Joel Jensen ’97: another philosopher!

Posted on January 18th, 2016 by

Another graduate of our department who actually went on to be a philosophy professor! Joel writes,

“After graduating from Gustavus in 1997 I had the usual mix of unusual jobs: house painter, bookstore clerk, librarian, bartender, professional croquet player (seriously), and a stint preparing food at the beloved St Peter Co-op.  I eventually found my way to the University of Colorado in Boulder and completed an MA in philosophy.  An interest in aesthetics persuaded me to jump ship from philosophy and earn a PhD in architecture at the University of Colorado Denver.  Today I’m back in a philosophy department; I teach at North Hennepin Community College, just a little north of Minneapolis.  Primarily I teach Logic and Ethics courses, though at 12 courses a year, I find myself doing a little of everything.  I also head the Peace Studies and Environmental Studies programs.  In 2012 I published a book, There Exists an X, X is a Sandwich.  I’m now back in the classroom after a sabbatical in the Fall semester, which I spent drafting a book.
I’m still deeply influenced by my years at Gustavus, more than I might have imagined 20 years ago.  I could spill a lot of ink elaborating, but I’ll keep it brief.  For the undergraduate reading this, suffice to say that the Gustavus philosophy department is a rare species: it isn’t everywhere that students learn the vitality of inquiry and compassion, and learn to trust their interests and take them seriously.  Hold on to these years tightly!”

 

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