The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees elect officers to carry out the business of the association. Given our present stage of organizational growth, we welcome members to propose new officer positions and to submit nominations for them or for existing posts.
Board of Trustees
SOPHIA’s Board of Trustees is made up of nine members. Each link in the following list will take you that person’s biographical information here below on this page.
The board of trustees elects officers to carry out the business of the society. These officers include a Chairman of the Board, a Vice Chairman of the Board, an Executive Director, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a Membership Officer, a Communications Officer, and such officers, if any, as the Board of Trustees may from time to time appoint or elect. Each link in the following list will take you that person’s biographical information here below on this page.
Chairman of the Board:
Dr. John Lachs
Vice Chairman of the Board:
Dr. Kenneth Stikkers
Executive Director and Treasurer:
Dr. Eric Thomas Weber
Dr. Sergia Hay
Dr. Shane Courtland
Dr. Daniel Brunson
Dr. George R. Lucas
Dr. Brunson is SOPHIA’s Liaison Officer to other professional societies and is a Lecturer in the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morgan State University. He also taught courses at Penn State University. Brunson is a leader and officer also in other associations including the Josiah Royce Society and the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Anyone interested in partnering with SOPHIA or in putting on or joining a panel that SOPHIA could put together at a professional conference should be in touch with him. His research involves applying and updating classically informed pragmatism, especially rooted in the work of Charles Peirce and Josiah Royce, to issues in contemporary social epistemology. Particular topics of interest include cognitive neuroscience, disability, emotions, history, risk, and technology. He has taught courses in logic, critical thinking, ethics, ethical leadership, the philosophy of science, writing, ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, Nineteenth Century philosophy, and pragmatism and American philosophy. He has published on topics including community, memory, moral vision, contemporary psychology, and philosophical issues in technology, such trust and “big data.” You can learn more about him on his Web site at Morgan State University and you can follow him on Twitter @DanielJBrunson.
Dr. Courtland is SOPHIA’s Communications Officer and is the Managing Director of the Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University. Previously, he was an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he was also the Director of the Center for Ethics and Public Policy. He is the author of Hobbesian Applied Ethics and Public Policy (Routledge Press, forthcoming), as well as of a number of articles. His work has been recognized with the Ehlers Prize for the best philosophy paper of the year and the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Public Service at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Courtland has been a exemplary public philosopher, with engagements including on hospital ethics committees and in public interviews and lectures, such as on KUMD and KBJR. He is also experienced with social media management, including for the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Center for Ethics and Public Policy, which group you can join on Facebook, and for West Virginia University’s Center for Free Enterprise, also on Facebook. You can learn more about him and his work on his Web site here.
Dr. Hay is SOPHIA’s Membership and Chapter Development Officer and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University. She has organized a number of SOPHIA-style events at PLU with collaborative SOPHIA grant support, including from the American Philosophical Association. Among such events were symposia on food and ethics. She is also working on bringing philosophy into high schools as well as into elementary schools’ reading programs. Her interests in philosophy include ethics, the history of philosophy, and especially the work of Søren Kierkegaard. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Wellesley College. You can visit her Web site here.
Dr. Houchard is a Trustee on SOPHIA’s board and has served as the Director of the Philosophy in the Public Interest (PPI) program and Assistant Professor of Practice at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Houchard now works with NAU’s College of Business as the Director of the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center. Under her leadership, the PPI program earned recognition from the American Philosophical Association, honored with the APA/PDC Prize for Innovations in Philosophy Programs. You can follow the NAU PPI program on Twitter @NAU_PPI and “like” the PPI Facebook page @NAU.PPI. Dr. Houchard’s term as Trustee continues through 2017.
Dr. Kegley is a Trustee and is Professor of Philosophy at California State University Bakersfield and author and editor of over a dozen books and texts. She is a recognized leader in the academy, as well as an engaged scholar in her community. In 2015, she was honored with the President’s Medal for academic leadership at California State University Bakersfield. She was awarded the Herbert W. Schneider Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Philosophy in 2006 and was chosen for the Wang Family Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000. Her two latest books are Josiah Royce in Focus (Indiana University Press, 2008) and Persuasion and Compulsion in Democracy (Lexington Books, 2013, coauthored with Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski). You can learn more about her and her work on her Web site here and you can “like” the Facebook page for the Kegley Institute of Ethics to follow activities at CSUB. Dr. Kegley’s term as trustee runs through 2016.
Dr. John Lachs is a Trustee and serves as Chairman of SOPHIA’s Board of Trustees and Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He is the author and editor of over a dozen books. He is a past President of the Metaphysical Society of America and has chaired the American Philosophical Association’s Centennial Committee. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards at Vanderbilt University. Like Dr. Kegley, Dr. Lachs has also been awarded the Herbert W. Schneider Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Philosophy (1997). His latest books include Meddling: On the Virtue of Leaving Others Alone (Indiana University Press, 2014) and Stoic Pragmatism (Indiana University Press, 2012). He has helped lead SOPHIA since its earliest days. Dr. Lachs’s term as trustee runs through 2018.
Dr. Lucas is a Trustee and serves as SOPHIA’s Secretary, the Stockdale Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College, Visiting Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Notre Dame, and Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow at Case Western Reserve University’s Inamouri Center for Ethics. He has written or edited a total of 15 books and is a two-time recipient of the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching from Randolph-Macon College. Dr. Lucas’s research has been recognized with a Provost’s Research Award at Clemson University and his latest book, Anthropologists in Arms (AltaMira Press, 2009) was named on the 2009 list of Choice “Outstanding Academic Books.” In 2014, he published a co-edited volume on Military Ethics and Emerging Technologies (Routledge Press). Dr. Lucas’s term as trustee runs through 2017.
Dr. Manninen is a Trustee and is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University and the author of Pro-Life, Pro-Choice: Shared Values in the Abortion Debate (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014). She was honored with the 2014 ASU Founder’s Day Award for Faculty Achievement in Teaching and the 2011-2012 Outstanding Teacher of the Year from the ASU New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Dr. Manninen has been an exemplary public philosopher, writing regularly for Psychology Today and for The Huffington Post. You can learn more about her and her work on her Web site at Arizona State University. Her term as trustee runs through 2018.
Dr. McKenna is a Trustee and is Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and Professor of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University. She has authored or edited five books, including Pets, People, and Pragmatism (Fordham University Press, 2013) and The Task of Utopia (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001). She has been the recipient of eight teaching awards, Pacific Lutheran University’s K. T. Tang Faculty Excellence Award for Research in 2002, and the Faculty Excellence Award for Service in 2011. Dr. McKenna has also been a leader in higher education, having served as Chair of the Faculty as well as Chair of the Philosophy Department and Chair of Women’s Studies at Pacific Lutheran University. She is presently completing Living with Livestock: Food, Fiber, and Friends, for publication with the University of Georgia Press. Dr. McKenna’s term as trustee runs through 2018.
Dr. Shook is a Trustee and is Research Associate in Philosophy and faculty member of the Science and the Public EdM online program at the University at Buffalo, New York, Associate Fellow at the Center for Neurotechnology Studies in the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia, Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Lecturer in Philosophy at Bowie State University in Maryland. He has authored six books and edited more than ten other volumes. His recent books include The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and Dewey’s Social Philosophy: Democracy as Education (Palgrave Macmillian, 2016). Shook also edits three philosophy journals: Contemporary Pragmatism, Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, and Philo: A Journal of Philosophy. He assists the editing of Philosophy and Public Policy. You can learn more about him on his Web site, follow him on Twitter @John_Shook, and “like” his Facebook author page @JohnRShook. Dr. Shook’s term as trustee runs through 2017.
Dr. Stikkers is a Trustee and serves as Vice Chairman of the SOPHIA Board of Trustees, Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University, Visiting Professor of Philosophy at National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and was recently Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw and Professor of Economics and Sociology at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Mexico. He is also a recent President of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (S.A.A.P.). He is the author of Economics as Moral Philosophy (under review with Oxford University Press), and editor of five books, including Pragmatic Catholicisms (Fordham University Press, forthcoming) and Problems of a Sociology of Knowledge, by Max Scheler (Routledge, 1980). Dr. Stikkers is a leader in the academy beyond is work with the S.A.A.P. He served as Chair of the Philosophy department at Seattle University from 1991 to 1994 and then at Southern Illinois University from 1997 to 2003. He has been recognized with the Josiah Royce Loyalty Award from the S.A.A.P. (2005) and the Helen Potter Award for the Outstanding Essay in Social Economics, from the Association for Social Economics (1987). Dr. Stikkers’s term as trustee runs through 2016.
Dr. Weber is a Trustee and serves as Executive Director and Treasurer of SOPHIA. He is a Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky and author of four books, including Democracy and Leadership (Lexington Books, 2013) and Uniting Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). He has received the Cora Lee Graham Award for the Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen and the Thomas F. Frist Student Service Award from the University of Mississippi. He was also honored with the 2015 Humanities Scholar Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Public Humanities Awards program. He served a three year term as Chair of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy and presently chairs the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy’s Committee on Public Philosophy. You can follow him on Twitter @EricTWeber and “like” his Facebook author page @EricThomasWeberAuthor. His term as trustee runs through 2016.
SOPHIA is looking to enlist further, energetic members and scholars to take part in the organization’s future. If you are interested in first becoming a member and possibly taking a leadership role in SOPHIA, contact the Executive Director, Dr. Eric Thomas Weber.