Opinions, Letters To The Editor

LTE: In Support of Professor Aspen Brinton

We are writing in support of Professor Aspen Brinton of the Philosophy Department and the International Studies Program, whose contract was not renewed by Boston College based on the decision of the Philosophy Department. We as students have all had very positive experiences in her courses this semester. She has helped us to grow intellectually and personally. We strongly believe she is a great teacher, scholar, and leader on campus who embodies the values of BC, including concern for social justice, an interdisciplinary approach, and presentation of difficult moral questions.

What makes BC distinct from other universities is its focus on student formation. As a Jesuit institution, BC strives to do this intellectually, socially, and spiritually. BC helps students pay attention to their experiences, reflect on their meaning, and then decide how to act. We as students in her classes can attest to the fact that Professor Brinton has done just this in each of her classes and over the course of the semester.

Professor Brinton has had an immeasurable impact on our academic experience. She creates a stimulating intellectual, social, and emotional environment that propels innovative and critical thinking. She engages students in thoughtful discussion by effectively framing debates. She provides structure and facts, while also allowing students to form and defend their own opinions. Professor Brinton challenges us to find malleability within our thoughts as we approach difficult moral and political questions. The discussions and assignments are difficult and expose students to new perspectives. She is an effective teacher because our learning expands beyond the classroom. Her diverse scholarship is demonstrated by her proficiency in class topics as well as through her publication of a book, with another one on the way.

Professor Brinton displayed her outstanding commitment to her students through her accessibility. Unlike many professors, she responded quickly to her emails, and had a plethora of meeting times available upon request. Her doors were always open. Furthermore, she engaged all of her students in quality conversation about class and about their lives, which assuaged the social anxieties students normally fear when talking to professors. Her conversations would draw from her expertise in both philosophy and international studies, presenting new and interesting ideas that still resonate with many of her students.

We feel that Professor Brinton has not only been a phenomenal professor but a valuable role model for the principles of social justice. Her pedagogy has greatly emphasized class discussion and personal inquiry into topics that are pertinent to the issues of today. In true Jesuit fashion, she has consistently challenged us to critically assess our beliefs and understandings. We will deeply miss Professor Brinton’s contributions to the BC community. We are highly confident that she will continue to inspire through her teaching and in her future endeavors.

Kejs Aliko MCAS ’18

James Andreoli, CSOM ’17

Henry Balf, MCAS ’18

Josh Behrens, MCAS ’18

Deven Bhattacharya, MCAS ’19

Shadi Brentegani, CSOM ’17

El-Hadj Dieng, MCAS ’18

Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, MCAS ’17

Amy Gaito, MCAS ’18

Justin Gregorius, MCAS ’18

Audra Hampsch, MCAS ’17

Colleen Hyland, MCAS ’17

Madison Hynes, MCAS ’18

Robert Austin Kippes, Phil MA ’18

Harry Koeppel, MCAS ’17

Alexander Kontopoulos, MCAS ’17

Jacqueline Lacovara MCAS ’18

Andrew Layman, MCAS ’18

Mackenzie Martin, MCAS ’18

Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17

Casey O’Neill, MCAS ’19

Maura O’Neill, MCAS ’17

Owen O’Leary, MCAS ’17

Daniel Perea-Kane, MCAS ’17

Paloma Reyes Diaz, MCAS ’18

Dominic Rosato, LSOE ’17

Travis Russell, STM ’20

Lindsay Schrier, MCAS ’18

Phillip Schneider MCAS ’17

Faraz Shahidpour, MCAS ’17

Margaret Sheerin MCAS ’17

Kaitlyn Solano MCAS ’17

Brian Swift, CSOM ’17

Annie Budra, CSOM ’19

Kevin Looney, MCAS ’17

Laura Stateler, MCAS ’18

Matthew Smith, MCAS ’18

MacGregor Mooney, MCAS ’18

May 4, 2017
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Established in 1919 as Boston College’s student newspaper, The Heights has been both editorially and financially independent from the University since 1971. The Heights serves the students, faculty, and staff of the Boston College community, as well as our neighbors in Chestnut Hill, Newton, and the Allston-Brighton area.  

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