Professor of Philosophy Scott Samuelson named 2015 Hiett Prize winner
Iowa City, Iowa (November 4, 2015)-Kirkwood Community College Professor of Philosophy Dr. Scott Samuelson has been named the 2015 winner of The Hiett Prize in the Humanities. The purpose of the award is to recognize candidates who are in the early stages of careers devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise with a significant public component related to contemporary culture.
The Hiett Prize, now in it’s 11th year, is given by the Dallas Institute of Culture and Humanities. Samuelson, who has taught at Kirkwood since 2000, was chosen over a handful of other highly qualified candidates from all over the United States. This is Samuelson’s second award in as many years. Last year, the Community College Humanities Association also named him the 2014 Distinguished Humanities Educator. According to him, it is an honor to be considered on par with his talented peers.
“I’m really grateful to the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture for honoring me with the Hiett Prize,” said Samuelson. “I’m also really grateful to them for honoring the priceless contribution that community college humanities professors make to our culture. I’m a decent teacher, and I strive to bring philosophy into the lives of as many people as I can. But I know that there are scores of community college professors who are as deserving of this honor as I am – and quite a few who are more deserving. This award is one more inspiration for me to live up to their examples.”
In addition to teaching philosophy, Samuelson is an accomplished author and has been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and the Chicago Tribune in addition to other publications. His first book, “The Deepest Human Life: An introduction to Philosophy for Everyone”, has been well received by philosophers and non-philosophers alike.
According to Samuelson, education is a gift that needs to be passed on.
“My father was a teacher, so it’s in my blood,” said Samuelson. “Education is a gift-giving cycle, one that carries a gift forward. I am blessed to have been given an education by my teachers, and I feel obliged to pass on an education to others. As trying as teaching can sometimes be, there’s nothing quite like its moments of awakening and mental intimacy.”
Samuelson will receive the award at a luncheon in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 10.