Are there honors/achievements/special recognition you would like to list that are not included above?
Past President and Founding Member of the Society for Analytical Feminism
Past President, Hilltop Child Development Center Board of Directors
Mother of two amazing children, Alex and Thomas
Co-director of annual Hilltop Hustle 5K and 1K family fun run
My educational achievements:
BA Mathematics and Philosophy, with Distinction, Swarthmore College,1982
MA in Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 1984
MA in Economics, University of Pittsburgh, 1986
Ph.D.in Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh 1988
What led you to your area of study/field of interest?
I fell in love with philosophy as a young student when I saw the beauty in logic and the foundations of mathematics and science. But I was also always passionate about justice and combating injustice. When I saw how philosophy's tools could be used to understand the causes of oppression and the path to freedom, my future course of study was set for me.
What honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to you? Why?
The Kemper award is my most meaningful accomplishment because it reflects my dedication to teaching students, particularly students from diverse backgrounds, who have much to offer my discipline but who are often not made to feel welcome in it.
Who has been influential or had a significant impact on your life? Please elaborate. (Please include individuals at KU as appropriate.)
My mother, for modeling bold determination; my husband, KU Professor Neal Becker, for many things, including his dedication to teaching and learning; my KU students, who challenge and inspire me with their ideas and idealism. Among philosophers, I would single out Thomas Hobbes, who wrote about how justice must be forged through agreement among equals, and Simone de Beauvoir, who challenges women to wrest freedom from their would-be oppressors. Finally, among athletes, Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first women's Olympic marathon, in which she boldly led the race from start to finish.
Why do you believe it is important to recognize women for their accomplishments?
As Mao once said, women hold up half the sky. Women's work has always been meaningful, and much of what men have been recognized for has been destructive. If women's accomplishments are recognized as they should be, perhaps balance can come to the recognition of how all humans are required to keep the sky from falling.
What is a most favorite/least favorite memory as a student?
The 'aha!' moments are always the best, whether my own or my students'. I remember a particularly important one, which happened while I was running in a park in Pittsburgh when I was a graduate student working on my PhD dissertation – I solved the crucial puzzle of my thesis that day. I remember another such moment that came at the end of a long day of making little progress on Analyzing Oppression. When I was walking home, a particularly important idea suddenly came to me, and the rest of the chapter I was working on flowed out the next day.
What is your definition of success?
Success is the accomplishment of admirable goals by virtuous means.