University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Religion

African Muslim man in prayer

African Muslim man in prayer

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Senior Major Awards

2013 - Madeleine Kemble

Madeleine Kemble

This year the Outstanding Senior Major Award was presented to Madeleine Kemble. Madeleine graduated in May 2013 with a double major in Religion and English. Of her Religion Department experience, she says:

“After being in the Integrated Humanities Program as a first year here at UVM, and being fascinated by the Religion and Ethics programs required at my prep school, Groton, I wanted to use my college experience to absorb and reflect on as much of the best of the humanities as I could get my hands on. As William James once said", ‘The best claim that a college education can possibly make on your respect, the best thing it can aspire to accomplish for you, is this: that it should help you to know a good man when you see him.’

2010 - Elizabeth McCallion

Elizabeth McCallion

Elizabeth is a religion and psychology major and John Dewey Honors college student. She studied comparative theory, focusing specifically on Buddhist and Hindu religious practices and their relationship to the modern west.

Integrating religion and psychology: Elizabeth integrated her passion for religious studies with her interest in the treatment of anxiety disorders. This year she finished her thesis project in the psychology department looking at the effects of mindfulness therapy and its ability to reduce anxiety.

What's next? Elizabeth will be pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology and she hopes to continue to explore how religious practices can help in cultivating psychological wellness.

2009 — Douglas Alan Robinson

Douglas Robinson

Douglas, a religion major and philosophy minor, interested in the study of religion as well as in pre-modern South Asian Buddhist traditions.

Honors thesis and funded research: Doug's work has resulted in a refereed publication and research presentations at five undergraduate conferences.

What's next? A.M. program in the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Learn more about outstanding religion students.

2008 — Danielle Allison Bauman

Danielle Bauman

Danielle, a religion major and English minor, enjoys both reading and writing fiction. She is particularly interested in Hasidism.

Special experiences: In Spring 2007 Danielle was fortunate to take courses on "Jewish Responses to Modernity," "Contemporary Philosophical Theology," and the Pentateuch at Kings College, London. Part of her coursework included visiting Hasidic communities in London.

Other interests: At the University of Vermont Danielle has been involved in the Integrated Humanities Program, the Lawrence Debate Union, the Honors College and John Dewey Honors Program. She has worked at the Writing Center since her sophomore year. In Fall 2007 she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

What's next? Danielle would like to go to graduate school and has an interest in working abroad in the area of human rights.

2007 — Benjamin Luke Williams

Benjamin Williams

Benjamin Luke Williams, a Religion major and Philosophy minor, is from Burlington, Vermont. Ben is interested in South Asian religious and philosophical hermeneutics, the academic field of religion (especially its theoretical development), and perspectives on contemporary religious phenomena amdist a globalizing world.

Why religion? Before studying at UVM he was a buyer and designer for an apparel business that manufactured in India and East Asia. This awoke in him an abiding interest in the culture and religious traditions of South Asia. At UVM he studied closely with Professor's Jonathan Gold, Sufia Uddin, Thomas Borchert, and William Paden, all of whom had a substantial impact on his approach to scholarship.

What's next? He is studying Sanskrit in the summer of 2007 and will begin a masters program in religion at Harvard Divinity School in the fall.

2007 - Richard Hershey

Hershey 2007

Rich Hershey is a Religion major who came to UVM seeking a second degree to complement his first B.A. in Philosophy.  His interests include the religious systems of the world's indigenous peoples, syncretism, mystical experience, and the various schools of philosophy that attempt to answer questions of religion and theology.

Influences: During his time at UVM Rich worked with Anne Clark and her exciting, innovative approach to the visual experience in Early/Medieval Christianity, Kenneth Mello, whose outstanding, environment-based treatment of Native American religion inspired a new understanding of indigenous religious systems, and Richard Sugarman, whose challenging course on the philosophical writings of Emmanuel Levinas awakened a long-dormant respect for Existential Phenomenology.

What's Next?  Rich has chosen to delay undertaking graduate work in order to complete and publish his first novel, AGES, which was published by Star Chamber Press in 2009, and is available on and, and at select Borders and independent book stores throughout the country.  He is currently working on his second novel.

Last modified September 17 2014 11:10 AM