Rick Klonoski, Ph.D.
- Professor of Philosophy
- B.A., The University of Scranton
- M.A., Kent State University
- Ph.D., Duquesne University
- Co-author of the textbook Business Ethics, published by Prentice-Hall
A Passion for Teaching
Some 38 years ago, as I walked down what was then Linden Street, and what is now our burgeoning new Commons, I was confronted, and I do mean confronted, by Fr. Edward Gannon, Jesuit priest and Philosophy Professor. Cigarette in hand, raspy-voiced, he said to me, “Who are you and what are you doing here?” I told him my name and said that I was a student. Irritated, a disposition that, in the course of time, I would discover was his normal state, he barked, “No, no, no, what is your purpose in being here at The University of Scranton?” Now skittish, I mumbled something about my major at the time (it was not Philosophy) and about my desire to work with people before he cut me off. Impatiently and brusquely he yelled, over his shoulder, as he walked away, “I’m Ed Gannon and if you figure it out, or better yet, if you want some help figuring it out, you can find me in the Best Sellers office at the library.”
Teacher, Confidant and Friend
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Fr. Gannon would be my teacher, my confidant, my friend, and I would one day be his colleague in the Philosophy Department, and eventually a pall bearer at his funeral.
Fr. Ed Gannon stirred in me a passion to know and appreciate myself as a unique person, to know my potentialities, my promise. But equally importantly, he stirred in me a passion to become for others what he had become for me, a passageway, something of an open space or intersection of self-understanding. He stirred in me a desire to be a teacher.
The premises of every encounter Fr. Gannon had with students, now my starting points as well, were old-school Jesuit: each of us is a unique individual as created by God; out of gratitude for our unique nature, and the attendant distinctive gifts we have been given, we must generously share with others the gifts that have been given to us.
Challenges Rooted in Cura Personalis
Endeavoring to do just this, I have spent my entire career as a teacher at The University of Scranton, a place where challenges are presented to students by faculty each and every day, challenges that are rooted in cura personalis, a genuine care for unique persons. Our University is a place where so many faculty like myself believe that each of us should become something of an intellectual and moral conduit, or to put it another way, as teachers we should become that intersection of self-understanding, or the right place for someone else’s right time. Over the years, my primary message to my students has been this: As I did, find yourselves and your unique gifts here at The University of Scranton; become who you are truly meant to become; marshal the power of your new-found self-understanding into a great passion to pass on to others what has been given to you.