California was my home from 1977 until 1994, when I came back east to attend seminary in Massachusetts. If you're thinking - "yikes, a preacher" or "yay, someone who will share my theology" - let's eliminate stereotyping right from the beginning! I am a staunch, dedicated advocate of allowing people to find their own spiritual and religious "truths" or to avoid that quest altogether, if that is their preference. As my father and many others have taught me, atheists and agnostics can be just as ethical (or unethical) as any believers.
I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Planning, a Master's in Public Administration and a Master's in Divinity. None of that tells you very much about me, but you will probably get a better idea from my work history, so I'll share some of that.
I'm a veteran (Air Force) where I worked as an Air Traffic Controller. The fact that I worked various shifts in that job freed me from a lot of military activities, like pulling KP (kitchen patrol, for those of you who are not up on military jargon), parades and dorm inspections. It was a soft life, in fact, with my every need filled by the Federal government!
My first "real" job out of college was planning and reviewing state mass transportation projects for the California Department of Transportation. If you haven't heard of the BART system in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm sure you've heard of the Cable Cars - I was responsible for reviewing and implementing extensions and renovations of those projects and others that were less well known.
After moving from Sacramento to Fresno, I became a City Planner. There I learned, first hand, how much favoritism is shown to affluent citizens and how poorly the political system works for less fortunate people. Frustrated by my inability to address the needs of less affluent residents and neighborhoods, and impressed by the influence of religious leaders in those neighborhoods, I moved across the country to attend seminary.
Since graduating, I've had three major positions. The first was as a chaplain for Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. I was employed there during the time of the Terry Shiavo controversy over "right to die" issues but, even without that situation, there were plenty of other ethical issues to confront, such as the use of morphine and other pain medications, and the daily care of increasingly fragile patients.
My second major position was as a Visitation Supervisor/victim advocate for CASA in St. Petersburg. The main ethical challenge for CASA's employees involved dealing with angry, estranged spouses, while recognizing and coping with our own emotional responses to those difficult, often frightening situations.
Now I am the Supported Living Manager for an agency which serves the needs of people with major mental illnesses. I screen people who have mental illnesses and determine their readiness for independent community living. If they are ready, I help them find apartments and manage their needs while living in the community. There is no shortage of ethical issues in this field because it involves people who are historically rejected and stigmatized more than any other group in our society.
I am looking forward to sharing and analyzing many of the moral questions which have confounded professionals in all these fields, with the students in PHI1600. That is my main goal in teaching this class - to help students analyze those more complicated ethical dilemmas and be able to really consider different perspectives before reaching a personal conclusion. It's not enough to say "that's just wrong!" and be done with it. Why is something "right" or "wrong"? Tell me your reasoning - share your thoughts and feelings. Yes, feelings! Those are important, as well, in considering the ethical consequences of our actions.
I want the classroom to be: open, inspiring, respectful, thought-provoking, honest and, sometimes, entertaining. Ethical issues touch all of us and they can be emotional, so I want the classroom to be a safe place to share experiences and feelings about them. That is the only way we will all be able to learn. In my mind, we are sharing this learning experience together and I want students to feel comfortable about coming to me with their thoughts about how well (or not so well) the class is working for them.
I can easily make myself available for private meetings with students because I live in north St. Petersburg. I share my home with two mixed breed dogs and a cat who keeps all of us in line. I love white water rafting, any water sports, gardening, bicycling, snow skiing (when I get the opportunity), walking and attempting home improvement projects, with mixed success. I still consider myself an environmental activist although I don't spend as much time supporting those efforts as I once did.
|7:30 am - 8:00 am|
Seminole, UP 156
|7:30 am - 8:00 am|
Seminole, UP 156
|Fall Term 2014 (0490)|
|PHI 1600 Studies in Applied Ethics||1672||SE||Face-to-Face||8/18/14||12/12/14|