Always Thinking


Many of the careers of tomorrow have yet to be imagined, making a liberal arts education more important than ever before. According to Professor Paul Nnodim, his specialty - philosophy - is inseparable from a true liberal arts education.

"Philosophy challenges students to bring a rigorous, critical, and constructive attitude to every aspect of their lives," Nnodim explains. "These transferable skills and habits not only complement students' future careers and scholarly pursuits, but more importantly equip them for lives marked by intellectual curiosity and engagement."

A number of successful philosophy majors have passed through MCLA's gates, and now are doing very well in top graduate schools across the country, according to Nnodim.

" For example, one is about to complete a master's program in ethics and public policy at Suffolk University in Boston, and another is in his third year of the direct Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at Antioch Graduate School of Psychology," Nnodim says. "The recent feedback I received from their supervisors is more than gratifying."

MCLA's philosophy majors are equipped to compete with their peers around the world.

 "Another of our majors has just returned from Germany, where she successfully completed a one-year study abroad program," Nnodim says. "She was one of the 45 students chosen from across Europe and the U.S. to study at the European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA), Berlin - a highly selective liberal arts college of only about 50 students."

At ECLA, students are taught by professors from across the globe, including those from Columbia University, Eberhard Karls University of Germany, Cambridge University, Harvard University, Arhus University of Ireland and London University.

Nnodim considers philosophy to be an extremely useful pursuit because of the way it challenges students to bring a rigorous, critical, and constructive attitude to every aspect of their lives.

"As a humanistic discipline that explores the most fundamental questions of human existence, value, life, and knowledge, philosophy deepens and unifies other academic disciplines through the systematic exercise of historical, logical, literary, scientific, abstract, and practical thinking, and is in that way inseparable from a true liberal arts education," he says.

 "While many students who major in philosophy may not become philosophy teachers, they certainly have a wide range of career perspectives and opportunities," says Nnodim. "Some may pursue a career in law, business, management, as well as in government, non-profit or international organizations. The skills they gain studying philosophy complement most careers."

Nnodim, who was born and educated in Nigeria, earned his doctorate from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. He recently was appointed associate editor of the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences.

As an editor, he reviews scholarly articles submitted by his peers from around the world. In 2007, that same journal recognized Nnodim for his exceptional work by awarding him the International Award for Excellence.