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Savich, senior philosophy/biology major in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, receives Peterfreund Award in philosophy
Savich, senior philosophy/biology major in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, receives Peterfreund Award in philosophyFebruary 10, 2009SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The philosophy department in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences has announced that Ilona Savich ’09 is this year’s recipient of the Sheldon P. Peterfreund Undergraduate Philosophy Award. Savich, a dual major in philosophy and biology, received the $1,000 award in recognition of her keen interest and outstanding work in philosophy. The award is given in memory of Sheldon “Shel” Peterfreund, who taught in SU’s philosophy department for more than 40 years before his death in 1994.
“I am honored to receive this award because it embodies the spirit of Professor Peterfreund,” says Savich, a proponent of interdisciplinary liberal arts education. “At SU, I have acquired skills in philosophy that are also important to clinical research. Specifically, I have learned to refine the kinds of questions I ask about previous conclusions, and I have learned to present clear, convincing arguments.”
Savich was presented the award by Peterfreund’s widow, Tina, at a recent on-campus ceremony. The 21-year-old senior said that she will use the money to help prepare for medical school this fall. “I am really interested in translational research,” says Savich, referring to the new field of biomedicine that transforms scientific discoveries into clinical applications. “I want to become an M.D. who does clinical research.” Already, Savich has gained extensive experience as a lab researcher for biology professor Michael Cosgrove, whose study of proteins is finding cures for cancer. She also volunteers at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s University Hospital and at her church.
“Ilona is a talented writer and a careful thinker,” says philosophy professor Ben Bradley, who organizes the Peterfreund Award program. He recalls the time that Savich presented a sophisticated paper on the ethics of killing in self-defense. “She did an amazing job. She’s the kind of student who every philosophy professor wants in his class.”
The Ukrainian-born Syracuse resident is the 12th recipient of the Peterfreund Award, which has been given annually since 1997. The award’s namesake taught many graduate and undergraduate courses at SU, as well as co-edited the landmark anthology Great Traditions in Ethics (Wadsworth Publishing, 2007), now in its 12th edition. Peterfreund also wrote and edited other important works on philosophy and ethics.
More information about the Peterfreund Award is available at http://thecollege.syr.edu/.