Friday, Sep 28 2012 02:07 PM

Ryan James Kieffe

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Ryan James Kieffe

Ryan James Kieffe


The 2nd Annual Ryan Kieffe Memorial Scholarship in Philosophy was awarded April 21 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dean William Ladusaw of the Humanities Department awarded the scholarship to Adam Porwol.

Adam Porwol wrote “In commemoration of Ryan’s academic achievements in Philosophy at University of California, Santa Cruz, I am grateful and honored to be one of the recipients of the Ryan Kieffe Scholarship. On behalf of Ryan, your generous support is helping me further my academic education and fulfill my parents’ dream of having a son graduate from college. Growing up my parents taught me to value hard work and stress quality in my performance, especially when concerning academic work. I am thankful to your family for recognizing my achievements in my academic career.

I plan to use the scholarship to pay for my Fall 2012 textbooks and courses. The textbooks will also help my brother who is studying politics at the UCSC since we share classes to lower school costs. Realizing how helpful donations are, I am now planning to donate back to UCSC in the future to help the recent project of building a Philosophy Library/textbook borrowing service. Again I am thankful for your family for awarding me with the Ryan Kieffe Scholarship which is helping further my education, open my mind to philosophy and new experiences in college and to be the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I only wish I could have known more about Ryan Kieffe because my interest in him has grown considerably over the past few weeks.”

The Ryan Kieffe Memorial Scholarship was established by Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Smith of Tehachapi. Patrick Brendan Smith completed his Master of Arts in Philosophy at the San Francisco State University. His thesis “Phenomenalism and Realism of Cartesian Time” was dedicated to Ryan James Kieffe. Patrick Smith is currently teaching Philosophy at San Francisco State University.

Patrick wrote the following statement about Ryan.

“Ryan Kieffe was a philosophy undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz from 2006 to 2010. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree after the winter quarter in 2010. Philosophically, Ryan’s interests covered a diverse range of themes and thinkers: Hegel to Kierkegaard, Kant, LaoTzu, Nietzche and Heidegger, as well as pragmatist philosophers like William James on through Richard Rorty. Ryan’s life was lived, without toil or self-doubt, as a person devoted sincerely to the life of the mind. Ryan sadly passed away shortly after receiving his degree.

Ryan was raised in Tehachapi, a rural mountain community in Southern California. After high school, Ryan spent several years at Bakersfield College deciding what field to specialize in. It was during this time that he discovered philosophy, and all of the questions capable of being asked in such a discipline. At Bakersfield College, Ryan worked tirelessly to ensure that he was a model student. In turn, Ryan received many admissions offers from top universities throughout California. However, after visiting UC Santa Cruz, Ryan knew he had found his new home. Ryan loved both the campus and eclectic culture that is Santa Cruz. It was his dream to receive a first-class education after transferring from community college, and this dream was indeed fulfilled. This memorial scholarship will hopefully allow another person from a similar background to achieve the dream Ryan fulfilled at UC Santa Cruz.”

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