Baylor Graduate Selected as 2019 Lilly Graduate Fellow

July 3, 2019
Kirsten Kappelmann

Kirsten Kappelmann Welch (B.A. '14) has been selected as a 2019 Lilly Graduate Fellow. Photo courtesy of Kirsten Kappelmann.

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by Brooke Hill, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (July 3, 2019) - Kirsten Kappelman Welch, B.A. ’14, has been selected as a 2019 Lilly Graduate Fellow.

Welch is a Ph.D. student in philosophy and education at Columbia University, Teachers College. She completed the University Scholars program at Baylor University with concentrations in classics and philosophy and was a William Carey Crane Scholar. After teaching for two years at Great Hearts Monte Vista, a classical charter school in San Antonio, she completed an M.A. in philosophy at Western Michigan University in 2018.

Her primary research interests integrate philosophical work in virtue ethics and epistemology with approaches to character education, especially education for moral and intellectual virtues. She also is interested in studying models of classical education.

“Kirsten was self-motivated, very disciplined and interested in a rich array of fundamental questions approached best via great texts, and humanistic inquiry — both philosophical and theological,” said Michael Beaty, Ph.D., chair and professor of Baylor’s philosophy department.

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is a part of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts that supports outstanding students who want to explore the connections among Christianity, higher education and the vocation of the teacher-scholar as they pursue graduate degrees in humanities and the arts.

The 10 Fellows were chosen by a nine-member selection committee who interviewed 24 finalists from a pool of 71 applicants. They will will meet for three days at an inaugural conference in July in Holland, Michigan, with their mentors, Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University and Mark Ruff of Saint Louis University.
Following this conference, the Fellows will embark on a long-distance colloquium, engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships and participate in three additional conferences. Each Fellow receives $9,000 in stipends. All Fellows are pursuing terminal graduate studies in humanities or the arts.

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The three-year program selects six cohorts of graduate fellows from 100 church-related schools in a national network of church-related schools.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit