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D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

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2009 Conference Presenters

Mara Adams is an associate professor in the area of historical theology, with a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Iowa. Her dissertation, entitled "Poor Relief as Catalyst: Female Activism and Confessional Identity in Seventeenth-Century France," examined how Catholics in post-Reformation France responded to the religious confusion of the era by engaging in charitable work on behalf of the poor.

Laura Arcila Villa is visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has a doctorate in philosophy and a master's degree in the social foundations of education from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and a B.A. in psychology from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Her scholarly interests include the philosophy of Wittgenstein, ethics, Latin American philosophy, and philosophy of education. Arcila Villa is a member of the American Philosophical Association, the Philosophy of Education Society, and the North Central Council of Latin Americanists.

Nicholas Austin is a Jesuit priest from England and studies Theological Ethics at Boston College, Mass. He is currently writing a doctoral thesis about Thomas Aquinas’s account of the virtue of temperance. He is particularly interested in the dialogue between philosophical virtue ethics, as found especially in analytic philosophy, and Christian theology. Publications include a forthcoming paper on the virtue of religion, in a book containing papers on the connections between liturgy and ethics.

Jennifer Baker is assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Charleston. A graduate of Brown University (B.A.) and the University of Arizona (Ph.D.), her research is on virtue ethics, and she looks to ancient ethical theories as positive examples of how ethics ought to be done today. Her recent publications include “Virtue and Behavior”, Review of Social Economy: Incorporating Ethical Theory into Models of Economic Choice (in press) and “Money is the Product of Virtue”, Journal of Libertarian Studies, 2008.

Andrew Barrette, B.A. University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. General areas of interest include metaphysics, phenomenology, and the German revival of the Greeks.

David Chan is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He came to the U.S. from Singapore, where he has taught at the National University of Singapore. He studied philosophy at the University of Melbourne in Australia (B.A. Honors) and at Stanford University (Ph.D.). His research interests are in moral psychology, virtue ethics, the ethics of war, medical ethics, and Greek philosophy. He organized an international conference on 'Values, Rational Choice, and the Will' in April 2004, and is editor of Moral Psychology Today, a selection of papers from the conference published by Springer Books. He is currently writing books on action theory, and on the ethics of war.

Shane Drefcinski is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He has a B.A. from the College of St. Thomas and an M.A. and Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota. He has published articles on Aristotle's Ethics in the Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Aperion, and Ancient Philosophy.

Heidi Giebel is a recently-tenured assistant professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Her primary research interests are ethical theory, moral education, and biomedical ethics. Giebel’s favorite current research project is an empirical study attempting to discern the effects of philosophical ethics courses on students’ lives; she welcomes input from anyone who is interested in giving it. She participated in an NEH seminar on Confucianism and virtue ethics last summer, which has sparked her interest in comparative (mostly Confucian and Aristotelian) ethics.

Jessica Gosnell, assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, teaches in the areas of ethics, applied ethics and ancient philosophy. Her research interests include Philosophy of Sex and Love, Thomas Merton and Peace and Justice issues. Recent publications include an article on informed consent for the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Science and an article on using movies in the classroom in the journal Film and Philosophy.

Brad Hadaway is associate professor of philosophy and the director of Oxford Programs at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. He also serves on a three-year-old task force charged with the job of re-engineering the general education program at Georgetown College. When the work of general education reform allows it, he writes and teaches in the areas of ethics and social/political philosophy. He is currently writing a book on the ethics of consumption.

James G. Hanink is a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Jacques Maritain is his philosophical guide, especially in the journey from anarchism to Thomism. In addition to articles and reviews in professional journals, Hanink has served as an editor for the New Oxford Review and a senior writer for the National Catholic Register. He and his wife Elizabeth have five children.

Jason Howard is associate professor of philosophy at Viterbo University, where he specializes in 19th and 20th century European Philosophy and Ethics. He has published articles on or related to Kant, Hegel and moral psychology. Howard was awarded a research fellowship this academic year by the D.B. Reinhart Center for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo to explore conscience and moral obligation in political leadership. His presentation today on “Tempering Natural Shame” is a reflection of this research.

Carla A.H. Johnson is professor and chair of philosophy at St. Cloud State University, where she teaches social and legal philosophy, applied ethics, and religious thought. Her research focuses on topics in social ethics, particularly at the intersections of law, religion and morality. Her recent essay “Alternative Communities and the Limits of Tolerance” (2007) addresses issues concerning sovereignty and separatist religious communities. Her current work is on problems pertaining to professional ethics and expertise.

Gregory Paul Johnson is the founder and director of Resources for Life, an outreach and public interest organization based in Iowa City. Johnson’s home, the Mobile Hermitage, has received national media attention. The Mobile Hermitage is a low energy small home that was designed and built by Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. As a technology consultant, Johnson works for the University of Iowa as well as clients served by his consulting firm, the Technology Services Resource Group. He serves as a coordinator and contact person for some of the organizations found on the Resources for Life website including the Technology Services Resource Group and the Consumer Defense Resource Group.

Maria Russell Kenney is a Ph.D. candidate in theology and ethics at Durham University, Durham, England. Her work is an historical overview of the virtue of temperance and an attempt to recover its significance for participation in contemporary discussions of consumption. Other academic interests include hospitality, community, and theology and contemporary culture. Russell Kenney is also a ten year participant and founding member of Communality, an intentional Christian community in downtown Lexington, Ky. She has published a chapter on hospitality in School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism. She lives in Lexington with her husband and daughter.

Keith Knutson is assistant professor of history at Viterbo University. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research focuses on comparative politics and international relations, with special attention on the Middle East and Europe.

Matthew Konieczka is assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Konieczka is interested in a number of issues in philosophy of religion and ethics including the problem of evil, divine hiddenness, the existence of Hell, virtue theory, abortion, and world poverty. His presentations include, “The Appeal to the Indescribable,” “Relevant Background Information in Rowe’s Evidential Argument,” and “Routine Abortion of Genetically Defective Fetuses.” He is published in Southwest Philosophical Studies.

Eric Kraemer is professor of philosophy and chair of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse philosophy department. He is also director of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse International Studies minor, which has stimulated his interest in international issues involving social justice.

Michael Olson is assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. Olson received a doctorate degree from Emory University, where he began to develop his current interest in philosophical psychology, especially classical moral psychology, and in the relation between philosophy and religion. His articles to date include “Real Apprehension in Newman’s An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent,” “The Desiring Soul: Orexis in Aristotle’s Psychology,” and “Doing Some Good to Friends: Socrates’ Just Treatment of Polemarchus." Olson continues his work on Plato’s Republic and is also working on Saint Augustine’s Confessions.

James C. O’Brien (Chris) received dual B.A.s in English and Religion and Philosophy, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. In 2007, after a five-year stint teaching ninth and 10th grade English, he fled back to the hallowed halls of higher education and began working on a master's degree in literature at the University of Memphis. O'Brien expects to land in a Ph.D. program by fall 2009 in which he will focus on Ethics in/and Literary Modernism.

Nils Ch. Rauhut is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Coastal Carolina University. He is author of Ultimate Questions: Thinking about Philosophy and editor of Readings on the Ultimate Questions. His areas of expertise include ancient philosophy, logic, and German Idealism. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, an M.A. degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Regensburg (Germany).

Joseph Tadie is assistant professor and chair of philosophy at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Areas of interest include: Ancient Greek Philosophy, Hermeneutics, and Ethics. Tadie recently completed a Ph.D. at Boston College, which was a hermeneutical retrieval of Thomas Aquinas' account of the virtue of humility.

Tom Thibodeau is associate professor of religious studies and director of the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership program at Viterbo University. He is a member of the National Association of Lay Ministry and the National Center for Laity. He is also a board member for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation. In addition, he has served on a number of community boards and committees and is a founder and active community member at Place of Grace, a local Catholic Worker house.

Bernard Toussaint is professor of philosophy at Benedictine University. His publications include: Introduction to Logic, IBC,1977; "Douglas John Hall, Imaging God: Dominion as Stewardship,” Ethics, Vol. 97, No. 4, July, 1987; “The Truth in Comedy,” in Thomas N. Munson (ed.), Festschrift for Bernard Boland, De Paul University: Chicago, 1987.  "Anthony Kenny, Reason and Religion: Essays in Philosophical Theology", Ethics, Vol. 99, No. 3, April, 1989; “Business Ethics: Is Money the Purpose of Business?” Today’s Executive, Jan/Feb, 2003; “Plato and the Ideal of Liberal Education,” Proceedings of the Conference of the Association for Core Texts, April 7, 2006.

Richard White is the author of three books: Nietzsche and the Problem of Sovereignty (Illinois, 1997); Love's Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001); and Radical Virtues: Moral Wisdom and the Ethics of Contemporary Life (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008). He received a Ph.D. from SUNY at Stony Brook; he is professor of philosophy at Creighton University.

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