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Alumni News

J. Edward Hackett

Ph.D. alum J. Edward Hackett, currently a Senior Lecturer at University of Akron and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll University and Kent State University, is enjoying the recent release of his co-authored book, Phenomenology for the Twenty-First Century, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. A review of his book can be found here.


Liu Shu-hsien

The Department of Philosophy sadly mourns the passing of Liu Shu-hsien (Ph.D., 1966), a world-renowned scholar in Neo-Confucianism:

(from the South China Morning Post)

"Liu Shu-hsien, a giant in the study of Neo-Confucianism and a researcher at the prestigious Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica in Taiwan as well as a former Chinese University lecturer, died in Taipei on Monday at the age of 82.

Liu was born in Shanghai in 1934. He came from a well-educated family and was well-versed in both Chinese and Western learning. He left for Taiwan in 1949 and graduated from the Department of Philosophy at the National Taiwan University in 1955, before obtaining a master of philosophy in 1958. In 1966, he earned a PhD from Southern Illinois University in the United States. Liu taught at a number of universities including Tunghai University, Soochow University, the Chinese University in 1974 and Southern Illinois University."

Click here for full memorial article»


Steven Miller

We are pleased to have word that Steven Miller has taken a postdoctoral position with the Santayana Edition for the coming year. According to the Santayana Society, Steven "is helping with daily management and editorial tasks in the Edition and with teaching and curriculum development in the IUPUI American Studies Program." Steven is working with other editors to finish REASON IN SCIENCE, Book Five of The Life of Reason, Volume VII of The Works of George Santayana--the final book of The Life of Reason. The department's Larry Hickman serves on the advisory board for the Edition, which is part of the Institute for American Thought.

The affable Dr. Miller, who has a strong background in American philosophy, had defended a dissertation on community and ethical commitments in the thought of Josiah Royce, Wilfrid Sellars, and Richard Rorty.


Eric Weber & Mark Tschaepe

Alum Eric Weber and Mark Tschaepe found themselves "together" again when the work of each was referenced in the same article in the journal Phenomenology & Practice. ("What's in a Name? The Experience of Other in Online Classrooms," by Catherine Adams.)

Mark and Eric entered the conversation about online teaching via the porthole of their own articles on names and naming. Eric is currently associate professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi, and Mark is assistant professor of Philosophy at Prairie View A & M University. Both are busy philosophers and citizens, and we couldn't be prouder. Thanks for phoning home, gentlemen!


Christina Gould

Christina Gould

2012 Ph.D.

Alumna Christina Gould recently assumed a position at Morris Library as Research Specialist, putting her degrees in philosophy to work at the invitation of the Special Collections Research Center. Passionate about both her research and her nascent farm in Pomona, Christina entertains big plans for both. She says that what roots her in Southern Illinois is "the constant sense of adventure and growth that comes from both the natural beauty found here as well as the beauty of the people from whom I enjoy learning."


Tommy Curry

Tommy Curry

2008 Ph.D.

Dr. Tommy J. Curry was recently awarded promotion and tenure to Associate Professor of Philosophy after only three years at Texas A&M University.

This promotion comes on the back of Dr. Curry's recognition for his segment "Talking Tough with Tommy" on SiriusXM-The Power by Redding News Review as a "must hear". Dr. Curry was ranked fifth as people to watch in 2012 after Morgan Freeman and Samuel L. Jackson.


Allison Zilka

Allison Zilka

Class of 2011

Allison Zilka is currently serving as a kindergarten teacher and missionary coordinator with Finca del Nino in Honduras. Allison, who graduated with a double degree in philosophy and Spanish, made a 27-month commitment to work as a missionary--a commitment which has so far proven to be both challenging and joyful. She says that the ability to think critically, which she developed through many courses in philosophy, helps her daily as she navigates a new culture, a new way of life. Allison writes that, despite some run-ins with lice and stomach bugs, she is enjoying her experience in ethical leadership at the "Farm of the Child," a ministry devoted to stabilizing the lives of orphaned children. Good work, Allison.


Ty Holden

Ty Holden

Class of 2011

Ty Holden is now a first-year law student at Washington University in St. Louis. The double major in philosophy and classics scored well enough on his LSAT's to earn a scholarship which covers more than 80% of his tuition. Ty says that the analytical and writing skills he developed in philosophy at SIU--"the ability to analyze dense material"--is the key to his present success. Ty also worked full time the first year after graduation as a legal assistant at a mid-size real estate law firm in Chicago, where he helped control communication between the courts and clients, and between attorneys and clients, translating legalese into plainer speech for laymen. We wish you continued success, Ty!


Alexander Alden

Alexander Alden

Class of 2006

Alexander Alden talked with us just before departing for his first training in the National Guard. Now a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, Alexander is eager to give back to his adopted country. Alex's road to the department was no straight path. A former Sarajevan, he grew up in Italy where he always felt himself a stranger, but where a priest introduced him to Greek mythology. When the newly-minted speaker of English later immigrated to the United States, he began looking for a "good fit" program in Philosophy. SIU was that place. Why philosophy? Says Alex, "Philosophy is the original field out of which science and art developed." Alex thinks he may like to teach at one of the national colleges for security and military studies upon taking his degree. Best of luck, Alex.


Seth Vannatta

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies (tenure track), Morgan State University (Baltimore, Maryland)

Received University University Appreciation Award in recognition for Outstanding Achievements and Accomplishments in Research. 

E-mail him