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2018 News

University Adjunct Teaching Award

University Adjunct Teaching Award

On May 1st, ODU held its annual Faculty Awards and Retirement Dinner. We are pleased to announce that Aaron Nachtigal, Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies received the Adjunct Faculty Award. This Award is presented to one distinguished adjunct faculty member in the entire University.

Summer Research Fellowships and Grants

University Summer Research Fellowship Program

Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, was one of ten professors chosen by the Office of Research for the 2018 Summer Research Fellowship Program (SRFP), for work on her forthcoming book Haunted by a Different Ghost: The Phenomenology of Trauma. Faculty awardees will devote eight weeks to full-time research this summer. SRFP grants provide a stipend of $6,000 and also include up to $1,000 in expenses. The purpose of the program is to nurture research and future scholarly effort primarily for junior tenure-track faculty members. Consideration is also given to more experienced investigators who are exploring new directions in research. It is expected that these awards will lead to external grants, journal publications, manuscript publication or display of artistic work.

College of Arts and Letter Summer Research Grant

Dr. Teresa Kouri Kissel, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, was one of five Professors in the College of Arts and Letters to be awarded a summer research grant to continue work on her project "Mapping Susan Stebbing's Philosophical Work and its Influences."

Women's Caucus 2018 Woman of the Year Award

The ODU Women's Caucus recently presented its 2018 Woman of the Year Award to Dr. Yvette Pearson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Department. Colleagues who wrote letters of support for Dr. Pearson's nomination mentioned her "long list of contributions to the advancement of women at ODU in numerous ways through her work with the Caucus, as Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies, as Interim Chair of Women's Studies, and as a mentor to women across campus."

New Philosophy Faculty

The Philosophy and Religious Studies Department are excited to welcome Dr. Andrew Kissel into his new role as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and religious Studies, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Humanities. Dr. Kissel, previously a visiting faculty member in ODU's Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, completed his doctoral work in philosophy at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he defended his dissertation, Psychological Arguments for Free Will, in 2017. His main areas of interest are in the philosophy of mind and issues of free will. He also has a growing interest in the philosophy of videogames.

Matchette Prize Winner: Tanner Jonske

Senior Tanner Jonske was this year's winner of the Matchette Prize in Philosophy, an annual award presented to one graduating philosophy major by ODU's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies on behalf of the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation. Tanner received a certificate and a small prize at the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Student Awards Luncheon in May.


2017 News

ACLS Research Fellowship

Dr. Nicole Willock was awarded a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies, administered through the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), for the 2017-18 academic year. This distinguished fellowship will allow Dr. Willock to complete her book project, Lineages of the Literary: Tibetan Buddhist Scholars Making Modern China.

ODU Summer Research Fellowships

Assistant Professor Nicole Willock received a grant through the 2017 Summer Research Fellowship Program, sponsored by ODU's Office of Research, in support of her book project, Lineages of the Literary: Tibetan Buddhist Scholars Making Modern China, an in-depth study on three of the most prolific Tibetan Buddhist scholars of 20th century China: Tseten Zhabdrung (1910-1985), Dungkar Losang Trinle (1927-1997), and Muge Samten (1914-1993).

Assistant Professor MaryCatherine McDonald was awarded a 2017 College of Arts & Letters Summer Research Grant in support of her project, "Combat Trauma, Embodiment, Recovery," which employs a phenomenological approach to study the use of yoga in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in combat veterans.

Ethics Workshop for CUAVA

Dr. Anne-Taylor Cahill presented a workshop in ethics for the 2017 College and University Auditors of Virginia (CUAVA) Conference. This annual three-day conference is part of the required continuing education for Virginia college and university auditors, and ODU was the responsible organizer this year. The event was held at the Holiday Inn North Beach in Virginia Beach on May 1, 2017.

College of Arts & Letters Awards

The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies had two winners in 2017: Adjunct Instructor Aaron Nachtigal, who received the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award, and Professor Dale Miller, who was the recipient of both the Charles O. and Elisabeth Burgess Faculty Research and Creativity Award and the Outstanding Service to the College of Arts and Letters Award. These awards were presented at the College of Arts & Letters Faculty and Staff Recognition Ceremony on April 25, 2017 at the Goode Theater.

2017-20 NSF REU Cybersecurity Site Grant

Associate Professor Dylan Wittkower was part of a team of ODU faculty who received a grant in April 2017 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide undergraduate research opportunities in the critical area of cybersecurity.

The three-year, $360,000 grant will fund research projects by 10 undergraduates from across the United States in cybersecurity, partnering with a multidisciplinary group of Old Dominion faculty members. Projects for which Dr. Wittkower is a faculty mentor include "Human Behavior and Security" and "Ethics for Cybersecurity Professionals." More information regarding the various projects can be found here.


2016 News

Philosophy Club Book Sale for Humanities Behind Bars

Members of the ODU Philosophy Club held a book sale outside of Webb Center on April 3, 2017 to benefit Humanities Behind Bars, an organization that brings humanities education to incarcerated students at Norfolk City Jail. This event was organized and staffed by the students, who raised $180 by selling donated books at $2 each, and all proceeds went directly to HBB. The key organizers were Carlos Littles, Casey Rich, Tierra Shambry, and Jesse Eftis, along with the faculty advisor for the Philosophy Club, Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald.

A Companion to Mill (2016)

A Companion to Mill, coedited by Dr. Dale Miller, ODU Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Christopher Macleod, was published in December 2016 by Wiley-Blackwell as part of the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series.

From the publisher: This Companion offers a state-of-the-art survey of the work of John Stuart Mill - one which covers the historical influences on Mill, his theoretical, moral and social philosophy, as well as his relation to contemporary movements. Its contributors include both senior scholars with established expertise in Mill's thought and new emerging interpreters. Each essay acts as a 'go-to' resource for those seeking to understand an aspect of Mill's thought or to familiarise themselves with the contours of a debate within the scholarship.

More info here

"Lurkers, creepers, and virtuous interactivity" (2016)

Dr. Dylan Wittkower's article "Lurkers, creepers, and virtuous interactivity: From property rights to consent and care as a conceptual basis for privacy concerns and information ethics," was published in the journal First Monday, Volume 21, Number 10, in October 2016.

From the author: Exchange of personal information online is usually conceptualized according to an economic model that treats personal information as data owned by the persons these data are 'about.' This leads to a distinct set of concerns having to do with data ownership, data mining, profits, and exploitation, which do not closely correspond to the concerns about privacy that people actually have. By considering exchanges of personal information in a human-to-human online informational economy - being friends on social networking sites - we can identify an alternate set of concerns: consent, respect, lurking, and creepiness. I argue that these concerns will provide a better guide to both users and companies about prudence and ethics in information economies than the existing discourse around 'privacy.'

Full article here

Crisis Communication and Crisis Management: An Ethical Approach (2016)

This text, coauthored by Dr. Yvette Pearson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Burton St. John, Associate Professor of Communication, both of ODU, was published in September 2016 by SAGE Publications.

From the publisher: Crisis Communication and Crisis Management: An Ethical Approach is the only text on the market to provide students with the integration of ethical inquiry into the fundamentals of crisis communication. Authors Burton St. John III and Yvette E. Pearson combine comprehensive coverage of the key skills, concepts, and theories of crisis communication with an extensive collection of contemporary case studies, giving students a strong understanding of the essential role that communicators play in moments of crisis.

More info here

Matchette Prize Winner: Blake Phillips

Senior Blake Phillips was this year's winner of the Matchette Prize in Philosophy, an annual award presented to one graduating philosophy major by ODU's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies on behalf of the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation. Blake received a certificate and a small prize at the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Student Awards Luncheon on May 6, 2016.


2015 News

ODU Shining Star Awards

The Division of Student Engagement & Enrollment Services presented "Shining Star" awards to faculty who demonstrated evidence of helping students succeed academically, professionally, or personally inside and outside of the classroom. Nominations for these awards were submitted exclusively by students. The following Philosophy & Religious Studies faculty received Shining Star awards in 2015:

"Dividing Nature by the Joints" (2015)

This article by Dr. Chad Wiener was published by the ancient philosophy and science journal Aperion, Volume 48, Issue 3, in July 2015.

From the author: Most scholars of Aristotle's biology have accepted the view of D. M. Balme and Pierre Pellegrin that the History of Animals is devoid of any systematic classification of animals. I challenge this reading. I show that Aristotle can produce a taxonomy of animal kinds that are found in the essences of atomic species, or, to borrow from Plato, divide nature by the joints.

More info here

Matchette Prize Winner: Lee Welch

Senior Lee Welch was this year's winner of the Matchette Prize in Philosophy, an annual award presented to one graduating philosophy major by ODU's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies on behalf of the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation. Lee received a certificate and a small prize at the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Student Awards Luncheon on May 8, 2015.


2014 News

University Professor Award

Department Chair and Associate Professor Yvette Pearson was one of only two faculty members named University Professors by ODU in 2014. The designation of University Professor has been established in order to recognize faculty members at the university who are outstanding teachers at the undergraduate level.

Matchette Prize Winner: Christina Smith

Senior Christina Smith was this year's winner of the Matchette Prize in Philosophy, an annual award presented to one graduating philosophy major by ODU's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies on behalf of the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation. Christina received a certificate and a small prize at the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Student Awards Luncheon on May 9, 2014.