Philosophy Student: Dean's Distinguished Graduate Fellows



Alexandra Cunningham, Philosophy

Cunningham's research focuses on questions within social and traditional epistemology, particularly those that lie at the intersection of epistemology and ethics. Cunningham's most recent thesis investigated what, if anything, generates our standing to epistemically blame others. Originally from New Brunswick, Canada, Cunningham earned a master’s in philosophy from the University of Calgary and a bachelor’s with double honors in philosophy and great books from St. Thomas University.




The new Dean's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in Arts & Sciences recognizes incoming doctoral and master’s of fine arts students for exceptional academic distinction and a demonstrated interest in advancing the public good and contributing to the university community's diversity and vitality.

Within seven different graduate programs, this year's fellows will be pursuing research on identity and trauma in clinical psychology, delving into social movements and race, exploring intersectionality among artistic networks, studying the sounds of sporting venues, applying computational methods to understand Latin American voting behaviors, linking ethics to ways of knowing, and pushing the poetic imagination.

"We are thrilled to welcome this first cohort of fellows to campus," said William Acree, dean's fellow for graduate education initiatives. "They are pursuing field-defining research, pushing the frontiers of creativity and helping to build a vibrant cross-disciplinary community of fellows that will continue to grow. As part of Dean Hu's vision for the decade of Arts & Sciences, this new program exemplifies one of the many ways we are achieving excellence in graduate education."

The fellowship provides each student $8,000, in addition to Arts & Sciences fellowships or research assistantships, for each year of funding support the student receives at WashU. The fellows also engage in various professional development opportunities, community-building programs, and opportunities to connect with fellows from other university programs, such as the Olin and Chancellor's fellowships. 

"We are so pleased these stellar students have joined our community. Our goal is to help them excel in their scholarship while also developing various professional and personal skill sets," said Sophia Hayes, vice dean of graduate education in Arts & Sciences. "In helping to nurture their strengths, we hope to ultimately make a difference for the communities they wish to serve.”