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Fulbrights, International Awards Show that Duquesne’s Philosophy Department Is Something to Ponder

Two Duquesne University graduate students have been selected as Fulbright recipients from the same department-a first in University history. These two are joined by four other graduate philosophy students receiving prestigious awards.

"We consider it an amazing year in terms of national and international awards," said Dr. Ronald Polansky, department chair, who credited the dual emphasis on philosophy as well as contemporary and ancient languages with the department's international success.

"Because the program is focused on continental thought, it seems you need requisite learning in the language," Polansky said. 'We think that this, in addition to good philosophical study, is helping them get these awards."

Here are the award winners:

Fulbright Scholar Martin Krahn, Jamestown, N.Y.
Krahn will study the relationship between metaphysics and physics in Hegel's philosophy of nature at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. From March through July, he is participating in a student and faculty exchange program at the University of Heidelberg. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Fulbright Scholar Paul Zipfel, Belleville, Ill.
Zipfel's Fulbright will support the study of the phenomenology of Husserl; he will look at the ways people find themselves surrounded by others for whom they feel an ethical obligation-or the ability to act unethically toward them. Zipfel is studying language in Nantes, France, before starting research at the Husserl Archive at the University of Cologne in September. Zipfel received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and religious studies at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and a master's in philosophy at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Chateaubriand Spring Fellow Alessio Rotundo, Torino, Italy
One of only 15 awards issued by the French government will allow Rotundo to study at the Husserl Archives in Paris. Rotundo will critically evaluate Merleau-Ponty's reflections on biological nature and the place of human beings within nature. A graduate of the Università degli Studi di Torino in Italy, he received his mater's degree from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany.

Munich School Fellow Bethany Somma, Fayetteville, Ga.
Somma received a three-year research fellowship from the Munich School of Ancient Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, starting in October, to produce her doctoral dissertation on late antique Greek and classical Arabic philosophy. She is tracing the development of non-rational notions-for example, desire and animals-to show how they are important to philosophy and human flourishing. She received her bachelor's degree in philosophy and classics at Belmont University in Nashville.

SSHRC Scholar Tristana Martin-Rubio, Toronto, Canada
Martin-Rubio is in Berlin, where she has received a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst to attend an intensive, eight-week language course at the Goethe Institute for German language studies; she also studied there last year as a Summer Language Grant winner. Martin-Rubio received the most elite award for Canadians studying at international institutions and one of the top doctoral awards in Canada last year. This four-year, $20,000 CAD Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian government supports her doctoral work at Duquesne, which focuses on phenomenology, which is the nature of reality and our experience, as related to space, time and the body. She received her bachelor's degree from Trent University in Ontario and her master's from Concordia University in Portland, Ore.

SSHRC Scholar Aaron Higgins-Brake, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Another winner of the elite four-year SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian government, Higgins-Brake chose to pursue his doctoral degree at Duquesne. He is studying Plotinus' philosophy of the self, explaining that self-knowledge is not only as necessary for individual happiness but for understanding the world at large. Higgins-Brake graduated with a bachelor's degree in classics, with honors, from the University of King's College and received his master's degree in classics from Dalhousie University, both in Halifax.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.