Three OU Students Win Philosophy Honors

Three University of Oklahoma philosophy undergraduates were recognized with departmental honors at an April 28 ceremony on the OU Norman campus. The ceremony honored all the Department of Philosophy’s outstanding graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Matthew Solomon was honored with the Clayton Feaver Scholarship, presented to the outstanding senior in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Philosophy.
  • Christopher Valencia received a 2017 Wade Scholarship, awarded to the outstanding junior in the department.
  • Daniel Tavera was selected to serve as the Banner Carrier at the 2017 College of Arts and Sciences’ Spring Convocation, recognizing his contributions to the department.

Solomon, the son of Stephen Solomon of Dillon, Colorado, and the late Kay Solomon, is a 2014 graduate of the International Baccalaureate program at the United World College Maastricht in the Netherlands. His primary interests in philosophy are virtue ethics and the history of ancient philosophy. Outside of class, he belongs to the international student organization The United World, the OU chapter of the United World College Community, and Nations United, an international organization of Antioch Community Church in Norman. He plans to pursue graduate work in philosophy.

The Feaver Scholarship was established in 1988 by Audrey Maehl of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to honor longtime OU philosophy professor J. Clayton Feaver. Feaver was one of the department’s most popular teachers and was a well-known speaker around the state. He held the department’s Kingfisher College Chair in the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from 1951 until his retirement in 1981.

Maehl received her master of arts degree in philosophy from OU in 1955 and was the first Kingfisher Fellow. The scholarship is supported by Feaver’s children, Katheryn Elaine Witten of Norman and John E. Lynn and M. Ellen Feaver Lynn of Arlington, Virginia.

Wade Award-winner Valencia is a native of Napa, California, and is the oldest child of Gary and Tanya Valencia. He attended HIS Academy High School in Napa, graduating in 2006, and received an associate of arts in psychology from Oklahoma City Community College in 2015 before transferring to OU. He is interested in religious epistemology and identity theory, and as a psychology minor he is interested in the way psychological factors affect people’s opportunities in society. He is a musician, and is active in the Providence Road Church. He plans to pursue further study of philosophy after graduation.

The Wade Scholarship was established in 2001 by Larry R. and Mary Jane Wade of Elk City in honor of their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Wade Perkinson, who was the recipient of the 2000 Feaver Scholarship and received her philosophy degree from OU in 2001. The Wade Scholarship, offered to the department’s outstanding junior, with a preference for students who have an emphasis in logic, helps support the student’s studies during the senior year.

Tavera, the convocation banner carrier for 2017, graduated from Fossil Ridge High School in Keller, Texas, in 2013. He is the son of Tulio and Alba Tavera. He will attend the OU College of Law in the fall.

The Department of Philosophy’s banner carrier is the student chosen to lead the department’s graduates in the procession at the College of Arts and Sciences convocation. This honor recognizes the student who has made outstanding contributions to the life of the department, in classes, lectures and social events.

For more information on the awards, contact Zev Trachtenberg in the Department of Philosophy at (405) 325-6324 or ztrachtenberg@ou.edu.

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