What were your favorite philosophy courses at UCLA?

  • All of David Kaplan’s classes, Skepticism and Rationality with Prof. Hsu, Wittgenstein with Prof. Hsu, Being and Time with Profs. Hsu and Johnson

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

  • My time in UCLA’s philosophy department was something I cherish to this day. I felt so comfortable and valued in this environment and had the opportunity to learn from some of the most engaging and knowledgeable professors I’ve ever encountered. To this day, I have never been involved in an academic setting in which the professors are so concerned with student understanding and so willing to learn from students as this department, neither in my other degrees at UCLA, nor in my M.S. or J.D. programs.

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

  • There are several. Heidegger’s Being and Time is a piece I’ve continued to explore since graduation, both from an existentialist lens and a phenomenological one. I have also been concerned with philosophical work on “apologies” in the nature of my work in international human rights space.

Have you read any philosophy recently that you would recommend?

  • Charles Taylor – The Ethics of Authenticity (not a particularly new work but revisited it recently).

What was your first job or endeavor after UCLA?

  • I completed an intensive language learning program at Middlebury College, studying Arabic.

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

  • Critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and persuasive writing have all been essential in my journey to becoming an attorney, but also in my venture into NGO work and the human rights, conflict resolution, monitoring space.

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

  • Go to office hours! The professors in this department have incomparable knowledge to share with you and are always so accommodating and willing to help.
  • Take a class on the same topic with two different professors if you have the opportunity. I did this and found I had completely varying views on the subject based on each professor’s lens.