News from Alumni
This past June, 2005, we heard from Jennifer Dobe, formerly Jennifer Kirchmeyer, class of 1995. She had this to say: "After teaching elementary school music at an international school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1997-1999), I started my PhD in philosophy at UPenn. I'm almost finished with my dissertation on the aesthetics of Kant and F.W.J. Schelling, and hope to defend in either in the fall or spring of next year. My husband (Tim Dobe, also a UNH alum) and I will be moving to Iowa in August 2005 to teach at Grinnell College. I'll be teaching part-time in the Philosophy department and Tim will teach full-time in the Religious Studies department." Thanks for keeping in touch, Jennifer!
Vincent Scordo, class of 1998, wrote to us in February 2006. He writes, "Since graduating in '98 I held a brief research assistantship in the Psychology Dept. at Columbia (one last attempt to remain in academia) and at the same time entered the business world. After a 3 year stint at the North American headquarters for Mercedes-Benz USA working in Internet Marketing and eBusiness, I now lead projects as Autos Internet Marketing Manager at Consumer Reports. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and live just across the Hudson River in northern NJ (a few minutes north of the George Washington Bridge). I find my philosophy degree invaluable and still consider it the best training for post undergrad life!" That's what we like to hear, Vincent! Vincent can be reached at email@example.com, or http://www.scordo.com.
Alumni Dave Turner, class of 2004, writes in February 2006, "After graduating from UNH, I'm now in my first year of law school at SUNY-Buffalo and struggling mightily to retain a shred of my soul. My training in philosophy has been immensely useful in coming to grips with the law and legal theory, even if the vast bulk of legal argument is an argument from analogy. I miss strolling through the basement of Ham Smith and idly knocking on a professor's door to kick around an idea or two (even if it was always my ideas that received the worst kicking). I miss the Friday colloquiums, where I could watch the faculty discuss ideas as peers rather than lecturers and feel like I was something more than a student of philosophy. The end-of-semester parties are especially missed. I always had the sense that the Philosophy Department was the most welcoming and exciting place in the university. I hope to keep in touch with everyone who influenced me there." Thank you, Dave, for dropping a note - and good luck!
Jacob Skinner, class of 2004, sent us an email in February 2006, giving us an update. He states, "I am currently working as a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, teaching Math and US History at the High School for Environmental Studies in Midtown and earning credits at City College towards an MS in Special Education. With the exception of when I mention irrational numbers or actual infinity my students are very well behaved, and thanks to Val they have the option of directly answering test questions or arguing that the content is socially constructed. Otherwise, life in New York City has proven an incredible experience, but I miss the philosophy department and will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to spend one of the most important periods of my life among such a wonderful group of people." Thank you, Jacob, for staying in touch!
In May, 2005, we heard from Susan Poland, formerly Susan Cartier, who graduated as a philosophy major in 1974! She has worked at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics off and on since 1979 as the legal research associate. She is responsible for all legal material that is relevant to bioethics to be added to the bioethics library and to databases such as PubMed. In the 1980's, Susan was fortunate enough to work in Norfolk where the first test tube baby was born, and she has also gotten a law degree since leaving UNH. If you would like to know more about Susan's current position, visit http://bioethics.georgetown.edu. She hopes that her story will give other average (C+, B-, at least in philosophy) students hope. Thank you Susan!
Eric Thomson, class of 1994, sent us a note on February 17th, 2005, letting us know what he's been up to. After graduating from UNH he got his MA in philosophy at UCSD (focusing on naturalistic approaches to consciousness and representation), and then went on to get his PhD in neuroscience, also at UCSD. He is presently doing a post-doc at Duke University, studying sensory processing in rat nervous systems. Eric says his philosophical studies were helpful in making him aware of the conceptual background of his empirical work. Though he does admit if he could do it over again he would probably only minor in philosophy in order to have focused more on technical mathematical skills. Eric's home page is http://www.ethomson.net and he says, "Feel free to email me to chat. I miss the UNH campus and lack of intellectual inhibition there."
This past January, 2005, we heard from Jason Brennan who graduated in December of 2001. He started the University of Arizona's philosophy doctoral program in the fall of 2002. He's currently specializing in political philosophy and ethics, and says his dissertation topic will most likely be the role of truth in moral theories, or more broadly the methodology of moral theory. He has forthcoming presentations at some conferences in the near future. Jason has appreciation for the exposure to alternative philosophical traditions that he received at UNH, especially continental. We would like to congratulate Jason on his recent June 2004 wedding! If you would like to contact Jason, visit his website at www.u.arizona.edu/~brennan.
Bill Hannaford, UNH Philosophy Alumni and class of 1966, wrote to us in November, 2004. After graduating from UNH, he went to the University of Colorado where he received his Ph.D. and then he was off to the University of Illinois for an MS in library and info. science. He was a philosophy professor and college/university administrator in the US and abroad for more than 30 years. He is now retired but doing a little consulting work and teaching a philosophy course or two at the University of New Mexico. Bill says, "My undergraduate work with Pete Sylvester, Paul Brockelman and Asher Moore proved invaluable to me and to my career. I have very fond memories of my time at UNH."
In August, 2004, we heard from recent 2002 graduate, Kristen McDowell. She is currently living in Senegal, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. She has been there since March 2003, and will leave in June 2005. She lives in a tiny village of Wolof speakers and works on Environmental Education. She would love to hear from other alum or faculty and can be reached at B.P. 71, Louga, Senegal, W. Africa. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Lawton, class of 2001, wrote to us in July, 2004. He just started graduate work at Dartmouth College in Globalization Studies after taking a few years off. He spent those years away from school skiing and kayaking in Colorado. He says, "since that second day of class with Ruth in Intro to Philosophy...I have never once questioned by I wanted to study Philosophy at UNH." He also writes, "I find myself constantly going back to the classrooms in Lower Ham Smith painfully agonizing over what Kant was talking about with deVries or quietly pondering Zen with Timm, or morality with Paul."