Ethics Fellows

PhD students in the CUNY Philosophy Program are eligible to serve as Ethics Fellows at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).  To qualify for a Fellowship, these graduate students complete one or more of the bioethics courses offered on the ISMMS campus, and they typically have some teaching experience.  As Ethics Fellows, they receive training and mentorship in bioethics and bioethics education.  Their responsibilities involve co-leading ethics session for the ISMMS medical students and serving as faculty for the medical students’ ethics competency assessment exercises.

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 explores how the biological sciences (i.e., Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory) relates to morality. Amanda has been an Ethics fellow at Icahn School of Medicine since 2006 and previously worked as an Ethics Consultation Intern in the National Center for Ethics in Healthcare at the VA Hospital, New York City. In addition, she is a professor in the Philosophy Department at Nassau Community College, where she teaches biomedical ethics, critical thinking, and introductory philosophy courses.

Kyle Ferguson is a doctoral student in philosophy and cognitive science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He also teaches philosophy at Hunter College and Baruch 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.

Phoebe Friesen is a PhD candidate in philosophy at CUNY's Graduate Center, where she works primarily on issues within philosophy of psychiatry. She is particularly interested in instances where these issues are intertwined with questions concerning the justice system, philosophy of science, and/or bioethics. She has an academic background in both psychology and philosophy, and a vocational background in health care as it relates to mental illness, having worked in mental health policy research, program development, as well as on the front line for several years. She currently teaches ethics at Baruch College, volunteers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Center for Practice Innovations, and is engaged in a fellowship program at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Katherine Mendis is a PhD candidate in the philosophy program at the City University of New York Graduate Center with particular interests in decisional capacity, moral psychology, and disability.  A former intern with the National Center for Ethics in Healthcare at the VA Hospital in New York City, Katherine also teaches bioethics at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine.

Carolyn P. Plunkett is a Ph.D. candidate in the philosophy program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She previously earned her B.A. in Philosophy at Georgetown University and her M.A. in Philosophy at The Graduate Center. She is currently writing her dissertation on the nature of normative reasons for acting. She is interested in the connection between reasons, actions, and identity. Carolyn’s research in bioethics spans topics in research ethics, genetics, and neuroethics. Carolyn has been an Ethics Fellow at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 2013. In addition, she is a Research Associate in the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU School of Medicine. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Carolyn lived in Honduras, and she is fluent in Spanish. Learn more about Carolyn and her work