Undergraduate Department Fellows and Peer Advisors

Each year, the Religious Studies department chooses two Undergraduate Department Fellows, who act as peer advisors to fellow undergrads (both enrolled in and considering the major/minor) and work in conjunction with the Director of Undergraduate Programs on organizing events and communicating with the Religious Studies undergraduate cohort.

Please reach out to either or both of them with any questions and to learn about the lived-experience of the Religious Studies major/minor from an expert perspective! 

The 2021-22 Religious Studies Undergraduate Department Fellows are:

Abena Sekum Appiah-Ofori Abena Sekum Appiah-Ofori (asa4nu@virginia.edu) is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia studying Religious Studies and Global Development Studies. Her concentration in Religious Studies is Africana Religions. She was originally born in Ghana and immigrated to the United States with her family in 2008. She is passionate about doing research on how race and/or religion impacts one’s way of living and about presenting research in multimodal media forms. She spent this past semester researching, filming, and editing a documentary capstone on the UVA student immigrants from the 1.5 generation who arrived as children and had to go through the process of adapting to a new culture. She hopes eventually to help advance policy to reconstruct and rebuild African countries following the setbacks infringed upon them by colonialism and continued imperialism. Her favorite religious studies class she has taken so far has been African Philosophy, Race, and Rationality. As someone who wants to work with Sub-saharan Africa, this course was significant because it taught the importance of taking into consideration the cultural particularity of rationality when met with any cultural practices different from one's own.

Meaghan NuckolssmMeaghan Nuckols (mrn9ah@virginia.edu) is a fourth-year Religious Studies major, Bioethics minor, and Anthropology minor. She is also pre-law and is currently applying to attend law school starting next fall. Her concentrations in Religious Studies are Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. Meaghan is writing her distinguished major thesis to research how the personal religious convictions of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States might impact their decision-making. She is excited that her final work in her undergraduate religious studies career will connect her passions in learning about the Supreme Court and religious doctrine. This element of her thesis reflects what Meaghan loves most about religious studies— its interdisciplinary nature. Her favorite religious studies classes have been Religion and the American Courts, Theological Bioethics, and Judaism: Medicine and Healing.