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Department of Philosophy
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 340
Phone: 785-628-4249
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Faculty & Staff

On Campus Faculty and Staff

Eugene Rice, Ph.D.
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Chair, Professor

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dr. Rice completed his Ph.D. at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Rice teaches primarily in the area of moral philosophy,especially issues involving human rights. In addition, he teaches Eastern philosophy and World Religions. Dr. Rice and his children enjoy swimming during the long Hays summers, reading Shel Silverstein poems out loud and being close to the Rocky Mountains for camping trips. In his free time he enjoys target shooting with vintage recurve bows, hiking 14ers and watching movies (but not all at the same time).

Paul W. Faber, Ph.D.
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Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor

Paul W. Faber, the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, came to FHSU as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy in 1983. Before that he taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee and at his alma mater, Calvin College, in Grand Rapids. His graduate education was at the University of Notre Dame. In 1990 he began serving as the Chair of the Department of Philosophy; in 2000 he became the interim Dean of Arts and Sciences; and then in 2001 the "interim" was dropped from the title. Dr. Faber's primary areas of philosophical research are ethics and philosophy of religion. He enjoys camping and hiking with his family in the desert and mountains. He is also known to have a weakness for dark chocolate.

Douglas Drabkin, Ph.D.
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Associate Professor

Douglas Drabkin graduated from the University of Virginia in 1993 with degrees in literature, education, and philosophy, and has been a member of the department since 1994. He teaches a wide range of courses including Introduction to Philosophy, Bioethics, Aims of Education, Classical Greek Philosophy, Foundations of Modern Philosophy, and Aesthetics, and is currently involved in the Living and Learning Community Heart and Mind: Philosophizing About the Arts. He has published articles in the philosophy of religion, and has recently written an unusually good little book on Plato's Republic. A fairly accomplished amateur violinist, he shamelessly scrapes away.

Carl Miller III, Ph.D., JD
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Associate Professor

Carl Miller earned a B.A. in Philosophy and English from Appalachian State University, a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Georgia, and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School, in Washington, D.C. His philosophical interests include the nature of the scientific method, the relation between science and religion, Biblical studies, philosophy of law (particularly constitutional interpretation), epistemology, and ethical issues in business and the professions. In his spare time, he can usually be found either woodworking with hand tools, watching old movies, or reading contentedly in a supine position.

Peter Tramel, Ph.D.
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Assistant Professor

Peter Tramel graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.A. in philosophy in 1994. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Nebraska in 2001. His areas of strongest interest are moral theory and epistemology. He also has strong interests in early modern philosophy and Kant, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and just war theory. He taught at Fort Hays State University from 2000 - 2002, and he returned to Fort Hays in 2012, after teaching philosophy for ten years at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, where he contracted his interest in just war theory. Besides philosophy, he enjoys literature and history, bicycling, hiking, and most other forms of travel. He enjoys cooking, both indoors and out.

David Tostenson, Ph.D.
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Assistant Professor

David Tostenson is originally from Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 and joined the philosophy department at Fort Hays State University in 2010. His primary areas of philosophical interest are philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology, and he also has an interest in ethics and philosophy of religion. He is particularly interested in the prospects and possibilities of studying the mind scientifically. Besides philosophy, David's interests include movies and music. He plays a little of piano and is modestly accomplished on the bass guitar. He has also been known to write a bit of short fiction.

Rob Byer, Ph.D.
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Assistant Professor

Rob Byer was born and raised in Larned, Kansas. He earned a B.A. in English (Literature) and a B.A. in Philosophy from Fort Hays State University in 2007, he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma.  His philosophical interests are quite broad, and include various issues in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion (including both Eastern and Western traditions), among others. One of his recent interests is in studying religious belief and behavior scientifically, as carried out by research programs in the cognitive science and evolutionary psychology of religion. In addition to his interests in philosophy, Rob is a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction alike. Like many in his generation, he is entranced by numerous contemporary television series as well as video games. He also makes an excellent spicy vegetarian chili.

Nathan Eckstrand, Ph.D.
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Assistant Professor

Nathan Eckstrand received his PhD from Duquesne University in 2014, his MA from Boston College in 2009, and his BA from Earlham College in 2005. Before coming to Fort Hays, he taught at Marian University and Mercyhurst University.  His dissertation, written under Fred Evans and defended in September 2014, is called “The Event of Revolution: Theorizing the Relationship between the State and Radical Change” and studies concepts of revolution from the Early Modern period to the present day.  His primary research interests are social and political philosophy, contemporary continental philosophy, and complex systems theory. He is the co-editor of Philosophy and the Return of Violence: Essays from this Widening Gyre; has published articles on Deleuze, Foucault, Fanon, and Badiou; and is an Editor at the Blog of the APA. In his spare time, he enjoys board games, outdoor activities like kayaking, and spending time with family.

Jodie J. Wear-Leiker
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Administrative Assistant

Jodie Wear-Leiker began her career at FHSU in the summer of 2000 after leaving the field of law as a legal secretary and office manager, which she held for 14 years. In addition to her departmental duties, she serves as course administrator of several virtual college sections, including international classes. She assists adjunct and on-campus virtual instructors with administrative tasks and helps get students "connected" to their virtual classes. In 2005, she was awarded the Outstanding Technical Support Award given by the Colleague-to-Colleague organization at the Summer Institute of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology. She has presented "Connecting the Lines of Communication - Helping You Contact Your Students Virtually," outlining the administrative assistant's role of distance education classes. Outside of work, Jodie likes to swim, travel and teach her daughter how to sing and dance.

Emeritus Faculty

Stephen G. Tramel, Ph.D.
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Professor Emeritus

Stephen Tramel completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska in the summer of 1970 and joined the Fort Hays State University faculty that autumn. Besides introductory courses, he presently teaches in the areas of modern symbolic logic, history of philosophy, biblical studies, and philosophy of religion. His current primary areas of philosophical research inhabit the intersection of biblical theology and philosophy of religion. Recently, he completed a substantial book titled Free Will, Nature's Laws, and God's Foreknowledge which is presently under consideration for publication, as well as a new and substantially revised edition of his logic textbook, Evaluating Everyday Reasoning. Outside of his professional life, Dr. Tramel enjoys working with wood, gardening, traveling, and mountain activities in the Colorado Rockies. He and his wife, Joanne, have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Richard Hughen, Ph.D.
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Associate Professor Emeritus

Richard Hughen began his teaching career in the Air Force as an electronics instructor in 1964. The Air Force provided him with a scholarship for a B.S. degree in electrical engineering (University of Missouri), and as pay-back, he was sent to Vietnam for a year (1970). He obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from University of Southern California and taught at the Air Force Academy for three years. After retirement from the USAF he obtained his Ph.D. (University of Arkansas) and came to work at FHSU in 1986. Dr. Hughen teaches Bioethics and other introductory courses, but he especially enjoys teaching Philosophy of Science and Eastern Philosophy. On a personal note, he adds that his wife has been married to him for almost 50 years, and he has been married to her for almost 30 years.

Virtual College Faculty

Troy Terry
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Virtual College Major Advisor

Troy is the Virtual College Major Advisor for the Philosophy Department Online Major Program. He can be reached through email, phone (785-628-4714), or his office at Rarick Hall 233D.

Karen Burrows
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Virtual College Professor

Born and raised in Hays, Kansas, Karen Burrows holds BAs in English and philosophy and an MA in English from FHSU. She teaches junior high and high school English in Satanta, Kansas, where she also coaches junior high quiz bowl and track. In the classroom, she is passionate about encouraging young people to think carefully, critically, creatively, logically, and independently. She particularly loves teaching American literature. Outside the classroom, you'll find her running, reading, baking, chasing her two daughters, and volunteering with projects that encourage literacy and healthy living. She contributed to Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell; Scholastic's On the Record series for young readers; and Activating Common Core Essentials, a curriculum guide to be published in 2013.

Walt Schrepel
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Virtual College Professor

Walt Schrepel is a 1976 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is a father of a son and two daughters and poppa of two grandsons. He served in Infantry and worked in the Multi-National Forces and Observers (MFO) which was established after the Camp David Peace Accords. Walt earned a Masters Degree in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and earned a Master's Degree in Adult and Continuing Education from Kansas State University. He has been teaching at FHSU for IDS 400 Bioethics and IDS 401 Ethics in the Professions and Business. He has published articles and made presentations on professional ethics. His most recent publication concerned Chinese expansion in Russian Siberia. He currently works for a simulations training and security company at Fort Leavenworth.

Jason Southworth
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Virtual College Professor

Jason Southworth graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2000 with BAs in philosophy and political science. He has an MA in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma, where he is completing his doctorate, specializing in philosophy of language. He has been an online adjunct instructor for the department since 2007; he teaches General Logic, Bioethics, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Liberal Studies, and Ways of Knowing in Comparative Perspectives. His philosophical interests include logic and critical reasoning, philosophy of mind, applied ethics, and philosophy of language. He has written numerous articles for pop culture and philosophy volumes, on subjects including Batman, the Walking Dead, Inception, and the Avengers.

TJ Reilley
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Virtual College Professor

Tj Reilley earned her BA in Philosophy from Fort Hays State University in 1991 and enjoyed working as a grader in the Philosophy department during her time in Hays. She went on to receive an MA in philosophy from Texas Tech University where she taught reasoning and logic for 3 years. While at TTU, Tj concentrated her graduate work on the philosophy of human nature and developed a therapeutic approach toward counseling which combines the powerful tools of active listening, philosophical reflection, and Socratic questioning.

Tj joined the FHSU Philosophy department as a Virtual College instructor in 2001 and has enjoyed year-round teaching and developing online courses for FHSU ever since. When taking a break from lively DiscussionBoard forums with students and perusing writing assignments, Tj can be found writing poetry all around Albuquerque, pondering in her cozy garden, and creatively cooking for health and relaxation.

Tony Karlin
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Virtual College Professor

A native of Hays, Kansas, Tony earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Fort Hays State University in 2003 with a double major in philosophy. He completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University in 2011. The same year he joined the FHSU Virtual College where he currently teaches Bioethics. In addition to ethics, Dr. Karlin's primary philosophical interests are Classic American Pragmatism and the philosophy of William James. Dr. Karlin currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he enjoys spending time with family, following the New York Knicks, comedy, and reading widely.

Jeremy Carlton
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Virtual College Professor

Jeremy Carlton is originally from Portland, Oregon. Apart from adjunct teaching, he also serves as an administrative faculty member at Fort Hays State University. Jeremy has earned a B.A. in Theological Studies from the Baptist University of the Américas; a B.S. in Business Studies from Wayland Baptist University; an M.B.A. in Management from Marylhurst University, and an M.Div. in Historical Theology and Religion from Wake Forest University. He is also currently a Ph.D. Candidate (Specialization: Environmental Ethics) from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. His philosophical interests include the philosophy and theology of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Applied Ethics, Religion and Ecology, and Aesthetics. In his spare time Jeremy enjoys braving the great outdoors. He particularly loves hiking and camping in and around the Oregon and Northern California coastlines. He also enjoys dabbling on the guitar, hitting up Jam Band concerts/festivals, and dreams of one day road tripping around the U.S. in a Type 2 VW Bus with lots of controversial stickers holding it together.

Masyn Phoenix
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Virtual College Professor

Masyn Phoenix is originally from Corvallis, Oregon. He got his BS in Philosophy from Oregon State University in 2008, and his Masters in Library Science degree from the University of North Teas in 2011. He has been teaching for the Virtual College since 2015, and really enjoys being able to interact with students in ways different than as a librarian. His philosophical interests include logic and applied ethics. He currently lives on the coast of Oregon, and works as a librarian at a small community college there. In addition to Philosophy and Ethics, He is interested in books, comics, vinyl records, cheesy movies, MST3K, board games, searching, finding, traveling, adventures, and leading a well-lived life.

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