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Welcome to Philosophy and Religious Studies

ECU Philosophy Alums Make Their Marks in Religion

Joseph G. Wolyniak
BA in Philosophy, 2004
Episcopal Chaplain, Princeton University

Wolyniak comes to the Diocese of New Jersey after serving as Missioner for Discipleship & Theological Education in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, where he worked in the Office of Faith Formation in support of campus ministries at several colleges and universities across the state. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology from the University of Oxford in June, 2016.

Wolyniak has served in multiple chaplaincy settings, including working with undergraduates and seminarians at Duke University Chapel, graduate students and fellows at Saint John's College Chapel-Oxford, and a variety of students and staff at the multi-campus outreach of Raleigh Episcopal Campus Ministry.

Billy Atwell
BA in Philosophy, 2008
Chief Communications Officer

Billy Atwell has been appointed Chief Communications Officer for the Arlington, Virginia Diocese by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge effective Aug. 1, 2017. He will report directly to the Office of the Bishop, serve as the diocesan spokesperson, and directly oversee the Office of Communications, the Arlington Catholic Herald, media relations, publications, and digital and social media.

Since 2014, Atwell has served as Director of Communications for the Diocese of Raleigh. Prior to that, he was Director of Communications for the Diocese of Venice, Fla., and also held positions in digital communications, program management and public policy in the Washington, D.C., area.

Find out Why:

Philosophy is a Great Major

Get a job. Choose your career. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Why Physics Needs Philosophy

Some well-known scientists have been claiming that philosophy is useless or even harmful. In this video, distinguished theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli defends philosophy against these charges.

Public Lecture, London School of Economics | 17 July 2016

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Reisman says that when it comes to complex issues, the abstract and systematic thinking he developed in his philosophy courses helped him make important decisions. "A lot of what we do here at NASA is deciding which new ideas should be [carried forward]," he explains, "and there are all kinds of questions we have to consider. If you choose the wrong thing, the government loses tens of billions of dollars in investment.

"A philosophy major will prepare you for so many aspects of life, not just work, but issues of life and death-if you do it right," he says. " What I would say is get the philosophy degree for your life."

What We're Up To

Shayan Nik Akhtar

Junior Philosophy major Shayan Nik Akhtar got his senior honors thesis published in Apeiron: Student Journal of Philosophy, Volume 9, edited by Slavoj Zizek. The title of the paper is "The Privation Theory of Moral Evil and Hick's Soul-Making Theodicy". Congratulations!



Photo of Sarah Smith, a philosophy major who is also a Sergeant in the USMC, in the new study area created for past and present members of the military. Photo by Michael Seegars, The East Carolinian

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a philosophy major and a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. She is in the new study area created by the ECU Office of Veterans Services for current and past members of the military.

Photo by Michael Seegars, The East Carolinian
Phi Sigma Tau

Congratulations to the six new members of ECU's chapter of the philosophy honor society Phi Sigma Tau: Madison Buchness, Jameson Doub, Roderick Hall, Daniel Hill, Samantha Smith and Sarah Smith.