Academic Expansion to the Philosophy Department

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Le Moyne has been awarded $100,000 by the National Endowment of Humanities Grant for the Humanities Department and upcoming Philosophy minor in ethics and values is expected to take action in Spring 2019.

The NEH Grant will aid in the process of creating new core classes and a new Philosophy minor. These classes will be available to the students as early as Spring 2019.

According to Irene Liu, the Department Chair of Philosophy and Project Director of the grant, the Philosophy Department initially had to propose their project to the NEH in order to be awarded the grant.

According to Irene Liu, the NEH Grant will aid in the development of a new minor, Ethics Values, and Professional Life. “We wanted to show them the relevance of philosophy and in particular ethics, so we have developed a minor with courses that draw on the core curriculum,” Liu says.

Although the NEH Grant is considered a three-year program, according to Liu, this new Philosophy minor will continue to grow and collaborate with other majors at Le Moyne. These majors include Business, Nursing, and Marketing allowing the Humanities Program to reach more students.The Chair of the project, Liu, said that these courses will hold the Le Moyne and Jesuit values by focusing on enculturating the whole person.

According to Steven Affeldt, director of the McDevitt Center, the new minor and classes might be of interest, but not limited, to the students who are a part of the Manresa Program at Le Moyne. This will allow students to take the questions presented in the Manresa Program to a deeper level in their classes. “I think that it’s more of a matter of seeing that a minor in Ethics, Values, and Professional Life, that the Philosophy department had already been working toward could dovetail nicely with some of the goals of the Manresa Program.”

The Manresa Program, according to its mission statement, focuses on purposeful lives and meaningful success for Le Moyne students. This program, promoted by Le Moyne’s Jesuit, liberal art education leads students in combining academics, personal and spiritual growth, and career preparation in order to succeed personally and professionally.

The new course Affeldt will be developing, “Happiness and Meaning,” will elaborate on similar questions presented by the Manresa Program.
Affeldt continues, in regard to this new minor and the sources to go along with it, saying, “partly, I see it doing so by helping students to think concretely and deeply about the relationship between who they are – their deepest gifts, abilities, passions, and callings- and how they think about their professional lives.”

Thomas Brockelman, a McDevitt Core Professor, is also constructing a new core 400 class that is based on experiential learning. According to Brockelman, “Digital Stories” will allow students to have the opportunity to learn in an interactive way, this includes internships, service learning, and capstone experiences.

Brockelman continues to say that “The NEH Grant gives our humanities the chance to offer courses in the Humanities that will appeal to an “action-oriented” generation.”