We are very pleased to announce the nine fellows joining the 2023 Paul Ramsey Institute. We had a truly outstanding group of applicants and thank everyone who applied for their interest in the program.

The CBC’s two-year fellowship brings leading thinkers in the field of bioethics together with current graduate students, medical students, law students, and early-career academics for a two-year educational program.

Aaron Ducksworth is pursuing a PhD in Christian Ethics at Southeastern Seminary. He is interested in social ethics, broadly conceived, and some of his research interests include political and public theologies, technology and bioethics, African American theological ethics, and race and the social imaginary. Currently, Aaron is working on retrieving the theology and ethics of pre-Civil Rights social ethicist, George D. Kelsey, for contemporary use in the public square. Aaron earned a Master of Theology from Southeastern Seminary, an MDiv., and a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Mississippi State University. He also teaches adjunctively at Anderson University.

Jackson McNeece is a Master of Divinity student and Theology, Medicine, & Culture fellow at Duke Divinity School. After graduating from Baylor University in 2021, Jackson chose to continue his studies at Duke so that he could not only continue his theological education but also that he might gain a greater knowledge of clinical and theological bioethics. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in bioethics with a focus on disability ethics. Outside of school, he lives at The Friendship House (a community for persons with and without intellectual disabilities), playing racquetball, and rooting for the Baylor Bears.

Originally from Kenya, Charity Ngaruiya holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Biola University and a Masters of Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Charity also has a Masters of Divinity from International Leadership University in Kenya. She is a board-certified chaplain currently serving at Providence St. Joseph’s in Burbank, California while also serving as an ordained minister in the Los Angeles area. In her dissertation, she explored factors influencing the conceptualization of suffering for Christians dealing with end-of-life issues. Other research interests are in end-of-life decisions, surrogacy, and marketplace theology. In 2022, she published a paper at the APC forum titled “Stella’s Grief Capsule: A Reflection on Nurses Psychological Responses to COVID-19.”

Benjamin Parviz is a Ph.D. student at Saint Louis University studying Philosophy & Bioethics in the philosophy department and in the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. His primary research topics are hope and despair. His work responds to the increase of despair across contemporary society, as evidenced by increases in harmful and self-destructive behaviors, including violence and suicide. He works to identify the social and cultural forces that provoke despair so that he can better understand hope and how to help people to hope well. His ideas about hope and despair are especially influenced by Augustine of Hippo and Gabriel Marcel. Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Concordia University Chicago, a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Saint Louis University and a Master’s in Philosophy from University of Missouri – St. Louis. He is an adjunct member of the philosophy faculty at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois.

Libby Regnerus is currently a doctoral student in philosophy at Baylor University. She graduated from the University of Dallas, majoring in philosophy and minoring in politics. Her research focuses on questions within ethics and bioethics, particularly virtue theory, moral psychology, self-determination, and the significance of embodiedness. As a former athlete and natural living enthusiast, she was first drawn to bioethics through considering the connection between bodily health and living well and she’s excited to continue pursuing these topics.

Paul Rezkalla is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the philosophy department at Baylor University. He works on virtue ethics, philosophy of biology, and various applied ethics issues (global poverty and the beginning and end of life). Before coming to Baylor, he was the Arete Professorial Fellow at Hillsdale College. Paul completed a PhD in philosophy at Florida State University in addition to a MSc in evolutionary anthropology from Oxford, a MA in theology from St. John’s University, and MA in philosophy from the University of Birmingham (UK). He was a Marc Sanders “Philosophy in the Media” Fellows (2022), a St. Andrew’s “Science-Engaged Theology” Fellow (2022), and a Templeton Cross-Training Fellow (2018).

Katelyn Walls Shelton is an adviser at the Institute for Women’s Health, working on international pro-life women’s health policy. Before joining IWH, she worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives, as well as the Office of Global Affairs, where she assisted in executing the Protecting Life in Global Health Policy (PLGHP) initiative at the United Nations and World Health Organization. Katelyn studied law and religion at Yale University, earning her M.A.R. in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. She’s a regular opinion contributor to WORLD Magazine, and lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, John, and their children.

Nicholas Sparks is an advanced doctoral student in Philosophy and Bioethics at Saint Louis University. He writes at the intersection of philosophical/theological anthropology, philosophy of technology, and bioethics. His dissertation centers on transhumanism and the ethics of human enhancement from a Catholic perspective, informed by phenomenology and postphenomenology. He previously earned a Master’s in Philosophy at Florida State University, where he specialized in Aristotle and Neo-Aristotelian ethics, and a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Theology at Benedictine College.

Samantha Stephenson is the author of Reclaiming Motherhood from a Culture Gone Mad and host of the podcast Brave New Us. She holds Master’s degrees in theology and bioethics from Loyola Marymount University and writes regularly on these topics for a variety of publications. She analyzes trends in medical research, technology, and culture from a Catholic perspective.