Faculty - Department of Philosophy

Dr. Jean Rioux, Professor and Chair

Dr. Jean Rioux

Dr. Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department. A Distinguished Educator of the Year, he studied the Great Books at Thomas Aquinas College and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas. His recent teaching interests include interdisciplinary ‘Great Books’ courses, epistemology, and the philosophy of mathematics. Dr. Rioux and his wife live in a renovated farmhouse a few miles outside Atchison.

Dr. Edward Macierowski, Professor

Dr. Edward Macierowski

Dr. Macierowski came to Benedictine College in 1993. A graduate of St. John’s College (Annapolis), he earned graduate degrees in Toronto and studied at the then-Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has also taught at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, at the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College. In addition to his teaching duties, he is particularly interested in metaphysics and political philosophy, in translating philosophical and theological books, and fostering intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. He is particularly interested in Greek and Semitic sources to Christian scholastic philosophy in the Latin Middle Ages. 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

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, Associate Professor

Dr. Anthony Crifasi

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, Associate Professor

Dr. Jamie Spiering

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, Associate Professor

Dr. Andrew Jaeger

Dr. Andrew Jaeger lives in Atchison with his wife (Catherine) and children (Mary, Leo, Adelaide, Edith, and Teresa Avila). 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. Jaeger has published papers on metaphysics and theology in several journals including: Communio: International Catholic Review, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Analytic Theology, and Res Philosophica. He is currently working on a book on the metaphysics of Plato, Nietzsche, and Dostoyevsky.

Dr. Daniel Pierson, Assistant Professor

Dr. Daniel Pierson

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.

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