UW-Madison and MATC
During grad school, I taught many undergraduate courses as a T.A. and as a primary instructor. During this time I also taught several courses (multiple sections each of Business Ethics and Intro to Philosophy) at Madison Area Technical College (MATC), a local community college. At MATC I had the privilege of teaching a very diverse group of students, many of whom were working multiple jobs and/or caring for their families while pursuing college degrees part-time. This was an instructive contrast with the full-time undergrads I was regularly teaching at the University of Wisconsin.
Coastal Carolina University
My first job after grad school was a 3-year teaching-intensive post in the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values at Coastal Carolina University. Part of my responsibility in this job was to teach courses in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Coastal. I taught several different courses every semester: lower-division courses such as Intro to Philosophy and Intro to Ethics, and upper-division courses such as Environmental Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, and Business Ethics, among others. I also created and executed a course in the Philosophy of Art in response to student interest in the subject, and supervised several semester-long independent study groups, including one in the History of Analytic Philosophy. I was also the principal advisor for Coastal Aesthetes (a student group focused on philosophy of art) and Coastal Humanists, and was frequently involved in the Philosophy Club.
The other half of my responsibility in this job had to do with a role in the Jackson Scholars Program, an ethics honors program for bright undergraduate students. I was involved in all the day-to-day functions of the Jackson program: interviewing and selecting students for the program, helping to design the curriculum, organizing and putting on events for the program, and so on. In this role I had the opportunity to teach numerous small ethics courses designed specifically for the students in the program. One of the highlights: I got to be the coach for Coastal's very first Ethics Bowl team. Teaching kept me happily busy at Coastal and it was a pleasant time in my career.
Here are some teaching evaluations from that time:
(1) Contemporary Moral Issues and Intro to Philosophy. (2) Biomedical Ethics. (3) Business Ethics. (4) Ethical Theory.
Here are some of the nice things students said about me:
"He really knows what he is talking about and is very passionate about the material. Also, he was extensively available for us to consult him regarding course content and any questions that we may have had. He is very approachable and gave every student the proper respect they were due."
"Knowledge of the subject matter and personal ability to explain difficult ideas made this course one of my all time favorites. Also the reading material selected was interesting and made me/us think. He is both strong and gentle in his approach to learning and made sure we looked at all sides of an issue."
"Great examples that helped us try to wrap our heads around the complex theories and arguments, he promoted discussion and opinions in class, he gave a lot of opportunity to really learn our material and had extra credit opportunities."
"He is a great instructor and I found the class really interesting and fun. He makes the class laugh, and teaches the difficult material in a really great way so the class understands the information."
"Professor Killoren was really good at providing the class with multiple examples and breaking complex things down until we understood them. Another thing I really appreciate that he did was he kept his personal opinion out of it. Not once did I feel that he was trying to persuade me to feel one way or another but rather that he was encouraging us as student of philosophy to reevaluate our own opinions and perhaps question why we hold a certain opinion on a particular issue."
"Wish CCU could have kept him as he is a real asset. He will move on to another position in the Fall but is leaving many wishing he would stay."
"I loved the course! and I loved the professor! I really felt like I was learning something that I will use and have been using my entire life."
"Teacher has a good sense of humor - got that dry wit."
"The professor's enthusiasm and overall openness to accept new theories as well as his eagerness to hear other's opinions greatly helped in this class."
After my stint at Coastal, I landed a one-year job in Northwestern University's Brady Program for Ethics and Civic Life, a highly competitive program for excellent civic-minded students. In this job, I supervised a group of four graduate students in their role as mentors to undergraduate students in the Brady program. I also served as an additional mentor to the Brady students. With Richard Kraut (who is the leader of the Brady Program) I conducted a weekly discussion group about philosophy and current events. I also played a supervisory role in the students' capstone community service project. In this project, the students had a huge amount of freedom: they were required to do something to benefit the community of Evanston, Illinois (the city where Northwestern is based) but they could do anything that fit that description. They chose to focus on helping mentally disabled young people making the transition to adulthood. The results were inspiring and humbling, an experience that taught me that undergraduate instruction in ethics can take a lot of different forms beyond the traditional lecture format. At the end of my time at Northwestern, I gave a series of three public talks that were aimed at an audience of students, professors, and other stakeholders in the Brady Program.
The position I occupied at Northwestern had been originally designed as a one-year visiting position for well-established, famous philosophers. Others who have held the same post include Robert Audi and Gerry Dworkin. My official title even had the word 'distinguished' in it. I have the distinction of having been the least-distinguished person ever to occupy that post! Despite the obvious mismatch between me and my job title, all of my colleagues were wonderfully kind and supportive, particularly (in no particular order) Kathleen Arbuckle, RIchard Kraut, and Steve White.
My current post at the Dianoia Institute at Australian Catholic University has afforded me wonderful opportunities to focus on my research. I feel a weighty responsibility to make the most of the incredible gift of this time. The upside of my current job is that I have more time to devote to my research; the downside is that teaching opportunities aren't really available. I've tried on numerous occasions to be assigned undergrad courses but the courses always end up being assigned to members of the regular philosophy faculty (from which our institute is separate). Of course, this is fully understandable, given the way that research and teaching responsibilities are divvied up at ACU. But there is really nothing like the experience of teaching a full semester-long undergraduate course. Fortunately, I'm able to do a number of teaching activities; I like to give public talks at philosophically interesting events in Melbourne whenever I get the chance.