Philosophy Student Intrigued with Major that Refines Thinking, Speaking

Posted on 8/7/2017 1:41:14 PM

Senior Brett Kimmel is a student who really enjoys challenging his brain to think both outside and “inside the box.”

Brett Kimmel stands near a statue of a religious figure

As a dual major in both Philosophy and Biology with a minor in Religious Studies, Kimmel takes joy in his learning experiences at IUP because he is encouraged to think critically in unconventional ways. Always up for a challenge, Brett is interested in a school of thought where the sky is the limit.

IUP’s Philosophy Department fit the bill.

An Unexpected Change

When Brett first came to IUP from high school, he had not enrolled in either of his current majors. His roommate began to talk about an elective class he had been taking—a philosophy class—and discussed what he had learned.

After hearing about several of his roommate’s experiences, Brett had a revelation.

“This is the kind of stuff that I want to think and talk about,” he said. “The way you speak and the way you think become very refined.”

Learn more about Philosophy, Biology, and Religious Studies at IUP

At that point, Brett knew he wanted to become involved with the Philosophy Department, so he could hone the working of his mind to really think and form opinions and arguments.

“A lot of people have opinions they can’t back up with logic or with evidence,” he explained.

Learning in the Philosophy Department

Upon joining the Philosophy Department, Brett was impressed with the quality of the teaching provided by the faculty.

Brett said that one professor, Mary MacLeod, adds extra value to his educational experience by tailoring her teaching to a student’s personal learning needs.

“Dr. MacLeod—she is a superstar,” he said. “She’s always able to teach a student the way they might have to be taught.”

He added that other professors in the department are also noted for their knack for providing the optimal learning experience for students.

“Dr. [Bradley] Rives is an amazing, smart guy,” he said. “I like to think he might even be morally infallible.”

IUP’s Boon: A Personalized Experience

Brett believes that his choice to study at IUP was an excellent one because of the personalized learning opportunities it provides.

At the end of the day, however, he feels it falls on the student to have the ambitious drive to work hard to seize these opportunities.

“You need to be a motivated student who’s interested in what you’re doing,” Kimmel said. “If you do that, you’re going to want to do more.”

—by Evan Sakowicz while a student in JRNL 325: Public Relations Campaigns