News and Notes


2021 Phi Sigma Tau members, Philosophy Essay Contest and Markert Medal winners

The Philosophy Department held its second (and hopefully last) virtual awards ceremony via Zoom on Friday, May 14, 2021.

David Kirchoff (Class of 2021), Nate Hacker, Elyse Maniccia (both Class of 2022), and Mike DeFlorio (Class of 2023) were newly inducted into Phi Sigma Tau, the national philosophy honor society. Stephen Huffaker was the winner of the PHL/HON 110 Essay Award. The Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics, awarded to the best essays on the topic of ethics, went to Layalee Ashkar (1st Prize) and Hanna Donovan (2nd prize). And Theressa Bonne-Annee (Class of 2021) was announced as the winner of the Leonard P. Markert Medal in Philosophy, which is awarded annually to an outstanding graduating philosophy major and is the highest distinction that the philosophy department can bestow on a student.

The entire department sends our congratulations to this fine group of scholars!

2020 CNY Moral Psychology Workshop

The 2020 CNY Moral Psychology Workshop, postponed from Spring 2020, took place virtually via Zoom on Saturday, November 7, 2020. Participants and presentation abstracts are posted at the CNY Moral Psychology Workshop website. For information about the next workshop, scheduled for December 4, 2021, email Dr. John Monteleone.

Manresa Lecture: "Moral Vulnerability in a Time of Political Crisis"

Prof. Todd May (Clemson University) gave a talk (pre-coronavirus) on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 as part of the Manresa Lectures series.

Our current era is one of extraordinary political polarization, even political crisis. This crisis not only affects everyone, but it also requires more from each of us. Our moral responsibilities are greater in times of crisis than they are in more normal times, and how each of us responds to this crisis will tell us important things about who we are. Professor May will frame the nature of the crisis, discuss what it requires of us, and show how our responses reveal our moral character.

Todd May, Ph.D. (Penn State University), was the 2016-17 McDevitt Chair in Religious Philosophy at Le Moyne and is the Class of 1941 Memorial Professor at Clemson University. In addition to authoring 15 philosophical books and scores of articles, May is a regular contributor to "The Stone" column in the New York Times and a consultant for NBC's "The Good Place." May's recent work, directed to philosophers and a more general audience, takes on fundamental questions of human existence and includes A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe (2015), A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability (2017), and A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us (2019).

The Manresa Lectures are sponsored by the Manresa Program at Le Moyne College.


Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics announced

The Philosophy Department has received a generous gift from Jim Aiello to fund a new ethics essay contest. The Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics is awarded in memory of Jim's wife, a Le Moyne graduate who minored in philosophy. Pam Johnson pursued a highly successful career in accounting and built her reputation on integrity and accuracy. Jim credits Pam's ethical conduct, in part, to her study of philosophy at Le Moyne. The essay contest awards prizes to the first ($500) and second ($300) place winners. Essay submissions are due April 1st, and the winners are announced at the Philosophy Department's annual awards ceremony. For more information, email Dr. William Day.

New Minor: Ethics, Values, and Professional Life

"Ethics, Values, and Professional Life" is an ethics minor in the broadest construal of the word. Its goal is to help students live better lives by engaging with questions of personal values, ultimate meaning, and professional ethics. Students are encouraged to set their personal and professional goals into the broader context of what it means to live meaningful lives as responsible members of their communities and citizens of the world. Accordingly, the courses in this minor will address topics in applied ethics, moral psychology, and social justice as they appear in real-life situations.

The minor consists of five courses. Introduction to Philosophy (PHL110) and Moral Philosophy (PHL210), both of which are core requirements, count towards the minor. The remaining three courses consist of two ethics courses in Philosophy and one course from a menu of options from various departments. The courses on this menu can be taken as part of the core (e.g., REL, THE, COR400) or major requirements (CMM350). A list of the menu of courses can be found here.

Department of Philosophy Alumnus named President of CUNY

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York appointed Dr. Vincent Boudreau ('84) as the 13th president of The City College of New York on December 4, 2017. Vincent was a double major at Le Moyne (philosophy and English) and graduated summa cum laude in 1984. He went on to Cornell, where he received his M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1991) in government (comparative politics and international relations). He has been a professor and administrator at CUNY since 1991. Congratulations to Dr. Boudreau!


Return to Philosophy.