2020 Graduates

Olasimbo Akinfeleye

Declaring Philosophy as my major has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things I have done during my time at the University of Maryland. I can honestly say there has not been one Philosophy course I have taken that I did not like. I walked away from each one with a new breadth of knowledge and a new way to think about the world. I enjoyed the challenge to think critically and engage with the ideas of past and current thinkers and my peers. It has played a defining role in the way I view the world today. This fall I will be pursuing my MA in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights at American University.

Mijal Altmann

Mijal Altmann is graduating with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology with a minor in Sustainability Studies. She has particularly enjoyed getting to know her classmates and professors and discussing class topics with them outside of class. She loved taking PHIL100 with Dan Moller during her sophomore year so much that she declared the major the next semester because until that point no other class had felt as intellectually rewarding. In the future, she hopes to find a way to study philosophy and recreate the community that she found within the UMD Philosophy Department. She will sorely miss signing up for new courses and waiting in anticipation for what new things she might learn in them, but she is so glad she got the chance to study philosophy within this community.

Emily Aquino

I plan on working as an Associate Consultant at Optimity Advisors following graduation. I have enjoyed all of the philosophy courses that I have taken at UMD, and I'm thankful for all of the friends I made in these courses. I greatly appreciated the sense of community at the Philosophy department, as it made my experience as a philosophy major incredibly memorable and rewarding.

Eunice Cho

Becoming a philosophy major at Maryland was the best decision I had made for my college career, and that is all thanks to the invaluable mentors and peers I have gained through my time in the department. I am forever grateful to these individuals who have been essential to my growth in the past four years. While I will miss all of the stimulating philosophical discussions, I also cannot wait to apply the many skills developed through these discussions as I continue to pursue lifelong learning at the George Washington School of Medicine. Thank you, UMD Philosophy Department, for giving me so many time slices to cherish in the remaining segments of my life as a space-time worm!

Katie Kincaid

I will be teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in Baltimore as a member of Teach For America. Additionally, I will be pursuing my M.S. in Educational Studies at Johns Hopkins.

Ariel Levchenko

My name is Ariel Levchenko, and getting a degree in Philosophy has been one of the best things that I did at the University of Maryland, and definitely the most enjoyable. It's taught me critical thinking and engagement in a way that goes far beyond what I have gotten in my other classes. It's also been how I've seen and engaged with millennia of people asking, refining, and formalizing the fundamental problems and questions that arise not just in one's everyday experience, but in any detailed and careful study of any discipline. I'm incredibly happy that I chose to do this, and it's shaped my current plans for the future - in the Fall of 2020, I will be pursuing an MA in Bioethics at New York University.

Francis Marcellino

Studying philosophy at UMD has refined my thinking and writing immensely, as well as introducing me to a whole host of fascinating ideas and issues worth thinking about. Post-graduation, I will be pursuing a master's degree in physics from EPFL in Switzerland, after which I plan to apply to PhD programs in quantum information, either on the physics side or the philosophy side. 

Lynn Martin

As a philosophy major, Lynn Martin valued the opportunity to challenge and build his worldview by studying the arguments and worldviews of past and present thinkers. After graduating, he plans to spend time writing before applying to grad school. Then he hopes to apply to English programs, but he hopes eventually to study philosophy and theology at the graduate level as well.

George Mobille

I feel fortunate to have studied Philosophy at UMD. I'd like to thank all my Professors who have inspired me in various ways. I couldn't have imagined studying anything else. After graduation I plan on surfing around the world.

Mikey Pollack

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” - Friedrich Nietzsche 

While I can confidently say I’ve never read any of Nietzsche during my undergraduate career at UMD, I do really like this quote, which probably taken out of context. This concept of taking soundbites out of context is one of the many things philosophy has taught me never to do, but hey, it's fun to break the rules. Pretty much any paper or book that I read in a philosophy class that has out of context quotations gets criticized—which is exactly why I loved studying philosophy at UMD. I’ve learned that critical thinking will always come before fluff, ideas are just claims without proper proofs and arguments, and that being able to write a long dense book doesn’t make you smart. Critical thinking, debating, arguing and thinking are the keys to discovering the truths in life. Shutting people down and refusing to hear a diversity of thought has no place in philosophy classes. Hearing people out and respecting well thought out opinions is always put on a pedestal. This intellectual honesty has led me to love philosophy.


Ivy Radcliffe

I chose to study philosophy because it's a start at answering some of our most burning questions about who we are, how we're to live well, and what it means to be truly human. I believe philosophy has been too inaccessible to the great majority of people. Philosophy as a discipline needs to be brought down to earth, and into the relevance of our everyday lives.

Thomas Dimitry McEvoy Zafiropulos

Philosophy has come to permeate all aspects of my life, as a consequence of the experiences my professors, TA's, classmates and friends have shared with me these last three years. For that gift, I will always treasure my time at UMD. Right now, the future is particularly uncertain. What remains constant is my desire to continue philosophy, regardless of how the wish becomes manifest, and sharing with others what has been shared with me.