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Michaella Maniscola ‘22 Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

Michaella Maniscola '22UST student Michaella Maniscola '22 is one of 16 students in the nation to receive the prestigious 2021-2022 Röpke-Wojtyła fellowship. After graduation, her goal is to attend law school to become an employment lawyer, seeking justice in business settings.

"Being part of the Röpke-Wojtyła Fellowship would help me in this endeavor by forming me to have a unified vision of human dignity and its application in society," she wrote in her essay for acceptance.

Maniscola Excels at Academics and Student Leadership

Maniscola had moments during her academic career that moved her to major in economics and minor in philosophy. For instance, in a modern philosophy class, an adored professor asked whether it is possible for someone to enter politics and not become corrupted. This question got her exploring: "Are people driven to corruption and virtue?" After a business research project on just price theory, she decided to explore virtue and philosophy in the marketplace. That is when she added philosophy as a minor.

In addition to academic pursuits at UST, Maniscola is a natural leader. She serves as the Student Body President this year. She has also served in many other leadership positions during her campus career. She was a senator in Student Government as a freshman; Treasury Board member and vice president of Celts for Life in her sophomore year; Simply Irresistible Women Catholic Ministry leader in her sophomore and junior years; parliamentarian of the Senate and president of Celts for Life during her junior year; and Public Relations officer of Celts for Life as a senior.

Exploring a Faithful Life and Career

One of Maniscola's career goals is to work as an economic consultant or analyst. To prepare for this future career, she wants to further explore how to live faithfully in her life and career, building on what she learned at UST. She feels UST has shaped her to recognize the dignity that is owed to every human person. Given that recognition, she is interested in public policies that help lower-income Americans build a better future for themselves.

Maniscola feels the Röpke-Wojtyła fellowship may be the golden ribbon tying it all together for her. "The fellowship focuses on how our society can function so that human dignity is upheld," she said. "I believe UST instills this message as a part of their pedagogy to form the whole person through the liberal arts. My formation as a student at UST isn't simply focused on learning economics but on developing a deeper understanding of who I am in my relationship with God, my friends and the overall community. Also, I have to credit UST's Honors Program for teaching me how to read, analyze and discuss great texts. My wonderful cohort and professors in the Honors Program have taught me to seek answers, engage in discussions and pursue truth."

Maniscola feels this fellowship will help her understand how economics interacts with philosophy and her Catholic identity.

She said, "Since most of my study in economics has a focus on business applications, I applied for the fellowship to discover what responsibilities I have in the marketplace as a Catholic. The fellowship examines topics that I've learned to love at UST, such as philosophy, theology and economics, and I want the opportunity to explore the topics among highly-qualified peers.”

The intersection of Religion, Society, and Marketplace

Maniscola began her participation in the fellowship this September when she prepared for the first colloquium held in October at the Catholic University of America. "For each of the colloquia, the fellows read a selection of texts and prepare to discuss the ideas. The first colloquium included selected writings from Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mises, Maritain and Pope St. John Paul II.”

Her favorite part of the trip was meeting the other Röpke-Wojtyła fellows." I was impressed with the academic curiosity, faith formation and compassionate spirit in my peers," Maniscola said. "The colloquium in Rome will be my first trip outside of the United States, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to learn in a city with so much beautiful history of the Church."

When not traveling to participate in colloquia, the fellows meet virtually.