Message From the Director

Main Content

students walking on comapus

Professor Patsy A. Manfredi
Director, University Core Curriculum

We're glad you are taking a look at the University Core Curriculum. This program is the foundation of an SIU education and, we are justifiably proud of the Core experience we offer for undergraduates. Courses in the Core introduce you to the traditional riches of western civilization as well as to the contemporary perspectives of interdisciplinary and multicultural studies. Many students find that Core courses help them select a major, while others value the Core experience for the perspective it provides on the universe of human knowledge.

As an associate professor in Philosophy, I enjoy teaching graduate students and Philosophy majors. But introducing students to philosophy in the Core Curriculum course (PHIL 102) is especially rewarding. Students enjoy discussing questions usually reserved for “late night” conversations—questions such as “Is there evidence that God exists?” “Do we have minds/souls or just bodies and brains?” “Are we free or determined?” Few high schools offer courses in philosophy, so developing a clear and distinct understanding of diverse philosophical positions can be difficult—I tell students, “It’s like juggling with abstract ideas.” In turn, teaching students from a variety of backgrounds to think systematically, deeply, and critically about abstract topics challenges my own abilities. The reading comprehension and critical thinking skills that students develop in philosophy, serve them both in their majors and later in their careers. This kind of experience with a senior scholar and a diverse and accomplished undergraduate population is available only at a research institution such as SIU. There are many faculty like me in Core classrooms. We're here because we want to be. I hope you'll want to join us!