Our Alumni

Philosophy Alumni

Cody Dolinsek

Carmine Morrow

Religion Alumni

Todd Brown

Katie Russell


Cody Dolinsek
B.A. in Philosophy, 2005

My time at Drake University remains one of the happiest periods of my life. I started classes there in January 2002 and received my B.A. in December 2005. I knew before going there that I wanted to major in philosophy, and my time there did not disappoint. Drake provided a congenial atmosphere for lively debate, earnest questioning, and friendly affirmation and criticism.

After leaving Drake, I enrolled at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving my Master of Divinity degree in 2011. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and plan to complete the program in May of 2016.

I am currently back at Drake University teaching courses to undergraduates in philosophy. My desire is to spend the rest of my life teaching philosophy.


Carmine Morrow
B.A. in Philosophy and Politics, 2010

Like Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole, philosophy at Drake prepared me to fall into and accept the unknown that is life after graduation. As Alice put it, “Well, after such a fall like this I should think nothing of tumbling down the stairs! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it even if I fell off the roof of the house!” Indeed, after delving into Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Hume, and Heidegger, and thereby philosophically falling on my face a few times, as you do, I found myself leaping from consecutively higher cliffs of career possibilities without feeling unprepared in the least for the learning curves, slumps and pit falls inevitable therein.

After spending over a year studying and working abroad as an undergrad with a NGO, assimilating Chinese Buddhist monks and others claiming asylum in Australia, I fell out of the certainty I’d had for my previous law school track at Drake and into the uncertainty of teaching English at a university in western China. Although a native English speaker with a teaching certificate, I didn’t know how I was going to explain our language and culture to our ambitious peers on the rise across the Pacific, the Chinese youth, while likewise trying to absorb their language and culture.

Presently I am—not yet replete with philosophy or China—pursuing a M.A. degree in Chinese philosophy, and freelancing as a teacher, writer and researcher in Shanghai. Next year, after I graduate, I have no idea what I’ll be doing. To steal a line from the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, “you may have heard of using the wit to know, but have you heard yet of using not-knowing to know?”


T‌odd Brown
B.A. in Religion, 2013

Upon completion of my BA in Religion at Drake University in 2013 I was accepted into the Masters of Theological Studies program at Harvard Divinity School in the field of Buddhist Studies. The academic rigor of the courses, extensive training in critical approaches to study in both the fields of philosophy and religion, and the individualized guidance I received from faculty in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Drake prepared me well for the transition to graduate-level studies.

I would highly recommend the Drake University Department of Philosophy and Religion for anyone looking for an integrated approach to the study of religion informed by both philosophical and historical methodologies. The Drake University Department of Philosophy and Religion has provided me with the necessary academic and intellectual tools to advance in my area of study and the opportunities to explore globally diverse forms of religion and culture in the process.


Katie Russell
B.A. in Law, Politics and Society with a religion minor (2010)

Katie Russell majored in law, politics, and society, but her passion for social justice led her to enroll in classes in the religion department and, eventually, to add a minor in religion. The combination of these two disciplines—and classes like Liberation Theology and Religion and Social Change—inspired Katie to consider how people of faith should work for justice in the world.

When she graduated from Drake in 2010, Katie was offered a scholarship to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School, where she continued to study theology and ethics and also discovered a love for ministry. Katie graduated from Vanderbilt in 2013 with a Master of Divinity degree; she is now an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves as a pastor of a church in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Brandon Burnett.


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ArtSci News
September 30, 2016
The inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking of U.S. colleges placed Drake University at 149 in a list that includes more than 1,000 schools nationwide.
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