Engaging in Ethics – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Engaging in Ethics

Hannah Zale ’09 interns at SUNY Upstate Medical Center

Fresh from a year of philosophy-intensive courses, Hannah Zale ’09 began an internship in May at the SUNY Upstate Medical University, Center for Bioethics and Humanities in Syracuse, N.Y. Ever since, Zale has been showing professors there how insightful and helpful a liberal arts student can be. “There’s no question that HWS has prepared me well for this experience,” she says. “My bioethics courses with Assistant Professors of Philosophy Eric Barnes and Carol Oberbrunner have allowed me to really engage in what’s happening in the office.”

Zale is working as a staff member on the center’s medical humanities journal, The Healing Muse. This innovative publication uses the themes of illness, recovery and loss to integrate its many genres – poetry, fiction, visual art and non-fiction. After The Healing Muse goes to print in a few weeks, Zale will begin assisting SUNY Medical Center professors with their research and writing.

A day at the office for Zale always includes working alongside SUNY professors who are social psychologists, philosophers, lawyers or doctors. Regardless of their field, Zale notes that, “they are all so welcoming and willing to answer all my questions.”

She especially enjoys lunches set up by the medical center with a different professor each week. These allow Zale to talk one-on-one with bioethics professionals about their research, scholarly interests, philosophic insights and much more.

Zale also attends research presentations by SUNY Medical Center professors held each month. “I have to say that I really enjoyed Professor Olick’s presentation,” She explains, referring to Robert S. Olick, J.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

“He talked about the issue of living people selling non-essential organs for profit or ‘reward.’ …It was really exciting for me because this particular issue is something that I have given a lot of though to this past semester. I even wrote and ran a debate case about it. So being able to watch this presentation and then being able to talk with him about it afterward was really fantastic.”

After her time at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center is complete, Zale will return to campus where she is a philosophy major and public policy minor with a concentration in health and a member of the pre-med program.