Los Angeles2019-10-30T17:34:34+00:00

LOS ANGELES

PARTNERING WITH

In monthly sessions held at the USC Caruso Catholic Center, Leonine Fellows are led by Catholic thought leaders from around the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. During these sessions Leonine Fellows will grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of Catholicism and public life.

LOS ANGELES

PARTNERING WITH

In monthly sessions held at the USC Caruso Catholic Center, Leonine Fellows are led by Catholic thought leaders from around the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. During these sessions Leonine Fellows will grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of Catholicism and public life.

2019-2020 APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED

2019-2020 LOS ANGELES

FIRST-YEAR LEONINE FELLOWS

Martha Antonio
Veterans Administration - Greater Los Angeles


Martha is a Southern California native and currently works for the VA West Medical Center of Greater Los Angeles serving veterans with cancer. She graduated nursing school at UCLA in 2014 and then worked for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Department at UCLA for lung disease clinical trials. While at UCLA, she served as an officer for the Pro-Life club and for a student group that promoted liberal arts learning on campus. She is interested in geriatric care and wholistic approaches to healthcare. She enjoy the outdoors, a good story, and the night hike up to Griffith Observatory.
Alyson Barker
Drybar Holdings LLC


Alyson is Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Drybar Holdings LLC and manages the legal affairs of the company. Prior to joining Drybar, Alyson was General Counsel at Lucky Brand Dungarees, LLC where she built the legal department and helped facilitate the Company’s transition from a public-company subsidiary to a privately-held company. Alyson also served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at The Wet Seal, Inc. (a publicly held corporation). Prior to that Alyson practiced law at Jones Day. Outside of the law, Alyson is involved in numerous community initiatives and serves on the Board of Directors and the Governance Committee for Working Wardrobes and The Salvation Army – Orange County. Alyson holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Georgetown University School of Law.
César Barroso
Meraki Management, Inc.


Cesar is a Venezuelan-American entrepreneur working in the apparel industry and moonlighting a variety of creative projects.
Francie Broghammer
UC Irvine Medical Center


Francie Broghammer, MD, is the Chief Psychiatry Resident at the University of California, Irvine. Her main interests lie in spirituality, ethics, education, and human flourishing. She currently serves as a Leadership Fellow for the American Psychiatric Association and is an active participant of UC Irvine's Medical Ethics Committee. Francie played Division I Women’s Lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Science Pre-Professional Studies and Portuguese Language & Brazilian Studies. She attended the University of California, Irvine for medical school and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society. She resides in Long Beach, California with her husband (a former Notre Dame Men’s Basketball player) and their 5-year-old son.
Isabel Cacho
Archdiocese of Los Angeles


She heard: "Beauty will save the world," and she went out to be a part of creating the kind of beauty that could save the world. As the Project Manager of the Digital Team at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Isabel Cacho is part of a ministry dedicated to the work of the New Evangelization through the beautiful art of storytelling. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and a John Jay Institute Fellow, Isabel has always been interested in how truth and goodness are revealed in beauty. Isabel taught about this connection in Slovakia as she led a course on the integration of Christianity and Culture. It is this same passion for truth, goodness, and beauty that now that brings her to the Leonine Forum where she looks forward learning more about key teachings of the Catholic Church. When Isabel is not stuck in LA traffic or working, Isabel can be found enjoying dinner parties with friends or seeking the beauty of nature traveling with her ever-trusty camera in hand.
Robert Coleman
The Busch Firm


Rob Coleman is a lawyer who practices transactional law in the areas of corporate and nonprofit governance, real estate finance, and estate planning. He grew up in Orange County, and is the youngest of nine. He studied History and Philosophy at UC Berkeley. Rob met his wife Erin at Pepperdine School of Law.
Pierre de Malliard
Masimo


Pierre de Malliard is a Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer working for a Healthcare company focused on Patient monitoring. Pierre holds a Masters degree from Columbia University in Management Science & Engineering and from Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (Paris, France) where he studied Applied Mathematics. Previously, he worked as a Consultant for a leading Technology Consulting Company based out of New York. Pierre was born in France, has lived in Germany and China prior to moving to the US. He is passionate about ethical questions related to modern technologies.
Arvin Dicioco
Panda Restaurant Group


Arvin Dicioco was born and raised in the Philippines but has lived in Los Angeles, CA for the last 13 years. In 2016, he received his BS in Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Arvin's love for food has led him to his current job as a Food Technologist at Panda Restaurant Group, and to pursue a Master's Degree in Food Science. During his free time, he enjoys cooking, running, and traveling throughout the world.
Rebecca Doyle
Imperson


Rebecca Doyle is a producer and director in the entertainment sphere. A member of the Producers Guild of America, she has produced two independent feature films as well as multiple A.I. experiences and over 450 pieces of episodic digital content amassing over 300 million views for entities including Nintendo, FOX, Kellogg’s, Ubisoft, T-Mobile, SyFy Channel, the NFL, Wendy’s, Samsung, Netflix, Facebook Watch, Lionsgate, CBS, New Form Digital, and Viacom. In addition to freelance work, she is an in-house Creative Producer at imperson, a creative studio for conversational artificial intelligence.
Brenda Garcia
SAG-AFTRA


Brenda Lorena García is a stuntwoman, actress, and award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brenda has always had a passion and love for faith, service, film-making, action and performance. Brenda has always had a heart for humanity. She works and gives herself as a philanthropist, public speaker and host, serving underrepresented populations in her free time. She actively volunteers at many panels while reaching out and helping underprivileged communities, in which she uses skills learned from her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology to assist those in more need of guidance, compassion, faith, encouragement and inspiration. Brenda is incredibly grateful to be able to use her faith, zest for life, talents and abilities wherever she goes to help others in need and inspire them to chase their dreams, as she lives hers. Her message to everyone is to know that they are loved, valued, and cherished because "no effort based on love is ever wasted."
Mark Gomez
Pomona Unified School District


Mark Gomez is an educator and educational leader with a history of working in both the secondary and higher education settings. He specializes in Science Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Technology, and Teacher Training. His experience in these various roles has led to his current positions as a high school assistant principal at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona as well as a visiting lecturer for UCLA's CalTeach Program. Mark earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) focused in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies from University of Southern California back in 2013 and Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Urban Education from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002.
James Holt
Trammell Crow Company (CBRE)


James is a Senior Associate for Development and Investment at Trammell Crow Company, where he focuses on all Los Angeles-based development activity for the company’s multifamily subsidiary, High Street Residential. Previously, he worked at the Walt Disney Company, where he advised senior corporate leadership on growth strategy, M&A transactions, and minority investments. He holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a BA in government. James is a parishioner of St. Monica’s and serves on the Board of Young Catholic Professionals Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and travel.
Koppany Jordan
California Policy Center


Koppany Jordan hails from the small town of Northampton, Pennsylvania. As a child of Hungarian immigrants, he was inculcated from a young age to be virtuous, seek Truth, love Liberty, and serve his community. Enrolling at Washington College in Maryland, he studied political science, economics, and religion to better understand the way in which human beings organize themselves. During this time, he also spent a year studying Islamic cultures at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. This experience led him to pursue a M.A. in Intercultural Studies at Biola University. With interests in education, poverty alleviation, and promoting human flourishing, Koppany joined California Policy Center to assist them with their mission to improve the state’s economy and hold elected officials accountable. When he is not working, Koppany enjoys spending time at historical sites and national parks, reading, assisting people with their finances, and getting lost in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Joe Kim
St. Francis High School


My name is Joe Kim, an educator and designer based in Los Angeles. My work in Catholic Education spans over twelve years, and I currently serve as the Graphic Design teacher at St. Francis High School in La Canada Flintridge, CA. Additionally, I run and design for a Catholic apparel company called PAL Campaign. This design apostolate allows me to combine my love for the Catholic faith and art into one tangible product that can hopefully bring more beauty into the world. I love a good rib-eye steak, snowboarding trips make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I’ve finally managed to keep all four of my house plants alive!
Kevin Mooney
MJM401k


Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Kevin received a B.A. in English from the University of Dallas in 2012. Since then he has worked in the Los Angeles area as a financial advisor to 401(k) plans.
Julia Norgaard
Pepperdine University


Julia Norgaard is passionate about her family, her friends, and her faith. She enjoys spending time exploring outdoors, adventuring to different parts of the world, and brewing beer. She is a member of the G.K. Chesterton Society, YCP LA, and a Santa Monica economics reading group. Julia is an avid rock climber and beach volleyball player. She is an economics professor at Pepperdine University where she runs a faculty research seminar and a student economics reading group. Her research interests include the internet darknet and judicial institutional interventions in developing nations.
Cathleen O'Reilly
The Napa Institute


Cathleen is the Director of Operations at the Napa Institute, a non profit organization that puts on conferences & events for Catholic leaders. She studied Philosophy at Thomas Aquinas College in California and St. Andrews University in Scotland. She is the second oldest of twelve siblings and currently resides in Orange County, CA.
Joel Ojeda
AECOM


Joel is a Strategy & Operations Senior Manager at AECOM, a Fortune 500 Company that provides infrastructure design and consulting services. In his current role, Joel supports the CEO and DOO of a ~$100M revenue, 300+ person business unit in the daily operations and strategic management of the unit. Joel is a graduate of AECOM’s prestigious 2-year Business Leadership Development Rotational Program where he rotated through Corporate Finance at Global HQ, Business Development in Mexico City and M&A departments. Before SOM, Joel worked for four years at PwC as a data analytics consultant in Los Angeles. Joel has a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Yale School of Management. Joel currently resides in LA and enjoys watching his beloved Trojans play football, hanging out with his friends and exploring new places.
Ariana Perfecto
Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP


Ariana Perfecto is an estate planning attorney and graduate of Pepperdine Law. She speaks publicly throughout Los Angeles County about the importance of estate planning as a volunteer of the Planned Giving Department of the Archdiocese. She also speaks to police officers and commanding staff at several Los Angeles police departments. In addition to her work, she is passionate about politics and is affiliated with several Republican groups in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Ventura. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, volunteering at her home parish and spending time with her family.
Larissa Purnell
Rally Health


Larissa Purnell has a passion for envisioning and creating the future state healthcare experience - she spent her last three years at UnitedHealth Group as a product experience consultant and product analyst for a virtual diabetes prevention program. She's a Trojan at heart having attended Marshall School of Business for undergrad, but is currently a Golden Bear studying for her Masters of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Making sure to stay balanced, she loves finding ways to be active and strive for social justice, whether it's training for races, DJing for 305 Fitness, or volunteering for geriatrics or homeless initiatives.
Austin Quick
Catholic Connect LLC


Austin M. D. Quick is the President & COO of Catholic Connect LLC. Prior to joining Catholic Connect, he worked as the Director of Advancement for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia; served as Chief of Staff in the Illinois General Assembly; worked on multiple federal and local political campaigns, and served in the United States Navy (deploying to Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2006). Austin, or “The Basic Catholic,” as he is known to many is a passionate, internationally acclaimed Catholic speaker who uses media to bring people together, and his Instagram account @the.basic.catholic is one of the fastest-growing in the Catholic world. A convert from Judaism in 2003 while serving in the United States Navy, Austin credits his Catholic faith for bringing him the most joy in life. He also has previously spent over five years in formation for the priesthood, and holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.
Angela Reckart
Association for Educational Development


Angela Reckart hails from Tucson, Arizona, where she developed a lasting passion for natural beauty and art. She is a graduate of Stanford University where she majored in American Studies, as well as the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome where she earned a degree in Theology. She recently moved to Los Angeles from New York where she worked first in TV, and then switched careers to be a consultant for non-profits in the area of education and outreach for women. She is the Executive Director of the Association for Educational Development.
Skyler Reidy
University of Southern California


Skyler Reidy is a PhD candidate in the history department at the University of Southern California. His dissertation analyzes material religion in nineteenth-century California, and argues that settler colonialism drove secularization in the state. Skyler has also published work on the origins of Pentecostalism, and has spoken to academic and public audiences about the history of the California missions. He was born and raised in Encinitas, California, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
Josephine Romea
St. Joseph Medical Managers, Inc.


Josephine Romea is a designer and entrepreneur living in Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA in 2015 with a degree and departmental honors in Art History, she joined her family’s billing and consulting company, St. Joseph Medical Managers, where she serves as a Business Development Consultant. Additionally, she continues to pursue her passion for the arts and design. For the past four years, Josephine has trained as a womenswear designer in the areas of garment construction, draping, and computer aided design and drafting (CADD). This year she combined her interests in business and design and co-founded the womenswear brand, Rapporteur. Her first collection is launching in Fall 2020.
Stephanie Siu
Brentwood Associates


Stephanie Siu is a Vice President at Brentwood Associates, a growth-focused private equity firm based in Los Angeles, where she helps to source, diligence, and execute investments in middle-market companies. She began her career in the investment banking division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York City where she focused on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate finance. Stephanie is currently a Board member of the Los Angeles chapter of Young Catholic Professionals and an Advisory Board member of Manalive Media Group. A Canadian citizen, she holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from The University of Chicago and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Tommy Thompson
Frost & Sullivan


I’m a NorCal native living in Southern California. I earned my undergrad degree in Mathematics from Chapman University in 2009, and an MBA from USC in 2018. Professionally, I work as a senior product manager for Edwards LifeSciences. In my free time, I love to be outdoors and exercise nearly daily. I was a collegiate athlete (swimming) and it is important to me to maintain one’s fitness. I love cycling, boxing, weightlifting, surfing, volleyball, softball and pretty much any sport.
Begho Ukueberuwa
Creative Artists Agency


Begho recently moved to LA to begin working in entertainment. Prior to that, he worked in tech, finance, and entertainment. He enjoys finding the throughlines between seemingly disparate endeavors and this is reflected in his tastes. Big fan of movies, music, and all things New York and New Jersey (except the Knicks).
Margaret Walsh
Secret Garden Educational Pathways


Margaret is a devout Catholic, the eldest of six kids, and the founder of a Catholic Special Education remediation business. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, where she absolutely loved the studies, and went on to earn a Master's in Special Education. Since then she has been blessed to put both my education and Faith into practice by working with students who have learning disabilities and providing an environment where they can both explore their Faith and increase their academic abilities.
Wade Wright
Happy Money


Wade was born and raised in the avocado capital of the world (Fallbrook, CA). He graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2010 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Philosophy. He began working in the defense and energy sectors and now is VP of Engineering for his own entrepreneurial endeavor, Capsule MFG, in the food and beverage industry. He is also an aviation enthusiast and works part time has a helicopter flight instructor. He converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism in 2015. He currently lives in Costa Mesa, CA with his wife and daughter.
Beatriz Wright
Capsule MFG


Beatriz was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Political Science and is an alumni of the Tertio Millenio Seminar in Krakow, Poland and the Vita Institute at the University of Notre Dame. She began her professional career in Washington, DC and worked at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Thomistic Institute before moving back home to marry her husband Wade and start a family. She is now a Quality Assurance Specialist at Happy Money in the FinTech sector.
Ramona Zepeda
Shoes That Fit


A native of Los Angeles, Ramona Zepeda serves as the Donor Relations and Communications Manager for Shoes That Fit, a nonprofit helping underserved children across the nation. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, Ramona has worked in public relations and development in both New York and Los Angeles.

PROGRAM DETAILS

INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION

During the first semester of the program, Fellows engage with a curriculum that emphasizes primary Church documents, practical secondary analyses, and gain an intellectual foundation on topics including: Faith and Reason, Christian Anthropology, the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Truth, Justice and Mercy, and Catholicism and the American Experiment.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

During the second semester, Fellows explore how core Social Teachings of the Church relate to their professional and civic lives, including topics such as entrepreneurship, business, finance, culture and the arts, poverty, economics, immigration, ecology, public policy and civic engagement, bioethics, health care, religious liberty, and more.

Spiritual Development

Fellows have the chance to supplement intellectual endeavors with regular opportunities for Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, confession and spiritual direction.

Community Service

Understanding that we are called to love our brothers and sisters, Leonine Fellows have the opportunity to participate in monthly service activities as a group in New York City.

Alumni Events

Fellows join a community of over 140 Leonine Alumni, and will have the opportunity to participate in regular Alumni events — including happy hours, lectures, roundtable discussions and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

PROGRAM DETAILS

INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION

During the first semester of the program, Fellows engage with a curriculum that emphasizes primary Church documents, practical secondary analyses, and gain an intellectual foundation on topics including: Faith and Reason, Christian Anthropology, the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Truth, Justice and Mercy, and Catholicism and the American Experiment.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

During the second semester, Fellows explore how core Social Teachings of the Church relate to their professional and civic lives, including topics such as entrepreneurship, business, finance, culture and the arts, poverty, economics, immigration, ecology, public policy and civic engagement, bioethics, health care, religious liberty, and more.

Spiritual Development

Fellows have the chance to supplement intellectual endeavors with regular opportunities for Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, confession and spiritual direction.

Community Service

Understanding that we are called to love our brothers and sisters, Leonine Fellows have the opportunity to participate in monthly service activities as a group in New York City.

Alumni Events

Fellows join a community of over 140 Leonine Alumni, and will have the opportunity to participate in regular Alumni events — including happy hours, lectures, roundtable discussions and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, there is no required cost to participate in the Leonine Forum. You will, however, have an opportunity to donate to help defray the substantial costs of the Forum.

No. The Leonine Forum exists to equip the emerging generation of leaders in the core tenets of the Catholic Church’s social teachings. While our curriculum is intentionally rooted in the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition, we open to Fellows of various faith backgrounds interested in understanding the Catholic Church more deeply.

The ideal letter of recommendation comes from a respected source who can speak to your professional achievement and personal character.

No. Your recommender does not need to be Catholic, as long as he or she can speak well to your professional achievements and personal character.

First-Year Fellows will meet one evening per month during the academic year (October-June), generally the fourth Wednesday of the month.

The basic format for each Session is as follows:

5:30pm — Mass/Adoration (optional)

6:00pm — Cocktails & Conversation

7:00pm — Lecture and Q&A

8:00pm — Dinner & Discussion

9:00pm — Evening ends

The LA Leonine Forum Sessions will take place at the USC Caruso Center located at 844 W 32nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Priority will be given to applicants who intend in good faith to make it to at least 80% of the events (missing no more than two). The Leonine Forum is built on the community of Fellows, and when one is missing, the whole group feels it.

Yes. In the month leading up to each Session, Fellows will be given a packet of reading material (40-80 pages) selected by the Faculty Leaders to read in advance. Tolle Lege!

The Leonine application involves two stages: Stage 1- the online application/recommendation letters and Stage 2 – the video interview. After completing the online application, all Fellows will be contacted regarding an interview date and time to be completed via Zoom.

The frequency of events requires participants to live in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas. If you live in the Washington, DC area please click here, or New York City area, please click here.

Additional intellectual, spiritual, social and community service opportunities will be organized throughout the year.  

TESTIMONIES

“The Leonine Forum was an incredible experience. We learned directly from the top leaders at the intersection faith, culture, and public policy. I not only learned more about the deep philosophical tenets of the Catholic faith, but how to apply these tenets to complex public policy issues of this age.”

JULIA SLINGSBY • 2013 LEONINE FELLOW

“If there’s one thing this election has revealed, it’s that there’s a growing majority of Catholics, and young Catholics in particular, who are disaffected by the traditional tug-of-war of partisan politics and looking for new ways to reengage the world around them. The Leonine Forum is one intriguing option.”

CHRISTOPHER WHITE • CATHOLIC VOICES USA

“There’s no such thing as morally neutral law. Every piece of public policy embodies somebody’s values. If it’s going to embody true values, people need to know the truth. The Leonine Forum is teaching the next generation of leaders the truth about man and God, and the role of the state in respecting both.”

RYAN ANDERSON • HERITAGE FOUNDATION