Patrick Begley

Double majored in English and Philosophy and Religious Thought
J.D. from Creighton University School of Law
Solo practitioner of law in Red Lodge, Mont.

"Immediately following graduation from RMC, I was hired as a journalist for the Casper Star Tribune, Wyoming's largest publication news source. I then applied for law school, was accepted, and attended Creighton University School of Law. I graduated in May of 2001. Since graduation I have been practicing in many areas of the law. I have ben employed by Stillwater County, Mont., in various capacities since 2003, where I was formerly employed as the deputy county attorney. I am currently civil counsel for the Stillwater County Commissioners.

The education I received from RMC has proven to be invaluable. While studying philosophy, I learned how to think critically and logically, which has proven time and time again to be the most important asset I have in my career and in my life. I had no idea the lessons learned from Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and many other great thinkers would apply in so many ways. When I accepted the challenge of attending Creighton University School of Law, I was able to succeed and was prepared."

Jonathan M. Lukens

Philosophy and Religious Thought Major
RMC Class of 2002
M.S.W. (master's of social work)
Ph.D./MBE (master's of bioethics) Candidate
University of Pennsylvania
School of Social Policy and Practice Penn Center for Bioethics

"My philosophy degree has been invaluable in helping me sharpen my analytical skills, as well as give me the insights and base of knowledge necessary to participate in the broad and diverse conversations of our time concerning critical social, political, moral, and environmental issues.

My first job after graduating from Rocky Mountain College was community greening manager with the Delaware Center for Horticulture. As a grant writer and community organizer working on issues around urban land use and environmental justice, I found it imperative to communicate clearly and effectively and make a logical and compelling argument to founders, community groups, and city officials. A liberal arts degree in general—and a philosophy degree in particular—contributed to my success in articulating a vision and plan of action to this diverse constituency.

Currently, I am working toward a master's of bioethics degree from the Penn Center for Bioethics concurrent with e Ph.D. in social policy from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. My philosophy degree has given me the skills I need to compete and flourish in a competitive academic environment writing on issues of mental health policy, neuroethics, patient rights, and applied ethics in behavioral health.

All my successes both professionally and academically have been built upon the substance and rigor of the philosophy degree I earned at Rocky."

Amy Neuman

Instructor, Equestrian Studies at RMC
Double Majored in Equestrian Studies and Philosophy and Religious Thought

"I began my college career focused on finding a degree I could use as a pathway for my future. I saw this endeavor rather like getting a key to unlock a door. I entered into the Introduction to Philosophy and Religion course with the trepidation of one approaching an unpleasant task. I knew I had to fill this space in my graduate requirements and wanted to take it immediately as if it were unpleasant medicine. But rather than trudging through the semester, it flew past me. I carefully read these ancient works, and as I listened to my professor, they came alive, opening my eyes to what lies beneath, around, and between the stuff of daily life. Focused introspection may have been the greatest gift of my first semester. My undergraduate courses changed direction after that first semester. At Rocky I did acquire the degree I used to open the door to my profession, but I also acquired the philosophy degree I use daily. I do not consider my degree to be a utensil in my toolbox of learned skills to pick up and use. Rather, I see my education from acquiring the degree as the toolbox itself, deepening my understanding of my profession and enhancing those honed skills intrinsic to my career.

Additionally, I credit my degree in philosophy for my acceptance into graduate school. In a competitive environment, it brought me to the attention of the selection committee and began the dialogue that earned my position in their program. Fundamentally, the philosophy degree is a capstone to the educational experience, affecting the way I think, communicate, and live."

Dennis M. Bear Don't Walk

RMC Class of 2003
Major in Psychology and Minor in Philosophy and Religious Thought
First-year law student at University of Montana 2009

"After graduation, I went on to work in the human services field, focusing on culturally relevant service delivery to Native American youth and families. I was managing the family service program for the Squaxin Island Tribe of Washington prior to applying for law school.

Every one of my philosophy courses taught me not only how to critically evaluate everything, but also how to clearly articulate the results of my evaluation and to be open to opposing counter evaluations. Until I graduated, I don't think I realized how rare these skills were."

Rod Gottula

RMC Class of 1996 
Double Major in Philosophy & Religious Thought and English
Earned an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Montana

Rod lived and taught one year in Korea and three years in Japan. Currently, he is a high school English teacher and a facilitator of Mandarin Chinese at Skyview High School in Billings.

"Much of what I learned about writing is a result of the training I received from David Strong and Jay Cassel. The works I read and the discussions I engaged in while studying philosophy at Rocky have enabled me to navigate various cultures and has strongly complemented my training as a classroom teacher.”