At the end of the year, each of the academic departments and interdisciplinary programs in the College of the Pacific honors a truly exceptional graduating senior or group of seniors with the Outstanding Graduate Award. This award is given to students who have not only earned a consistently high academic record, but who have also been actively involved in the discipline through activities, research, or special projects.
Robert Birlew Honored as Most Outstanding Graduate for 2013
The Philosophy Department's award for Most Outstanding Graduate in 2013 has been given to Robert Birlew. Robert has been a model philosophy student. One of his professors says: "Robert was a pleasure to have in class. Proceedings were reliably more lively and sophisticated because of his contributions. He regularly offered insightful challenges to the prevailing view-and did so in a way that was passionate but also open minded." His double-major in philosophy and psychology makes him the most recent in a long line of Pacific philosophers - including multiple faculty members - with interests at that intersection. Robert also happens to be one of the most talented and accomplished debaters in the country. To take just one of many examples, in 2012 he won First Place Individual Speaker in Parliamentary Debate at Pacific's own Paul Winters Invitational tournament, which, with over 150 competitors from 50 universities, was the year's biggest tournament apart from nationals. Robert is staying at Pacific to complete a Masters in Communication on a full scholarship, and to work as a graduate assistant and debate coach. After this, he says he hopes to get a Ph.D. in philosophy, most likely at a Christian university. Pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy normally involves plenty of "soul searching." For Robert, this should be especially true, as he has interest in bringing neuroscience to bear on questions about whether souls exist and, if so, what they're like, how they interact with the body, and so on. In this and all his endeavors, we wish him the best of luck!
Brett Chance to Attend Summer Seminar in Philosophy
Fresh off a study-abroad semester in Oxford, England, Brett Chance will attend the highly competitive Colorado Summer Seminar in Philosophy, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This year's seminar will explore political philosophy, with a focus on justice in particular. The seminar convenes three hours a day, five times a week, for three weeks, with additional discussion session in the evenings. He will be joined by 15-20 others students from universities such as Cambridge, Yale, and Georgia. Brett (class of 2014) is a Philosophy major and Music Management minor, has been the president of Pacific's student philosophy club (called the Think Tank), and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy after graduation.
Danielle Procope to Take Part in Summer Research Program
Danielle Procope (class of 2014), who is double-majoring in English and Philosophy (with minors in Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies and Sociology), was accepted to the prestigious Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at both Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley. The SROP provides mentorship at major research universities over the summer for promising students considering a career in academia. Danielle has been involved in research since her freshman year, presenting at the Pacific Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference - where she's twice won the award for Outstanding Research Paper on Diversity - the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, and more. She has served as the editor of Calliope, Pacific's award-winning annual literary and arts journal, and is a mentor at Pacific's Student Writing Center. Please click here to read more about Danielle's achievements.