News from the Office: PLT Undergraduate Staff Recognized for Achievement

Project on Lived Theology LogoStudents Look Forward to Bright Futures

The Project on Lived Theology is fortunate to have Alex Adames and Mareike Haaren as assistants working hard in the Project office. This is Alex’s third year working for the Project, and Mareike joined us two years ago this fall. Their work is invaluable for us, but it only represents a small part of the great things they are accomplishing in their undergraduate careers here at the University of Virginia. Both have recently been accepted into esteemed programs that we are honored to feature in the descriptions below.

Thank you Mareike and Alex! It is a pleasure and an honor to have you on staff at PLT!

Alex adames


Alexander AdamesAlex was recently admitted into the University of Michigan’s Summer Research Opportunity Program. The summer program aims to provide intensive research experience to students who intend to obtain a Ph.D. in a field where they are underrepresented. Alex aims to obtain a Ph.D. in sociology, which he hopes to use examine and document social issues. For this summer, Alex will be working under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Burgard, an associate professor of sociology and epidemiology, on the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study. Dr. Burgard’s project aims to examine the impact of the recession on families, the effectiveness of social welfare programs, and health and socioeconomic disparities between Black and White families. According to Alex, this project is precisely the line of work that he hopes to do in the future. He is extremely excited about the opportunity to work on a project that may potentially have a positive impact on struggling families.

Mareike haaren


Mareike HaarenA second year studying pre-medicine, Mareike has been accepted into the interdisciplinary Distinguished Majors Program in Human Biology. The Human Biology major allows students the opportunity to investigate the interplay between biology and society with the help of faculty from almost every school at the University, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Practical Ethics, the Center for Global Health, the Law School, and the Medical School. Intended to prepare a small, select group of undergraduates to address the ethical, legal and policy issues raised by developments in the life sciences, requirements of the program include a fourth-year capstone seminar and the submission and formal presentation of a major’s thesis following independent research. Mareike is thrilled to join a program whose interdisciplinary curriculum she feels will tremendously support her aspirations of becoming a physician-scientist heavily involved in international medical mission work.

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