Erick Ramirez Awarded Creative Collaboration Award
Philosophy professor recognized for collaborative research and Ethics Bowl mentoring
By Ally O’Connor ’20
As a result of his synergistic efforts with students, colleagues, and industry professionals, philosophy professor Erick Ramirez was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences’ Bernard Hubbard, S.J., Creative Collaboration Award for “inspiring other scholars and artists” through the inclusion of his students in “professional research projects or creative activity.”
Ramirez, who joined SCU’s Department of Philosophy in 2012 as an adjunct lecturer and became an assistant professor in 2014, has taught a variety of courses, ranging from Philosophy of Emotion and Philosophy of Mental Illness to Neuroethics and Philosophical Issues in Virtual Reality. Ramirez explains that his “teaching and research interests are pretty closely tied together,” as evidenced by the many articles and book chapters on shame and responsibility, psychopathy, the ethical implications of deep brain stimulation, rational suicide, and quite a few articles on Virtual Reality (VR) that he’s published since coming to SCU.
In addition to teaching and his own research, Ramirez has additionally embarked upon a groundbreaking series of group research projects that incorporate VR into ethics with Philosophy Professor Scott Labarge, SCU students Miles Elliott ‘19 (Philosophy), Lia Petronio ‘21 (Psychology and Philosophy), and Mohit Gandhi ‘21 (Computer Science), and alumnus Carl Maggio ‘18 (Computer Science and Engineering). Ramirez describes the projects as having “quite a few different moving parts, but the central dimensions involve analyzing the nature of VR experience and assessing its implications.”
Since 2013, Ramirez has also led and designed SCU’s Ethics Bowl course and team, an experience which Ramirez calls “a joy,” noting that “SCU students are smart, passionate, and have a keen knack for getting to the underlying ethical issues of some really complex cases.” This past year, the team won its first national championship.
Through his work at SCU, Ramirez has gone above and beyond to connect with students, colleagues, and VR industry personnel at companies like Oculus and NVida. In response to his recognition at the College of Arts and Sciences 2018 Convocation, Ramirez comments that he was “genuinely surprised and immediately humbled when I heard my name announced as the winner. I had the opportunity to share the stage with SCU College of Arts and Sciences professors whom I deeply respect and look up to.”
About the Award
The Bernard Hubbard, S.J., Creative Collaboration Award recognizes a professor who has established a well-deserved reputation for excellence in educating students by including them in professional research projects or creative activity, thereby transcending traditional teaching models to reach the heart of the research and creative process and, in this collaboration, for having inspired other scholars and artists.