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Alumni

Amelia Ziegler

Class of 2002
Major/Minor
Philosophy

Amelia has since completed an M.A. in the Philosophy graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.

Q & A

Hometown? Monkton, Maryland

On Being A Philosophy Major

I knew that I was interested in philosophy when I came to Washington College as a freshman, but taking the intro course convinced me that I should declare a philosophy major. I loved the fact that the philosophy department was small, that the classes were small, and that the professors seemed genuinely interested in their students and made themselves available outside of the classroom.

What area of philosophy interests you most and why?

After taking Philosophy of Buddhism with Kevin Brien I truly decided on that as my main focus of interest. I think that it best suits my personality but also it answered the metaphysical questions in the most satisfying ways. Like stoicism at its best, with ethics. I also think that studying Descartes with Professor Anderson was an invaluable experience.

What is unique about the philosophy department at Washington College that distinguishes it from other departments/majors?

It’s writing intensive, challenging and it is a major that is limitless. Philosophy is foundational in every discipline of study. To add, the philosophy department makes the student majors a part of determining the curriculum in terms of the elective courses offered as well as new hiring new professors.

What is the topic of your senior thesis?

My senior thesis topic is a Foucault-based look at the construct of sexuality and the negative effect our assumptions about the nature of sexuality has had on women in patriarchal society, combined with the Buddhist perspective on the ego self.

Have you participated in any special activities, internships, clubs, field trips, etc. that have helped you get more out of the major?

During the senior seminar the Philosophy of Foucault, our professor arranged for several field trips to the Delaware State Penitentiary. The trips coordinated with reading Discipline and Punishment. This was an incredible experience where we were fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a Project Aware program, created by inmates, as a positive outreach program. Our class had an opportunity to talk with these men alone. We asked them any question and they asked us questions, we shook their hands and hugged them when we left, we mailed them books, we learned a lot.

What are your career plans after college? How has philosophy prepared you for and/or guided you to this career choice?

I feel capable of doing anything. Studying philosophy has taught me how to think and I am very confident that I can be successful in any career I choose.