Be sure to check out our recent student successes.
You might also like to check out this interesting article about Dr. Nosich.
Associate Professor of Philosophy Kimberly Blessing was elected to a second, three-year term as Department chair, spring 2011 until spring 2013.
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy Dr. George Hole continues his work as interim chair of various departments. Since fall 2011, Dr. Hole served as interim chair for the Department of Mathematics, until spring 2013. Fall 2011 he additionally served as interim chair of Philosophy, covering Dr. Blessing’s sabbatical. Dr. Hole was also interim chair of the Departments of Design and Fine Arts, 2008-2010.
Associate Professor of Philosophy John Draeger was appointed 2010 as coordinator of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) Program at Buffalo State.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Jason Grinnell was appointed to the teaching faculty for the BSC All College Honors Program, 2012. Dr. Grinnell was elected to the BSC Faculty Senate in 2011.
Professor of Philosophy Gerald Nosich was awarded a sabbatical, fall 2012. Dr. Nosich will be working on a book on critical writing, specifically a guide for students who are writing papers, either as part of a compilation or writing course, or as part of a subject-matter course. Dr. Nosich is author of the highly successful text, Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum (Peasrson/Prentice Hall).
Dr. Kimberly Blessing enjoyed her sabbatical, fall 2011. She was invited by Dr. Michael Ruse (Florida State University) to write an article ''Atheism and The Meaning of Life,'' which is forthcoming in the Oxford University Press Handbook on Atheism. She completed final revisions for ''Mal-Placed Regret,'' Inception and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell 2011); and also worked on revisions to her article, ''What’s Done is Done: Descartes on Resoluteness and Regret,'' which is currently in circulation.
Dr. George Hole successfully completed his sabbatical, fall 2010. During this time he worked on two articles: ''Socrates’ Unexamined Life'' and ''Another Reason For Voting Socrates Guilty.'' He conducted research on Ellis’ form of cognitive therapy for his new course, Philosophy as Therapy. Finally, relevant to the area of existential psychoanalysis, Dr. Hole wrote and published a critical review of influential therapist-author Irving Yalom.
Dr. Leigh Duffy, Instructor of Philosophy (since 2009), gave birth to second child, Heather Duffy Wall, born on 5th July 2012.
Dr. Gerald Nosich received the BSC Campus Life Student Appreciation Award for having ''made a difference'' in the lives of our students, 2012.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Julian Cole was issued the distinct honor of being invited by Sol Feferman to deliver a graduate-level seminar at Stanford University on Social Constructivism concerning Mathematics, fall 2011.
Dr. Kimberly Blessing was elected to the Board of Directors for the Alliance Française de Buffalo, which is affiliated with BSC Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
Dr. Marianne Ferguson, Professor of Religious Studies will be phasing her retirement, starting fall 2011 and ending spring 2014. Dr. Ferguson has been serving tirelessly as Program Coordinator for the interdisciplinary Religious Studies minor for over 30 years. As to be expected, Dr. Ferguson is not letting her partial retirement slow her down. She has recently developed an on-line version of REL 321 World Religions, as well as piloting a new procedure for on-line student evaluations.
Dr. Allen Podet, Professor of Religious Studies will also be phasing his retirement, effective fall 2012. Dr. Podet will fully retire spring 2015.
New Part-Time Faculty Hires
We are happy to welcome Dr. Craig Tyson, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at D’Youville College. Dr. Tyson comes highly recommended from his colleagues at D’Youville. He will be teaching courses in Jewish thought and tradition, part-time evenings, starting fall 2012.
We were proud and delighted to hire one of our own graduates, Mr. Justin Donhauser, fall 2011. Mr. Donhauser has an MA in Philosophy from SUNY Buffalo where he is currently working on his dissertation. He specializes in metaphysics and applied ontology. Here at BSC Mr. Donhauser teaches PHI 101 Introduction to Philosophy and PHI 110 The Meaning of Life, and he team-taught a lecture series in Environmental Ethics, gratis, see below.
NEW ETHICS MINOR will be introduced fall 2012. The 18-hour minor consists in (a) an Ethics Core (9 cr.): PHI 102, PHI 351; AND PHI 310 or PHI 314; and (b) Electives (9 cr.): PHI 110, PHI 301, PHI 304, PHI 308, PHI 314, and PHI 401. The relatively new Philosophy Minor, consisting in 18-credit hours of philosophy electives that was introduced in fall 2008, currently houses 15 to 20 students. We continue to maintain about 45-55 majors in philosophy.
PHILOSOPHY MAJOR REVISION resulted in adding a Senior Seminar (PHI 401W or 402W) requirement, increasing required credit hours from 27 to 30, effective fall 2010. We continue to encourage philosophy majors to pick up a second major.
Two NEW COURSES have been introduced: PHI 333 Philosophy of Natural Sciences and PHI 334 Philosophy of Social Sciences. Dr. Gerald Nosich developed and teaches these courses.
Beginning fall 2012, we are happy to be LOWERING COURSE CAPS in introductory-level philosophy courses from 45 to 35 students. This recommendation, aimed at improving student learning in the classroom, came out of our very successful 2010 Philosophy Program Review.
HUM 100 Introduction to the Humanities will be retired, spring 2013; the Humanties Major was dissolved back in fall 2009.
Dr. Julian Cole took students from his PHI 351 Ethics Bowl (a course he developed to help students satisfy their IF Oral Communication requirement) to compete in the Northeast Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. The 2011 competition took place in Schenectady, NY; in the first round our team beat Franklin Peirce University. In 2010 our team competed at Dartmouth College. Both years, Dr. Cole enjoyed great success in taking a group of students from his teams to a debate with the residents of Canterbury Woods retirement community in Williamsville, NY.
''That’s Awesome: Kant on the Sublime: BSC Year of the Arts Public Lecture in Philosophy,'' Robert Clewis, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Gwynedd-Mercy College, March 2012. Over 100 students and faculty attended.
During the same visit, Dr. Clewis presented another paper to philosophy majors and faculty, ''Film Evaluation and the Enjoyment of Dated Films.'
''Truth Versus Tradition in Job 3-5,'' John Walton-Burnight, Lecturer in Old Testament Theology at Lewis University and Research Project Professional at the University of Chicago, Fall 2010. Over 100 students and faculty attended.
During his campus visit, Dr. Walton-Burnight was a guest lecturer for two courses on Jewish Though, and a Meaning of Life class in which he discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac.
''Contemporary Debates in Environmental Philosophy and Ecological Restoration,'' Lecture Series, Spring 2011.
In conjunction with SUNY Buffalo and part of Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (''ERIE'') program, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (''IGERT''), one of our alum, Justin Donhauser, and another SUNY Buffalo philosophy graduate student, Robert Earle, offered free and public lecture series (8 weeks). Five philosophy majors took 1-credit Independent Study in conjunction with the series.
Philosophy Honors Program*
Nathan Grammer ‘12 successfully defended his Honors Thesis, ''Eugenics and Doing Right By Our Children,'' 2012; thesis director, Dr. Gerald Nosich.
David Whitehead ’11 successfully defended his Honors Thesis, ''Flourishing: An Aristotelian Theory of Marriage,'' 2011; thesis director, Dr. George Hole.
*Ours is the only honors program in the School of Arts and Humanties; it requires a minimum 3.25 GPA and 3.5 GPA in philosophy, and two semesters of independent study which culminates in the oral defense of an Honors Thesis.
NEW Student Clubs
The BSC Ethics Bowl Club was established 2011, and is officially recognized by BSC USG. Dr. Julian Cole serves as their advisor.
In the same year, BSC Freethinkers was established and recognized by the National Secular Student Alliance and BSC USG. The group meets weekly, and hosts a wide variety of events and lectures. ''Buffalo State Freethinkers is a campus organization dedicated to free speech, free thought, skeptical inquiry and rigorous debate. It is an open forum for ALL students to express their ideas and discuss the things that we believe really matter.'' Dr. Kimberly Blessing serves as their advisor. For more information: email@example.com