Student Reflections

“As a public health major, my area of study is multidisciplinary in nature. It presents me with opportunities to look critically at health related issues and to identify the ways in which such problems affect diverse communities; however, it was not until I participated in my first philosophy course that I realized ethics and public health were inextricably bound. My ethics minor gives me a unique lens through which I can view public health issues. It enables me to go beyond the statistics, beyond the “who, what, when and where”. My experience as an ethics minor at the University of Evansville has challenged me to reach further, to ask the hard questions, to figure out the “why” behind real world problems.

In addition to contributing to my academic development and success, my ethics minor has also facilitated opportunities for action. I have collaborated with my peers to design and facilitate campaigns on campus ranging from nutrition education to recycling awareness. Most recently, my minor has presented me with the opportunity to serve as the president of Scholars for Syria, an organization which seeks to educate the community on the on the current conflict, break down stereotypes, promote the humane treatment of refugees and support the Syrian students at UE. This experience has been the pinnacle of my academic career thus far, as it has equipped me with the skill set to be an effective leader in the world of public health.”

Kendra Mehling
Class of 2018
Public Health Major
Ethics Minor

“I came to UE my freshman year as a psychology major eager to make a difference in the world. I went into my general education requirement of introduction to ethics with an open mind, expecting to gain an understanding of how to handle ethical questions with tact as a psychologist. However, I came out of that class with a minor and a completely different worldview. Ethics is so much more than knowing what must stay confidential. It is a way to orient your life in which you are consistent with your own moral code, and it also allows you to express to others what you think and articulate why you think that. My ethics minor has given me great mentors and outstanding professors. It broadened my research interests to include moral development, indicating the extent to which this field is interdisciplinary. Having this minor pushed me to get involved in Scholars for Syria, a campus group that we created in order to advocate for basic human rights both near and far. My ethics minor has allowed me to develop my desires to help others in meaningful and tangible ways. Now, I know that when I leave UE, I can actually make that difference in this world.”

Kristen Fowler
Class of 2018
Psychology Major
Ethics Minor

“When I entered UE as a freshman, I had no intention of even taking a philosophy course much less pursuing an Ethics Minor. However, after taking the Intro to Ethics class with Dr. Kretz for a general education requirement during my first semester, I was utterly intrigued. The philosophy courses, specifically with an ethics focus, are incredibly eye-opening. During such classes, I have been enlightened to a myriad of topics, from the plights of minority groups to the care we should take to preserve our environment along with the theoretical perspectives that defend our moral responsibility towards other humans and the world at large. Another exceptionally beneficial component of these courses is the opportunity to improve one’s ability to support her/his opinion both in a written form through homework assignments and exams as well as orally during class discussion. Furthermore, these classes have significantly improved my writing skills and my thoughtfulness while reading materials through the summary and question portions of our homework assignments. These skills obtained while completing homework are not only useful in philosophy courses but all courses at UE as well as in the workplace after graduation. Additionally, one of the most impactful portions of these courses came through the “action” assignments. In the Environmental Ethics course, we gathered into groups of individuals with interest in a similar field of environmental concern and my group focused on composting on campus. After identifying that the campus’s composting initiative lacked student interest, we made a petition which flourished overnight with almost half of the student population having signed it and a local news station creating a story about it. This project to bring composting to campus is still developing today and shows how putting theoretical ideas to work can make a significant impact on the lives of many along with the world as a whole. In addition, for my Ethics Minor Capstone Project, I am investigating the question as to why many people will hold values that Feminist Theory espouses but will not identify as a “feminist.” All of my ethics-based courses have bolstered my knowledge and my curiosity regarding feminism, and now, I am able to tackle my own ethical questions about this subject out in the "real world." All in all, the philosophy courses here at UE have a much larger impact than a letter grade. This program can significantly aid in creating individual’s unique perspectives of society and empower students to create the change they would like to see take place!”

Lynnette Whitsitt
Psychology Major
Ethics Minor
Class of 2017

“Studying ethics in undergraduate proved to be an invaluable experience to me in a few ways. First, the philosophy and religion courses molded me into a critical thinker, one who learned to constantly question what I believe and why I believe it. This made me a better individual by strengthening my core personal beliefs, but also by preparing me for the 21st century workplace. With the advancement of technology, critical thinking is one of the essential skills that will make workers valuable in the workplace. This has bolstered my academic success in other areas as well. The ability to analyze and critique an argument is not just useful in discussing ethics, but it has proved incredibly beneficial in my study of political science and international relations. In graduate school, the ability to evaluate arguments was crucial to my success when discussing American foreign policy and how to improve it. Furthermore, the ethics minor improved my writing skills immensely. Before coming to college, I was a mediocre writer, but through the various essays I wrote in my ethics courses, I became a better and better writer. The ability to express myself and make a strong argument in writing is what got me into the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in the first place, where I constantly write memos and essays advocating certain policies. Last, my ethics project done senior year with Gabriella Federico and Dr. Lisa Kretz prepared me for community involvement and activism. Since beginning my ethics coursework my freshman year, I became inspired to make a difference in the world. I have since channeled my passion and organizational and leadership skills developed through my ethics project into a career where I hope to make positive change. Upon graduation, I gained an internship with the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign in Colorado where I registered voters and rallied supporters. In the summer of 2017, I hope to become a congressional intern, a position I feel well-prepared for thanks to my rigorous ethics education. The ethics study at the University of Evansville has hands-down improved my life academically, professionally, and personally.”

Joseph Estes
Class of 2016
Political Science Major
Ethics Minor

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