BIENNIAL CONFERENCE

7th PLATO Biennial Conference
Philosophy and Civic Engagement
June 27-28, 2025

Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts (Greater Boston area)


2025 Conference Description

Theme: Philosophy and Civic Engagement

Recognizing that years of polarization have left many educators reluctant to discuss important but potentially controversial topics in classrooms and other communities, PLATO is excited to focus our upcoming conference on Philosophy and Civic Engagement. We invite educators, academics, researchers, and other professionals to submit presentation proposals related to the intersection of philosophy and civic participation. 

We are particularly interested in exploring strategies for effectively facilitating civil dialogues, addressing hesitation when discussing contentious issues in the classroom, teaching political philosophy, exploring how ethics informs our understanding of political issues, and promoting critical thinking through argument analysis and the tools of informal logic. Join us to share innovative ideas, best practices, and research findings that advance our understanding of the vital connection between philosophy and civic engagement. 

The Call for Presentations for the 2025 conference will be available in August 2024.

2022 Conference Program

PLATO’s 2022 conference on “Ethics in Schools, Communities, and the Public Sphere” took place at the University of Washington June 24-25. 2022. The focus was on ethics – in schools, the university, communities and the public sphere, and across the lifespan. Of all philosophy’s areas of focus, ethics is perhaps one of the most accessible, the way many are introduced to the discipline both in and out of school.

The conference explored how to incorporate ethical perspectives into discussions in schools and other public spaces across all age groups and featured a diverse set of perspectives on ethics and philosophy education. PreK-12 educators, graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, administrators, and others interested in ethics and philosophical education offered interactive workshops that helped participants apply new ideas to their own contexts and presentations that introduced scholarly viewpoints and modeled innovative programs.

FRIDAY PROGRAM PDF
SATURDAY PROGRAM PDF

 

2022 Conference Presenters

Stone Addington is the Director of Programs at Humanities Washington, overseeing programs including Think & Drink, Speakers Bureau, Prime Time Family Reading, and Public Humanities Fellows. Stone received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Washington. His research focuses on public philosophy, rationality, and the epistemology of extreme beliefs. Stone has taught philosophy courses at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific University; and has served as a Philosophy for Children instructor for PLATO.

Kiran Bhardwaj is an instructor in philosophy at Phillips Academy Andover. She primarily teaches ethics and logic courses, including Introduction to Ethics, Ethics and Technology, and Feminist Philosophies. She received a Ph.D. in philosophy from UNC-Chapel Hill, and holds a fellowship through the Tang Institute at Andover, focused on helping to bridge the gap between ethical pedagogy and STEM curricula.

Paul Bodin began his career teaching music, folk and swing dancing, and drama and storytelling to children.  Following his work as a regional specialist for talented and gifted students, he taught sixth graders in Family School, a public alternative middle school program in Eugene. He also taught writing and social studies methods courses to University of Oregon graduate students pursuing elementary certification. From 2013 to 2019, Paul organized philosophy for children outreach to Eugene area elementary and middle schools as an instructor in the University of Oregon Philosophy Department.

Mary Bovill is a lecturer and researcher in the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, working in the field of teacher education. She has taught in schools, universities and prison, and her work focuses on language and community of philosophical inquiry. In both her teaching and research activities, she is interested in developing teachers’ understanding of a critical pedagogy that values human reasoning and challenges static concepts of identity.

Christopher Buckels has been teaching high school philosophy for six years at Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, CA, where he also coaches the school’s Ethics Bowl and Mock Trial teams. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from UC Davis and taught philosophy at the university level for several years. His research focuses on ancient Greek philosophy, particularly Plato’s metaphysics; his most recent publication is “A Platonic Trope Bundle Theory” in Ancient Philosophy Today: Dialogoi (2:2, 91-112).

Johanna Buckels teaches sixth and eighth grade English language arts and literature, emphasizing poetry and argument, at St Matthew Catholic School in San Mateo, CA, where she also helps direct the middle school drama department and has co-directed the journalism club. In her eleven years in the classroom, she has also taught pre-kindergarten, first, and fourth grades. She was a contributing writer for the early literacy program Being a Reader, published by Center for the Collaborative Classroom. Her MA in science of teaching is from Fordham University. 

Claire Cassidy is a professor of education in the School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. She is the course leader of the Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy with Children, the only course of its kind in the UK. Her research and publications focus upon three inter-related topics: philosophy with children; children’s human rights, and human rights education; and concepts of child/childhood. Claire trains practitioners nationally and internationally in PwC and leads the Philosophy with Children and Communities Network Scotland.

Alexandra Chang, a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board, is a middle school English teacher in Michigan who previously taught for three years in Boston Public Schools. Alex studied philosophy and education at Carleton College.  As a teacher, Alex continues to develop philosophy lesson plans for middle school students, as well as consider the intersection between philosophy, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices. Most recently, Alex has collaborated with A2Ethics in Ann Arbor to develop a workshop for local teachers interested in expanding the use of philosophy in their core classes.  She is also a member of PLATO’s Advocacy Committee. 

Edwige Chirouter is a professor and researcher in philosophy of education at the University of Nantes (France), specializing in philosophy with children and children’s literature. She is the author of several books and scientific articles on the subject (including “L’enfant, la littérature et la philosophie“, Paris, L’harmattan), as well as a children’s author. Since 2016, she has held the UNESCO Chair “Philosophy practices with children: an educational basis for intercultural dialogue and social transformation.” She also coordinates an international network for this Chair and organizes the World Philosophy Day. 

Chong Choe-Smith is assistant professor of philosophy and a faculty associate for the Community Engagement Center at CSU Sacramento. Dr. Choe-Smith completed her JD at University of California Davis School of Law and her PhD at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on social and global justice and experiential learning. Her article “Academic Internships in Philosophy” is forthcoming in Teaching Philosophy.  

Allison Cohen, PLATO’s Board President, is an AP U.S. Government and Philosophy teacher at Langley High School in McLean, VA. She is dedicated to bringing quality philosophy curricula to high schools across the nation and expanding opportunities for students to engage in philosophical questioning and reasoning. Allison has presented papers at several national conferences about critical thinking, argument diagramming, affirmative action, and genetic enhancement. An adjunct professor in American University’s education department, she teaches Essentials of Effective Instruction. Allison also serves on the Board of Directors for Street Law, a national nonprofit committed to preserving and enhancing civics education in our schools, and the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum.

Lisa Cohen teaches English to 9th and 12th graders, and develops literacy and writing curricula. She is the advisor for Starboard, the student online publication at Kent Place School. Ms. Cohen holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University, and a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Cohen taught the AP and IB English programs in South Florida for nine years, before joining the Kent Place faculty in 2013.

Brian J. Collins is Associate Professor of Philosophy at California Lutheran University and is the founder and director of the SoCal Philosophy Academy. His research focuses on ethics and political philosophy with an emphasis on ‘political obligation,’ and the intersection of ethical and political philosophical theories. In addition, he has a passion for teaching undergraduates as well as precollege and public philosophy.

Kelly Cowling received her MA in religious studies from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her time at Naropa sparked an interest in contemplative education and led her back to her training in Philosophy for Children and Communities. She founded Grey Havens Philosophy, a nonprofit in Longmont CO, devoted to creative and critical thinking for every generation.

Kevin Craven is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Michigan philosophy department.  He has been involved with the NHSEB in a coaching or organizing capacity since coming to Michigan in 2014. His research interests are in political philosophy, the philosophy of language, and how both of these can be brought to bear on contemporary controversies surrounding gender identity. 

Serge Danielson-Francois teaches humanities at Academy of the Sacred Heart. He is a public intellectual who leverages classical Western philosophy to advance contemporary conversations about issues of conscience. Serge earned a masters in library science from University of Arizona, and a second masters in educational technology from Lawrence Technological University.  He now leads a program for Humanities North Dakota on Dostoevsky and Kurosawa’s interpretations of The Idiot. He is co-presenting at the College Theological Society conference in June on the theology of the antebellum utopian abolitionist community of North Elba/Timbuktoo where John Brown is buried.

Marisa Diaz-Waian is on the PLATO Academic Advisory Board and chairs the Education Committee. She is the founder and director of Merlin CCC – a public philosophy non-profit in Helena, MT. A community philosopher and generalist by nature, training, and practice, Marisa happily hangs her hat at Merlin Nature Preserve where she lives and serves as its trustee and steward. She has a special interest in ethics, ancient philosophy, existentialism, humor, and “fuzzy” topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Her work focuses on philosophy in the community, frequently with an interdisciplinary, environmental, and intergenerational bent.

Evan Dutmer is Instructor in Leadership Education at the Culver Academies, where he teaches a required 11-th grade course, ‘Ethics and the Cultivation of Character’, and directs the Honors Seminar in Leadership Education. He taught Latin at the same institution from 2018-2022. He received his MA and Ph.D. in ancient philosophy from Northwestern University, specializing in ancient ethics and political philosophy (especially Cicero). He is an affiliate of the Philosophy as a Way of Life Project at the University of Notre Dame. He has written articles in ancient philosophy and Classics pedagogy. In 2021 he was shortlisted for the Cambridge University Press Dedicated Teacher Awards (top 60 dossiers of 13,000 global nominations). He also received the 2021 Indiana Classical Conference Teacher of the Year Rising Star Award.

Karen S. Emmerman is PLATO’s Education Director and has worked as philosopher-in-residence at Seattle’s John Muir Elementary School since 2013.  She has taught a high school philosophy class and has facilitated teacher trainings in precollege philosophy. As a member of the part-time faculty at the University of Washington, she also teaches a course in philosophy for children at UW and mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She writes on ecofeminism, animal ethics, and philosophy for children, and is an associate editor of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice

Abigail Feldman, a Tufts University graduate, was a member of the first Tufts Ethics Bowl team to advance to the national championships. Following graduation, she spent a year in Spain on a Fulbright scholarship teaching English elementary school students. For the past few years, she has worked as a reporter for The Boston Globe, and as a teaching assistant for philosophy courses at Tufts, including introduction to ethics and the Ethics Bowl course for undergraduates. She helped design and facilitate the Ethics Bowl program for incarcerated students at MCI Concord. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education.

Cassie Finley is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at the University of Iowa, and a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board. She is the director of the Iowa Lyceum, a free precollege philosophy summer program run by University of Iowa graduate students. She has published on the Iowa Lyceum and graduate student education, and has current projects in public and precollege philosophy in the works. She also developed (with Jen Foster, USC) the free public philosophy workshop series, “Cogtweeto.” Her research interests include virtue education, metaphilosophy, social epistemology, ancient Greek philosophy, and philosophy of technology.

Sara Goering is professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, Seattle, and is a member of PLATO’s Program Committee. She helps run teacher training workshops in Seattle and has in the past worked with kindergarten students to explore many intriguing philosophical questions.

Afton Greco is a JD/Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania. She works in moral and political philosophy, and plans to specialize in the philosophy of education. At Penn, Afton co-organizes the Philadelphia High School Ethics Bowl, which just completed its third season. She also regularly judges for the Tufts Ethics Bowl and the New England High School Ethics Bowl. While completing an MA in philosophy at Tufts University, Afton designed and taught a brief tutorial on ethical reasoning to incarcerated students at MCI Concord.

Roberta Israeloff, PLATO’s Board Vice-President, has directed the Squire Family Foundation since its inception in 2007. The Foundation advocates for the inclusion of philosophy in elementary and secondary schools and was a co-founder of both PLATO and the National High School Ethics Bowl. Roberta co-edited Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People, and is on the editorial board of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice.  In her thirty-five-year career as a writer, she published numerous short stories, essays, book reviews, and books – including, mostly recently, The Ethics Bowl Way: Answering Questions, Questioning Answers, and Creating Ethical Communities, co-edited with Karen Mizell. 

Nic R. Jones is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington working on a dissertation tentatively titled Building Bridges Across Traditions: The Ethics of Cross-Cultural Philosophy. Their research interests are in feminist metaphilosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and the philosophy of transgender identities, with a focus on improving diversity and inclusion in academic philosophy. When not doing research or teaching at the university, they enjoy thinking philosophically with young people and have taught philosophy with kids from 3rd through 10th grade both through PLATO programs and the University of Washington’s Robinson Center for Young Scholars. Nic is a former Philosophy for Children Graduate Fellow at the University of Washington.

G. Kellner is a writer, artist, poet, and educator. Her major focus over the last few years is the completion of her book Hope, A History of the Future, in which she envisions a world seven generations into the future in which we have solved some of the major social, political, and environmental crises of our time. 

Erik Kenyon holds a Ph.D. in classics. He is author of Augustine and the Dialogue (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and co-author of Ethics for the Very Young (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). He teaches middle-school Latin and humanities at Friends Academy in Dartmouth, MA. Erik serves on the board of the National Middle School Ethics Bowl and PLATO’s Education Committee. He is currently translating a collection of Greek and Latin philosophical texts for young readers. He is a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board

Joshua Large is professor of international relations at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, where he also works with the Universidad de Niños (Children’s University), an introductory program in academic research for primary and secondary school children.  He also teaches philosophy (virtually) to high school students for Mindbridge Education in Thornhill, Ontario.  He received his MA in Central European History from Central European University in Budapest, another MA in Modern European Studies from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Chicago. 

Daniel Lim is an associate professor of philosophy at Duke Kunshan University, and a research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and Cognitive Science at Renmin University, China. His research interests are in philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, experimental philosophy, and the intersection of philosophy and computer science. He is the author of Philosophy Through Computer Science: An Introduction (Routledge, under contract).

Jana Mohr Lone is PLATO’s Executive Director and was the director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before its 2022 merger with PLATO.  She is affiliate associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, and the author of the books Seen and Not Heard (2021) and The Philosophical Child (2012); co-author of the textbook Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (2016); co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012); and author of many articles about young people’s philosophical thinking and philosophy of childhood.  Jana has been lucky enough to lead philosophy sessions with students from preschool to graduate school for more than 25 years.

Hope Mahon is completing her BS in philosophy and environmental science with a focus on environmental ethics. She is a community of philosophical inquiry-trained facilitator with Madison Public Philosophy and was a course assistant for a business ethics course at UW-Madison during the spring semester of 2020.

Erin Marr is a speech-language pathologist for Central 13J School District in Oregon. She earned her BA in the history of art and architecture (University of California Santa Barbara), her MA in the history of art and architecture (University of Pittsburgh), and her MS in communication disorders and sciences (University of Oregon). Her interests include language and literacy development in school-age children.

Alejandro Marx has taught Introduction to philosophy and ethics at the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan since 2000. He partnered with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to offer an advanced ethics and environmental ethics course to high school students for college credit. He obtained a BA in philosophy from Columbia, and an MA in Secondary Education from the City College of NY. He also coaches his school’s Ethics Bowl team.

Stephen Kekoa Miller teaches philosophy and religious studies at Oakwood Friends School and Marist College. Stephen has served on the Teachers Advisory Council of the National Humanities Center and is current chair of the APA Committee on Precollege Philosophy. Stephen speaks and publishes on precollege philosophy, philosophy of emotions, ethics education, moral imagination, and virtue ethics. He is the editor of Intentional Disruptions (Vernon, 2021). In addition to serving as PLATO’s board treasurer, he also serves on the Advocacy, and Development committees, and the Student Advisory Council. 

Deborah S. Mower is the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Associate Professor of Ethics and an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Mississippi. She specializes in moral psychology, applied ethics and public policy, and moral education. She is currently a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors and is the recent past president of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. She published two co-edited volumes [Civility in Politics and Education (2012) and Developing Moral Sensitivity (2015)] and co-directed a 2016 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on moral psychology and education. 

Marilyn A. Nippold, is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Professor Nippold earned her BA in Philosophy (University of California Los Angeles), her MA in Communicative Disorders (California State University Long Beach), and her Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences (Purdue University). She has published nine books and 135 articles and chapters. Her current research interests include critical thinking and advanced language skills in children, adolescents, and adults.

Tamba Nlandu is an associate professor in the philosophy department at John Carroll University. He has coached club, middle school, and high school soccer teams and served as a USSF and high school certified referee since 2001. He has taught classes on sport ethics, American philosophy, African philosophy, business ethics, and contemporary ethical problems. His articles include “The Fallacies of the Assumptions behind the Arguments for Goal-line Technology in Soccer,” Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy (2012); and “Play Until the Whistle Blows: Sportsmanship as the Outcome of Thirdness,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport (2008).

Colin Pierce, a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board, has been an educator for 14 years, and is a passionate advocate for equity in education and elevating youth voice and agency in the matters most important to them. He taught at Rainier Beach High School in south Seattle for eight years and coached teams in the Washington State Ethics Bowl for seven. He received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College. He works for the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning and serves on the Washington State Leadership Board, among other volunteer activities.

James Read is a Ph.D. student in philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. He has experience facilitating philosophical inquiry across age groups, having taught philosophy for children, coached students for high school Ethics Bowl, and served as a TA with over two years of experience. He is interested in ways to get students excited about learning philosophy, and in breaking down the stereotype that philosophy is an inaccessible subject available only to those in college.

Paul Reale is the founder and director of Mindbridge Education in Thornhill, Ontario, where he teaches philosophy for children in an afterschool program designed for both elementary and secondary students. By offering a unique curriculum rooted in philosophical and historical thinking, he encourages students to question not only themselves, but also the world around them. Paul holds both an Honours BA and MA in history from the University of Toronto.

Joseph Rees is a Core Instructor at the Stanford Online High School where he primarily teaches the junior-year political philosophy course Democracy, Freedom, & the Rule of Law and the senior-year philosophy and literature course Critical Reading & Argumentation.  He earned a BA in Philosophy from American University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University, with years as a visiting student at both Oxford University and the Goethe University of Frankfurt along the way.

Alex Richardson is Director of the National High School Ethics Bowl based at UNC’s Parr Center for Ethics. A philosopher working at the intersections of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of education, Alex is an award-winning teacher and an advocate for public and pre-college philosophy pedagogy. His current research interests concern issues in moral and civic education. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; his dissertation focused on the liberal virtue of civility and its role in the non-ideal politics of democratic societies like our own. Alex also teaches in the Elon University’s philosophy department. He serves on Boards of Directors for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and Ethics Bowl Canada.  

Emily Robertson is a third-year Ph.D. student at University of California Santa Cruz. She is currently a TA and a graduate pedagogy fellow. She strives to make philosophy accessible and engaging for people regardless of their age or philosophical background. 

Baptiste Roucau recently completed a Ph.D. in education at Victoria University of Wellington. His doctoral project explored how children navigate disagreement in philosophical dialogues in the context of democratic education. For the past five years, Baptiste has worked as a philosophy for/with children practitioner with young people in Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland. Much of this work took place while working as a facilitator and now as a program coordinator for educational charity Brila youth projects. 

Susan Russinoff has been on the faculty of the Tufts Philosophy Department for twenty-five years. She teaches formal logic, critical thinking, and introductory philosophy courses, and has recently developed courses in philosophy for children (working with children at the Tufts lab school) and precollege philosophy (working with local high school students.) She is the founding director of the Tufts Ethics Bowl Program and hosts the New England Regional High School Ethics Bowl. She also works with the Tufts Prison Initiative on introducing Ethics Bowl competition to college programs for incarcerated students.

Anne L’Hommedieu Sanderson is CEO of ThinkerAnalytix and an associate in the Harvard University philosophy department.  She taught English and theology in high schools for 20+ years. Her interest in teaching ethics at the secondary school level led to a partnership with the Harvard philosophy department where she researched how philosophical methods could improve a student’s intellectual and personal growth. Anne co-founded ThinkerAnalytix in 2014 with a team of philosophers, teachers and students from the Cambridge-Boston area.

David Seelow received his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has expertise in classroom instruction, curriculum design, online learning, literature, comics and graphic novels, critical thought, Anglo-Irish Studies, and educational theory. He is founder of the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab, which has won several national awards for distance education, and has extensive experience in synchronous and asynchronous design and instruction. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Educational Computing and four permanent New York State education licenses (English, Social Studies and School District Administration). Dr. Seelow’s most recent teaching and consulting focuses on the transformative power of game-based learning and comics. 

David Shapiro is on the faculty of Cascadia College where he teaches philosophy, drawing heavily upon his experiences and lesson plans for doing philosophy with precollege students. He has been doing philosophy with young people in and around Seattle since he was a graduate student at the University of Washington way back in the 20th century. David is the author and/or co-author of six books, including Plato Was Wrong! Footnotes on Doing Philosophy with Young People, a compendium of activities, exercises, and games he developed for exploring philosophical questions in the classroom and beyond. He is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors.

Jordan Sherry-Wagner, Ph.D. candidate, is a Learning Scientist and Early Childhood Educator who started work in P4C as a graduate student fellow at the UW Center for Philosophy for Children (now PLATO) from 2017-2019, eventually earning a Certificate of Mastery in P4C in 2021. Jordan has led P4C sessions in numerous elementary schools, teaches early philosophy through the UW Robinson Center’s Saturday program, and has participated as judge and moderator at the WA State Ethics Bowl. Housed in the UW College of Education, his dissertation research focuses on the role of ethical noticing and wondering in early science education.

Laura Soter is a Ph.D. Candidate in philosophy and psychology at the University of Michigan. Her primary academic research focuses on the moral dimensions of close relationships and the ethics of belief. She has been involved with a range of precollege philosophy initiatives in Michigan. In 2017, she founded the UM Philosophy with Kids program, and has coordinated it for the past five years. In that time, she has also worked with the Michigan High School Ethics Bowl (as a coach, judge, and organizer) and collaborated with A2Ethics (a nonprofit dedicated to public philosophy in Michigan) on a variety of initiatives.

Ariel Sykes, Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School, works with teachers at the elementary, middle and high school level to integrate ethics across the disciplines. Ariel has a BA and MA in philosophy and education, has been a philosophy for children practitioner for over ten years, and has taught ethics at the college level. She worked to develop a professional development model for teaching argument literacy in English classrooms as part of a Department of Education funded grant, an experience that provides the best practices she now uses in her work with teachers. She is a member of PLATO’s Board of Directors.

Debi Talukdar is PLATO’s Program Director. She has been facilitating K-12 philosophy classes since 2014 and was the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle, from 2018-2021. She also facilitates educator workshops and organizes a monthly seminar for individuals interested in philosophy with young people. Debi is a former instructor at the University of Washington College of Education and former ensemble member at Theater for Change UW.  She currently lives in Oakland, CA, and is a curriculum and training designer at Wayfinder. 

Delaney Thull is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill. She works for UNC’s Parr Center for Ethics, teaching experiential learning and community-engaged philosophy courses, and organizing for the National High School Ethics Bowl. She works on the moral psychology of anger and its political implications. She also researches the problems democracies face with internet troll farms. She completed her MA in philosophy at UNC in 2021. She holds an AB in philosophy with a Certificate in Values and Public Life from Princeton University.   

John Torrey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a contributing professor in the Africana Studies unit at SUNY Buffalo State. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Morehouse College (2009) and an MA and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Memphis (2019). His primary research interests are in the intersection of political philosophy, applied ethics, and African-American philosophy, specifically with regards to calls for Black reparations in America. Additionally, he has interests in philosophy of education and pre-college philosophy. He also has developed precollege philosophy programs since 2010, Philosophical Horizons at the University of Memphis and the Buffalo State Lyceum. He serves on PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board. 

Wendy C. Turgeon is a professor of philosophy at St. Joseph’s College-NY. She has been involved in philosophy with/for young people for many years and has developed courses and programs for undergraduates and graduate students in introducing philosophy in precollege education. She has served on the boards of ICPIC, PLATO, and NAACI, three organizations that work to promote philosophy throughout education and advocate for children as thinkers and members of society. She is a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board.

Teri Turner is a board member of A2Ethics, a 12-year-old public philosophy initiative in Ann Arbor. A nurse specializing in hospice care, Teri has been engaged in ethics education through teaching and service on Hospital/Hospice Ethics Committees, and as founding board member of the Children’s Palliative Care Coalition of Michigan. Teri came to A2Ethics via the Slam, leading a team from Arbor Hospice. She is a Michigan Ethics Bowl judge and community case writer.

Michael Vazquez is teaching assistant professor and Director of Outreach in the philosophy department and the Parr Center for Ethics at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is also a lecturer on the social foundations of education for Penn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2020, and completed the post-baccalaureate program in classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. He is a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board. 

Sarah Vitale is an associate professor of philosophy at Ball State University. Her research focuses on Marx and post-Marxism, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and philosophy for children. She teaches courses in existentialism and critical theory. She is co-coordinator of the Radical Philosophy Association. Her publications include “Community-Engaged Learning and Precollege Philosophy During Neoliberalism” (Teaching Philosophy 42:4) and “Overcoming Barriers: Pre-college Philosophy Programs in Neoliberalism” (Intentional Disruption: Expanding Access to Philosophy, ed. Stephen Kekoa Miller). Vitale is the founder of Philosophy Outreach Project (POP).

Jennifer Wargin has a PhD in philosophy from Texas A&M University. Her areas of specialization are ethics and political philosophy. She is currently a postdoctoral teaching fellow with Utah Tech University. Her teaching interests include active and cooperative learning strategies to teach philosophy, online and blended teaching, and teaching philosophy to non-traditional students.      

Thomas E. Wartenberg is professor of philosophy (emeritus) at Mount Holyoke College. Among his publications are Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature and A Sneetch is a Sneetch and Other Philosophical Discoveries: Finding Wisdom in Children’s Literature. His philosophy for children website was awarded the 2011 APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovations in Philosophy Programs. He served as PLATO’s Board President from 2016-18 and is a member of PLATO’s Founders Circle.

Dustin Webster, a member of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board, is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he studies the philosophy of education. He has a professional background in K-12 education with experience in a variety of contexts, including most recently as a 5th grade teacher. In addition to engaging K-12 students in philosophy, Dustin’s interests include character and virtue education, educational ethics, and education and social mobility. Dustin’s educational background includes an M.A. in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Masters in Law from The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School 

Jonathan Weil earned a BA in philosophy and MA in philosophy of science from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California. He is the Philosophy Core division head at Stanford Online High School, and as an OHS instructor has taught synchronous junior high school and high school courses including Human Nature and Society, Methodology of Science: Biology, History and Philosophy of Science, Democracy, Freedom, and the Rule of Law, Critical Reading and Argumentation, Study of the Mind, and Eastern Thought.   

Jonathan Wurtz will be an assistant professor in philosophy for children at the University of Guam starting this fall. Jonathan specializes in 20th century French philosophy, philosophy of childhood, and socio-political philosophy. Their research is divided between two projects: criticizing the traditionally adultist and colonialist function of childhood in the history of philosophy, and issues at the intersection of diversity and methodology in philosophy for children. Jonathan has been practicing P4C since 2013 when they joined the University of Memphis’ Philosophical Horizons program, a P4C program that introduces the history and practice of philosophy to Memphis children, particularly those who are socio-economically disadvantaged and in schools least likely to have the resources to implement Philosophy for Children.

Aaron Yarmel is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on two-level utilitarianism, social change, and philosophy for children. Before moving to Ohio, he was the founding director of Madison Public Philosophy, a P4C organization. He serves on PLATO’s Advocacy Committee, is a college ethics bowl coach, and judges middle school and high school ethics bowl tournaments. Aaron holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MSc in Philosophy of Science from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. 

Housni Zbaghdi is a philosophy teacher at AL JABR High School. After receiving a Ph.D. in political philosophy, Housni served as an assistant professor of philosophy at la Sorbonne. She pursued her career as an associate dean of humanities at University M6P. After having her first child, she became a philosophy teacher in high schools and practiced P4C in various locations. Once certified as a trainer in philosophy workshops, she co-founded the association SEVE Morocco in 2018. Since then, more than 100 facilitators have been trained.