Fulbright Scholar Heading to China
Things typically slow down a bit for faculty during the summer, but for Dr. Jesse Butler, Associate Professor of Philosophy, things are in high gear as he prepares to depart in August for Guangzhou, China, where he (and his family) will live for 10 months while he teaches at Jinan University. After a lengthy application process, Dr. Butler received the exciting news in April that he was a recipient of the prestigious Core Fulbright Scholar award, which provides opportunities for U.S. scholars to pursue research and teach in more than 125 countries. Dr. Butler will be teaching American culture and history through views pertaining to self knowledge in philosophy and literature. When asked why he selected China, Dr. Butler indicated his interest in cross-cultural comparative philosophy and recent participation in the Asian Studies Development Program through the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he attended an intensive three week program titled, “Infusing Chinese and Japanese Religion, Art and Politics into the Undergraduate Curriculum.” As an analytic philosopher with expertise in epistemology, Dr. Butler is fascinated with “the rich philosophical reflections on human nature and knowledge that is found throughout the history of China, especially Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.” He is particularly interested in exploring their diverse conceptions of self, identity, and human existence. In between his online teaching responsibilities and learning to speak Chinese, Dr. Butler and his wife Julie have been busy preparing to move out of their house so it can be leased during their absence. They are also planning to home school their two children (ages 8 and 13) while in China and have been busy developing a unique curriculum that engages the children in Chinese culture.
Congratulations to all our 2016 Spring Graduates, and especially to the following students regarding their various destinations:
In September  I was offered the position of Sr. Drupal Developer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. My work will involve converting, managing and maintaining the various websites housing scientific knowledge and information about the programs at SLAC. My role is both service and administrative in that I will work with research scientists and administrators to organize the material and create the structure of the websites. In terms of administrative duties I will assist the current developers in transition and knowledge sharing of Drupal best practices and technical methods.
I think, my time in the Philosophy and Religion department gave me an incalculable advantage in regards to problem solving and working with others. The professors there pushed me to go beyond merely satisfactory results. They drew me out and guided me to look at the texts and problems closely. The critique and guidance when completing papers and assignments served to strengthen both my analytical skills and writing.
I am often asked why I chose Philosophy as my main degree when I work in a technical field. To me, the methodologies and skill sets are highly compatible. Abstract thought, critical thinking and thorough analysis are integral in being successful at both philosophy and computer science. The training I received in terms of close reading is incredibly helpful when I analyze a new specifications document. I do not think I would have gotten as far as I have without the UCA Philosophy and Religion professors desire that I do well. They truly invest themselves in your success!