John Helsel graduated from Furman University with a double major in Philosophy and Physics in 2011, and from CU Boulder with an MA in Philosophy in 2015. He then completed a Master's degree in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on regional travel modeling. Since graduating, he has worked as a data scientist at WSP, currently serving as the travel demand manager on the California High Speed Rail project. He says, “I have been surprised at how almost all of my graduate courses from CU have been useful over the past three years. For instance, I received a two-year Eisenhower graduate fellowship from FHWA to write on how concern for environmental justice should inform our policy decisions for toll roads; my thesis received the 2018 Charley V. Wootan Award for the outstanding paper in the field of policy and organization at the Transportation Research Board meeting this past January. Graeme Forbes' modal logic class has made relational databases much easier to grasp at an intuitive level. And on a personal level, my experience in philosophy is intriguing to my colleagues with technical backgrounds and it has started a number of wonderful conversations." John also believes that having a degree in philosophy got him a lot more interest on the job market in engineering than a more traditional engineering background would have, and adds that engineering managers really value someone who writes well.
In the photo above, Taylor is second from the left, in a session with Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-2013 under President Obama, and president of the University of California system since 2013.
Taylor Mangan graduated from CU in 2015 with Honors magna cum laude for her thesis on the morality of the death penalty. She is currently studying for her JD at UCLA, where she is co-chair of the Disability Law Society. Among her numerous achievements at UCLA, she has become a member of the Board of Governors for the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, and has assisted in founding, on behalf of UCLA, the pioneering publication Disability Law Journal, the first of its kind in the USA. She spent the summer of 2017 working for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Amber (Arnold) McKonly received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington in 2008, and then completed her master’s degree in Philosophy at CU Boulder in 2010. In 2017, she earned her law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. Amber is an associate attorney at the prestigious international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Her background in Philosophy made law school somewhat easier than it might otherwise have been (though still plenty difficult) thanks to years reading and honing her persuasive writing skills, but most importantly, it made her a better human by forcing her to reflect on her beliefs and the reasons for them. She still reads Philosophy when she finds herself with spare time.
Martín Chamorro earned a BA in Philosophy and Graphic Design at California State University Sacramento in 2005, and then earned a PhD in Philosophy here at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012, with a dissertation in political philosophy "A Theory of Just Immigration Policy" with Prof. Claudia Mills. He was the winner in 2011 of the Gary Stahl Prize, awarded each year by the Department to a graduate student for combining scholarship in philosophy with community leadership. Martín is one of the co-founders of BigSIS Inc., a Boulder-based company that has become a leading solution for independent schools around the world, offering a customizable student information system to manage all the administrative and record-keeping needs for schools (https://bigsis.com/).
Eileen Sherman graduated with a BA in Philosophy from CU Boulder in 2015. She is a second year at Berkeley Law and will graduate in 2018. She spent last summer as a clerk at the California Attorney General's office and will be a summer associate in litigation at the Northern California branch of the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher and Flom.
Eileen says her Philosophy degree has been invaluable in law school, and credits some of her professors in the department for being some of her greatest role models to this day.
Marshall McStraw graduated with a BA in philosophy from CU-Boulder in 2015. He won the Charles Evans Hughes Scholarship (a full merit scholarship) to go to Cornell Law School and will graduate in Spring 2018. He will be interning at the Jefferson County DA's Office this summer, and hopes to return after graduation to serve the people of Colorado as a prosecutor.
Alex Tsankov graduated from CU in 2016 with a BA in Philosophy and Computer Science. Since then, he has been working locally on a number of projects that pull heavily from each field. He believes that some of the most interesting and important questions of the 21st century lie at the intersection of these two disciplines. His current interests are in machine learning, tech policy, functional programming, and blockchain currency, all of which are motivated by a synthesis of both passions.
Josh Lannin and Lynn Acker Lannin were both philosophy majors at CU-Boulder, graduating in 1996 and 1997 respectively. Josh is now a Senior Director of Product Management for Workday, a cloud application software provider for HR and finance that is used by thousands of large enterprises around the world. Josh specializes in fostering innovation in the areas of mobile collaboration and social productivity tools for business, where software is impacting the ways people work together. Lynn is the Vice President of Professional Services at Vertiba, a Salesforce.com consulting firm that is now a part of Publicis.Sapient. She works with her clients to design and build highly specialized applications on the Salesforce.com platform. Lynn has spent 16 years as a technology consultant after earning her Master of Science in Telecommunications, also from CU-Boulder. Josh and Lynn live in Boulder, Colorado. They have two children, Sydney, age 10 and Sienna, age 9. They gave the philosophy department commencement address on May 6, 2016, and emphasized how invaluable and important their training in logic and philosophy was to their future careers; you can view the address here.
Kendy M. Hess is a 2009 graduate of our PhD program in philosophy. She started life as a lawyer, getting a JD from Harvard Law School, and practicing corporate environmental law for fifteen years (ten in Chicago and five in Boulder), focusing on brownfields redevelopment, mergers and acquisitions, and compliance. But she wanted to pursue philosophy, first by getting an MA in Liberal Studies from Northwestern University and then by coming to Boulder to do her PhD, with a dissertation arguing that corporations qualify as moral agents in their own right, and thus have moral obligations.
She is now the Brake Smith Associate Professor of Social Philosophy and Ethics at the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit liberal arts college in Worcester, MA. She teaches ethics and political philosophy with a special focus on the environment and contemporary business practice. Kendy has continued to work with the project begun in her dissertation, developing a metaphysically robust conception of group agency that supports the imposition of traditional moral obligations on business firms and other highly organized groups. She has published in Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, and Journal of Value Inquiry, among other venues. She is also co-editor with Predrag Cicovacki of Nonviolence as a Way of Life: History, Theory, Practice (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publisher 2017). New scholarly projects include exploring contemporary conceptions of work and challenging the increasingly popular idea that firms should be politically active.
David Arcara received a BA in Philosophy from CU Boulder in 1984. After graduating CU he began a career in media, starting out as an advertising sales account executive, first in magazine publishing and then in broadcasting. Indeed, what else is a newly minted philosophy major to do in the business world other than sell space and time!
In all seriousness, sales success necessitates the ability to develop and concisely communicate a logical argument. Philosophy’s literate rigor provides an exceptional skill foundation for such a profession. Mr. Arcara would argue that although quantitative skills are important in business, it is the ability to effectively communicate that propels one to the highest levels of business success.
Mr. Arcara went on to receive his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1990. He then went on to found three media related companies including a radio station broadcast group, one of the first digital online ad networks, and a custom media content business serving national marketers. In 2010 Mr. Arcara began investing in emerging digital software start-ups, which lead to the 2015 co-founding of the venture capital firm Laconia Capital Group L.P. Based in New York City, he lives with his wife and younger son. His older son is a thriving CU Boulder junior majoring in studio art with a minor in philosophy.
Emma Kobil received a BA in English and in Philosophy at Beloit College, 2008, and then did an MA in Philosophy at CU-Boulder in 2010. She went on to get an MA in Counseling Psychology from CU Denver, and then to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has been counseling various populations since 2012, and now works in private practice at Emma Kobil, LLC. Her philosophically informed therapeutic approach focuses on helping creative and perfectionist individuals practice self compassion and create meaning. Learn more about Emma at mindfulcounselingdenver.com.
Kevin Ware graduated in 2010 with a BA in Philosophy from CU-Boulder. He then spent the summer traveling in India before getting a job as a teacher at the first international school in Soran, Iraq. He taught there for a year, then moved to Amman, Jordan, where he worked as a teacher at an international school for two years. While living in Jordan, he had the opportunity to travel all around the Middle East and Europe in between teaching full time. He moved back to the states a year ago when he joined Teach For America. He taught for a year in North Carolina, and am currently teaching in Prince George's County, Maryland, and living in Alexandria, Virginia while getting his Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. His fiancée is Marian Hale, fellow graduate from CU-Boulder with a BA in International Affairs and Humanities; she works in the field of democracy and governance, focusing on promoting the rights of marginalized populations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Their wedding is planned for this July in Colorado. They met in a class at CU, and have been together, traveling the world ever since.