Life on Tap: STEM Careers | April 19 | Christendom College

Career Development

Life on Tap: STEM Careers | April 19

Phil O’Herron (’00) – Post-Doc, Medical University of South Carolina

A post-doc at the Medical University of South Carolina, O’Herron related his passion for science, which led him from Christendom to eventually earning a PhD in neuroscience at John Hopkins University. During his time at Christendom, he loved the courses, especially philosophy. “It was in studying philosophy that I became interested in the brain. Philosophical questions, such as ‘How do we know the world?’ captured my attention.” After graduation, he moved on to graduate school and then began work in the science field as a post-doc. O’Herron captivated his listeners with information about his work as a researcher, where he records the activity of brain cells in monkeys, does various experiments, analyzes data, and publishes in order to obtain a faculty position. He advised students who plan on entering the field of science to ask around as much as possible and to get a head start by taking the right classes. His Christendom education, he claims, benefits him daily in the scientific field. Subjects such as philosophy, history, and Latin have helped him to analyze data or make decisions. “The liberal arts educates the whole person and is useful in really any field. It’s like a treasure chest that you can return to,” he said. “Critical thinking and writing skills are something I have to use everyday in reading scientific arguments. As intellectually stimulating as science is, it’s only one part of our intellectual nature. The whole other philosophical, spiritual, and artistic side of human nature is not stimulated through scientific work, but through the kind of richness that Christendom provides.”

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