Curious Alumni: Adam Thompson

Photo Credit: Adam Thompson
by Nichole Brady October 23, 2019

Dr. Adam R. Thompson, 2015 Philosophy Graduate

What is your job title, and what does it involve?

I am currently balancing a full work load working as:

  • Assistant Director, Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, College of Law - University of Nebraska
  • Instructor, Department of Philosophy - University of Nebraska
  • Instructor, Humanities - Philosophy - Southeast Community College
  • Independent Contract - Consulting, Project Management, etc. - Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Center Restoration Project

What sparked your interest in your area of study?

I've always felt misunderstood and trivial. In undergrad, I discovered philosophy. It quickly struck me that philosophy is widely misunderstood and misunderstood as trivial. So, I felt at home with it.

What is the value of your area of study?

'The heavens continue and the earth endures; and that in them which makes them so permanent is that they do not live for themselves.' - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Sheathing the Light

'I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone' - Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours

How did you get to where you are now and how did your education help?

After graduating with my BA from Ball State University, I mowed lawns for my cousin. My mentor from undergrad, Dr. David Concepcion, caught wind of this and encouraged me to think bigger. After I was laid off, I was out of work for three months before being employed as a paraprofessional in an elementary school in the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) system. During this time I worked with Dr. Concepcion on grad school applications and I earned a spot in the philosophy MA program at the University of Wyoming. After graduation, I returned to paraprofessional work in IPS. While there I applied to PhD programs in philosophy and in 2008, I was admitted to the University of Nebraska. While here I've developed an interesting and enjoyable life here. I love the department, the Kutak Ethics Center, and working with the wide-range of students at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.