WCC Junior Named 2022 Humanities Fellow by The Hertog Foundation

This past January, The Hertog Foundation announced 59 fellows for its 2022 Humanities at Hertog Fellowships–a group that spent their January studying great works of literature alongside outstanding peers and a master teacher. This year’s fellows had a distinctively Wyoming Catholic College flavor, thanks to the presence of our very own Emma Hermanson (’23), who said that “the experience was a beautiful insight into the great relational function of a liberal arts foundation, and I was glad for the opportunity to engage in this exciting dialogue of ideas, which reached such great heights because it began from common ground.”

Recommended to the Hertog Foundation’s Humanities at Hertog winter seminars by Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos, she applied and was accepted to a seminar on Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. “Over the course of my education at WCC,” Emma said, “one of the things that has been most strongly developed in my heart is the hunger for an intellectual excellence that stretches beyond the context of this community—that is, the desire to stretch out into the world from the womb of my alma mater, to grasp at other nourishments with the new strength and confidence I have received from her, to develop, expand, and hand down the truths I have learned in this place.”

Emma and her fellow fellows engaged with the classic or contemporary literary text of their choice in four online seminars devoted to William Shakespeare, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Chinua Achebe, and Tom Wolfe. Capped at 15 fellows, each seminar offered lively conversation about the fundamental human questions raised by great literature. The seminars were fully subsidized by the Foundation, including all course materials and a stipend to support fellows’ study. Instructors included Boston College lecturer and critic Martha Bayles, Johns Hopkins SAIS professor and former national security official Eliot A. Cohen, political commentator Matthew Continetti, and professor emeritus and scholar Jacob Howland.

Throughout the six-week course, Emma was pleased to be able to connect with people of differing circumstances and contexts. “This is the sort of cornerstone education in true and timeless things that brings together even those who would otherwise be separate,” she said, “for they seek the same good thing, and know similarly how to find it. I am so thankful for this College, where I have learned to love beauty so ardently, to speak truth with clarity and precision, and to so deeply cherish friendships which gravitate towards goodness. We have been entrusted with a great tradition, and I am challenged to carry that out into the world, dispensing wonders with as much freedom and love as they have been given to me.”

The Hertog Foundation sponsors several highly competitive and selective educational programs for outstanding individuals who seek to influence the intellectual, civic, and political life of the United States. Their Summer 2022 Fellowships offer residential and online seminars in three main areas: Political Thought & Philosophy; War & Foreign Affairs; and Economics & Domestic Policy.

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