Libby Burton


Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Major: Philosophy and computer Science
Minor: German Studies
Study Abroad: Erlangen, Germany
Best Adjective to Describe Yourself: Didactic

DSA’s are nominated by departments or programs. Libby knows firsthand what it’s like to be a Philosophy major. She is available via e-mail and at special campus events to answer your questions. DSAs do not replace academic advisors or faculty, but serve as an additional resource at K.

Libby Burton

You can reach Libby at

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
The fantastic community of students and professors who learn, think, and laugh together.

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Everyone can do philosophy! Your thoughts are always welcome and encouraged because we are here to support one another. Philosophy is more than tweed jackets and ivory towers; it gives us the words we need to describe the human condition. Reach out to the department and give it a try!

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
At the expense of a cliché, life is too short to do things you do not enjoy. K has the resources to put you on a path you can be truly excited about, you just have to take those opportunities.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
19th Century Philosophy was my favorite class because it is where I discovered my love of philosophy. By the end of 2nd week, I was considering maybe picking up a philosophy minor, and by 10th week I knew my true passion lies in philosophy.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
When I first joined K, I had the intentions of only being a computer science major and working in IT after college. However, thanks to K’s open curriculum, I had the opportunity to take philosophy and German Studies courses, which changed the entire trajectory of my life.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I have had the privilege of being a teaching assistant for both the philosophy and the computer science departments. I am also involved with K’s philosophy club, Homework Champions Tutoring (HCT) which partners with the Refugee Outreach Collective, and I have participated in an IT internship at Kellogg.

What is your SIP?
For my SIP I will be working on providing an English translation and philosophical commentary of several essays from German philosopher Martin Seel’s book “Die Macht des Erscheinens” (The Power of Appearance). Seel’s philosophy of aesthetics is some of the most profound theory I have come across, so I am always beyond happy to discuss it with anyone.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Ultimately, I would like to become a professor in philosophy. My plans after K are to apply for graduate schools. However, I would like to take a gap year and participate in some sort of post-undergraduate program like Fulbright to gain teaching experience and improve my German.