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Pelren, Fieser awarded Reagan Leaves for work

Pelren, Fieser awarded Reagan Leaves for work

Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2008 2:26 pm

Pelren, Fieser awarded Reagan Leaves for work

Dr. James Fieser
Two University of Tennessee at Martin professors have been awarded Reagan Leaves for the 2008-09 year. Dr. Eric Pelren, professor of wildlife biology, and Dr. James Fieser, professor of philosophy, will take their leaves during the spring semester. The UT Martin Hal and Alma Reagan Faculty Leave Program is designed to enable participants to become more effective teachers and scholars by engaging in a variety of academic/renewal experiences. Pelren will travel to several wildlife facilities in Tennessee to study the diversity and richness of biota in the state, visiting with the managers of these facilities and photographing the habitats of those sites. He will also write several nature-related essays toward completion of a book for publication. He intends to use the CD from his observations of the areas and interviews with the wildlife managers in his Wildlife Biology 350 and 450 classes the following academic year. Pelren noted that his interest in writing the nature-related essays started with his involvement in UT Martin’s Voice Lessons workshop in 2002. “Wildlife biology curricula are primarily science based,” he said. “Opportunities for personal reflection and philosophy are limited, and students seem to find value in the opportunity to explore their own wildlife- and nature-related values and philosophies.” He added, “Students are a secondary motivation for me completing my essays because I believe that the work involved in writing these essays is formative to my own evolving values and philosophies with regard to wildlife and nature. I expect this process to improve me as a teacher.” Dr. Fieser will work during his leave time to complete a philosophy book about the “great issues in philosophy” with chapters covering the topics metaphysics, aesthetics, critical thinking, philosophy of science and non-western philosophies. Some of his time will be spent at Vanderbilt University’s library. Fieser said the project will provide him new perspectives and increase his understanding of the “most recent philosophical discussions” surrounding multiculturalism. The completed manuscript will be available to his students free of charge, through a Web page dedicated to the course. “The Reagan Leave will provide time for me to regenerate my acquaintance with and appreciation of many topics in contemporary philosophy that I may have formed perspectives on some time ago,” said Fieser. Tenured faculty members with six or more years of full-time service at UT Martin are encouraged to apply for a one-year Reagan Faculty Leave at one-half salary or a half-year Reagan Faculty Leave at full salary. The Faculty Research and Development Committee reviews the applications and determines awardees. wcp 10-7-08

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