Alumni News

These are our most recent updates from Philosophy alumni. Older updates are archived by year on the left. We'd love to hear from you. Please send us your news.

Allan D. Murray '69:  I majored in philosophy, graduating in 1969. I was truly lucky to have had the pleasure of Professor McDonald as my philosohy 101 instructor, and several other courses during his tenure as head of the department. I'll never forget his opening remarks the first day of my 101 course. He said: "You're probably wondering why the head of a department would be teaching the introductory 101 class. Well frankly, it's because I don't trust it to anyone else." Right away I knew he was very special, and I was in for a great ride! I hope you had the pleasure of knowing him also.

I went on to serve on the Men's Honor Council for three and a half years, serving as its Chairman my senior year, and along the way sought the wise council of Mr. McDonald on a few occasions when complicated ethical questions arose in an honor trial. (October 2017)

Laura E. Forester '87:  Laura E. Forester, who currently serves as Chief of Medical Prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, was the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration on January 13, 2017, for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Drug Law Enforcement. (October 2017)

Sarah Schuster '15: After two years working as a freelance writer and journalist in the Richmond metro area, I began working toward a Ph.D. in English at the University of Texas at Austin this fall. (September 2017)

Rubén Rosario-Rodríguez '91: I want to share the good news that my second book is being published next month by Cambridge University Press. Of course, I doubt any of my old profs are still hanging around, but the formation I received in W&M's philosophy department has taken me far! Normally I don't do much to market my academic publications, but I think this is going to be an important book with a potentially wide cultural impact, so I would love to get the word out and have many people read it! (Rubén is Associate Professor and Director, Mev Puleo Scholarship in Latin American Theology, Culture, and Politics, at the Department of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University. His new book is Martyrdom and Political Violence A Comparative Theology with Judaism and Islam. Follow the link for information.) (June 2017)

Michael Tobin '89: I will be presenting a paper entitled "Why are there so many unknowns in Chemistry?" at the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry Symposium that will be held at the University of Paris this summer. (March 2017)

Amy Atticks '05: I've obtained an M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University, and have been working for a year as the Individual Giving Manager at the Richmond Symphony. I am a founding member of the RVA Downtown Arts Think Tank, in the 2016-17 Moose Management Academy Cohort, a digital administrator for the Church Hill Association, and a member of the Church Hill Home Owners Association. Fellow alum, Meghan Townes, and I have started a Richmond-based book club. We are currently reading "The Age of Wonder" and are welcome to additional alumni participants. I am also interested in starting a Richmond-based philosophy reading group if there is such interest. (September 2016)

Jeff Berkin '78: My wife, Stephanie Buchanan (Class of 1981, Double Major in Philosophy & Economics) and I are very pleased to note that our son, Andrew, matriculated at our Alma Mater with the Class of 2019. (October 2015)

Bill Harpine '73: I’d love to come this weekend, but it’s not in the cards this year. My philosophy education has served me well over the years. I am Professor of Communication at the University of South Carolina Aiken. I find many opportunities to apply my knowledge of philosophy in my teaching and research, and have been fortunate enough to publish three papers in philosophy journals. Plus, it’s always useful to know the meaning of life.....

My university web page is here: http://web.usca.edu/communications/faculty/harpine.dot
And my personal blog: http://harpine.blogspot.com/

I'll think about all of you, and hope you have a great get-together. I got a great education at William and Mary. (October 2015)

Jay Black '87 (Govenment & Philosophy): I was already interested in government, particularly local and state politics, so that concentration was a no-brainer. In fulfilling area/sequence requirements, I discovered Philosophy. Another professor would have had me triple major, adding French to my sheepskin, but that wasn't going to happen. My time in Philosophy, in Wren at the time, with people like George Harris, Alan Fuchs, Jim Harris, etc. was the most enjoyable part of my academic experience. I am forever indebted to George Harris for teaching me the importance - and the joy - of the rigors of critical thinking. It has made all the difference. Today, I am First Vice President - Investments, at Davenport & Company LLC, an employee-owned, Richmond, Virginia-based, investment management firm, established in 1863. It has been my privilege to be with this company for 23+ years, helping my clients to build and preserve wealth. (October 2015)

Greg Laux '95 (Government & Philosophy): I am a 1995 graduate of William & Mary currently living and working in Cincinnati, Ohio, with my wife and family. I am currently employed as an attorney at the law firm of Kohnen & Patton LLP and practice in the areas of civil litigation, medical malpractice defense, product liability, premises liability, landlord-tenant law, employment law, and real estate. My Philosophy major and the Philosophy classes I took at the College were a tremendous help to me on the law school admission test (LSAT) and in my law school classes, and I will always be grateful for the outstanding professors I had at William & Mary and the passion and enthusiasm they had for teaching their students.

Specifically, Professors George Harris, James Harris, and Thomas Powers in the Philosophy Department had a profound influence on me as a student, and I credit them with cultivating and developing strong writing, critical-thinking, and analytical skills, which I continue to use every day in my profession as a lawyer. I will always be grateful to the William & Mary Philosophy Department for helping shape the person I have become today. (October 2015)

Troy Albert '11: Much time has passed since I last walked the halls of Blair. In fact–and not by my choosing–I haven't yet made it back since I locked up my apartment on Cary Street and drove west for Portland, Oregon. My fiancee, Michelle Tillman, Class of 2012, cherish memories of our alma mater, and endeavor to visit in the near future.

I'm completing my final semester of law school at Lewis & Clark, where I study environmental law. Since 2013, I've been working on animal and environmental law-related issues; of which, in particular, have emphasized the regulatory and normative dimensions of the global wildlife trade. Recently, I wrote "The Elephant in the Room," an article on the rules governing the international ivory trade. That article will be published in the 34th edition of the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation of University of Oregon School of Law. Currently, I clerk for the Center for Food Safety under the mentorship of senior-attorney, George Kimbrell,  also a W&M alum, on matters of agricultural law and sustainability.

I am very pleased to hear from you and to have been given the opportunity to expound upon the superior education I received from you and other esteemed Philosophy Department faculty members alike. Although I won't be able to physically attend the event in October, you can be sure that I will be there in spirit. (September 2015)

Laura Forester '87: I have been serving as Chief of Medical Prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation since February 2011. I was recently elected to serve as a commissioner (public member) for CAPTE (Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education). (Septermber 2015)

Thomas G. Snow '77: I am a graduate in Philosophy from W&M.  I am now an Immigration Judge in Arlington Virginia. (September 2015)

Judith Ellen (Robinson) Callahan '58: (From her son and the Seattle Times) Jeri Callahan, known as the "Houseboat Lady" passed away on April 10th, 2015, at age 80. She was a proud Kappa Alpha Theta; and a graduate of Oakwood HS in Dayton.She found her niche in the floating home community of Lake Union, where she resided for over 25 years. She offered tours by water of the floating homes and published the book, Staying Afloat, a collection of vignettes about past and present daily life in Settle's floating homes. (August 2015)