By David Villegas
The Montesquieu Forum, which supports course work on political philosophy as well as hosts public lectures and conferences on this topic, organized a public lecture with a former student of Roosevelt.
Marina Marren, who is about to complete her doctoral degree from Boston College in Philosophy, graduated with a bachelor’s of sciences degree from Roosevelt in 2006.
“So I graduated in 2006 and I started in 2002. It was with hospitality and tourism management, that’s my bachelor’s of science degree. And while I was working the degree I was applying for several scholarships, receiving several scholarships and working also so putting myself through school effectively,” Marren said. “And at the same time I was in the honors program so I was taking liberal arts classes and reading a great deal which eventually, down the road, helped me redirect from hospitality and tourism management specialization towards philosophy.”
She then proceeded to give advice for current students at Roosevelt.
“As I was saying during the talk, it is very easy to get bogged down by the classes you are taking or the immediacy of demands of life and personal matters. But it is very important to remember that Roosevelt has resources not only academic which is very important but also resources in terms of the professors who are here. So making friends with professors, making friends with your colleagues or fellow students. That’s the advice I would give immediately,” Marren said. “Another advice would be to apply for the honors program, definitely apply for scholarships, and seek professional organizations in your field of speciality so that either you can finance your education or again, you go to your network of relationships. And first and foremost, make sure you double major in philosophy. This is not just a sales bet or anything to do with that, but everything to do with the fact that philosophical training teaches you to perceive the world in ways that show you opportunities that do not present themselves to others that’s very simply put. You simply see things from angles and perspectives that most people do not.”
Stuart D. Warner, who is an associate professor of philosophy, organized this event for the Montesquieu Forum. He described how he was able to guide Marren to philosophy.
“I first met Marina when she appeared as a student in an Honors section of a liberal studies course I was teaching. This was a two semester course, so I then had her the following semester as well. It was clear to me how smart she was and passionate about important ideas. I soon started to encourage her to major in philosophy, but her mind was fixed on hospitality management,” Warner said. “During the following three years she took two philosophy courses from me, but then not long after graduating, she returned and started sitting in on several of my courses. Apart from that, we used to get together for coffee every month or so and talked about what we were reading and what we were thinking about. We’ve known each other now for fifteen years and I consider her a good friend.”
On what the main point of this event was, he said “I’m always interested in inspiring students to read important books and to think about big ideas: that’s what it truly means to be a university professor.”
He added what made Marina special, “Marina came to Roosevelt with comparatively little English, and through passion and hard work has shaped her own life in profound ways. Her enthusiasm and love for what she does and what she aspires to be is electric, and it’s vital for students who are just starting out on life’s path to witness such attachment to things that matter.”