Loni Taber graduated in 2018 from Eastern Washington University with a major in philosophy and a minor in women's and gender studies. She graduated Suma Cume Lauda with membership in The National Honors Society (Phi Kappa Phi), The National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi), and Phi Sigma Tau (an international honor society for philosophy). Her wide range of interest have allowed her to conduct research and practice activism in her community. This included working with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe as an Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) intern to monitor ground water levels in the Hangman Creek watershed during restoration to bring back the endangered westslope cutthroat trout. She also helped build floating wetlands with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance to reduce phosphate and nitrate levels in Hayden Lake located in Idaho state. Loni was a volunteer for Women and Science to encourage young girls to get involved in STEM careers. She also published a paper on Aristotle and American democracy in the Skepsis Proceedings for the 25th Ancient Olympia Conference for 2016 in Greece. Loni was accepted into the University of Oregon’s MA in Philosophy and a PhD program at the University of North Texas, Denton where she will attend with full funding. She hopes to continue her studies involving social and environmental justice at UNT and is looking forward to becoming a future McNair Scholar faculty mentor.
McNair Program Reflection:
"It is with great joy and appreciation that I write this letter to extend my sincerest thanks for awarding me participation into the EWU TRiO McNair Scholars Program. It is more than just an award for hard work and persistence. For me this opportunity provided the means necessary to continue studying and to achieve my academic and career goals. McNair provided community, academic resources, and rigorous training that not only taught me the value of my own resolve but also helped me to cultivate my potential as a scholar for the purpose of gaining entry into a PhD program.
"As a first generation, low income, non-traditional student there are bound to be obstacles when entering and succeeding in academia; of which I have faced many in my decision to attend higher institutes of learning. It is because of people and organizations like McNair that I can proudly stand on the education that your generosity helped to provide and be a testament to your faith in minority students like myself. I do my best represent those who have supported me by overcoming obstacles and achieving my goals.
"Thus far as a philosophy major I have presented in more than eleven academic conferences including having been published in Greece. I will be graduating Suma Cume Lauda with membership in The National Honors Society (Phi Kappa Phi), The National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi), and Phi Sigma Tau (an international honors society for philosophy). My participation in McNair helped me to obtain acceptance into the PhD Program for Environmental Philosophy at the University of North Texas with a funding package for five years.
"I can honestly say that the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program has changed my life and my future. I thank the McNair program, faculty, and staff for investing me and supporting my dreams of becoming an educator. Together we will fulfill a dream of excellence, equality, and success."
2017 McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Christopher Kirby - Philosophy
Research Title: A New Phenomenological Definition of Violence: Why The Language We Use Matters
Abstract: The current definition of violence is limited and contributes to the overall rationalization of violence as a means to an end. Through investigating the issue of violence in relation to the overarching problem of domination, it is my goal to reveal through Hannah Arendt's scholarship the proposal to "deal with violence as a phenomenon in its own right." Understanding violence is currently obfuscated by the inherent wrongness implied by its etymology coupled with the continued justification of its utility. Therefore, to make progress in reducing violence and changing the way in which humans interact, it is necessary to establish a new foundation for our understanding. By providing a new phenomenological definition of violence, the goal of this paper is to create a platform of discourse that enables compassion and humaneness to fundamentally motivate public and private affairs. This research was conducted with a qualitative mixed methodology. It employs a hermeneutics of restoration, genealogical investigations, feminist methodologies, and a phenomenological analysis of violence. The purpose of which seeks to cultivate an obligation to co-create a more humane world by redefining the language we use to understand it.