Student Receives Merlin Student Scholar Fellowship

Julianna Breit

HELENA – Carroll College student Julianna Breit was recently selected as the 2021-2022 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow by Merlin CCC. The Merlin Student Scholar Fellowship provides recipients with a chance to work with thinkers in diverse fields of study and apply philosophy to their chosen area of focus.

Breit is Merlin’s first undergraduate fellow. A junior at Carroll, she is double-majoring in biochemistry and philosophy with minors in ethics and value studies, neuroscience, and chemistry. Valuing inquisition, creativity, integration, restoration, and understanding, Breit strives to unite philosophy and neuroscience.  Her current research interests include Phenomenology of Emotion, Trauma, and Empathy. She is interested in pursuing a holistic perspective of body and mind that will help to inform her understanding of the human experience and her work in the field.

“Human experience is astounding. With its variety, depth, intensity, and fluidity, human experience inspires me to unveil its mysterious and clever progression, which shapes, colors, and saturates individual lives,” said Breit. “My long-term academic goal is to understand the comprehensive influence of trauma on individual experience and community relationships, with particular attention to the impact, longevity, and purpose of emotions. In addition to helping me philosophically assess my personal actions and interactions, I hope this endeavor to understand will also inform clinical relationships, including settings and approaches for therapy and social work.”

Recently, Julianna participated in the prestigious Exeter Summer College Programme at the University of Oxford, where she studied the Neuroscience of Stress and Trauma under Dr. Zoltan Sarnyai (MD, Ph.D., M.S.). With Merlin, she will be continuing her research on the neuroscientific and philosophical implications of sadness and grief.

Her fellowship will involve a combination of research, writing, and philosophy in the community activities.  As a first-semester fellow, she will be examining and writing about the philosophical underpinnings and consequences of grief on the individual as both a philosophical being and community member. She will also be a regular participant in Merlin’s philosophy in the community activities. In her second semester, she will be involved in the philosophical critique and analysis of one or more of Merlin’s activities as well as design and lead a philosophy in the community activity of her own based on her work.

Breit has also been active as a community volunteer with St. Peter’s Health, the Friendship Center, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, FoodShare, and St. Peter’s NODA (No One Dies Alone end-of-life care).

About Merlin CCC:
Merlin CCC
(Collaborate – Consult – Community) is a Helena-based public philosophy non-profit dedicated to enriching lives and strengthening the community and environment through philosophy.