Luca del Deo

Research Assistant, 2022-Present

Luca received his Masters of Theological Studies at the Harvard Divinity School, specializing in topics related to meditative practices in America and related inquiries in psychology, anthropology, and religious studies. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University in Philosophy & Psychology with the College Prize in Religion. He is currently leading a reading group on “a genealogy of meditation in the West,” and volunteers at Harvard as an event organizer and undergraduate student wellness tutor.

Jessie Saeli

Religion & Media Fellow, 2021-Present

Jessie graduated from the M.A. program in philosophy at Boston College. She began her graduate studies after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied philosophy and Russian. Her primary interests are existentialism, Russian philosophy, and the question of what a “self” is. She enjoys reading and writing about philosophy, theology, and literature.

Somayya Upal

Research Assistant, 2022-Present

Somayya is a student in the Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education program at Boston University with a minor in Psychology. She is passionate about neurophilosophy and cognitive psychology, especially in regard to spiritual phenomenology. She plans to use her MD in psychiatry or palliative care. In her free time, she reads constantly, writes existentialism, listens to folk punk, and hugs trees.

Abigail Wester

Research Assistant, 2023-Present

Abigail received her Masters of Divinity at Boston University School of Theology, specializing in topics related to Pastoral Care and Global Mission and Ecumenism. She began her seminary education after spending some time working in data analytics for an organization out of Boston, MA, which helped with direct marketing efforts in public media stations. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2019 with her B.A. in Organizational Management Studies and Vocal Performance with a particular affinity for statistical analysis as well as Opera performance. Constantly pulled between the world of numbers and data analytics and the world of the spiritual and metaphorical, Abigail has loved her work with the Center for Mind and Culture as it has managed to bring both worlds together.

Undergraduate Students

Luis Luna Martinez

Research Assistant, 2021-Present

Luis is studying Neuroscience and Religion at Boston University. He is interested in pursuing research concerning the neuroscience behind dreams. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, martial arts, and meditation.

Douglas Moy

Survey Data Analysis Assistant, 2021-Present

Douglas is majoring in Math and Computer Science with a minor in Economics at Boston University. He is interested in topics such as religion, data science and microeconomics. In his free time, Douglas enjoys spending time outdoors and playing basketball.