What a way to start the New Year off right! We have some good news from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.


Elizabeth Agnew’s Virginia Ball Center Seminar, Muslims in Muncie, was featured in the January 2021 Ball State Alumni Magazine in the article “A History of Friendships,” on the life and legacy of Dr. Mir Masoom Ali.  She presented on the project at the National Humanities Alliance Conference in October 2020.

Dave Concepción co-authored an essay entitled “Improving Student Learning with Aspects of Specifications Grading” with Sarah Vitale, which is featured in Teaching Philosophy. He has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the journal Studies in Pedagogy. He continues to lead numerous workshops on inclusive pedagogy annually.

Rachel Fredericks published her second article in the European Journal of Philosophy, entitled “Moral Responsibility for Concepts, Continued: Concepts as Abstract Objects.”

Jeff Fry was promoted to full professor. With Andrew Edgar, he is coediting a projected book entitled Philosophical Perspectives on Pandemic Sport.

Kevin Harrelson designed and taught a course called “COVID-19 in the Human Context” in Summer 2020. He also appeared on Indiana Public Radio’s “All IN” radio program in an episode (April 28) on “The History of Pandemics,” and published an editorial titled “Essential Labor and Fairness in the Economy” in Inside Indiana Business in June. He made numerous other radio and podcast guest appearances about living in a pandemic.

Matthew Hotham was awarded a $5000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. His goal was to investigate student hesitations in engaging with the oral/aural Qur’an in his classes. To accomplish this, he devised new assignments to improve engagement and understanding.

Kibujjo Kalumba oversaw the publication of Philosophia Africana Vol 19 (1&2) during his 12th year as Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Sarah Vitale received the Lawhead Award in General Education. She also published “Combatting Epistemic Violence Against Young Activists” (Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 40, no. 2), which she co-authored with Owen Miller, a 2020 graduate of the philosophy program. She also started the Philosophy Outreach Project Advisory Board, where Zoe Lawson and Daniel Klinestiver, two departmental alumni, sit.


Mendim Akiti, a 2019 graduate of the Philosophy and Religious Studies program, is a Master’s student in Religious Studies at Florida State University.

Eli Brunsman, a 2020 graduate of the Religious Studies program, now lives in Tallahassee, Florida. She works for a Reform Judaism temple as a Program and Outreach Director. 

Allison Hunt, a 2020 graduate of the Religious Studies program (with a minor), moved to Indianapolis and recently joined the leadership council of The Satanic Temple Indiana as the archivist. Her job is to write a history of the chapter. She has also devised a system to create and preserve institutional memory moving forward. Lastly, she leads a club called “Encyclopedia Satanica,” which examines historical artistic depictions of Satan.

Michael Mares, a 2018 graduate of the Philosophy program, took a position as a Child Welfare Caseworker for El Paso County, Colorado, working with young people with disabilities. 

Benjamin McIntosh, a 2018 graduate of the Philosophy and Religious Studies program, moved to Indianapolis just before the pandemic struck and has been freelancing as an editor and proofreader. His day job is in retail, and he spends his free time writing fiction. He is currently working on a novel adaptation of a long-running D&D campaign he runs for his friends.

Kyle Orr, a 2019 graduate of the Religious Studies program, travelled to East and Southeast Asia (for six and two months respectively) to work as a missionary. When he returned to the U.S., he started working with a campus ministry at Ball State. He is currently applying to seminaries and divinity schools.

Quintin Thompson, a 2017 graduate of the Philosophy program, began working as a New Markets Project Analyst at Apex Clean Energy in Charlottesville, VA. Quintin received his masters degree in public affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in 2019.

Kay Rittichier, a 2017 graduate of the Philosophy program, is completing her Master’s in Computer Science at IUPUI, where she expects to graduate in Summer 2021. Her thesis is in applications of Natural Language Processing. She extends her undergraduate work in philosophical logic and the philosophy of computer science.

We cannot wait to see what else our faculty, students, and alumni continue to accomplish.