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Philosophy - Faculty
Dr. Jean Rioux, Professor and Chair
Dr. Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, he completed his graduate work in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, earning the M.A. in 1984 and the Ph.D. in 1990. While he has taught courses in nearly all areas of philosophy offered at the College, his recent interests include interdisciplinary ‘Great Books’ courses, epistemology, and ancient philosophy. He was named the Benedictine College Distinguished Educator of the Year in 2003. Dr. Rioux and his wife, Maria, raise their children in a renovated farmhouse a few miles outside Atchison.
Dr. Edward Macierowski, Professor
Dr. Macierowski came to Benedictine College in 1993 after teaching in and chairing the department of philosophy at Christendom College. He has also taught at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston and at the Catholic University of America. In addition to his graduate work, he studied at the then-Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts where he was graduated from its Classical High School. He is married and has five adoptive children.
Dr. James Madden, Professor
Dr. James Madden is originally from Wisconsin, and did his graduate work at Kent State (MA, 1998) and Purdue (Ph.D., 2002). He was awarded the Benedictine College Distinguished Educator of the Year Award in 2006. He lives in Atchison with his wife (Jennifer) and their six children; William, Martha, Patrick, Brendan, Jack, and Cormac.
Dr. Anthony Crifasi, Assistant Professor
Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Crifasi did his graduate work at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Crifasi received his Ph.D. from The Center for Thomistic Studies. His doctoral dissertation, titled “The Philosophical Significance of Cartesian Sensory Physiology,” sought to demonstrate a clear philosophical and historical correlation between scientific disputes in sensory physiology and philosophical disputes regarding sensory realism in the history of western philosophy. Dr. Crifasi is interested in recovering the scientific context of philosophical disputes; he is convinced that the absence of such context weakens many proposed solutions to contemporary philosophical problems. After teaching in Texas and Minnesota, he is now happily settled in Atchison with his wife, Claudia.
Dr. Jamie Spiering, Assistant Professor
Dr. Spiering received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California (2003), and her M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2010) in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. She has been at Benedictine since the fall of 2010, teaching a variety of courses on ethics, God, the soul, and logic. Her areas of interest include theories of free will, particularly in the medieval period, and philosophy of God. In her spare time she enjoys canoeing and reading fiction.
Dr. Andrew Jaeger, Assistant Professor
Dr. Andrew Jaeger lives in Atchison with his wife (Catherine) and their four children; Mary, Leo, Adelaide, and Edith. He received B.A. degrees in Theology and Philosophy from Benedictine College (2008), and his M.A. (2010) and Ph.D. (2014) in Philosophy from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He was named the 2013 American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly’s “Rising Scholar” for his paper, “Back to the Primitive: From Substantial Capacities to Prime Matter.”
Dr. Daniel Pierson, Assistant Professor
Dr. Pierson received his Ph.D. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. He has an M.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College in New Mexico and a B.A. in philosophy from St. John’s University in Minnesota. His areas of interest include the metaphysics and natural theology of Thomas Aquinas, Ancient philosophy, and the history of philosophy. He joined the faculty of Benedictine College in 2015.