum (HI) - "Racism: Unreasonable & Unfaithful"


Class of 2006

> Marian West (DA/MFS)
"Time to Move, Humanity, Art and Dance Redeemed"

> Mary DiFebo (BI) -"All You Need Is Love"

> Stef Heimbach (EN) - "The Curse on American Women: The Ideal Destroys the Real"

> John Lanziloti (NU) -"Condomnation: The Underlying Truth of HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategies"

> Matthew Reppert (BI)- "GrowingUp and the Time for Sports"

> Karen Salvemini (EN)- "Building Up and Chipping Away at Thomas Jefferson's Wall of Seperation of Church and State"

> Lauren Schuette (CJ)- "What If Everyting We Say Is Somehow a Lie?!"

> Robert Smyth (EN) - "The Nature of Riots: Socioeconomic and Political Conditions Inherent in Collective Action"

> Margaret Zawisza (MA) -"The Education of a Lifetime"


 information about the Faith & Reason Honors Program

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