Meet our 2022 Graduates!
Brady Knott graduates with a concentration in global philosophies and religions, as well a double major in History and a minor in Legal Studies. He plans to serve as a Catholic missionary after graduation.
Brady finds religion very interesting and studying it as a philosophy student offered him a different perspective. He loves engaging with professors and other students in critical conversations on topics of religion.
These conversations “allowed me to not only grow stronger in my own faith, but also to become more aware of the different beliefs that those around me hold. I believe that I’m now able to have a conversation with anyone around the world about what they believe and have a productive conversation with them about it because of the knowledge I have gained here.”
Brady credits Professor Mac McGoldrick, “an amazing human being,” for being the greatest influence during his studies at CSU.
A proud member of the CSU Ethics Bowl Team, Ben Law finds ethics as the anchor to his philosophy education with real world applications about how to live a moral and good life and affect positive change in the world.
Ben loves philosophy because it has challenged him to answer a question that had been previously absent from his education: “so what?” “It seems to me that the core assumptions that I base my life on will have huge ramifications for who I am as a person and how I see the world. I study philosophy because I ought to get those core assumptions right!”
Ben credits three professors for being the most impactful during his time at CSU: “Eric Easley as coach of the Ethics Bowl Team and as a wonderful and dedicated mentor; Eirik Harris for his fascinating classes and his patient responses to my endless, often off-topic questions; Jeff Kasser for challenging me to become a better writer and for making every class enjoyable through his wit and rigor.”
Ben is delighted to be joining the incoming class of graduate students at CSU as the next step in his journey as an academic. In the meantime, you can find him listening to eclectic music as a burgeoning audiophile or shredding gnar on the slopes.
Reed McInerny graduates with a double major in Philosophy, with a global philosophies and religions concentration, and Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. Reed decided to study philosophy because he “wanted to learn famous philosophers’ conceptions on questions about reality that we have no answer to, in order to have the tools necessary in creating my own informed judgments.” Reed also credits his study of philosophy for expanding his ability to think critically, form logical analyses, become adaptive in various situations, improve his oral and written communication skills, and collaborate with others.
Reed recognizes both Ashby Butnor and Domenica Romagni for being “incredible and well-informed professors who do an excellent job creating an engaging class environment.”
Anyone who knows Reed knows about his intense love for the outdoors and his passion for adventurous recreation, whether skiing down a mountain or kiteboarding on the ocean. His post-graduation plans are a bit more practical. Reed plans to spend the summer getting his commercial real estate license and then interning in the field. He’s also contemplating attending law school down the line.
Haden Meyers graduates with a concentration in the philosophy of science and technology. “I chose philosophy of science because I’ve always harbored a deep love of learning in both the arts and the sciences. Pursuing this degree seemed like the best option to keep cultivating and strengthening love for both my muses.”
Haden recognizes four professors as his guiding light on his “journey out of the cave”: “I’d like to thank Dr. Kasser for consistently cultivating my love of philosophy and science at every turn, Dr. DiRado for opening my eyes to the trap of the adventurer, Dr. Romagni for introducing me to my new favorite author (Spinoza) and an eye-opening last semester, and finally Dr. Archie for consistently exercising his own brand of dialectic that rivals that of Socrates.”
Haden enjoys his job as a bartender and thanks Colorado for giving him a reason to cheer for a winning hockey team. In his free time, he likes to camp, climb, write, birdwatch, skate with friends, read, and train in martial arts.
Haden has ambitious and adventurous post-graduation plans: “first, to publish a book about the trappings of college life and how young people can stay focused on their goals. Second, to earn my black belt, and last but most important to me; I’d like to become a diving instructor at the Great Barrier Reef.”
Matt Miller cannot recall how he came to the study of philosophy except that his innate curiosity and reflective attitude towards himself, his relationships, and how to live a good life drew him in. “What most interests me about philosophy is the practical application to my life in how I ought to live my happiest and best life. In my pursuits, I can say with certainty that I am living a truly happy life.” He credits philosophy with making him insurmountably better at critical reasoning, persuasive writing, and understanding himself.
Matt credits Shawn Brady for sparking his passion for philosophy in his first introductory course. He also reflects on Eirik Harris’ impact at the end of his studies: “Dr. Harris has a massive heart for his students and does everything in his power to provide the best environment to learn.”
Matt is planning to pursue his obsession for the game of chess that developed at CSU. He became the president of the chess club here and revitalized it during the pandemic. He’s been working to promote events and meet the demand from the community wanting a space to enjoy their passion for the game with others. Matt has also gotten involved with teaching chess in after school programs as well as running local tournaments for both children and adults. Matt is hoping to turn his love of chess into a career and hopes to intern or work for chess.com in the coming year.
As a first-generation student, Kaleb Morgan is graduating with a special interest in comparative political philosophy. Kaleb turned to philosophy for answers after he found himself “feeling vacuous and unsatisfied.” Philosophy helped him become “more critical but also more charitable with my understanding of other people’s beliefs and positions.”
Kaleb recognizes three professors who were most impactful during his studies: “Ashby Butnor snapped me out of my arrogance in her feminist philosophy course; Paul DiRado has been my personal mentor and has invested in me more than any other professional in my life thus far; Eirik Harris made possible my progression into grad school and helped prepare me for the next step in my academic career.”
Kaleb has a great passion for philosophy and served as president of the Philosophy Club. With much enthusiasm, he plans to continue his studies in the MA program and has already begun meeting with Eirik Harris to discuss thesis ideas. Over the summer, you’ll likely find him playing chess and video games and advocating for workers’ rights.
A first-generation student from Argentina, Estanislao graduates with a double major in Philosophy and Economics. Estanislao loves philosophy: “Philosophizing isn’t empty head-in-the-clouds daydreaming. Philosophy is the simple and earnest search for truth for its own sake, and that is why I love it so much. Discovering what makes the world meaningful, finding ways to make it more so, and trying to live up to those standards are what make philosophy so rewarding.”
Estanislao recognizes Paul DiRado as his biggest influence in his journey through philosophy. “Professor DiRado makes a genuine effort in all his classes to ease the transition between total ignorance to being able to grapple with the ideas yourself. If I had to name one thing about his classes that I enjoyed the most it would have to be his commitment to not merely teaching class material (though he does this excellently), but to making genuine capital-P Philosophers out of his students.”
One of the most transformational experiences for Estanislao was learning the value of doing philosophy with others. “I admit to coming into the program with a more individualist attitude; I didn’t think that I would much to learn from my classes that I couldn’t glean from reading the source material, much less from my fellow students. Doing and leading Philosophy Club has taught me how wrong that is. Exposing yourself to the perspectives, challenges and support from others sharpens your ideas, and exposes the blind-spots in your thinking that you could never have found purely on your own. If the philosophy major taught me to love and pursue the truth, then the Philosophy Club taught me that this pursuit is best done in community.”
Elena Scott is graduating with a double major in Philosophy and Journalism. “Studying philosophy has provided me with a multifaceted approach to critical thinking and problem solving while also augmenting the depth of my perspective. I have also become a more analytical thinker and writer with a greater appreciation for intellectual challenge.”
Elena has so much gratitude for the entire philosophy department and many of her peers. She gives a special shout out to professors Kasser, Harris, MacKenzie, and Romagni for being “so enlightening, engaging, kind, and accommodating.” Elena also thanks her peer Ben Law for being such a supportive and brilliant “philosofriend.”
Elena has quite a diverse and exciting life outside the classroom. She went to raw junior nationals for USAPL powerlifting this year and holds state records in her weight class. She serves as a Reserve Community Service Officer for the Fort Collins Police Department and a security specialist at Larimer County Community Corrections while also working as a fitness instructor, security guard at concerts and events, and a digital marketing intern. Elena is also an artist and writes songs, plays the piano, paints, draws, and creates digital art.
Elena’s current goal is to join a “three-letter agency” or work in law enforcement in some capacity. She is considering getting a master’s degree in forensic psychology after taking a gap year to develop more professionally.
Michael Steadman graduates as a double major in Philosophy and Communication Studies. Michael finds philosophy to be “a great discipline to study in order to think critically and attempt to understand things in simple ways. It is fun to think!”
Like many students, Michael was drawn into philosophy after studying with the enthusiastic Shawn Brady. “Professor Brady was the one who got me into philosophy. His energy and passion for teaching is infectious. He’s really an inspiring person who set me down this path.”
After graduation, Michael is considering applying to law school. In the meantime, he’ll be engaging his passion for music. Michael plays multiple instruments and record songs with his friends.
Walker Urban graduates with a concentration in the philosophy of science and technology after having studied computer science with a human-computer interaction concentration at CSU.
“I wanted to study computers and complex systems more abstractly, and study the social impacts of new technologies more, so I thought philosophy would be a good field to learn relevant skills for that. Philosophy is broad enough to where it includes all my interests from music and literature to ecology and neuroscience. I feel that philosophy is an especially valuable field to go into with many fields needing critical thinking and the ability to condense complex issues and decisions. Plus, aside from any potential use in the job market, I think reading philosophy and asking questions about the world and about yourself is intrinsically valuable, and almost always leads to being a more thoughtful and aware person in general.”
Walker fondly recalls his classes and professors at CSU, including discovering his favorite philosophers, Kierkegaard and Heidegger, with Paul DiRado in philosophy of religion, being introduced to phenomenology by Matt MacKenzie, getting a crash course in analytic philosophy and epistemology from Jeff Kasser, and studying the challenging yet applicable philosophies of Spinoza and Descartes with Domenica Romagni.
As a drummer and guitarist, Walker likes to write and record music and plans to tour with his band after graduation. After that, he’s looking to work in grant-writing for nonprofits or in environmental ethics and sustainability. He’s also considering graduate school or future work in audio engineering.
The Department of Philosophy would also like to congratulate graduates Maximillien Kos, Kevin Lorusso, Brenden Strick, and Uyen Vu, along with summer grads John Dunn and Devon Hudiburg!