Alumni profiles

Steven Cummings (B.A., 2014)

I am a regulatory attorney with the New York State Department of Financial Services, which is the primary financial regulator for all of New York State. In particular, I serve as the lead attorney for the Virtual Currency Applications team. In this role, I evaluate whether an entity's application for a license to engage in virtual currency business activity (e.g., providing exchange services for bitcoin) comports with applicable New York State statutes and regulations. My philosophy degree from SUNY Albany has proven invaluable, and I still utilize the mental flexibility I developed through my coursework to this day.

...my philosophy degree from SUNY Albany, and the... skills I developed in obtaining that degree, were vital to my success...

I graduated from SUNY Albany in 2014, and as a philosophy major, I closely analyzed nuanced arguments and theories, read large amounts of material in order to distill the materials' core principles, and applied older arguments and theories in new contexts that did not exist at the time the theory/work was created. These skills carry through to my current work, where I evaluate applications with often varying and nuanced business models, stay abreast of changes in both technology and law as these relate to virtual currencies, and apply existing statues and regulations to an area of law that changes by the minute.

I can say with the upmost sincerity that my philosophy degree from SUNY Albany, and the corresponding skills I developed in obtaining that degree, were vital to my successes in law school and are still vital to my current role.

Syd Johnson (Ph.D., 2009)

photo of Syd Johnson

I'm currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy & Bioethics at Michigan Technological University, in the Department of Humanities. I developed and coordinate the Bioethics Minor Program, and teach several graduate and undergraduate bioethics courses at the university. My research is primarily in neuroethics, with an emphasis on neuroscientific developments related to the treatment and diagnosis of brain injury. I'm a member of the Neuroethics Division of the NIH BRAIN Initiative, and recently edited The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics.

...the well-rounded and comprehensive Ph.D. program has informed and influenced my scholarship...

While I specialized in Ethics in the Philosophy Department at UAlbany, the well-rounded and comprehensive Ph.D. program has informed and influenced my scholarship, which is empirically-informed and interdisciplinary, and regularly engages with issues in philosophy of science and mind, and epistemology.

See also our previous alumni profiles.