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Highlight on Michael Fitzpatrick
CSUC English Literature Graduate Student Publishes in Prestigious Philosophy Journal
Chico State graduate student, Michael Fitzpatrick, has had a paper accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Process Studies. “Over the summer of 2013, I sent my article, after many revisions by my professors, to a reputable peer-reviewed journal, Process Studies,” he said in a recent email. “At the end of September, I was notified by the journal editor that after review by two anonymous referees, my article was accepted for publication with only minor revisions. This is my first academic-level publication.”
Fitzpatrick, a second year graduate student in the English Literature master’s program, attributes part of his publishing success to financial support by the Graduate Equity Fellowship and to his faculty mentor: “Over the past year, the Graduate Equity Fellowship has given me the creative freedom to explore studies at the intersection between metaphysics and meaning in philosophy. I have been able to begin familiarizing myself with the major works of the field, working under the tutelage of the chair of the Chico State philosophy department, Dr. Ed Pluth.” During the process, I spent a great amount of time researching and grasping the theory of a "metaphysical semantics" championed by Dr. Ted Sider at Cornell University. After a certain amount of research, I spent part of my Fellowship time completing a 34-page double-spaced journal article responding to Sider's theory. In short, I employed a model developed by the late Alfred North Whitehead to show the limitations of Sider's theory and directions for a better metaphysics.”
Fitzpatrick was one of ten CSUC graduate students chosen as a Graduate Equity Fellow for AY 2012-2013. This selective program is funded by the Office of Graduate Studies and the CSU Chancellor’s Office and is designed to prepare and support promising graduate students intending to pursue a PhD and an academic career in teaching and research. Fellows like Fitzpatrick are provided the funds and opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on scholarly research projects. Also that year—and for the second year in a row—he won his division at the CSUC Student Research Competition and participated in the CSU Statewide Student Research Competitions (spring 2012 and spring 2013).
This year, Fitzpatrick was selected as a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship recipient. Like the Graduate Equity Fellowship, the Pre-Doctoral Scholarship is a highly competitive and selective program that supports the doctoral aspirations of promising CSU students. Fitzpatrick was awarded $3,000 to be used for visiting PhD granting universities, to attend professional conferences and meetings, and to pay for other preparatory materials or activities.
He is facing another busy year. In addition to his work on metaphysical semantics, Fitzpatrick is continuing his thesis work on the nature of freedom in the later literary masterpieces of John Milton. He plans to defend his thesis and graduate in the Spring of 2014. Fitzpatrick is applying for doctorate programs and hope to begin a program in fall 2014. While he does not yet know where he will study, he does know that he hopes to do research on the topic of the meaning of ‘meaning.’