New McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellows Announced

The Spring 2020-Fall 2020 McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellows are, from left to right, Ivy Flessen, Leela Stockley, Bria Lamonica. 

The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center is proud to announce that UMaine students Ivy Flessen, Bria Lamonica, and Leela Stockley have been chosen as our Spring 2020-Fall 2020 MHC undergraduate fellows. Fellows receive $4000 each semester for two consecutive semesters, while they work on a humanities project of their own devising. They serve as humanities ambassadors to their peers, the campus, and beyond.

Ivy Flessen is from Oswego, Illinois, and is a third-year political science major, with minors in legal studies, as well as ethics and political philosophy. She is involved with a number of honor societies and student organizations, including the UMaine Singers, the Pre-Law Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. Ivy’s project, “The Morality of the Life of the Mind in Plato’s Dialogues” will also serve as her honors thesis. Her research examines the perennial tension between self-interest and altruism in the dialogues of Plato. She is interested in determining whether Plato regarded a life dedicated to wisdom as the zenith of public service, or as a selfish enterprise. She was drawn to this research because she hopes to one day work in academia, and sees modern academics still facing charges of elitism and irrelevance. 

Bria Lamonica is a third-year English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in psychology. A native of Turnersville, New Jersey, Bria is particularily interested in the work of feminist poets like Gertrude Stein, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Adrienne Rich, as well as contemporary poets. Her fellowship research, which will also inform her capstone and honors thesis, will involve creating a collection of poetry titled, “Out of Darkness: Contemporary Feminist Poetry.” She is hoping to use poetry as a way to fight back against oppression and speak up for women who cannot speak for themselves. Bria also writes for the Maine Campus, is involved with the Phi Mu fraternity, and is a member of  the Sigma Tau Delta National English Honors Society

Leela Stockley is a third-year journalism and anthropology double major from Chester, Maine. As news editor at Maine Campus, she thinks a lot about journalists’ duty to provide unbiased media coverage. Her research, “Ethical Implications of the Protest Paradigm on Marginalized Communities: Examining the portrayal of social justice movements in mass media based on lines of class and race” hopes to further examine how language choice in news coverage often conflicts with this ethical duty. When the media coverage uses language that emphasizes deviant behavior, violence and confrontation, but ignores the core tenets and goals of a movement, Stockley believes it blurs the reader’s understanding of the social justice movement and marginalized communities. 

Returning for their second semester as McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellows are Noah Loveless, doing research on Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, Sarah Penney who is examining Icelandic sagas, and Matthew Ryckman who has been exploring the history of geometry textbooks through the lens of a 1732 edition of Euclid’s Elements. All six of the current McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellows will be attending the National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium at Johns Hopkins University on April 3-4. 

For students interested in becoming a McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellowship, applications for the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 cycle are due March 27. More information, including application instructions, proposal guidelines, and a rubric, are all available at or by emailing

For more information on this event, please contact Karen Sieber [] or Margo Lukens [] at the McGillicuddy Humanities Center at UMaine (207) 581-1848.