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Professor selected for Teaching Philosophy Institute, Re-envisions Curriculum

December 9, 2022

Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Classical Studies, Dr. Timothy Madigan, was selected to participate in The Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) New Currents in Teaching Philosophy Institute over the summer. The event was held in Baltimore, Maryland and was supported by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional backing from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tim Madigan

CIC is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. Over an intense competition with double the nominations than available spots in the program, Madigan was one of 30 faculty members selected. The faculty members are given supplemental grants of up to $1,000 to support new curricular activities at their institution.

Madigan used his grant to design two new courses, “Philosophy and AI,” offered in spring 2023 and “Rochester and the Great Awakening,” offered in fall 2023. These courses include the studies of 19th century social movements that began or are strongly connected to the City of Rochester. The first will focus on the history of computer development and the relevance of AI to all students. The second will highlight philosophical movements that have influenced contemporary debates over justice and freedom from the 19th century to now. 

The two proposed courses will relate to both the University’s new outcomes-based general education curriculum and its Strategic Plan, connecting philosophy to each of its five pillars. Both courses are student-oriented, incorporate opportunities for independent research, and seek to introduce students to the Rochester community in new and innovative ways.

“It was very invigorating to be around fellow philosophers,” Madigan said of the conference, noting that it brought new ideas to teaching the discipline of philosophy and making it relevant and practical for the next generations of students.

This article was written by Grace Valenti ’24, an English major at St. John Fisher University. Completing a Certificate in Public and Professional Writing, Valenti also serves as the PR Writing intern in the Office of Marketing and Communications.