My name is Jen Castellani

My name is Jen Castellani

I graduated from Cedarville in 2002 as a Technical and Professional Communications major with a Psychology minor, yet one of my favorite courses was Intro to Philosophy with Dr. David Mills. Despite its early hour, I never had to drag myself there. Dr. Mills was such a thought-provoking professor who guided his students through complex ideas I never would have had the opportunity to consider otherwise. To this day, I often reminded of concepts we discussed in class, which spurs me on to even deeper thinking.

One of my biggest undergraduate regrets is that I did not have room in my schedule to take more philosophy courses. I fell in love with philosophy because of Dr. Mills’ exceptional teaching and the wonderful questions we pondered together.

Now as a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership/Higher Education Administration, I am deeply saddened Cedarville would dissolve a program that fosters critical thinking and the ability to reason through complicated ideas—the very skills students need if they are going to be productive Kingdom citizens in a complex world.

Additionally, I am a development officer for Skidmore College, which one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. I can easily raise money for Skidmore because the institution lives its motto, “Creative Thought Matters,” and we embrace critical thinking as a core value. If Cedarville truly wants to consider itself academically rigorous and prepare students for their bright futures, then I charge university leaders to uphold critical thinking, thoughtful inquiry, logic, and reason and grow those abilities within students.

To terminate the philosophy program is to assassinate the very intellectual heart of higher education, and it would be a death negatively impacting far more than just current philosophy majors. Students of every major benefit from philosophy courses and the higher order cognitive abilities they cultivate.

I implore Cedarville’s administration and trustees to retain the philosophy program and recognize the important role it plays in the intellectual and spiritual community of the college. You do a grave disservice to your students otherwise.

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