Christendom College

New Faculty for Junior Semester in Rome

September 12, 2018

From left to right: returning teacher and administrative head of the Junior Semester in Rome Katy Ott; returning professor Dr. Jan Bentz; returning professor Fr. Michael Baggot; new professor Dr. Sara Magister; and returning teacher Dr. Sean-Patrick Lovett.

Christendom will welcome new and returning faculty back for its Junior Semester in Rome, with classes set to begin for the fall semester in the coming weeks. Classes in philosophy, theology, art and architecture, and the language and culture of Rome will be taught to juniors during their time in the Eternal City, as they grow academically, culturally, and spiritually near the Heart of the Church.

The Junior Semester in Rome is one of the most popular features of Christendom, as students study and live in Rome from September through November in the fall and February through April in the spring. When students arrive for classes this month, they will begin with learning ROMA 300, or the language and culture of Rome. The course is taught principally by Katy Ott, Dr. Sean-Patrick Lovett, and other guest lecturers.  Acting as the highly respected administrative head of the Junior Semester in Rome, Ott will teach the Italian portion of the course for the sixth straight semester. Having worked on the college’s Rome campus for eight years, she is uniquely capable of directing all of the Italian learning outcomes students will have in the course to the specific kinds of tasks and experiences they will be having outside the classroom. Students have consistently found this to be the case and have very much enjoyed her diverse pedagogical approaches to teaching the Italian language.

Dr. Lovett will deliver workshops on cultural engagement. Now working for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and as a professor of Communication at the Pontifical Gregorian University, for decades Dr. Lovett was Vatican Radio’s director of English language programming. Born and educated in South Africa, he is of Irish extraction but has lived in Rome since the 1970’s. Dr. Lovett and other guest lecturers will help students understand and engage both Italian culture and the culture of the Holy See.

HIST 301, the art and architecture of Rome and Florence, will be taught by new faculty member Dr. Sara Magister. Dr. Magister has a master’s in art history and a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Rome. A native Roman, Dr. Magister has worked as the archaeological editor for the Italian national Encyclopedia. She currently works as a consultant for the Vatican Museums and the former minister of culture, designing museum exhibitions and supporting the restoration of monuments with archive research. She is also working as a professor for the American University in Rome, teaching Baroque Art and Subjects and Symbols in Art. Additionally, Sara is publishing a book about Caravaggio’s paintings in the Contarelli chapel.

Additionally, students will study two core curriculum courses while in Rome. This fall, students will learn PHIL 301, the history of medieval philosophy, from Dr. Jan Bentz. Now teaching for the third straight semester, Bentz hails from Germany, though he did his doctoral studies in Rome and spent part of his high school education in America. Before achieving success as a doctoral student in philosophy, Dr. Bentz attained graduate degrees in Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy, and Ecumenism, while working extensively in media and as a professional tour guide.

THEO 301, moral theology, with be taught by Christendom alumnus and recently ordained priest Fr. Michael Baggot. Fr. Baggot has worked as the Correspondent of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics since 2011, during which time he has penned articles for the organization’s website and for the scholarly journal Studia Bioethica. In 2015, he began contributing to the journal of religion and public life First Things. Fr. Baggot has been a professor at Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum since 2016 and began teaching as an adjunct for Christendom last spring.

For more information on the Junior Semester in Rome, visit here.

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