Philosophy

 

Luvell Anderson   B.A., 2006,  Assistant Professor (Memphis)

Before working at Memphis, Luvell Anderson was Alain Locke Postdoctoral Fellow at Pennsylvania State University. He specializes in the philosophy of language and philosophy of race and has published articles on racial slurs. His work concentrates on the semantics and ethics of racial language and racist humor and the normativity of offense. Luvell also has interests in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of mind.

Devry Becker  B.A., 2008,    Contractor, US General Administration

Mike Ferreira  M.A., 2006,    Ph.D. candidate

"I went from UMSL's M.A. program straight into the Ph.D. program at Ohio State. I'm writing a dissertation about imagination. I live in Massena, NY with my wife (Heather) and our son (Jackson). In addition to writing a dissertation, I'm a stay-at-home dad, and an officer candidate in the Vermont Army National Guard. I hope to graduate from Ohio State in 2013, and from Officer Candidate School in August of 2014."
 

John S Hanson, MD  B.A., 1974,    Physician

"After graduating from UMSL, I  received my MD degree from Washington University.  I did a residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and then completed a fellowship in digestive diseases at the Yale University School of Medicine.  I have practiced gastroenterology in Charlotte, NC since 1984 and was a founding member of Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology.   I am also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.  My areas of clinical interest are inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease.  I have been happily married for 35 years and have four wonderful children and two grandchildren."

Doug Heitland  B.A., 1976,   Information Systems Specialist

"I graduated from UMSL in 1976 with a double degree in Psychology and Philosophy. I opted for the double degree because I found I was picking up a lot of Philosophy credits as electives so it wasn't that hard to focus toward the end on those requirements too. I have been in the Information Systems business ever since, about 35 years now, working for a bank, a health systems company, an over-the-road truck parts distributor (as well as their software provider).  In 1990 I completed my Masters degree in Information Management at Washington University.  For the last 15 years I have worked for Irondata Solutions, an Atlanta-based company with an office in St. Louis, that provides software for government at the local, state, and federal levels.  My particular area works with Social Security Administration.  

If I had "words of wisdom" for undergrads it would be the same message I give to my youngest son as he goes off to college in the fall.  Without wanting to get too mystical, I would say, never dismiss out of hand where life and fate may seem to be leading you, even if it's not where you had planned go.  You might end up running into something you love."
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John Humphrey  B.A., 1982,    Professor (MN State Mankato)

Specialties and competencies in Logic, Philosophy of Mathematics, Contemporary Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Religion, Eastern Philosophy, American Philosophy, The Philosophy of David Hume, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language.

Dru Johnson  M.A, 2007,    Assistant Professor (The King's College)

I'm currently on research leave on a Templeton grant for Analytic Theology at the Institute for Advanced Studies—Shalem (Jerusalem Israel). I finished my PhD at the University of St Andrews (Scotland, 2011) and I am now an assistant professor of biblical studies and theology at The King's College in New York City. I've just published a book with Wipf & Stock titled Biblical Knowing: A Scriptural Epistemology of Error.
 

Malcolm Keating  M.A, 2006,    Ph.D. Student (Texas)

"I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the philosophy department at the University of Texas at Austin, where I'm writing my dissertation on theories of non-literal speech in Indian and analytic philosophy under the supervision of Stephen Phillips. Since my time at UMSL, I've taught as an adjunct instructor for numerous institutions, including Forest Park Community College in Saint Louis, the Newberry Library in Chicago, and Elgin Community College in Ilinois."

Kevin Kelly  B.A., 1980,    Professor (Carnegie Mellon)

"I am mainly interested in how scientific method could possibly lead us to true generalizations about Nature; generalizations that extend infinitely beyond our current, finite perspective. Standard philosophy of science sidesteps this question by asking, instead, about the meanings of "justification" and "rationality" a different matter entirely. I put the former question front and center, so that methodological normativity must be traced back to truth-finding efficacy, rather than to sociological generalizations about scientific practice. In this respect, my approach to epistemology closely parallels work in theoretical computer science and the foundations of mathematics, in which the central question is existence of a reliable procedure for finding the right answer to a question."

Tim Krull  B.A., 1970,     Lt Col USAF (retired) and Pilot

"I graduated in June 1970, and promptly had my draft physical.  However, I had anticipated this and started to look into the USAF prior to graduation.  They needed pilots so I became one.  I avoided Southeast Asia on the ground but spent two tours over there flying airplanes.  I happened to overfly Saigon on 30 April 1975, the last day of that terrible war.  I went on to spend twenty years in the USAF.  After retiring from the USAF, I went to work flying for American Airlines and retired almost two years ago.  I live in Raleigh, NC. Philosophy taught me not only what others have thought but also to think for myself. In this world we live in now, it is even more important."
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Thi Lam, J.D.  B.A., 1997,     Instructor (San Jacinto College)

"I had a really good experience during my undergraduate years at UMSL.  I took fifteen classes from the philosophy department alone; had awesome professors (Munson, Gordon, Roth, and Griesedieck were the memorable ones).  Afterwards, I went to UW--Milwaukee to get my M.A. in philosophy (wrote my thesis on Rawls) and then to Drake University (Des Moines, IA) to pursue my J.D.  Instead of practicing law, I got hired on by a two-year college (San Jacinto College in Houston, TX) as a philosophy instructor and have been there for the last eleven years (four years as adjunct faculty, two years as full-time faculty, and five years as department chair).  Classes in my teaching rotation include Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Logic, and Business Law.  My AOS are in the philosophy of science and ethics."

Ron Mclaughlin  B.A., 1977,    Professor (Juniata College)

Paul Midden  B.A., 1971,    Psychologist

"Immediately after graduation I went to Morocco in the Peace Corps, where I learned an Arabic dialect and taught English. I returned after two years and entered graduate school at St. Louis University, where I received an MA in 1975 and a Ph.D. in 1978. I was subsequently licensed as a psychologist and spent the next few years working in private psychiatric hospitals and building a small practice. In the mid-80's I worked at a residential facility for Catholic priests and religious. In 1992 I started an intensive outpatient treatment program for this population which is still in operation. In the past few years, I've published four novels and work-related manual for religious superiors. I have served on several boards and am moderately involved in civic affairs in the City of St. Louis. I have never regretted majoring in philosophy, and I was impressed with the quality of professors at UMSL."
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Devin Peipert M.A. 2007,    Statistician

"I'm presently working as a statistician at Washington University School of Medicine. After graduating from UMSL, I completed a Master's in social and economic development with an emphasis on statistics and applied social science. I spent a few years on and off working on research projects in India on socio-economic drivers of health disparities. I continue this work in my present position, where I study socio-economic determinants of health disparities in patients with renal failure. My work at UMSL prepared me well for a career that requires a command of logic and the fundamentals of science."

Helge Puchalla  B.A., 1975,    Attorney

"My educational experience at UMSL was positive and enabled me to do what I am doing now. While it is often said that an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Psychology may not be all that helpful in making a living, they provided me with a firm foundation, thinking skills and outlook on live. I am grateful for the education I received at UMSL."

Ben Ricker   B.A. 1995,    Technical Lead, Mastercard Worldwide

"I received my Bachelors double major in Philosophy and Psychology as well as graduating from the Pierre Laclede Honors College in 1995. I have been working at MasterCard Worldwide for almost 10 years. I am a Technical Lead for a team including over 100 administrators supporting MasterCard's international web presence, supporting over 2000 web applications. I utilize my philosophy training hourly for my job as I constantly am troubleshooting logical puzzles as well as clarifying complex technical issues for non-technical colleagues. My position is due mostly to my philosophy training, as it provided me with the skills to argue effectively and analyze problems analytically. I also run the Philosophy Meetup group on meetup.com. Philosophy is most definitely the defining hobby of my life and I cannot imagine living without it. UMSL's program instilled a love of the field to me and gave me the tools to continue enjoying it years after my formal education, a fact for which I am eternally grateful."
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Krisanna Scheiter  B.A., 2002,    Assistant Professor (Union College)

Krisanna Scheiter specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Her work currently focuses on emotion and imagination in Plato and Aristotle. She is interested in questions in both ancient and contemporary discussions regarding the ontology of emotion and the moral significance of emotions, especially ethics of anger, revenge, and forgiveness.
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Stephen D. Smith  B.A., 1975,    Attorney, Littler Mendelson, P.C. 
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Leonard Sonnenschein  B.A., 1979,    President, World Aquarium
Leonard Sonnenschein opened St. Louis Children’s Aquarium and its expansion facility, the World Aquarium. Leonard regularly supervises students from over 45 universities which collaborate with the research component of the aquarium in facility development, exhibit design, fisheries, aquatic sciences, ecology, aquariology, legal frameworks, consumer awareness, cultural comprehension of environmental issues, and public understanding through field, conference and inter-governmental work. In 2006, Sonnenschein founded the Conservation for the Oceans Foundation to expand the World Aquarium’s focus. The mission of the Conservation for the Oceans Foundation (CFTO) is to support grassroots-level conservation, education and research projects that bring about positive changes to ecosystems worldwide through local and multi-stakeholder actions. In 2009, Youth Voices in Conservation was developed for additional youth engagement opportunities (ages 3-50). In 2011, based upon the Low Carbon Lifestyles’ campaign, the Youth Voices in Conservation’s GreenLeaf Program was developed to allow for raising capital for residual support mechanism based upon the carbon offset credit from worldwide projects’ actions. Leonard regularly collaborates with international agencies such as UNESCO, UNEP, WHO, International Ocean Institute, the Global Forum on Ocean, Coasts and Islands and is a co-founder of the World Ocean Network. Leonard recently started Innovative Drug Manufacturing, LLC to bring new patented technology to the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and aquaculture industries. President, World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation Founder, Youth Voices in Conservation and its GreenLeaf Program Chair of the World Ocean Network’s Sustainable Actions Committee & Sustainable Seafood Campaign.
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Greg Widner   B.A., 1996,      Research Lab Manager (Washington U)

After graduating from UMSL in 1996 with a BA in Philosophy and Psychology, Greg Widner obtained a Master of Social Work degree in 2000 from Saint Louis University, becoming a licensed clinical social worker in 2002. He currently works as a research lab manager in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He coordinates a NIDA training grant for postdoctoral fellows and conducts psychiatric research related to veterans.  In his spare time, he pursues new interests in trail running and screenwriting. He is currently reading Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander. 

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Josh Wood   B.A., 2002,      Visiting Assistant Professor (Texas A&M)

"I received my doctorate in philosophy from Boston University in 2011.  I work on Hume and the history of early modern philosophy.  I am currently a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Texas A&M University.  In 2013 I'll be a visiting lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College."

Letty Workman  B.A., 1976,  Associate Professor (Utah Valley)

"I initially became a businesswoman with my degree, working as a buyer in the retail industry. Eventually I went back to graduate school for an MBA, as a means toward a higher corporate end at the time, but along the way, I became fondly seduced by academia and switched careers.  Earning my Ph.D. more recently, I teach marketing in a B School...and I integrate ethics into every course I teach. 
 
Philosophy has served me quite well in each facet of my career. I climbed the corporate ladder quickly because I had been trained well to think analytically, as well as having been equipped with a heightened level of sensitivity to diversity in the workplace.  I deeply wanted to bring to the table of polite business conversation the question of whether marketers are contributing to our American Affluenza....
My early study of philosophy has come full circle back through my entire life and careers as I have more recently studied the philosophy of science.  Just how is it that we “create knowledge” or even can legitimately claim that we have approached finding “Truth?”  With training in both positivist and relativist research paradigms, I have a very useful tool box to equip me for most any research question in consumer behavior that interests me.
 
So back to my bottom line:  Is philosophy a useful and practical discipline that can help launch diverse careers, equipping us with important tools we need for living the “Good Life”?  I say yes, with a passion of lifelong learning engendered by philosophy, and two successful careers as evidence. Thank you, UMSL Philosophy Department for teaching me how to think!"