Ethics Fellows

Steven Birnbaum

Paul Cummins earned a B.A. in philosophy from Vassar College in 1999. After a brief career in finance he resumed his philosophical training by taking an MSc in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He joined the PhD program in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center in 2004. Paul has served in the philosophy department at Lehman College as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and, now, as an Adjunct Lecturer. At Lehman he has taught an array of subjects from philosophy of religion to political philosophy, but his primary teaching responsibilities lie in ethics. Paul's main philosophical interests are in metaphysics and ethics, in particular meta-ethics; in both subjects, he is concerned with realism debates. Paul is also engaged in applied ethics with a focus on bioethics. Within bioethics Paul is interested in the ethics of human cloning and, in connection, the moral status of human embryos. In addition, within medical ethics, he is interested in the value of patient autonomy and its implications for treatment of patients with dementia.

Amanda Favia is a PhD candidate in the philosophy program at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She currently is working on her dissertation, which focuses on the connection between metaethics and political philosophy in the early-modern period. Amanda has been an Ethics fellow at Icahn School of Medicine since 2006 and previously worked as an intern with the National Center for Ethics in Healthcare at VA Hospital, New York City. In addition, she teaches applied ethics, philosophy and literature, and introductory philosophy courses at Brooklyn College and Nassau Community College.

Kyle Ferguson is a doctoral student in philosophy and cognitive science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He also teaches philosophy at Lehman College, CUNY. Previously, he studied philosophy at Augustana College and Trinity College, Oxford. Most of his research centers on philosophical problems about the mind, its expression in behavior, and the asymmetries of first- and third-person relations to mental phenomena. His research in bioethics explores the idea of an autonomous medical ethic, one shaped by the unique social roles of the medical profession, and what this means for the methods and goals of medical ethics education. He is also researching cases of conflict between a physician's professional obligations and the demands of his or her conscience or private moral judgments, and how the medical profession should respond to such cases.

Lily Frank joined the PhD program at the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2005, where she plans to write her dissertation in metaethics, specifically on moral realism. After graduating Smith College in 2004 and having studied philosophy and economics, Lily has been an Ethics Fellow at Icahn School of Medicine since 2007. She also teaches courses in introductory ethics, business ethics, introduction to philosophy and Medicine, Ethics and the Law at Queens College and Hunter College. Lily is currently project coordinator of an NIH-funded research project at Mount Sinai, "Human Microbiome Research and the Social Fabric." Her interests within bioethics are the just global distribution of health care, abortion, and the moral status of non-human animals.

Katherine Mendis is a student in the PhD Program in Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center, and teaches in the Philosophy Department at Queens College. She received her BA in History from the University of Chicago, and her MA in Philosophy from George Mason University. Her interests include ethical theory, biomedical ethics, moral psychology, and Kant; and her current research is focused on the theoretical foundations of a duty to donate organs.

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