By Stephanie Meditz
Bed-Stuy resident Kimberly Engels pondered fundamental truths about the universe even before her first philosophy class.
Originally from Fayette, Iowa, she took an introductory philosophy course as a junior at Luther College.
“When I got to college, I was originally going to be a music major, but my intro to philosophy teacher was so great, and she was so enthusiastic that I just loved the class,” she said. “I would get so excited every day about what we were going to talk about…I remember I would call my dad sometimes and talk to him about the ideas and what was going on in the class. I found it really exciting.”
She went on to earn her master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from Marquette University.
After she earned her Ph.D. in 2017, Engels was hired at Molloy University, where she is now an associate professor.
She teaches courses in biomedical ethics, existentialism and contemporary, Native American, Latin American and Africana philosophy.
Engels is also the editor of “The Good Place and Philosophy,” “Westworld and Philosophy” and “The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy.”
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her 15-year-old son, and she is involved with The Sanctuary Shamanic Healing Center in Callicoon, NY.
“Shamanic healing work is any type of healing work that makes use of non-ordinary states of consciousness, and also through connections with the natural world,” she said.
She especially enjoys acquainting herself with the plants and animals in local parks.
“When you’re able to fully love yourself, you can fully love others and you can interact with others and also with the earth in a much more loving, humane, compassionate, altruistic way,” Engels said. “ I think it starts with a healthy sense of self love that can be really hard to cultivate in our society.