PHRE Accomplishments

Recent Accomplishments of Truman Philosophy & Religion Faculty, Students, and Alumni

Truman’s vibrant, active campus is made up of a community of learners. Individually and collectively, people at Truman are driven to know, to learn, to understand, and to extend the reach of shared knowledge. Here are some of the accomplishments of faculty, students, and alumni in philosophy and religion:

  • Since graduating from Truman in 2004 with a PHRE degree, Lisa Gilbert has taught English in Austria via a Fulbright program, completed a MA in Religious Studies at McGill University, directed the education programs at a history museum, completed a PhD in social studies education at Saint Louis University, published several journal articles and book chapters, and is now teaching at Thomas Jefferson School, an independent college-preparatory boarding school in Saint Louis.
  • The dissertation of PHRE alumna Leah Rediger Schulte has been published by Fortress Press.  It’s called The Absence of God in Biblical Rape Narratives.
  • PHRE majors Samantha Barnhart and Tia Sarkar were elected as the 2017 inductees to Truman’s selective Alpha Iota Lambda chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK), the national honor society for religious studies.
  • PHRE majors Joelle Axton and Katlin Walker were elected as the 2016 inductees to Truman’s selective Alpha Iota Lambda chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK), the National Honor Society for Religious Studies.
  • Department chair W. Michael Ashcraft is currently working on a book, A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements.
  • PHRE major Joelle Axton presented the paper, “The Ineffable in Concluding Unscientific Postscript Through the Lens of Wittgenstein’s Interpreters,” at the 18th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at Creighton University on April 15-16, 2016.
  • In January 2016, Rooted and Grounded: Essays on Land and Christian Discipleship, a book co-edited by Truman alum Ryan Harker, was published by Pickwick Publications.
  • Truman students Joelle Axton and Alexandra Potter received honorary mention and book awards for their presentations at the annual Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society which met in conjunction with the Central States Regional Conferences of the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) meeting in St. Louis, March 22-23, 2015.
  • PHRE alum Tyler Paytas has been awarded a 2015-2016 Volkswagen Foundation Fellowship for post-doctoral study in philosophy at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
  • PHRE alum Alan Bancroft recently served as the Presbyterian Church USA Campus Minister at Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities.
  • In 2015 PHRE alum Ryan Harker had his book Rooted and Grounded: Essays on Land and Christian Discipleship accepted for publication by Wipf & Stock.
  • PHRE alum Adam Potthast is now Program Coordinator for the philosophy department at Park University in Kansas City, MO.
  • In 2014 Professor of Philosophy Stephen Pollard’s essay, “Mathematics and the Good Life,” appeared in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2014, published by the Princeton University Press.
  • In 2014 Professor of Philosophy Stephen Pollard had his book A Mathematical Prelude to the Philosophy of Mathematics published by Springer.
  • Summer 2013 saw Dr. Mark Appold led Truman students Jordyn Williams, Samantha Wickam, Grace Curtright, Sierra Horton, Jane Rademacher, Katie Shannon, Caitlin McGrath, and Brandon Bolte on an intensive six-week study abroad program in the Middle East.
  • Dr. Mark Appold’s doctoral dissertation on “The Oneness Motif in the Fourth Gospel” , published by J.C.B. Mohr in Tübingen, Germany,  has been re-published by Wipf and Stock (Eugene, Oregon) due to popular demand.
  • Dereck Daschke, Professor of Philosophy & Religion, delivered a lecture to the Religious Studies department at the University of Nebraska – Omaha on September 12, 2013.  The talk was titled “The Most Human Thing We Do: Religion and the Need to Create” and explored the connection between religion, games, art, and other forms of creativity.
  • Dr. Mark Appold’s article on Philip of Bethsaida will be included in the Festschrift for John T. Greene, published fall 2013 by Cambridge Scholars of England, under the title Bethsaida in Archaeology, History, and Ancient Culture.
  • Dr. Mark Appold’s article, A Search for the Identity and Role of an Anonymous Judean, will be included in the forthcoming publication by J. C. B. Mohr of Tübingen, Germany, “Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John.”
  • Dr. Jennifer Jesse’s book, William Blake’s Religious Vision: There’s a Methodism in his Madness, was published by Lexington Books in 2013.
  • Dr. Dereck Daschke was a correspondent for the Journal of Religion & Film at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2012.  He reviewed numerous films for their presentation of religious ideas, stories, and themes and also interviewed the Palestinian-Israeli team who made “5 Broken Cameras.”  The review and interview can be found on the journal’s free website.
  • Dr. Chad Mohler wins Mobile for Global Good Competition
  • Publication of Dr. Dereck Daschke’s new book on the Jewish Apocalypse and new book on the Bible and violent cultures in psychological perspective.
  • PHRE major Mark Lambert’s presentation of “Baldwin IV: A Curious Case of Leprosy in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem” at multiple conferences:
    The Theta Alpha Kappa section of the Central States Society of Biblical Literature’s March meeting (one of ten undergraduate presenters)
    —The undergraduate section of the March meeting of the Midwest Regional American Academy of Religion; winner of award for best undergraduate paper
    —April meeting of the Crusader Studies Forum at Saint Louis University
  • PHRE major Andrew McCall becomes Truman’s first Rhodes Scholarship winner.
  • End-of-the-year (2013-2014) honors:
    —Outstanding Student in Philosophy:  Kara Boschert
    —Outstanding Student in Religious Studies:  Lizzie Salsich
    Department Honors: Kara Boschert, Jessica Foster, Lizzie Salsich, Mary Louisa Williams
    —Theta Alpha Kappa (national honor society for religious studies) inductees:
    Jessica Foster, Elizabeth, Salsich, and Mary Williams
  • End-of-the-year (2012-2013) honors:
    —Outstanding Student in Philosophy:  Keenan Schott
    —Outstanding Student in Religious Studies:  Ben Batzer
    —Theta Alpha Kappa (national honor society for religious studies) inductees: Allison Stagner, Amy Johnson, Ben Batzer, and Jasmine Johnson
  • End-of-the-year (2011-2012) honors:
    —Outstanding Student in Philosophy & Religion: Nathan Hardy
    —Departmental Honors:  Rachel Cook, Heidi Geisbuhler, Daniel Gilmore, Nathan Hardy
    —Inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa Religious Studies and Theology Honor Society:   Nathan Hardy, Jasmine Johnson, and Ben Batzer
    —Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa:   Rachel Cook, Daniel Gilmore, Nathan Hardy
    —Winner of the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship for Graduate Studies:  Nathan Hardy, $5000
  • End-of-the-year (2010-2011) honors:
    —Outstanding Student in Philosophy & Religion:  Mark Lambert
    —Departmental Honors:   Marianne Cline, Lauren Greenspan, Ryan Harker, Stephanie Hulsey, Aubrey Vaughn, Amy Yeagle
    —Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa:   Lauren Greenspan, Ryan Harker, Matthew Ziegler
    —Inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa Religious Studies and Theology Honor Society:         Amanda Brown, Marianne Cline, Lauren Greenspan, Ryan Harker, Michelle Martin, Valerie Spencer, Aubrey Vaughn
    —Valedictorian Spring 2011:   Lauren Greenspan, Ryan Harker, Stephanie Hulsey, Amy Yeagle