Faculty Awards and Honors

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Mr. Joseph P. White


Annual Faculty Lecturer 1997-1998

Joe White, the name says it all. An average, rather ordinary male born to very kind, somewhat pious, parents in the mid-20th century A.D. (or C.E.) in the Midwest of the United States. The eldest son in a Catholic family, Joe attended a Catholic high school seminary with the individual and collective expectation of becoming a priest. By his senior year, he found the study of history and psychology, specifically Freudian analysis, not only extremely fascinating, but undermining of his religious faith.

Going to university as a pre-law major, Joe changed his major the last of his freshman year as his interest in psychology grew. During his sophomore year, taking his first philosophy course, he discovered an academic discipline at once ancient and comprehensive which not only explored the myriad presuppositions of all other disciplines, but was also bloody difficult, at least for him. In his youthful, undergraduate years, only philosophy seemed unprovincial and methodologically unfettered by presuppositions. The decision was made to double major, since psychology might at least prove practical. At the mid-point of his senior year, he met and fell in love with the beautiful actress and student, Dulcie Sinn.

WHILE THE LURE of graduate work in psychology and the thought of going to medical school, with it all culminating in a lucrative psychiatric practice, was extremely tempting, philosophy still demanded attention. Continuing in his formal studies, Joe accepted a philosophy graduate position and research fellowship at the University of Calgary. Having married Dulcie, Joe and his new bride ventured to Calgary, Alberta. After two years in a thriving, challenging, cosmopolitan department, Joe finished his graduate work in Calgary. He and Dulcie both accepted graduate positions at UCSB.

In Santa Barbara, while a graduate student at UCSB, Joe happened into an adjunct faculty position at SBCC. What an experience those first classes were with all of those fresh faces coming to philosophy for the first time. Additionally, by 1985, he also acquired the full-time position of being a father to Nicholas. Within the next four years, Sarah was born. With two children and his still loving, supportive wife, Joe remained in love and fascinated with philosophy at SBCC, in the daily company of a bright, dedicated group of colleagues.

IN 1990, JOSEPH accepted, after stringent national and local competition, a full-time position at SBCC in the Department of Philosophy. He immediately assumed the position of department chair. The children are much older now, and Joe and Dulcie just celebrated 25 years of marital adventure in December 1997. Teaching has allowed Joe the opportunity to remain close to his love of philosophy, and SBCC has provided Joe with a rich environment within which to flourish.

While at SBCC, Joe has lectured in all courses the department offers, except Comparative World Religions. He has also designed and taught short courses in Political Philosophy (using his textbook, Assent/Dissent), Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion and a special course on Bertrand Russell. He has served as Chair of the department since 1990; served on the Faculty Enrichment Committee; served a three-year term as the Academic Senator from the Social Science Division; participated in the Spring 1996 Cambridge, England Study Abroad Program and the 1998 London Study Abroad Program; written articles for the Faculty Voice; guest lectured for a variety of departments; and been keynote speaker for a number of Faculty In-Services. He organized the Peter A. Angeles Colloquia for five years, bringing individuals with national and international reputations to SBCC.

AMAZINGLY, HIS FAMILY still loves him nearly as much as he loves them. Joe White-truly an average, ordinary man on the street.

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