Beth Mardutho Summer Fellowships
Each summer, Beth Mardutho offers several Fellowships in the Digital Humanities. These provide opportunities for select graduate students, early career scholars, and, on occasion, advanced undergraduates to work on Syriac Digital Humanities projects under the guidance of lead scholars and researchers. Fellowships are designed for full-time (40 hours/week) research over a 12-week summer. Thus, fellows are expected to reduce outside work, research, and responsibilities for the duration of their fellowship. Fellows may arrange their start and end dates as convenient and may work remotely, but must commit to three months’ work on their fellowship project(s).
Fellowships are not an employment opportunity, but are designed primarily for learning new skills in the Digital Humanities through working on DH projects. In past years, fellows have developed Syriac OCR models for manuscripts (Qoruyo); created Simtho, a philologically-based online corpus of Syriac texts; TEI/XML-encoded issues of Hugoye; worked on the eBethArké online library; compiled data for part-of-speech tagging; and tagged lexical data for SEDRA, our online searchable lexicons, among other projects. Several fellows have published articles on their findings.
Each fellowship has different compensation terms. Most include a stipend for travel or housing, free admission to Beth Mardutho’s Syriac II summer course, and a book grant from Gorgias Press. Applicants must have had at least one year of university-level Syriac and be enrolled in or recently graduated from a graduate program. Non-academic candidates from within the Syriac heritage tradition who know Classical Syriac are also encouraged to apply.
The following positions are available each summer:
The Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellowship
The Mr. Malak Yunan and Dr. Evelyne Yunan Fellowship
The Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellowship
The Dr. Talal and Mrs. Wesal Findakly Fellowship
The Edward Y. Hannoush Memorial Fellowship in the Digital Humanities, sponsored by Dr. Peter and Dr. Gretchen Hannoush
The Dr. Nebil and Mrs. Jennifer Aydin Fellowship
Additionally, in conjunction with Princeton Theological Seminary, select graduate students are granted the opportunity to complete their Field Education requirements at Beth Mardutho. Below, you will find current and previous fellows & interns who have helped Beth Mardutho along the way!
APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED!
To apply for a summer fellowship, please submit a CV and cover letter to fellowships@bethmardutho.
Endow a Fellowship
If you wish to become a fellowship benefactor, please email email@example.com, and we will contact you with additional information. You may also use the link below to submit a contribution.
2023 Fellows & Interns
Michael David Ethington
Michael David Ethington is the 2023 Seibel Fellow. A master’s student in Religious Studies at the University of Padua, he is currently writing a thesis on the Life of Rabban Bar ʿIrdta. His research interests are on Syriac hagiography and Syriac missionary work in the Silk Road. At Beth Mardutho, he is working on metadata and OCR for Simtho.
Paul Gillett is a Summer Fellow in Digital Humanities and a master’s student in Computational Linguistics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2022 with an BA in Philosophy and 2 years of Syriac classes with Aaron Butts and Monica Blanchard. His research interests are in Syriac grammar broadly and in developing tools to enable more convenient study of syntactic data and lexical use.
Matt Green is a Graduate Intern at Beth Mardutho and a master’s student at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). His research interests include the poetics of the Hebrew Bible, the tension between artistic traditions and individual creativity, and aesthetic theory. He plans to pursue a PhD in biblical studies, with a focus on biblical poetry, following his time at PTS.
2022 Fellows & Interns
Saranya Chandran was the Edward Y. Hannoush Memorial Fellow. A masters student at Central European University, Vienna, her research interests are Garshuni Malayalam, Arabi Malayalam, linguistics, and digital humanities. She trained an East Syriac OCR/HTR model and FLex Malayalam at Beth Mardutho in summer 2022.
Giovanni DiRusso was the Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellow. He is a second-year PhD student at Harvard University’s Committee for the Study of Religion. He also holds an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a BA in Religion and Classics from Williams College. Giovanni’s research broadly examines Eastern Christian intellectual history and manuscript cultures in Greek, Syriac, and Arabic, with particular interests in late ancient magical traditions and Christian Arabic apocrypha. In summer 2022, he prepared texts for inclusion in the Simtho corpus and helped train OCR models for Syriac.
Bert Jacobs wa a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow in Digital Humanities. Bert earned his PhD from the Catholic University of Leuven in November 2021 with a dissertation on Syriac quotations from the Qurʾān in Dionysius bar Ṣalībī’s Disputation against the Arabs, with a new critical edition of Mimrō III. His current research interests are on the Christian reception of the Qurʾān and theological and cultural interactions during the Syriac Renaissance. At Beth Mardutho, he worked on metadata and OCR for Simtho.
Florian Jäckel was the Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellow. He studied Catholic theology and Islamics at the University of Tübingen. In 2021, he finished his PhD with a thesis on conceptions of unborn life in the writings of the Syriac polymath Barhebraeus (d. 1286); he has also published on Barhebraeus’s legal work, the Ktābā d-Huddāyē. In summer 2022 he worked on training an East Syriac OCR/HTR model and FLex XML to LaTeX via XSLT.
Antonio Musto was the Dr. Nebil and Mrs. Jennifer Aydin Fellow. He is a PhD candidate in New York University’s Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies department, and his dissertation focuses on the emergence of Sufism, usually understood as Islamic mysticism, in the 10th and 11th centuries. As part of his research, he looks to explore the relationship between Christian mysticism in Late Antiquity and formation of Sufism. At Beth Mardutho, he trained an East Syriac OCR/HTR model.
Giovanni Gomiero was a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow in Digital Humanities. He began his FWO-PhD at the University of Ghent in November 2022, with a four-year project on Thomas of Marga and East Syrian Historiography and Hagiography (6th-10th c.). He studied before in the University of Padua and as an intern researcher in the IRHT-CNRS (Paris). His research interests are the History of the Church of the East and its texts during Late Antiquity. At Beth Mardutho, he worked on metadata and OCR for Simtho.
Matthew Bachman (he/him/his) was a graduate intern from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studies the intersections of religion, society, and science. Matthew completed his undergraduate studies at McKendree University in Religious Studies and History. At McKendree, he was a Marian Bothwell and Clarence O. Wagner scholar and researched how various religions influenced World War II. He cataloged eBethArké and created a 25-year index for Hugoye.
2021 Fellows & Interns
Maroun El Houkayem
Maroun El Houkayem received the 2021 Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellowship. He is a PhD Student in Religion at Duke University. His research interests include language and religious identity, the formation of different Arabic Christian identities, and Arabic poetry. At Beth Mardutho he worked on OCR for Simtho and TEI encoding.
Fadi Homsi was the Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellow for 2021. Fadi is originally from Hama, Syria. He studied Arabic literature at Hama University and is currently a third-year student at St. Aphrem Theological Seminary in Ma’arrat Saydnaya, Syria, as well as a deacon in the Syriac church. He tagged liturgical texts for Simtho, working with Ephrem’s corpus.
Yanir Marmor held the Dr. Nebil and Mrs. Jennifer Aydin Fellowship in Digital Humanities in 2021. He graduated from Tel Aviv university in 2021 with a double major in Computer Science and Talmud. He works as a data scientist and algorithm developer. Yanir concentrated on part-of-speech tagging and other Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks in Syriac.
Iustinian Ioan Mindrila
Iustinian Ioan Mindrila was the Dr. Jack Jallo and Mrs. Gage Johnston Fellow. He is a PhD student at the Department of Ecumenical Theology and Oriental Church and Mission History of the University of Göttingen. His research focuses on an unedited and untranslated East Syriac hagiography of Ishoʿyahb III ascribed to the Catholicos-Patriarch Ḥenanishoʿ I. He TEI XML-encoded issues of Hugoye, and he worked on OCR functions and part-of-speech tagging for Simtho.
Anton Fleissner was the 2021 Edward Y. Hannoush Memorial Fellow in the Digital Humanities. Before studying ancient and modern languages and teaching Koine Greek at the Polis Institute in Jerusalem, he finished a B.A. in mathematics at Princeton University, where his thesis focused on computational linguistics. He currently teaches math, computer science, and Latin at the Waring School in Beverly, MA. At Beth Mardutho, Anton worked on morphological tagging tools for Simtho and conjugation tools for SEDRA.
Brandon Allen is a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow leading the team OCRing texts for Simtho. He began working at Beth Mardutho in 2016 as an intern from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated with his MDiv. In 2018, as curator of Beth Mardutho’s library, he led the cataloging and digitization which resulted in over 2,000 books uploaded to Archive.org. He received his MSt in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford in 2019. His research interests are in early Judaism and Christianity, focusing on the exegetical traditions and pseudepigrapha, particularly in
Dead Sea Scrolls and the Syriac tradition. He also is an editorial assistant for the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project.
Ian Ollila is a third-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary and is a graduate intern at Beth Mardutho this summer. His primary research interest is in the field of Christian religion, specifically focused upon the New Testament with orientation towards literary analysis of the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. This summer he will be working on the institute’s OCR/HTR project, as well as on metadata creation and file management for Simtho.
Patrick Kiernan is completing an M.Div at Princeton Theological Seminary. His research interests are in the New Testament, the Gospels, and Historical Jesus studies. He was a graduate summer intern at Beth Mardutho and OCRed documents and created metadata for Simtho.
2020 Fellows & Interns
Joss Childs is the inaugural Dr. Nebil and Mrs. Jennifer Aydin Fellow. She is a student at Mount Holyoke College, where she is pursuing majors in Ancient Greek and Religion. She hopes to continue studying early Christianity, particularly the martyrdoms of children, after she graduates. This summer, she will be TEI XML-encoding issues of Hugoye and reviewing already-encoded issues.
Rami Malaab is the 2020 Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellow. A fourth-year seminarian at Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary, he previously studied Geology and Applied Geophysics. He is interested in the Syriac language and translation, and he is enthusiastic to apply his knowledge towards SEDRA by deduping entries and working with MP3 files.
Jonathan Warner was the 2020 Mr. Malak Yunan and Dr. Evelyne Yunan Fellow. A PhD candidate in Cornell University’s Department of Classics, his dissertation, “Soldiers of Caesar and Christ: Martial Imagery and the Ethos of Church and State Service in Late Antiquity,” explores the military ethos of Roman bureaucrats and Christian ascetics. He received a B.A. in classics and history at the George Washington University and an M.A. in classical languages at the University of Georgia. He worked on projects aimed at improving SEDRA and Simtho.
Shelby Loster is a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow in Digital Humanities. Shelby completed a Master of Theology degree (with an emphasis in ancient Near Eastern studies) at Fuller Theological Seminary and is an alumna of Beth Mardutho’s Summer School program. At Beth Mardutho, she helped launch the beta version of Simtho: The Syriac Thesaurus with over 7 million words. This involved testing OCR programs, tagging files, and constructing a database. This summer she will work on increasing Simtho’s corpus and adding POS tagging. In addition, she will work on removing duplicates from SEDRA.
Omri Matarasso received the 2020 Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellowship in Digital Humanities. He is a PhD student in History at Princeton University. His research focuses on late antique minority groups living on the margins of the Roman and Persian empires. He is currently working on Syriac hagiographies edited in Paul Bedjan’s Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum. At Beth Mardutho, Omri worked on part-of-speech tagging and OCR functions for Simtho.
Brandon Allen is a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow leading the team OCRing texts for Simtho. He began working at Beth Mardutho in 2016 as an intern from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated with his MDiv. In 2018, as curator of Beth Mardutho’s library, he led the cataloging and digitization which resulted in over 2,000 books uploaded to Archive.org. He received his MSt in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford in 2019. His research interests are in Early Judaism and Christianity, focusing on the exegetical traditions and pseudepigrapha, particularly in Dead Sea Scrolls and the Syriac tradition. He also is an editorial assistant for the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project.
Briana Grenert is a graduate intern from Princeton Theological Seminary. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2018 with a double major in Classical Studies and Linguistics with a minor in Neuroscience. She took a gap year in Hawaii, where she spent her time teaching church history, tutoring French and Greek, and reading Syriac under Kapali Lyon at the University of Hawaii. She is currently an MDiv student and runs the Greek Reading Table at Princeton Seminary.
David Michael Felsch
David Michael Felsch is a graduate intern at Beth Mardutho, and he recently completed the first year of the M.Div. program at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is interested in ancient religions and languages and plans to pursue academics after his masters is complete. He is particularly interested in the Gospels and Christian origins. He is also an associate editor for the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project.
Yevgeniy Safronov is an MDiv Student at Princeton Theological Seminary and one of Beth Mardutho’s graduate summer interns. His academic interests include the development of Jewish traditions in the Second Temple Period and the interaction of political, philosophical, and religious thought during the Hellenistic era. At Beth Mardutho, he aims to further the digital humanities and promote understanding of Syriac culture in the academic world and the Western church.
2019 Fellows & Interns
Shelby Loster was a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow in Digital Humanities. Shelby completed a Master of Theology degree (with an emphasis in ancient Near Eastern studies) at Fuller Theological Seminary and is an alumna of the Beth Mardutho Summer School program. At Beth Mardutho, helped build an online text corpus. This involved managing and testing OCR programs, processing over 50,000 pages of text data through the OCR, participating in the build of a part-of-speech and morphological tagger, and building a corpus using corpora digital tools.
Patrick Conlin is a recent graduate of Marquette University’s Historical Theology M.A. program. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife Amanda and their three cats. The majority of his research has been on Bar Hebraeus, but he is interested in learning more about other medieval and early modern Syriac authors. He conducted morphological analysis on SEDRA for Beth Mardutho.
Kyle Brunner was the The Dr. Talal and Mrs. Wesal Findakly Fellow in the Digital Humanities. He is a 3rd year PhD student at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York University. His research focuses on social and environmental issues that affected the Aramaic- and Arabic-speaking populations of northern Syria and Iraq following the rise of Islam. Kyle tested ScanTent for eBethArké and provided Syriac and Arabic catalogue support for the research library at Beth Mardutho.
Henry Clements is a PhD candidate in History at Yale University. His research centers on the Süryani community of the Ottoman Empire. At Beth Mardutho, Henry will be cataloging and creating metadata for the Mardin Archive.
Andrea Bellettato is the Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellow at Beth Mardutho, where he will be TEI XML-encoding issues of Hugoye this summer. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Classics in 2014 and went on to pursue an MA in the same subject at the University of Padua. He graduated in 2018 with a thesis on Tatian and Bardaisan. Andrea will be starting a PhD in Syriac Literature at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari next October, and his doctoral project will focus on the use of florilegia and other Greek Patristic sources in the works of some key eastern Syriac authors of the early Abbasid period.
William Bunce is the The Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellow in Digital Humanities, and he will be working on importing the BYU JPS and Sokoloff lexica into SEDRA. He began higher education studying Literae Humaniores at Brasenose College, Oxford. After his first examinations, he took up Syriac and Aramaic, and he will graduate with a degree in Classics and Oriental Studies in August. Next year he hopes to take up an offer for an MSt in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at Wadham College, with a particular focus on John of Ephesus and the Syriac Christian communities under Justinian.
Bogdan Draghici is the The Edward Y. Hannoush Memorial Fellow in the Digital Humanities. He is a PhD student in Oriental Studies with a specialty in Syriac Christianity at the University of Oxford. He is currently working on Bar Salibi’s unedited polemical treatise Against the Chalcedonians. He previously studied at the University of Oxford for an MSt in Syriac studies, and KU Leuven where he graduated from the Advanced Research Master’s with a dissertation on the development of ecumenical thinking during the Syriac Renaissance. This summer he will be TEI XML-encoding issues of Hugoye for Beth Mardutho, making the journal fully searchable.
Mshamshono Aday (Muhannad Maher) comes from Syria, where he is a deacon studying theology at the Seminary of St. Ephrem. He graduated from Al-Baath University as an electronics engineer last year and is now in his second year of seminary. He likes the Syriac language very much and is interested in enhancing his language skills as he works on Manna’s Syriac-Arabic lexicon for Beth Mardutho.
Michael Sims is a PhD Candidate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington. His research focuses on identity formation and intercommunal relations within the Süryani and Kurdish communities of the late 19th and early 20th century Ottoman Empire. This summer he worked on the Mardin archive for Beth Mardutho, cataloging and creating metadata.
Johan M.V. Lundberg
Johan Lundberg recieved a Herman & Mary K. Seibel Fellow in Digital Humanities. Johan is currently a PhD student faculty in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University and has an extensive background in linguistic features of semitic languages. He is working to create a philologically-motivated corpus of digital Syriac texts.
Abigail Pearson is a PhD student in Theology at the University of Exeter. Her current research focuses on East Syriac manuscripts containing medical recipes and protective and healing incantations. At Beth Mardutho, Abigail used Transkribus to train computer models to accurately read and automatically transcribe handwritten Syriac documents. This research built upon her work with the 2018 summer fellows testing Tesseract 4.0 for Syriac OCR.
Randy Garcia of Princeton Theological Seminary is pursuing a MA(TS) in Biblical Studies. His research interests are New Testament, reception studies of the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Jewish literature, textual criticism, and ancient languages. He is a 2019 summer intern at Beth Mardutho working on cataloging and uploading digital content for the Beth Mardutho research library.
Ken Bendiksen is a summer intern at Beth Mardutho. He earned his BA in Russian from Carleton College and later attended the Russian State University for the Humanities, where he studied Attic Greek and Biblical Hebrew. He completed active duty as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 2018 and continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve while pursuing an MA in Biblical Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. His research interests include early Christianity in its Greco-Roman context, second-temple Judaism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, textual criticism, the writers of the Second Sophistic, and the works of Origen and Athanasius.
2018 Fellows & Interns
Samuel Barry, PhD
Samuel Barry of the University of Manchester received the Dr. Khalid and Mrs. Amira Dinno Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Samuel obtained his PhD in 2016 from the University of Manchester where he worked on the medical translations of Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq. He has a special interest in the classical Syriac-Arabic lexicon of Bar Ali. At Beth Mardutho, Samuel’s work – incorporating Arabic resources to SEDRA, our multi-lingual dictionary project (sedra.bethmardutho.org) – built cognate relations between Syriac and Arabic.
Emily Chesley of Princeton Theological Seminary received The Dr. Jack Jallo and Mrs. Gage Johnston Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Emily completed her masters at Princeton Theological Seminary and will enter its PhD program in History & Ecumenics this fall. She attended the Beth Mardutho Summer School program and previously completed a Junior Fellowship at the Library of Congress in its Digitization of Monastery Manuscripts project. At Beth Mardutho, Emily trained and tested a Syriac OCR system which will allow users to scan, edit, and search Syriac texts.
Jana Safley received The Mr. Malak Yunan and Dr. Evelyne Yunan Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Jana attended the Beth Mardutho Summer School program and studied in Jerusalem, and she is currently seeking a graduate program in Early Christian Hermeneutics. She tagged Syriac-English lexical data for Beth Mardutho and prepared key publications.
Dominique Sirgy of Yale University is a PhD student in Religious Studies with a specialty in Islam and Ancient Christianity. She worked on the Arabic resources for SEDRA.
Hannah Stork of the University of Chicago received The Dr. Talal and Mrs. Wesal Findakly Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Hannah has attended the Beth Mardutho Summer School program and spent four years working for a non-profit in the Middle East. She is currently pursuing an MA at the University of Chicago. Hannah worked on Syriac-Arabic resources for SEDRA and enriched the Beth Mardutho Library online catalog with Arabic material from the library’s collection.
Jillian Marcantonio completed her master’s degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in May 2017 and will be starting a PhD program in Early Christianity at Duke University. A former student of the Beth Mardutho Summer School program, Jillian focused on the SEDRA project and the completion of tagging Margoliouth’s Supplement. In addition, she worked on the OCR training and testing project.
Abigail Pearson of the University of Exeter is a PhD student in Theology. She worked on training and testing a Syriac OCR engine and on creating a new website for the Institute.
Winona Salesky received The Dr. Suhail and Mrs. Luna Zavaro Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Winona works with the Syriaca.org project and is an expert in building online systems for the Syriac Digital Humanities. At Beth Mardutho, she re-implemented the electronic journal Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies with the Srophé platform, transforming it from static HTML and PDF pages to a searchable XML TEI system that can interact with other websites using Linked Open Data.
Ashby Neterer of Princeton Theological Seminary has research interests in early Patristics and Tertullian’s rule of faith as well as his apology. During his Field Education experience at the Institute, he catalogued and uploaded digital content for the library as part of the Internet Archive scanning project.
Sunil Persad, MBA
Sunil Persad of Princeton Theological Seminary has a background in business and marketing. At Beth Mardutho, he completed his Field Education placement by developing a new website for the Institute and working on the marketability of its online presence.
FORMER BM INTERNS