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1980s Philosophy Alumni Updates

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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)

Christian Colton ('84): I am currently living in Wilmington, Del., with my wife, Donna, and our two sons, CJ and Alex. My business partner and I run a power trading company that executes risk positions in four North American power markets. (2010)

Arthur Traldi ('03): I'm working in the Hague right now. Am glad to hear that the department has been so well and active. (2010)

Patti Faini '81: Since graduating, I have a had a number of jobs, none of which were tied to Philosophy, but which were tied to the logical thinking processes and writing skills learned as a Philosophy major. I have been a corporate trainer, a stay at home Mom, and now am a 5th grade teacher. I earned my Masters of Science in Education at Longwood University and am an endorsed reading specialist and am currently pursuing my gifted education endorsement from VCU. I will never forget the feeling, in a class on Plato, that I had, when the student next to me had retranslated the text from the ancient Greek, so that the grammar held more value. As a teacher, I remind myself that any of my students could be filled with that same dread of knowing that they don't know enough to be the A student, but that they will still have the skills to be successful in their chosen field. For the people in that class, I am still pondering the beauty of a hammer. (September 2014)

Robert Fanuzzi ('83): Just a long overdue thank you to the department. As a professor of English at St. John's University in New York, I am always reminded of the great training I received as an undergraduate and make use of it every day. (2010)

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)

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). (September 2015)

Bill Gorton '89: The news is I'm an associate professor of political science at Alma College in Michigan, where I teach political theory (aka political philosophy). Right now I'm re-reading Rawls for the millionth time in preparation for my senior seminar on justice. So that's what you can do with your philosophy degree: teach philosophy. I haven't been back to W&M in ages. I heard they kicked the philosophy department out of the Wren building. Is that true? (October 2014) (Yes - it's true: we're now in James Blair Hall)

Peter King '82: I am a full-time Assistant Professor at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ in the Justice Studies program teaching Jurisprudence (among other topics) to undergrads - and loving it! (September 2013)

Melanie Morgan '84: I went directly to law school after graduation, and have now been practicing 27 years. I spent many years as in-house counsel for Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut, and JCPenney. In 2009 I started my own solo family law and mediation practice. I have lived in McKinney, Texas since 1991, and I have three children who are now 16, 19, and 21. (September 2014)

C. Michael Stinson '86 I'm a professor of biology at Southside Virginia Community College, where I also occasionally teach philosophy and religion classes. My main research interests are birds and the interaction between biology and the humanities. (February 2012)

Michael Tobin '89: I will be presenting a paper at the American Mathematical Society national conference in San Diego this January titled: "Advances in Transcendental Number Theory since the Proof of the Gelfond-Schneider Theorum."...There's a symbolic logic component in there, trust me. (October 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)