Skip to main content

Dr. Lucas Briola receives Quentin Schaut Faculty Award

Dr. Lucas Briola receives Quentin Schaut Faculty Award

by Public Relations | April 25, 2024

LATROBE, PA — Dr. Lucas Briola, assistant professor of theology in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, was presented with the Quentin Schaut Faculty Award on April 24 during the 2024 Saint Vincent College Spring Honors Convocation at the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.Dr. Lucas Briola (left) and Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B, president of Saint Vincent College

Named in honor of Fr. Quentin Schaut, O.S.B., an English professor and the seventh president of Saint Vincent College, the award recognizes the contributions, leadership and achievements of a junior faculty member to the curriculum and life of the College.

“Luke Briola is a gifted teacher-scholar,” said Dr. Elaine Bennett, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “His love of theology, ability to distill complex ideas for undergraduate students, and dedication to engaging students are exemplary.”

In addition to teaching systematic theology and social/environmental ethics, Dr. Briola directs student theology internships, serves as associate editor of “Conversatio: A Journal in the Tradition of Catholic, Benedictine, and Liberal Education,” and helped establish the Rev. Nathan J. Munsch, O.S.B., Scholarship for junior theology majors. In 2022, along with his colleagues, Dr. Briola was awarded the Saint Vincent College Projektenmacher Award for his work with Saint Vincent’s Center for Catholic Thought and Culture.

In 2021, his “Praise Rather Than Solving Problems: Understanding the Doxological Turn of Laudato Si’ Through Lonergan” (Theological Studies) was named Article of the Year by the College Theology Society. His book “The Eucharistic Vision of Laudato Si’: Praise, Conversion, and Integral Ecology,” was published last year by The Catholic University of America Press. His second book, tentatively titled “Ora et Labora in Our Common Home: A Benedictine Invitation to Care for Creation,” is under contract with Liturgical Press.

Dr. Briola holds a B.A. from Saint Vincent College, an M.T.S. from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America, and. The opportunity to teach college students is the fulfillment of a dream he never takes for granted.

Alfred, Dr. Briola’s grandfather, attended Saint Vincent in hopes of one day teaching medicine, but left college to serve as a medic in World War II. “He never returned to Saint Vincent, instead laying concrete the rest of his left,” Dr. Briola said. “He would often fantasize out loud about how neat it would have been to teach college students.” Dr. Briola’s father, Frank, got a degree from Penn State University, but his plans to teach after graduate school were derailed by the Vietnam War.

“So, a lot went into the comment my dad made [to me] the night before I taught my first class: ‘Luke, isn’t it amazing that you are teaching college students?’” Dr. Briola said. “Generations of Briolas dreamed of this possibility. … This award only deepens my gratitude to and for my students.”

Among Dr. Briola’s colleagues at Saint Vincent are his wife, Dr. Catherine Petrany Briola, associate professor of theology, and his childhood best friend, Dr. Justin Petrovich, assistant professor of statistics and business analytics.

“It is a tremendous gift to teach alongside my wife,” Dr. Briola said. “Her brilliance elevates me and her humility grounds me. I learn more from her than she will ever know, not the least [being] the ways she loves our [son], Nathan.”

Dr. Petrovich and Dr. Briola were roommates as undergraduate students at Saint Vincent, and both began teaching at the College in 2018. Last year, Dr. Petrovich won the Schaut Award. “I am especially honored to follow in his footsteps or this award,” Dr. Briola said with a smile. “And I’m sure he is especially happy to be able to forever hold that over my head.”


PHOTO: Dr. Lucas Briola (left) and Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B, president of Saint Vincent College