Stephen, 32, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and is an Eagle Scout. He recently received his Ph.D. in sociology at Kansas State University, where he conducted research to help farmers better manage groundwater. A 2014 convert to Catholicism, Stephen has studied abroad in Egypt, South Africa and Uganda. In 2016, his parish priest encouraged him to be more intentional in his discernment, and he began to consider a Jesuit vocation. He enjoys hiking outdoors, reading and discussing philosophy and working with difficult social issues.