Top Seniors Win Awards

Annabel Breen, Jared Owens and Morgan Barbre

The NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies celebrated the academic achievements of its top seniors at its annual Student Awards Reception on March 7. Three awards were presented by faculty members who had worked closely with the award winners.

The Religious Studies Prize in Honor of Professor W. Curtis Fitzgerald goes to the outstanding senior majoring in religious studies. This year’s winner was Morgan Barbre, who received the award from Jason Bivins, professor of religious studies. Morgan graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Religious Studies in May 2019. She will now be taking a gap year to work, write and apply to graduate programs in religious studies, with the aim of pursuing a career in academia. 

The winner of the Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative Award, otherwise known as the LACSI Award, was Jared Owens, who received the award from Ronald Endicott, associate professor of philosophy. This award goes to the outstanding senior in the B.S. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation and Reasoning, the signature academic program in the Department’s Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative. Jared is also registered for two minors: Psychology, and Technology, Engineering & Design Education. After graduating in May 2020, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in either Philosophy or Cognitive Science.

The Philosophy Prize in Honor of Professor Robert S. Bryan goes to the outstanding senior in our other major programs in philosophy. The winner was Annabel Breen, who received the award from Timothy Hinton, professor of philosophy. Annabel will be graduating in December 2019 with a B.A. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Ethics and three minors: Anthropology, Science, Technology & Society, and Health, Medicine & Human Values. She is interested in public health and plans to apply to two graduate programs: the M.P.S. in Homeland Security at Penn State, where she would concentrate on public health preparedness, and the M.P.H. at UNC Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Public Health, where she would concentrate on applied epidemiology. 

Asked how they have benefited from their departmental majors, here’s what our award-winners said.

Morgan: “Because of my time in the religious studies program, I am more excited about learning and curious about the world than I’ve ever been. The program’s faculty, who are all as kind as they are wise, have pushed me to be a better scholar and citizen through their thoughtful teaching and advising, and in them I have found mentors and friends.”

Jared: “The NC State philosophy program has profoundly impacted my life. On the surface it has enhanced my reading, writing, and reasoning skills. Most importantly, however, it has opened my mind and kindled my curiosity towards the world in a way that I never could have imagined.”

Annabel: “The philosophy-ethics program at NC State has provided me with an opportunity to refine my critical thinking skills and to learn how to navigate abstract constructs through cultivation of complex reasoning and writing techniques. I have found the study of philosophy to be a means to learn how to organize the unfolding of lived experience and a place to anchor and articulate particular world-views; the skills attained through my study of philosophy have encouraged an analytical and methodical approach to my interest in human health and medicine throughout the studies of my three minors: STS, HMHV, and Anthropology.”

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