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Two successful graduates who received bachelor's degrees in philosophy from EKU will return to campus to discuss the impact that their field of study has had on their personal and professional lives on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. 

Rebecca Aghamiri is currently pursuing her doctorate in psychology at Eastern Kentucky University and is in her final year of training. She has a master's in clinical psychology and is a mental health therapist, practicing from a psychodynamic orientation. Aghamiri is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches meditation.

John Charles Leabo is the staff attorney for Judge Lucinda Masterton, a family court judge in Lexington, Kentucky. Before that, he represented insurance companies in workers' compensation cases all over the state. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky. In his free time, Leabo reads a lot, writes some poetry, and is trying to finish writing a book of fiction. He has also become very interested in the local bourbon, beer and wine industries and has been attempting to cook more.

According to The American Philosophical Association, “Philosophy means ‘love of wisdom.’ Philosophy studies big questions — What is truth? Does God exist? Do we have free will? Can machines think? What’s the best form of government? How should we make moral judgments? — and gives us the tools not only to answer those questions but also to have a successful career and fulfilling life … People who study philosophy have gone on to be successful tech leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists, professors, politicians, clergy, Supreme Court justices, award-winning writers, actors, comedians, filmmakers, activists and even presidents of the United States.”

The Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at EKU offers a major in philosophy and minors in philosophy and applied ethics. The department also offers a wide array of courses in the world’s religious traditions.

“We want to highlight the value and diverse applications of philosophy in the lives of our graduates. We have graduates who go on to medical school, who attend law school and become practicing attorneys, and who pursue graduate studies in philosophy and related fields including public administration, sociology, and psychology," said Laura Newhart, a philosophy professor at EKU. "We also have alumni who serve in leadership positions in corporations and banks, as well as those who start and run their own successful businesses.”

Faculty will also provide information about newly available book scholarships for philosophy majors. Philosophy majors at EKU can receive the following scholarships:

  • New Major Scholarship: $100 upon declaring a philosophy major and enrolling in at least 6 hours of philosophy courses.
  • Philosophy BA Progress Scholarship 1: $150 for completing 18 hours of PHI classes, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in PHI courses.
  • Philosophy BA Progress Scholarship 2: $200 for completing 30 hours of PHI classes, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in PHI courses.

The EKU Philosophy alumni panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, April 9 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Library 208. All are welcome. A complimentary dinner at Case Kitchen will directly follow the event for those wishing to continue the discussion.

For more information, visit the philosophy department's website or contact Laura Newhart at