Class of 2006
Andrew obtained a Masters of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University in 2010. He works as a Scholarly Communications Librarian at Utah State University.
- Major: Philosophy
Q & A
Hometown? Woodstown, New Jersey
On Being A Philosophy Major
I entered Washington College intending to major in environmental studies. I took an Introduction to Philosophy course my first semester, and immediately fell in love with the discipline. I found the emphasis on rationally dissecting the interesting concepts that form the basis of human experience both incredibly challenging and rewarding. I declared a second major in philosophy almost immediately to augment my understanding of environmental studies. Throughout my studies, I found the philosophy department to be extremely well-intentioned, and willing to work with students outside the classroom.
What area of philosophy most interested you and why?
I’m hesitant to give one isolated area of philosophy that interests me, as the interrelations between different branches, and different academic disciplines, are of the utmost importance. That said, I am primarily interested in the relationship between the human being and the `natural world.’ My attempts to bring this relationship into focus have drawn on ethics, the philosophy of science, German idealism, and eastern philosophy in particular.
What is particular about the philosophy department that distinguishes it from other departments/majors?
Philosophy is the mother of science, and foundational for all academic disciplines. Philosophers generate and critique the conceptual foundations on which our understanding of ourselves and the universe we inhabit are built. The philosophy department at Washington College challenges students not only to think uniquely, but more importantly, to express those thoughts coherently. As such, the department is writing intensive, and does an excellent job of cultivating top-notch writers. Additionally, the professors are dedicated not only to their field, but to teaching as well. Throughout the course of my time at Washington College, the faculty consistently went above and beyond to help students both in and out of the classroom.
What is the topic of your senior thesis?
My senior thesis was titled: “A Critique of our Dualistic Interpretations of Reality: Searching for a New Foundation for Environmental Policy.” In it, I argue that current environmental policy is inherently flawed, as it is born from a perception of reality that, while at one time may have been a useful survival mechanism, is now becoming increasingly problematic. Through an understanding of the universe that focuses on distinct, autonomously existing entities, man has divorced himself from nature, and effectively from himself as well. The history of science is rife with revolutions that radically changed the conceptual frameworks we use to interpret reality. In order to bridge this schism between man and nature, I argue that a similar revolution is called for. In searching for a foundation for this new paradigm, I draw on Evolutionary Biology, Buddhism, and Bioregionalism.
Have you ever participated in any special activities, internships, clubs, fieldtrips, etc. that have helped you get more out of the major?
Yes. I attended many of the guest lectures, and found them to be quite illuminating.
What are your career plans after college? How has philosophy prepared you for and/or guided you to this career choice?
After graduating from Washington College, I knew that I wanted to continue to study philosophy. I felt as if my studies in philosophy, culminating in my senior thesis, were more of a starting point than a conclusion. That said, I wanted to take a few years to be absolutely positive that this was the path I wanted to continue upon. After graduating, I first taught English overseas in Korea. Subsequently, I began to pursue a Masters degree in Library and Information Science at Rutgers University as a means to prepare myself for a career in the academic realm. After completing my MLIS, I will be continuing my studies in philosophy with a TA-ship in the environmental philosophy program at the University of Idaho. My study of philosophy has been a great asset at every turn of my post-college life. The ability to think critically, and articulate complex ideas is universally valuable.