Class of 2019


Allen Freese
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Chinese Language, 2014)

Allen has worked as a translator and editor for a Taiwanese Buddhist-based non-profit organization that focuses on charity and relief work. He studied Sanskrit and paired it with his background in Chinese language to study the transition of Buddhism from India to China. Specifically, he researched the development of the focus on altruism in the Chinese Mahayana tradition.


Paige Calvert Kaʻohu Kawakami

BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Religion with a Certificate in French Language, 2014)

Paige studied Hoʻomana Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Religion), and conducted research on the pedagogy of indigenous religious traditions. She hopes to teach Hawaiian and other Polynesian religions at the college level, and to inspire enthusiasm for the material in her students. Paige has studied French and Hawaiian language, and plans to continue to pursue these languages as a means of accessing knowledge about her areas of interest. Paige is from Pālolo, Oʻahu.


Sara Phelan

BA, University of West Florida (Art Psychology, 2001)

Sara focused on Indian Studies with an emphasis on the system of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Her research was motivated by the science of meditation and the impact that our thoughts have on our physiology, mental and emotional well being, as well as on our current day society and mental health as a whole. Her research includes Yoga theory and methodology dating back thousands of years ago that are still relevant today on how to move beyond the busy mind and the fluctuating mental and emotional states that often cloud our perception while cultivating a willingness to turn inward to reconnect to the Divine within. She has also studied Hindi for two years in an attempt to better understand present day India and to have the opportunity to speak and connect with the Indian people on a more intimate level.


Hannah Stoltenberg

BA, Belhaven University, MS (Biblical Studies, 2014)

Hannah’s research interests included the academic study of Asian religions with a focus on Hinduism and Islam in South Asia. She was interested in examining the role of religion in society, the relationship of differing religions in the same community, and the influence of religion on art and common culture.


Cole Williams
BA, Virginia Commonwealth University (Religious Studies, 2016)

Cole studied the relationship between religion, law, and politics in contemporary India. He was particularly interested in how the concepts of secularism and religious freedom, two highly contested terms in South Asian politics, are interpreted by the Indian judiciary. He has been studying Hindi since 2016, and continues his language study along with his research.