International Affairs Professional
My experience at OWU as philosophy student fostered a foundation of skills and knowledge I currently use as a fellow in graduate school and my professional career. Expectations for close reading and concise writing helped polish what started as a rather rough stone. Course work was intense and engaging with many students, myself including, lingering after class or in order to continue discussing topics with professors and other students. Such genuine personal engagement colored what I continue to see as the small liberal arts school experience.
Outside of study, there were ample opportunities for practical application of class material through departmental programs like Socrates Cafe, OWU programs like visiting authors, or student initiated gatherings. That latter was perhaps the most surprising, finding myself up until midnight arguing with biology students about the nature of bias in the natural sciences. Moments like these spoke to the kind of engaged students and atmosphere OWU cultivated.
In my course work and my experience, I was engaged in questioning and establishing of what is important to me and where I would direct my efforts after college.
Immediately after receiving my B.A. in philosophy, I was offered a teaching position in Austria through the Fulbright Commission. Though I had no formal pedagogical training, my exposure to questions about the nature of knowledge and thought gave me a leg up in developing effective teaching methods.
In 2010, I joined Peace Corps partly out of a hunger to understand different cultures and models of thought—an interest which been kindled during my study at OWU. What I saw and experienced there raised fundamental ethical questions about human nature. My beliefs were challenged and stretched, but I found myself examining and facing my new reality with approaches I had learned in as a philosophy student.
In 2013, I was accepted into the Peace Corps Fellows program at Teachers College Columbia University. Success in my course work at Columbia leans heavily on the rhetoric and writing skills I gained as a philosophy student at OWU.