Brian grew up in a suburb of Seattle and did his undergraduate work at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. There, he studied primarily science and continental philosophy, while also developing an interest in philosophy of mind. Brian had tremendous admiration for his professors at Grinnell, so much so that he was motivated to pursue a career in teaching. After Grinnell, Brian taught English as a foreign language, analytical writing, and introductory philosophy abroad for three years with two fellowship programs. He found the work enjoyable and meaningful, and he is still passionate about the teaching side of his prospective career.
The philosophy program at Brandeis was a terrific opportunity for Brian to develop his budding interest in philosophy of mind and discover new research interests. Brian was thrilled to take classes on a variety of topics central to contemporary analytical philosophy. His research interests—which continue to evolve—coalesced in the subjects areas which are now his primary interests: philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of action, and moral psychology. Brandeis was especially beneficial to Brian's philosophical development due to the excellent education he received from Beri Marušić, Jerry Samet, and Eli Hirsch. Their courses were well-taught and rigorous, and from them Brian not only gained an understanding of their subject matter but also developed skills central to philosophical work—writing, discussion, and peer criticism.
Brian also appreciated and benefited from his time at Brandeis because of the wonderful opportunity to collaborate and socialize with a cohort of smart and motivated aspiring philosophers. Brian learned a considerable amount of philosophy from his colleagues and he particularly enjoyed the numerous occasions—in and out of class—during which passionate philosophical discussions were had.
After Brandeis, Brian was not ready to leave the Boston area, and decided to spend another year in the area (during which he worked as a tutor and teacher) before applying to philosophy PhD programs. In the fall, Brian will be enrolling in a philosophy PhD program, which will be the next (and final) step towards his prospective career as a philosophy professor.