What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?

  • Philosophy of Language
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion

Do you have a good story or two about the department?

Loved the day of the final of my Topics in the Philosophy of Religion class (1976) Dr. Marilyn Adams, one of hardest and demanding teachers I had and one of my favorites, brought chocolate chip cookies to the final exam. Really I was more concerned about articulating Anselm’s Ontological argument than eating cookies. Amazing woman and academic. Sorry to hear of her recent passing.

Are there any philosophical issues, readings, or topics that have stayed with you since graduation?

Currently I have finally had time to reflect on much of my philosophical musings over the years and have been listening to Philosophy Podcasts and IUniversity courses. Really been pursuing the timelessness of Aristotle and Plato and how what they taught still effects thinking today. I have been reading topics in epistemology and existentialism and how these related to contemporary Christian thought.

Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?

Been reading Mortimer Adler’s book on Aristotle for Everyone. Great book and a testament to Aristotle. Also been reading works about Maimonides and Spinoza.

What was your first job or endeavor after UCLA?

I love to share the fact my first job the summer I graduated before I entered graduate school was as a janitor of a food additive plant in LA. I worked with people from Guatemala, Mexico, Korea, those with doctorates and strong science backgrounds. These were both unskilled laborers and educated professionals.One was an excon convicted of murder. During that summer I was invited into the homes of nearly all of them. I could converse, listen, validate and engage with such a diverse group on an individual basis. This has been a skill I learned in doing philosophy and carried into my later carrier as an educator. It also applied to work I did in Latin America, Europe and Africa.

What lessons or skills from philosophy do you use in your career?

1) Ability to think analytically and problem solve
2) Communicate clearly in writing
3)Think openly and ability to understand those of differing viewpoints. I have traveled some internationally and worked on international projects. To understand cultural differences and values is essential in this global world.

Do you have advice for current students or recent graduates about how to take advantage of and continue their philosophical education?

Keep an open mind and be willing to change that mind as your learn about people and experience the hard realities of life. We do not always know what will inspire us but always be open to new areas of inspiration and passion.