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INSTITUTE FELLOWS

J. Budziszewski, Ph.D.
Government and Philosophy
Patrick Fagan, Ph.D.
Family and Culture
Byron Johnson, Ph.D.
Sociology
Robert Koons, Ph.D.
Philosophy
Catherine Pakaluk, Ph.D.
Economics
Joseph Price, Ph.D.
Economics
Mark Regnerus, Ph.D.
Sociology
Jim Stoner, Ph.D.
Political Science
Ashleen Bagnulo, Ph.D.
Political Science
Matthew Breuninger, Ph.D.
Psychology
Melissa Moschella, Ph.D.
Philosophy
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J. Budziszewski, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Government and Philosophy

J. Budziszewski (Ph.D. Yale, 1981) is a professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.  His main area of research is the natural moral law, in which he is best known for his work on moral self-deception – on what happens when we tell ourselves that we don't know what we really do know.  Among his other research interests are moral character, family and sexuality, religion and public life, toleration and liberty, and the unraveling of our common culture.

Budziszewski tries to compose his scholarly work in such a way that it is accessible to general readers, and his work for general readers in such a way that it offers something to scholars.  Representative of his books in the former category are Commentary on Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Law and Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics (Cambridge), as well as The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction (ISI Books).  Representative of those in the latter category are What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide (Ignatius) and On the Meaning of Sex (ISI Books).

Presently he is writing a book about happiness and ultimate purpose.

 
 
Byron Johnson, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Criminology and Sociology

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior, and previously directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, and criminal justice.  Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry. Professor Johnson recently completed a series of studies for the Department of Justice on the role of religion in prosocial youth behavior and has served as a member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Presidential Appointment).  He is currently working on a longitudinal study of court-referred adolescents and 12-Step recovery (www.helpingotherslivesober.org).  He has been project director/PI on many grants from private foundations as well as federal agencies including the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, U. S. Institute of Peace, Department of Labor, and the National Institutes of Health. His newest books are The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation, Desistance, and Rehabilitation (Routledge, 2016) and The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life (SUNY Press, 2017). Johnson was the 2013 Lone Star Big Brother of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas.

Pat Fagan, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Family and Culture

Patrick Fagan is Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at the Catholic University of America. He has authored many synthesis papers on factors that affect adults and children: divorce, out of wedlock births, pornography, child abuse, religious practice and adoption. He has investigated the effects of levels of religious worship when combined with family structure and researched the demographics of family poverty.  Presently he is working on the father-son relationship in sexual formation of males and the effects of contraception. Dr. Fagan was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. He was the first Fellow in Family and Culture Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Fagan received his initial training in clinical psychology in Ireland and then practiced in Canada. Later he earned his Ph.D. in the sociology of social policy from University College Dublin. He lives in Maryland with his wife Theresa. They have eight children and many grandchildren. 

 
Robert Koons, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Humanities

Robert Koons is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.  Robert specializes in philosophical logic and in the application of logic to long-standing philosophical problems, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind and intentionality, semantics, political philosophy and metaethics, and philosophy of religion. His book Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1992) received the Aarlt Prize from the Council of Graduate Schools in 1994. He is the author of Realism Regained (OUP, 2000) and the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (OUP, 2010), two books with Timothy Pickavance, Metaphysics: The Fundamentals (Wiley-Blackwell 2015) and The Atlas of Reality: A Comprehensive Guide to Metaphysics (Wiley-Blackwell 2017). His forthcoming book is co-edited with William M. R. Simpson and Nicholas J is titled Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science (Routledge 2018).

 
Catherine Pakaluk, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Economics

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk is an assistant professor of economics in the Busch School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, and a faculty research fellow at the Stein Center for Social Research.  Her research is concerned broadly with the study of family, gender, and fertility.  Most recently, she has been working on theoretical frameworks for evaluating the effect of changes in contraceptive technology on sexual behavior and fertility.  She also studies the relationship between churches, schools, and families and is developing new metrics for measuring the value of a "good fit" between students and schools.  Professor Pakaluk received her doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2010.  She lives in Maryland with her husband, Michael, and eight children.

 
Joseph Price, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Economics

Joseph Price is an associate professor of economics at Brigham Young University and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Institute for the Study of Labor, the Sutherland Institute, and the Wheatley Institution. He is the author of over 50 academic articles on topics including marriage, parental time investments in children, gender differences in competitive settings, racial discrimination, and using incentives to encourage positive behaviors in children. His research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of EconomicsDemographyManagement Science, and the Journal of Human Resources, and has been featured in the New York TimesWashington Post, NPR, CNN, and on the Today Show. Joseph received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University in 2007.

 
Mark Regnerus, Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Sociology

Mark Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a faculty associate at the university’s Population Research Center. Author of over 30 published articles and book chapters, his research is in the areas of sexual behavior, family, and religion. He's the author of three books: Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying (Oxford, 2011), which describes the norms, behaviors, and mating market realities facing young adults, and Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford, 2007), which tells the story of how religion does—and does not—shape teenagers' sexual decision-making. His third book, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Monogamy, and Marriage (Oxford, 2017), chronicles the digital revolution as it affects sexual behavior. His work has beenwidely reviewed, including in Slate, the Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The New Yorker, and his research and opinion pieces have been featured in numerous media outlets. His short article on the low price of sex among young adults was the ninth-most read article on Slate in 2011. More recently, he was the author of a 2012 study (and follow-up) appearing in Social Science Research on the comparative outcomes of young adults who grew up in different types of households and with different parental and household experiences.

 
James Stoner, Jr., Ph.D. 

Senior Fellow in Political Science

Professor James R. Stoner, Jr. is the Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute in the Department of Political Science at LSU. He is the author of Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 1992), as well as a number of articles and essays. In 2009 he was named a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey; he has co-edited three books published by Witherspoon, The Thriving Society: On the Social Conditions of Human Flourishing (with Harold James, 2015), The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (with Donna M. Hughes, 2010), and Rethinking Business Management: Examining the Foundations of Business Education (with Samuel Gregg, 2008). He was the 2010 recipient of the Honors College Sternberg Professorship at LSU.

Dr. Stoner has taught at LSU since 1988, chaired the Department of Political Science from 2007 to 2013, and served as Acting Dean of the Honors College in fall 2010. He was a member of the National Council on the Humanities from 2002 to 2006. In 2002-03 he was a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, where he returned in the 2013-14 academic year as Garwood Visiting Professor in the fall and Visiting Fellow in the spring. He has teaching and research interests in political theory, English common law, and American constitutionalism.

 
Ashleen Bagnulo, Ph.D.

Fellow in Political Science

Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo (Notre Dame '13) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas State University. She has held positions at Princeton University, the United States Naval Academy's Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and Furman University. She studies the civic republic tradition and the topics of race, women and religion, and has published in the European Journal of Political Theory, The Journal of Bioethics in Law & Culture Quarterly, and Armed Forces & Society (forthcoming 2018). She has also contributed regularly to Public Discourse and has been featured in popular media forums such as America Magazine, NBC Latino and Sirius XM's America this Week. 

Dr. Menchaca-Bagnulo is the recipient of a 2018 College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching. She teaches courses in political theory and constitutional law and serves as a faculty sponsor Supporting Women in Political Science and St. Paul's Outreach. She is originally from the South Central Texas region and lives with her family in New Braunfels, Texas.

 
Matthew Breuninger, Psy.D.

Fellow in Psychology

Matthew Breuninger is an assistant professor of psychology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He received his Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Baylor University as well as an M.A. in Theology from Ave Maria University. His research interests lie generally in psychology of religion. In particular he is interested in how churches perceive and address mental illness, God attachment, religious and spiritual struggles, clinical disorders, and implicit and explicit attitudes toward God. His current research includes looking at the relationship between religious/spiritual struggles and well-being in adolescents, the effects of perceived parenting style on religious/spiritual struggles, and comparing the predictive validity of implicit and explicit attitudes toward God on various outcome variables. When not teaching or researching, he enjoys fishing and hiking in the mountains of Pennsylvania with his family. 
 
Melissa Moschella, Ph.D.
Fellow in Philosophy
Melissa Moschella is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, where her research and teaching focus on natural law, bioethics and the moral and political status of the family. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University. Her book, To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Moschella speaks and writes on a variety of contemporary issues, such as brain death, end-of-life ethics, parental rights, marriage, gender, reproductive technologies, and conscience rights.  Her articles have been published in scholarly journals as well as popular media outlets, including BioethicsThe Journal of Medical Ethics, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, The American Journal of JurisprudenceThe New York Times, USA Today, The Washington PostThe New York Daily News, and The Public Discourse.