Angelicum Academy Moderators Meeting Pope Benedict XVI
[l to r: His Holiness, Pat Carmack, Piotr Jaroszynski, James Taylor, Steve Bertucci, Peter Redpath]

Our Team of Online Moderators

Steve Bertucci
Director of the Great Books Program
Steve is a Director of the Great Books Program and has probably moderated more Great Books discussion groups (literally thousands now) than any living human! He speaks at educational conferences throughout the country and in Europe and serves on the boards of nonprofit educational and arts organizations. Steve was one of the pioneers of live-audio online Socratic discussion groups. He lives with his family in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. He works with our students in 3rd grade through high school, and with our adult groups as well.
Bio Information
Father Joseph Fessio
Great Books Moderator
Father Joseph Fessio is the Founder and Editor of Ignatius Press. He is also the publisher of the influential publications Catholic World Report and Homiletic & Pastoral Review. As a Jesuit professor he founded both the St. Ignatius Institute of the University of San Francisco and Campion College. During his academic career he has taught philosophy and theology courses at several schools. Fr. Fessio wrote his dissertation on the ecclesiology of Hans Urs von Balthasar under the direction of Pope Benedict XVI (then Professor Joseph Ratzinger). He holds the degrees of B.A. and M.A. from Gonzaga University; M.A. from the Fourvière Jesuit Faculty of Theology in Lyons, France; and Ph.D. from the University of Regensburg in Germany. In addition to his academic and publishing work, Fr. Fessio has worked as a consultant for the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is the co-founder of Adoremus: Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy.
Bio Information
Peter A. Redpath
Great Books Moderator
Peter Redpath – Chairman: Dr. Redpath is a Full Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University; has received numerous awards and honors for his work in philosophy; was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Philosophical Research in 1988; has made over 100 public program appearances on philosophical topics in the U.S. and Europe; has authored numerous books, monographs, and published articles; and has edited various philosophy books. He was a member of the Board of Editors of Editions Rodopi.
Bio Information
Curtis Hancock
Great Books Moderator
Dr. Hancock earned his BA and MA at the U. of Oklahoma, and his Ph.D. in philosophy at Loyola U., Chicago. He holds the Joseph M. Freeman Chair of Philosophy at Rockhurst University ; former Chair of the Philosophy Department and Teacher of the Year, he has authored four books on philosophy; twenty-two published philosophical articles and co-authored two novels. Dr. Hancock is a Director of the Angelicum Academy and the Great Books Academy; former President of American Maritain Association and current President of the Gilson Society; former Coordinator of and Lecturer in Rockhurst’s Great Books Program, “Return to the Classics,” Dr. Hancock specializes in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mind, Ethics, Political Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Education, and speaks Spanish, Ancient and Modern Greek, and reads Latin, Italian, French, German, and Polish.
Bio Information
Piotr Jaroszynski
Great Books Moderator
Prof. Piotr Jaroszynski holds the Chair of the Philosophy of Culture at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He works within the framework of classical philosophy and belongs to the American Catholic Philosophical Association, American Maritain Association and the International Society of Thomas Aquinas. He has written numerous articles and several scholarly books, including The Controversy Over Beauty (1992, 2002, in Polish), Metaphysics and Art (Peter Lang, 2002), and Science in Culture (Rodopi, 2003), as well as many books for the broader public. For his textbook Ethics: The Drama of the Moral Life (6th ed., 2002), he received the personal thanks of Pope John Paul II.
Bio Information
Tami Kozinski
Great Books Moderator
Tami has taught both at the high school and college levels over a medium-length teaching career, beginning in 1993 after she received her Secondary English credential and continuing after she graduated with a Masters of the Great Books from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, in 1998. She comes from international-educator stock, and so has lived in Afghanistan, Greece, Costa Rica, Russia, Canada and various states in the US. Tami is currently working as an adjunct composition professor, a writing tutor, a home schooling mom, a writer with essays in a few places (one in a book), and an amateur poet and painter.
Bio Information
Christopher S. Morrissey
Great Books Moderator
Christopher S. Morrissey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Catholic Pacific College, the Catholic liberal arts college at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, where he has also taught courses in the Latin language and in Greek and Roman history. He studied Greek and Latin at the University of British Columbia and has taught courses in these languages and in other classical subjects at Simon Fraser University. Morrissey specializes in philosophical theology, traditional metaphysics, perennial philosophy, and ancient cosmology. His book of Hesiod’s poetry, Hesiod : Theogony / Works and Days , has been published by Talonbooks. He is currently the managing editor of The American Journal of Semiotics. Morrissey has also published book chapters and journal articles on the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.
Bio Information
Maire Carmack
Great Books Moderator
Maire Therese Carmack graduated summa cum laude with a double major in philosophy and music from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. While at UCCS, Maire won the Divisional Award in Humanities for her interdisciplinary efforts in the departments of philosophy and music, as well her work for the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life and the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences Chair's Council. Her senior thesis, "The Postmodern Question: Art without Beauty" contrasted the aesthetic writings of Kant, Danto, Heidegger, and Plato. Maire went on to pursue her Master's in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and graduated in May, 2018.
Bio Information
Heather M. Erb
Great Books Moderator
Heather is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College (Canada), teaches philosophy at Lock Haven University, and has taught philosophy and religious studies at Penn State, Fordham, St. Francis, and University of Toronto. She holds degrees in philosophy and religious studies (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto) and a Masters and Doctorate in philosophy on the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas from the University of Toronto. Heather has designed and taught Philosophy for Theology for Catholic Distance University, and has taught seminarians, religious, and Catholic schoolteachers in a variety of settings. She publishes on metaphysics and mystical theology in Aquinas and his interpreters and on issues in Catholicism and culture. Her recent book, The Path of Spiritual Happiness (En Route, 2016) presents the philosophy of happiness as developed by Aristotle, St. Thomas, and Josef Pieper, and as applied by Pope John Paul II. She has contributed chapters in CUA (American Maritain Association) and Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (Vatican City) collections, and has articles in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Studia Gilsoniana, Verbum, Proceedings of the Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Society, New Oxford Review. She has been a featured speaker at Hillsdale College, Newman Centers, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, among others.
Bio Information
James S. Taylor
Great Books Moderator
A friend and then collegue of the famed trio (Drs. Senior, Quinn and Nelick) at the K.U. Pearson Integrated Humanities Program, Jim has been a teacher of English and American Literature, Western Civilization, and Philosophy of Education (at Hillsdale College in Michigan and at Tulsa University), for over twenty years. Jim recently authored the wonderful book Poetic Knowledge, The Recovery of Education. Jim has been moderating classes for the Great Books Program for over a decade. We’re heartbroken to share that on Thursday night, April 16th, Dr. James Taylor passed away. Dr. Taylor was with us as a moderator for the Great Books Program for many years and was responsible for compiling the hundreds of poems used to introduce the weekly discussions each week. We are so grateful for his dedication to bringing the Truth, Goodness and Beauty of the great books to his students and we hope you will join us in praying for him and his family. We look forward to continuing his legacy and approaching each poetry reading with awe and “no sugary sentimentality.” Rest in peace, Dr. T.
Bio Information
Mary Carmack
Great Books Moderator
Bio Information
Clare Merkle
Dr. Clare McGrath-Merkle is a philosopher of religion, spirituality scholar and Discalced Secular Carmelite. She is a graduate of St. John’s College, Annapolis (M.A.), the Washington Theological Union (M.T.S., with a certificate in Carmelite Studies), and the University of Augsburg, Germany (D.Phil.), with additional doctoral studies at The Catholic University of America School of Theology and Religious Studies (A.B.D., spirituality studies). She has written articles for The New Oxford Review, SimplyCatholic.com, The Journal of Religion and Health, and The Regensburg Forum, among others, as well as a 2018 book entitled Berulle's Spiritual of Priesthood. She has made appearances on EWTN to discuss the dangers of New Age spirituality, and served as EWTN's English-language host for the 2016 beatification of Fr. Marie Eugene, OCD. She resides in Baltimore and is the grateful mother of a daughter and granddaughter.
Bio Information
Kent Lasnoski
Great Books Moderator
Kent attended the University of Pennsylvania but returned to the Midwest for graduate studies at Marquette University (Milw., WI), where he studied the theology of marriage and sexual ethics, especially in the thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Alphonsus Liguori, John Paul II, and Catholic social teaching. After earning his doctorate in 2011, Dr. Lasnoski taught moral theology as Assistant Professor at Quincy University until his move to Wyoming Catholic College in 2015. He teaches theology and philosophy, and a practicum on marriage and consecrated life. Dr. Lasnoski is a founding board member and Associate Editor of the Catholic literary and arts journal Dappled Things, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Moral Theology, and is the Editor of the Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He has published a monograph on marriage and consecrated life (Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life), and together with his wife designs and participates in diocesan programs of marriage preparation and formation. If he is not in the classroom, you might find him playing soccer or ultimate frisbee or hiking and biking with his wife and children.
Bio Information
Hannah Carroll
Music Tutor/Grader for Greats Honors Program
Hello my name is Hannah Carroll and I am a Chicago native pursuing a career in Opera and Education. I received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German with a concentration in German Business from Northwestern University. I recently graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Masters of Music in Voice Performance and Literature. I am very excited to be a part of the team!
Bio Information
Matthew D'Antuono
Matt D’Antuono is a high school physics teacher and writer. He lives with his beautiful wife and eight home schooled children in New Jersey. He has earned Bachelor’s degrees in physics and philosophy, a Master’s degree in special education, and he is working on a Master’s degree in philosophy with an emphasis in Christian Wisdom from Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT. He has been a classroom teacher for 15 years and started teaching online in February of 2020. He writes regularly for the National Catholic Register, and his six books include A Fool’s Errand: A Brief, Informal Introduction to Philosophy for Young Catholics, Philosophy Fridays, The Wise Guy and the Fool, and The Healing. He has three Youtube channels: DonecRequiescat, a mix of philosophy, theology, and science; MisterD418, a channel of weekly Gospel readings and reflections for kids by his kids; and AP Physics C, his AP physics lectures.
Bio Information
Joseph Woodward
Joe Woodard earned a BA (Political Science), MA (Political Philosophy), MA (Liberal Studies), and PhD (Government - Claremont Graduate School). He spent 15 years as an academic, 15 years as an editor and journalist, and 11 years as a federal tribunal judge. He married Kathy in 1986; they raised ten children, many now married and raising grandchildren.
Bio Information
Thaddeus Kozinski
Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski is the author of Modernity as Apocalypse: Sacred Nihilism and the Counterfeits of Logos (Angelico Press) and The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Cannot Solve It (Lexington Books). Dr. Kozinski was academic dean and professor of philosophy and humanities at Wyoming Catholic College. At present, he teaches theology for Marin Catholic High School and Divine Mercy University.
Bio Information
Catherine Kniaz
Moderator/Editor
Catherine Kniaz holds a double bachelor’s summa cum laude in philosophy and theology earned 100% online from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT. Catherine transferred nearly half of her college credits to Holy Apostles from Angelicum Academy, where she had completed the four-year Great Books Program. She has returned to the classroom, this time as a moderator eager to share her passion for enquiry and dialogue. Among her most treasured Great Books are Brothers Karamazov, Huckleberry Finn, Consolation of Philosophy, and, of course, the Summa Theologiae. Catherine is currently editing the Great Books Study Guides that accompany the four-year Great Books Program. In addition to moderating and editing, Catherine enjoys gardening, singing Gregorian chant, and playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Bio Information
John Trapani
Moderator
John G. Trapani, Jr., Ph.D., is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio (1974 – 2018). During his 44 years at the university, he served as Chair of the Philosophy Department, of the Philosophy-Theology Division, and of the Humanities Division. Dr. Trapani was twice named “the Outstanding Educator of the Year,” first in 1990 and then again in 1995. In 1976, he founded Walsh University's Annual Philosophy-Theology Symposium, and he remained its Director until his retirement. In March of 2018, the name of the Annual Philosophy/Theology Symposium was changed to honor him; it is now known as “The Annual Dr. John Trapani ‘Great Ideas’ Symposium.” Dr. Trapani served as President of the American [Jacques] Maritain Association (AMA) in 2000-2001, and then again from 2006-2012. In the fall of 2012, Dr. Trapani was the inaugural recipient of the AMA’s “Anthony O. Simon Distinguished Service Award.” In addition to his over 40 scholarly articles, essays, and book chapters, Dr. Trapani has published two books: he is the editor of the book, Truth Matters: Essays in Honor of Jacques Maritain (2004), and the author of the book, Poetry, Beauty, and Contemplation: The Complete Aesthetics of Jacques Maritain, published by Catholic University of America Press, 2011. Email address: jtrapani@walsh.edu John also is a professional musician and trumpet player. In 1977, he founded and, for the past 43 years, he continues to direct, the 17-piece John Trapani Big Band. Cf. www.johntrapanibigband.com
Bio Information
Franco Bertucci
Moderator
Franco Bertucci is a father of four, a teacher, and a farmer. Between 2005 and 2014 he wrote songs and traveled with his goofy band as a professional musician, performing several hundred shows in nine states. He now mostly stays home to work on a small family farm raising and selling vegetable produce and fruit. During the school year Franco teaches music, chess, and Shakespeare to local homeschoolers for Olympic Peninsula Home Connection in Washington State. He has co-directed seven Shakespeare productions and is working on a book of guitar trios to be published by Mel Bay. He has moderated for the Socratic Discussions Program for about ten years and is looking forward to more.
Bio Information

Administration

Patrick S. J. Carmack
President
Patrick S. J. Carmack, J.D. is founder of the Angelicum Academy Homeschool Program and of the Great Books Academy Homeschool Program (2000 AD). After earning his Juris Doctorate, Pat completed additional courses in psychology and philosophy, and additional studies at the Institute of Spirituality at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (“Angelicum”). A former Judge at the Oklahoma State Corporation Commission, member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, former CEO of an independent petroleum exploration and production company, founder and former Chairman of the International Caspian Horse Society, and President of a non-profit educational foundation. Pat participated in Dr. Mortimer J. Adler’s last several Socratic discussion groups in Maryland and California in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and moderated the first live-audio Socratic groups online (2000 AD) and numerous online groups since, as well as at Great Books evening programs in Seattle. He has been a speaker on educational topics at various conferences in the US. and Europe. Pat met with the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Growcholewski, in the Vatican to discuss the future of online education. He is the recipient of the International Etienne Society’s Pope John Paul the Great Thomist Humanist Award for his work in education. He lives with his wife and children in Colorado.
Bio Information
Peter Redpath
Chairman
Dr. Redpath was a Full Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University; has received numerous awards and honors for his work in philosophy; was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Philosophical Research in 1988; has made over 100 public program appearances on philosophical topics in the U.S. and Europe; has authored numerous books, monographs, and published articles; and has edited various philosophy books. He was a member of the Board of Editors of Editions Rodopi.
Bio Information
Steve Bertucci
Founding Director
Steve is a Director of the Great Books Program and has probably moderated more Great Books discussion groups (literally thousands now) than any living human! He speaks at educational conferences throughout the country and in Europe and serves on the boards of nonprofit educational and arts organizations. Steve was one of the pioneers of live-audio online Socratic discussion groups. He lives with his family in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. He works with our students in 3rd grade through high school, and with our adult groups as well.
Bio Information

Our Registrar and Team of Graders 

Elisabeth McDowell Carmack
Admissions
Elisabeth is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) through the American Naturopathic Medical Certification & Accreditation Board as well as the American Naturopathic Medical Association. In June, 2002 she was awarded the Diploma (D.I. Hom.) of the British Institute of Homeopathy, and is a Fellow of the British Institute of Homeopathy. She supervises our curriculum development, grading, transcript and enrollment services. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Bio Information
Caeley Mcdowell
Grader
Anna Woiwood
Grader
Michael Anderson
Administrator/Music Theory Teacher
Keelin Kelley
Grader

Our Student Ambassadors

Bren Whitten
Student Ambassador
Hi! My name is Bren. I live on my family organic farm in central Indiana and am a current student of The Great Books program enrolled in the final year: The Moderns Year. I have completed the Ancient Greek Year, the Ancient Roman Year, and the Middle Ages year. I have also had the privilege to assist in classes as a techie. Outside of studying I love to explore the wonders of nature, work as a freelance photographer and writer, play classical guitar, and serve at Bethlehem Farm in West Virginia. If you would like to get in touch with Bren to talk about her experience, or anything else related to the program, feel free to contact her at: info@angelicum.net, Attn: Bren.
Bio Information
Sarah Whitten
Student Ambassador
Sarah Whitten lives in the Midwest on her family's organic farm. She is a high school student and has completed two years of The Great Books Program: The Greeks Year and the Romans Year. She is currently participating in the Middle Ages Year. When she is not studying or engaged in a Great Books discussion, you may find her hiking, playing soccer with her siblings, perplexedly scribbling on a chalkboard while doing math (for fun), or curled in a cozy corner with a cup of tea and an old book.
Bio Information

If you wish to get in touch with us, write us at info@angelicum.net with “Attn: Bren and Sarah” in the subject.

 

We love to hear from our students!  If you have been through the Great Books Program, please fill out the form below. Thank you!