Fellows & Scholars
Zephyr’s graduate and senior fellows are active advisors of our intellectual programming and in some cases teach seminars that we host.
Research Fellow and Director of Academic Programs, Zephyr Institute
Nathan Pinkoski's research and teaching covers 20th century political thought, early modern political thought, and classical political thought. He has published in a variety of academic and popular journals, including First Things, Perspectives on Political Science, and The Review of Politics. He holds a BA (Hon) from the University of Alberta and an MPhil and DPhil in Politics: Political Theory, from the University of Oxford. He had held research fellowships and lectureships at Princeton University and the University of Toronto. He recently co-edited Augustine in a Time of Crisis (Palgrave-MacMillan Press).
MOLLY GURDON PINKOSKI
Molly Gurdon Pinkoski is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Columbia University. She works mainly in moral philosophy, with particular interest in the thought of Aristotle, Anscombe, and Kant. Her dissertation articulates and defends a neo-Aristotelian account of absolute moral prohibitions. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner.
Senior Fellow & Director of High School Programs, Center for the Study of First Principles
Molly Oshatz is Senior Fellow and Director of High School Programs at the Zephyr Institute’s Center for the Study of First Principles. Educated at Yale University (B.A., Ethics, Politics, and Economics) and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D, Intellectual History), she has served as Assistant Professor of History at San Francisco State University and Florida State University. Dr. Oshatz's publications include Slavery and Sin: The Fight Against Slavery and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism (Oxford University Press, 2011). Her work has also been published in Modern Intellectual History, Church History, The Journal of Southern History, and First Things.
Senior Fellow and Director of the Health and Human Flourishing Program
Aaron Kheriaty, MD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, where he also serves as chairman of the clinical ethics committee at UCI Medical Center. Dr. Kheriaty graduated from the University of Notre Dame in philosophy and pre-medical sciences, and earned his MD degree from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science, and psychiatry. In addition to articles in peer reviewed journals, his work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Orange County Register, Public Discourse, and First Things. He has conducted print, radio, and television interviews on bioethics topics with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Fusion. On matters of public policy and healthcare he has been invited to address the California Medical Association, the UC Center in Sacramento, the Sacramento Press Club, and has testified before the California Senate Health Committee.
Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of First Principles
George Barth is Billie Bennett Achilles Director of Keyboard Programs and Professor of Music at Stanford University. As the director of Stanford’s keyboard programs in the Department of Music, his specializations include eighteenth- to twentieth-century performance practice and the piano music of Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Ives and Bartók. Along with his teaching and administrative responsibilities, Professor Barth pursues research interests ranging from eighteenth-century pedagogy to twentieth-century composition. His publications include The Pianist as Orator: Beethoven and the Transformation of Keyboard Style (Cornell University Press, 1992).
Godefroy Desjonquères is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the Ecole des Hautes
Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in Paris. His dissertation explores the political and moral
implications of holism in social philosophy, drawing mainly on the works by Ludwig
Wittgenstein, G.E.M. Anscombe, and Alasdair MacIntyre. In parallel with his thesis, he is
currently translating MacIntyre’s Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity into French.
Board of Directors
BOYD SMITH G’64
Chairman of the Board
Boyd C. Smith G’64 is a private investor in commercial real estate and high-tech start-up companies. He and his two business partners founded the California Family Foundation, which funds Beechwood School, an independent K-8 school that serves low-income and minority students. He and his wife, Jill, also founded the Golden Gate Family Foundation, which runs a scholarship and mentoring program for youth who are first generation college-bound. He is a board member of the Hoover Institution Board of Overseers at Stanford University and the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Utah and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Luis Tellez is a member of the Advisory Council of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and president of the Witherspoon Institute. He spent the early part of his career working in the chemical industry, and subsequently spent over twenty years administering several non-profit corporations. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis.
JOHN ENDRIZ G’70
Dr. John Endriz G’70 spent his career in engineering and technical management in the field of physical electronics. He has worked as guest researcher at the University of Linköping (L.T.H.), Sweden; project manager at RCA Sarnoff Laboratories (flat-screen TV); division engineering manager at Varian Image Tube Division (night vision); and vice president of engineering at SDL, Inc. (later JDSU, Inc.) (communications lasers). Since retiring in 1999, Dr. Endriz has been active in charities involved with inner-city K-12 education (Big Shoulders Fund, Chicago) and higher education (Stanford Multiple Sclerosis Research, ISI, ACTA). He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Kirk Hoiberg is a Principal at Trinitas Partners, a private equity investment firm with several hundred million dollars under management. Prior to Trinitas, he was Senior Managing Director within CB Richards Ellis' Global Corporate Services business unit, a consultant with McKinsey & Company, and the President of MixStar Incorporated. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with degrees in economics and mathematics, and he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar.
ANDRE VANIER ’97 G’04
Andre Vanier ’97 G’04 is a Vice President of Search Product Management at Yahoo! Prior to that he was co-founder and CEO of Rondee, Inc., a leading provider of free conference calling tools for small businesses and other groups. He also founded 1-800-411-SAVE, one of America's first companies to provide ad-supported free directory assistance to consumers. His prior work experience includes positions at McKinsey & Company, PayPal, and Gunderson Dettmer. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the California Bar.
JUDY ROMEA ’14 G’21
Judy Romea ’14 G’21 is Program Director of the Zephyr Institute’s Center for the Study of the Professions and Moral Purpose, and former Associate Director of the Zephyr Institute. Before joining Zephyr, she worked as a consultant in PwC’s strategic technologies group for pharmaceutical companies. She holds a B.A. in Economics and a minor in International Relations from Stanford University, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Stanford Review. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her interests are in business ethics and the philosophy and theology of culture.
Lyra Rufino-Maceda is a founding board member of the Chesterton Academy of St. James. Her work has focused on volunteer teaching and supporting education (Georgetown Board of Regents, CUA School of Philosophy Board of Visitors, Canyon Heights Academy) and educational non-profits (SF International Diplomacy Council, Philippine International Aid, The Culture Project International Regional Development Council, and the Martial Arts Character Development Alliance).
She holds an MA in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy-Tufts, an MA in Liberal Studies from Georgetown and a JD from Boalt-UC Berkeley. She is a member of the California Bar. Her interests lie in moral philosophy, human rights, and bioethics.
Melissa Waters grew up managing a sheep farm with her 4 sisters, and was heavily involved in the 4-H organization at local, state and national levels. She holds a B.F.A degree from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, and has a professional background managing creative teams in developing corporate/brand identity programs (Chicago, Silicon Valley).
Her passion for life, truths and human formation takes various paths, such as participating in Benedictine College’s “Transform the Culture” strategic plan, coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team, and serving as a crisis phone counselor and trainer for the Tokyo English Life Line.
Currently she is a member of the President’s Advisory Council for FOCUS, leads community and fundraising efforts at Canyon Heights Academy, and is involved in various ways in other organizations which are generally in the area of formation.
Matt Bowman is the Executive Director of the Zephyr Institute. His work focuses on technology-driven innovation in education systems. He cofounded EdSurge, a news service for education entrepreneurs. He worked previously as a KIPP teacher, Teach for America corps member, and writer for VentureBeat, and helped launch the Phaedrus Initiative, a nationwide network of inner-city blended-learning schools. He holds a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley. His interests are in moral philosophy and the history of ideas, and he particularly enjoys discussing the telos of human life and action, and the historical context of intellectual trends.
Director of Operations
Daniela Asuncion is the Director of Operations. Her work involves the event management, marketing management and administrative dimensions of the Institute. She has held hybrid operations and project management roles for IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Her interests are in ethics and natural law.
Young Alumni Council
The Young Alumni Council is an invitational collective of recent Stanford alumni who were involved with the Zephyr Institute and exemplify Zephyr’s commitment to liberal learning and intellectual friendship. The work of the council focuses on two pillars: mentorship and ideas.
Read more about the council here.
SARAH THOMAS ’19
Chair, Young Alumni Council
Sarah Thomas ’19 served as Associate Director of the Zephyr Institute in 2019-20. Currently, she works at International Christian Concern, an NGO which supports the persecuted Church around the world through awareness, assistance, and advocacy. Sarah holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies and a minor in Data Science from Stanford University. She also studied theology and intellectual history at the University of Oxford, and pursued graduate studies in philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Sarah has presented papers at Stanford University, the University of Dallas, the Eric Voegelin Society, and the Pedagogical University of Kraków. While an undergraduate, she worked at the Stanford Literary Lab, Stanford Humanities Center, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, and Religious Freedom Institute. For two years, she served as editor-in-chief of the Stanford journal of Christian thought, affiliated with the Augustine Collective. For several years, she served as a music director of Stanford’s college radio station, and had a show that was mostly shoegaze and ambient drone. Sarah’s interests are in metaphysics, political theology, and the history & future of natural law thinking.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: Anselm, Monologion
ANTONIO AGUILAR ’18
Member · San Francisco, CA
Antonio Aguilar ’18 was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica. He holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. At Stanford, he paired a love of the humanities with a desire for technical knowledge by studying philosophy and literature as well as artificial intelligence and mathematics. He was an advising fellow for the Symbolic Systems Program, did research with the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the Computer Science department, staffed student residences junior and senior years, led his fraternity’s member development arm, and volunteered in the Catholic Community at Stanford, leading weekly meetings and co-founding the Stanford chapter of the Thomistic Institute. Following graduation, he joined Alloy, a supply chain and sales analytics platform based in San Francisco. Today, he works on their Solutions Architecture team helping deploy their software at scale and improving data operations. As of September 2020, he is also a member of the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors. In his spare time, Antonio enjoys cooking and baking with fresh ingredients from the farmers market and playing modern strategy board games.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
ELISE KOSTIAL ’18
Member · New Haven, CT
Elise Kostial ’18 is a second-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School, where she serves on the board of the Yale Federalist Society and as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Before attending law school, she spent a year as a Rehnquist Fellow at Cooper & Kirk, an appellate litigation firm in Washington, D.C. Elise holds a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, where she was awarded the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for her honors thesis “Time Heals All: Timing and Competitiveness of Primary Elections.” She also studied comparative politics at the University of Oxford. Elise held leadership positions at the Stanford Conservative Society, Stanford Board on Judicial Affairs, and Stanford Students for Life. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: The Federalist Papers
HORMAZD GODREJ ’19 G’20
Member · Palo Alto, CA
Hormazd Godrej ’19 G’20 is a recent graduate from Stanford's M.S. program in Statistics. He holds a B.S. in Biology, with a specialization in Computational Biology, from Stanford University. Hormazd developed an interest in philosophical and literary texts as a student in Stanford’s Structured Liberal Education (SLE) program during his freshman year. He has done research at the Rosenberg Lab at Stanford in population genetics, on which he wrote his undergraduate honors thesis. While an undergraduate, he studied abroad for a quarter in Florence, attended an overseas seminar on Israeli politics in Jerusalem, and participated in the Stanford in Washington program, during which he did research on biosecurity at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He also served as a writing tutor for SLE and as an RA in FroSoCo. Hormazd has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, from both a technical and philosophical standpoint. He enjoys reading about and discussing religion, American politics, and the Effective Altruism movement.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: Mill, On Liberty
EMILY KING ’19
Member · Chicago, IL
Emily King ’19 is a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she was awarded the Elsa Marty Fellowship in Ministry. She holds a B.A. in English with distinction from Stanford University. She also studied literature and philosophy at the University of Oxford. At Stanford, she was awarded the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities for her honors thesis “Poetry as Decreation: Impersonality and Grace in T.S. Eliot and Simone Weil.” Emily has presented papers at the American Literature Association, the T.S. Eliot Society, and the American Weil Society. She has worked at Commonweal Magazine, Philosophy Talk, the Sacramento Bee, and Stanford’s Arts Intensive and Structured Liberal Education (SLE) programs. Most recently, she was a Summer Fellow at the Zephyr Institute.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: Simone Weil, Waiting for God
MYRIAM YAO ’19
Member · Palo Alto, CA
Myriam Yao ’19 graduated from Stanford University in 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and concentrations in justice, law, and ethics and international relations. She has long felt driven to understand the ideas that shape how people view their relationships with each other and with their societies. Myriam currently works in community outreach at a San Jose-based nonprofit women's health clinic, which provides low- to no-cost reproductive health services, prenatal care, and optimal health education. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant in the Stanford Political Psychology Research Group, as a course assistant in the Stanford Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and as a housing rights intern at the Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. She has held fellowships from the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation, Ideas Beyond Borders, and the Zephyr Institute.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
JOEL DOMINIC ’20 G’20
Member · Austin, TX
Joel Dominic ’20 G’20 is a Quantitative Trader at Virtu Financial in Austin, TX. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy, B.A. in Mathematics, and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. At Stanford, he did research his senior year developing an original philosophy of beauty. Joel has worked as a software engineer at Lumina. He is a former Junior Fellow at the Zephyr Institute, and an alumnus of Structured Liberal Education.
Most life-altering primary text read during university: Augustine, Confessions