Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Three Philosophers: Engaged in the Academic World

Having a campus so close to the city of Boston is full of academic perks. After all, Greater Boston has more colleges and universities per capita than any other city in the world—and that brings together a very unique academic community. But the opportunity to join a professor for a conference in the city—not for a class assignment or for a course field trip, but solely for the shared interest in the vocation—makes Gordon’s proximity to Boston a unique asset.

When Dave Hicks ’14 and Christian Shahzade ’14 signed up for courses with Brian Glenney, assistant professor of philosophy, they knew the material would really take them places. But Glenney actually took them somewhere: The professor took his two students to Cambridge for an afternoon at the Progress in Philosophy conference, creating an especially memorable experience for the two young men.

The conference, sponsored by Harvard University and Australian National University, included speakers like David Chalmers, Philip Pettit and Peter Ludlow. “It was fun to share professional philosophy with Dave and Christian,” said Glenney. “There’s nothing like exposing my students to current ideas on a global platform. The philosophy program at Gordon is a place where professional scholars are being prepared for real success in the academy, and their reflections and comments through the conference really emphasized this.”
For Shahzade, a sophmore from Falmouth, Massachusetts, it was his first “road trip” with his professor and first experience at a professional conference. “Seeing the cast of world-renowned philosophers, alongside my own, certainly gave me an increased enthusiasm towards my future studies.”

As they traveled from lecture to lecture, the three philosophers were encouraged by the conference and the opportunities it offers for their own scholarship. “The conference helped me see the value of the philosophy program at Gordon while also revealing a lot about the philosophical world at large,” said Hicks, from Wayne, Pennsylvania. “It inspired me to work harder in order to better engage in future conferences. I think it’s important to be engaged in the academic world surrounding us—and Boston allows us this opportunity on a regular basis. My courses are challenging, but there’s something deeply encouraging about being in a place where great minds have solved major problems; it keeps me going.”

Pictured: The three philosophers—Dave Hicks ’14, Christian Shahzade ’14 and Professor Brian Glenney.

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