Bell tower aerial view, lake has reflection

Our Faculty and The Furman Advantage

Erik Anderson

  • Director for Curricular Initiatives for the Furman Intergroup Dialogue Program.  Oversees and helps teach Furman’s offerings of IDS 101: Introduction to Intergroup Dialogue, two-credit courses in which small groups of Furman students engage in honest and open conversations about issues and conflicts related to racial, gender, sexual, religious, political, and class differences.
  • Assisting with the design and co-leading a May X program for the spring of 2020 entitled, “Sex Goes to School: Sex Education in the US and Sweden,” which will introduce students to a comparative assessment of sex education practices in the two countries.  The intention is to offer the program each May for multiple years.
  • Furman Advantage Teaching Fellows: regularly has students serve as teaching fellows in his PHL 200: Logic class.  This experience enables students to contribute to teaching and course design and to gain experience of what it is like to be a college professor.  Will begin having Furman Advantage Teaching Fellows assist in his PHL 415: Philosophy of Sex and Love class in the spring of 2020.
  • Furman Senior Honors Theses: Has served as the director for numerous year-long senior honors thesis projects in philosophy.  In 2012, spearheaded the creation of the department’s Honors Program.
  • Furman Advantage Summer Research projects: Has served as the director for a number of summer research projects in philosophy.
  • Summer Orientation Advisor: Has served as a summer orientation advisor, helping to introduce incoming freshman to Furman and its academic program.

Eiho Baba

  • Directs faculty-led academic study-away programs for pre-Freshman and MayX to Japan and China.
  • Involved with a plethora of diversity-related committees and events:
  • Chairs the International Student Experience subcommittee
  • Oversees numerous Cultural Life Programs such as the workshop on the Traditional Full Moon Festival.
  • Presents at the annual Cultural Fashion show.

Carmela Epright

  • Developed and co-chairs the Medicine, Health, and Culture Minor.
  • Co-Directs the Medicine Program which includes Medical Ethics, Medical Sociology, Fieldwork in Medicine courses, and students completing approximately 100 hours of clinical hours at Prisma Health Care.
  • Works with AED (pre-health fraternity) to perform mock interviews for students interviewing for medical school/health careers.
  • Serves on committees for early admission and direct entry program to medical school in a joint project between Furman and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville.
  • Professor for Medical Academy Experience, a joint program between the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville and Furman University.
  • Has supported multiple students and recent alumni through grants which include the Piper Foundation Ethics Seminar Grant and John Templeton Foundation: Genetics and Human Agency Grant.
  • Serves on boards and as a consultant to three medical schools in South Carolina, which helps students secure internships, clinical experiences, and admission to these institutions.
  • Has taken students to multiple national conferences, has co-written papers with students on topics in psychiatry, medicine, and philosophy.

David Gandolfo

Director of The Poverty Studies program which challenges students to consider how the knowledge and skills they’re building through their education can be brought to the challenges presented by persistent, even growing economic inequality in our community, country and world.  The students do this both through their coursework and through a required full-time summer internship.  The internship must entail working directly with people in poverty rather than doing research about poverty or doing policy work on poverty.  The reason the internship is structured this way is that most Furman students have little experience with poverty and it can be an abstraction for them.  After a summer working with people in poverty, the students have had the chance to form relationships.  They learn the stories of people who find themselves in poverty, how a family fell into poverty, how many times a person has tried to get out of poverty, why such efforts frequently fail.  At the end of the internship, poverty has a face, it’s not abstract.

Many of the courses taught (Ethics of Globalization, Latin American PHL, and Africana PHL) are taught as “applied ethics” or “applied political philosophy” courses.  They ask students to grapple with the justice/injustice of current structures or past practices, and what a just way forward might look like.

Aminah Hasan-Birdwell

Has collaborated with philosophy students on:

  • Independent Studies during fall 2018:
  • Jordan Markezich “The French Reception of Marx’s Early Thought”
  • Research Projects over the summer of 2018 with Summer Furman Advantage Fellows/Researchers:
  • Jordan Markezich “Beauvoir: Ethics with the Problem of Solipsism”
  • Patrick Burton “Conceptualizing and Communicating with the Other”
  • Sarah Rinker  “Critiquing Kant’s Conception of Race: Fallacies in Philosophical Racism”
  • Received a grant in 2019 for a Collaborative Faculty Initiative on the Slavery Task Force findings which included funding for faculty and student research.

Aaron Simmons

  • Taught a May X course “Philosophy and Hip Hop”
  • Served as Summer Orientation Advisor
  • Supervised numerous Philosophy Senior Honors Thesis projects
  • Co-Organizer (with Rick Elmore) of the Furman/Appalachian State Philosophy Symposium
  • Facilitated dozens of students’ research presentations at conferences
  • Supervised numerous Furman Summer Undergraduate Research collaborative projects with students
  • Delivered numerous keynote talks and public presentations for community events
  • Served as Faculty Director of Furman Boot Camp for Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • Taught courses for Furman Summer Scholars
  • Served several times as MC and Host for Furman TedX

Mark Stone

  • Led two May Experience Travel Study trips to Japan with Dr. Eiho Baba.
  • Mentored Furman Advantage Research Fellows two summers. Both students presented their work at the Southern Conference Undergraduate Research Conference. One co-presented the results of the collaborated research at the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division meeting.
  • Supervised Furman Advantage Teaching Fellows in his Realizing Bodymind course for the past two years.
  • Organized a panel discussion by Furman Alumni who were philosophy majors called “From College to Career” to give our majors the opportunity to learn some of the possibilities about where their current philosophy major might lead them when they graduate.

Sarah Worth

  • Takes students on a study away trip called Slow Food: Italian Style.
  • Regularly collaborates with students doing research.
  • During the summer of 2019, collaborated with Jesse Tompkins, who wrote a paper called “The Value of Food Porn” which he presented at the professional conference in July at the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics in Santa Fe.
  • During the summer of 2019, collaborated with Ben Davids who wrote a paper called “Epicurus and the Pleasures of Eating” which he presented at the professional conference in July at the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics in Santa Fe.
  • During fall 2019, took a group of alumni to Italy. While in Italy, the group met up with a student who graduated spring 2019 and she spoke to them about the Furman Advantage.  This student went on Slow Food: Italian Style and now is studying in Rome for one year.