The Meredith Legacy Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate superior academic achievement, intellectual promise, and leadership ability – qualities that are markedly apparent in Legacy Scholar Amy Hruby, ’13.
Hruby has completed her first year of graduate study at DePaul University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy. But she has already had a chapter of a book accepted for publication that she co-authored with Meredith Assistant Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Steven Benko. Their work on this project grew out of their collaboration on an undergraduate summer research project on ethical subjectivity and Hruby’s senior thesis on a Levinasian ethics of reading.
“Dr. Benko and I have collaborated on concepts surrounding this topic since my junior year at Meredith,” said Hruby. “When he was invited to contribute to a book on transhumanism and religion, he asked if I would be interested in revisiting some of our former work and co-writing the chapter.”
The book is titled Religion and Transhumanism: The Unknown Future of Human Enhancement (forthcoming). Their chapter, “Critical Transhumanism as a Religious Ethic of Otherness,” applies a Levinasian ethic to trans- and posthuman critiques of what it means to be human.
According to Hruby, the support she received from Meredith faculty for her research and independent study projects was instrumental in her acceptance to DePaul, where she was offered funding for seven years of graduate work.
“Faculty in both the English and the Religious and Ethical Studies departments sponsored independent studies, listened to thesis topic ideas, read personal statements, and aided with mock interviews on my path to graduate school,” said Hruby.
She also noted that Benko’s expert guidance and the hands-on experience she gained as editor of the student newspaper helped her build on her already strong critical thinking and writing skills, both of which are serving her well in graduate school.
“My coursework with Dr. Benko and in the Honors Program was crucial in developing my critical thinking capabilities, and my work at The Meredith Herald improved my grammar and argument construction skills,” said Hruby. “My writing set me apart in the application process and in my first year of studies. That’s a direct result of my coursework and mentorship at Meredith.”