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Religion and Philosophy Alumni

Religion and Philosophy majors and minors leave Otterbein with the skills and knowledge to pursue a plethora of careers, from law school to the Peace Corps to the military. Here's a look at what some of our recent graduates are doing:

Marlena Luikart 2016

Major: Religion
Marlena states that she came to Otterbein because it is a small school that is involved with its surrounding community.  Being a religion major has allowed her to look critically at religious traditions, including her own, thus gaining a better understanding of religions throughout the world.  She hopes to use her education to work toward social justice.

Eshakhia Sokubva 2015

Major: Religion
Eshakhia will be attending The Methodist Theological School in Ohio upon graduation from Otterbein.  She plans to serve a church or community for a few years and then work toward a Ph.D. so that she can teach in higher education.  She intends to spend the rest of her life “going on a journey, traveling from state to state, country to country, making life better not just for the few but for the many.”  She claims that her journey began with a group of fascinating religion and philosophy scholar-teachers who led the way . . . and that the Otterbein Library literally became her second home.

Brianne Buletko 2014

Majors: Religion and Psychology
Brianne is a graduate student at Kent State University in Ohio where she is pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling; she also works at Akron Children’s Hospital.  She intends to continue her education straight through to a Ph.D.  Brianne double majored when she found out that she could study religion from an academic approach rather than a confessional one.  That is, she was challenged to think past her own beliefs.  She learned how to think critically, to be open to other perspectives, and to question why she understands the world as she does.  She wrote recently, “While I am enjoying new places and meeting new people, I am hopeful to one day return back home to Otterbein.”

Ben Willis 2014

Majors: Philosophy and Art
Ben is currently an artist-in-residence at Otterbein and plans to go into Americorps for national service work and then to the Peace Corps after that.  He states, “The opportunity to study philosophy at Otterbein is probably an understatement. It was a privilege to learn from my professors and classmates during my years in the department. I believe that it has given me the ability to ask, understand and critically think about questions that I had no idea even existed. Not only has my major given me intellectual stability, but it has made me more creative, empathetic, and broader minded with all my other endeavors. I cannot imagine my education without philosophy; it was a pleasure as well as a privilege to study at Otterbein.”

Beth Dwyer 2013

Major: Philosophy
Beth is currently a Philosophy Graduate Student at Georgia State University.  She sees her Otterbein education as a means to understand the world in a deeper sense, in order to make it a better place for everyone.  She wants to make a difference in the world, to help ensure that everyone is given the capabilities to live a flourishing and fulfilling life. 

Samantha Bickert 2012

Major: Religion
Sammi is a student at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and plans to become an ordained pastor.  She writes, “My time at Otterbein University was one of the most transformational four years of my life.  I received a well-rounded education that helped to challenge me to ask questions and seek out answers in multiple subjects.  As a religion major, I was introduced to a wide variety of religious concepts that shaped my faith and informed my current path towards ministry.  Otterbein was where I was given the resources and education to ensure success in achieving my goals to become a leader in the United Methodist Church.”  Sammi’s educational experience has provided travel to Vietnam and Cambodia as part of a cross-cultural immersion class.

John Srsen 2012

Major: Religion
John is currently the Music Director at St. Thomas More Parish in Brooklyn, Ohio.  John writes that he uses his religion degree everyday as he chooses songs and makes other musical decisions.  “My degree has given me a newfound appreciation of the faith I grew up in and at the same time has made me more open-minded than ever before.  Learning how to understand the world’s religions from an objective and academic perspective has given me a new perspective on the world.”  

More Religion and Philosophy Alumni

  • Chelsea Merriman '09

  • Larsa K. Ramsini '09

  • Sarah Martindell '08

  • Joe Achterman '08

  • Jason T. Craig '07

  • Christopher A. Johns '07

  • Kari Benge '06

  • Chris Durban '06

  • Nick Kiger '06

  • Jason Carney '05

  • Erin Hood '05

  • Kris Vigneron '05

  • April Casperson '03

  • Robert Evans '03

  • Jim Wright '02

  • Amanda Pershing '01 and John Nash '01

  • Pat Dietsch '99

  • Karen DeJong '97

/ Department of Religion and Philosophy

Stephanie Patridge
Department Chair
p/ 614.823.1790
e/ spatridge@otterbein.edu 

/ Also see...