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 SRU Students Sweep State Philosophy Conference 



April 15, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – As he prepared to announce the three winners of a philosophy conferenceinvolving 75 students from many of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities, SRU philosophy faculty Dr. Bradley Wilson offered a light-hearted disclaimer.

            Although Slippery Rock University hosted the State System of Higher Education Association of Philosophy and Religious Studies Conference April 5, no one from SRU sat on the panel that judged the student papers.

            Then Wilson named the winners: All three are Slippery Rock University philosophy majors. Jason Rogers of Oakton, Va., J. Edward Hackett of New Castle and John Lienert of Pittsburgh swept the competition for papers on Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, Thomas Jefferson and a look at the problem of genocide.

            Junior Jason Rogers received 1st prize and a check from the association for $125 for his paper titled: “Plantinga and Kierkegaard on Religious Belief.”

           Senior J. Edward Hackett  received 2nd prize for “A Proposed Phenomenology of Genocide.” Hackett placed second last year too.

           Senior John Lienert received 3rd prize for his paper, “Knowledge is Power: Influential Thinkers in the Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson.”

 At the 2002 meeting held at Lock Haven University, Slippery Rock philosophy students took two of the top three prizes.

  Wilson, convener and assistant professor of philosophy, presented this year’s awards to a large gathering at the Wolf Creek Café.

            Department Chairperson Dr. Richard Findler, associate professor of philosophy, said, “I’m really proud of our students at SRU for winning the prizes. They work very hard, and surely deserve their accolades.”

 Wilson, who crafted this conference and whose two nationally known plenary speakers, Dr. Mark Risjord of Emery University and Dr. Dan Conway of Penn State University, provided stimulating papers from distinct sides of the philosophical spectrum, was “especially pleased that the very high quality of work done by our students comes from so many different perspectives.”




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