Interim Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Philosophy
Sam Imbo is a professor of philosophy. He held the position of Hanna Chair in Philosophy from September, 2005 until May, 2009. He arrived at Hamline in 1996 after earning his BA (Hons) in 1985 from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and his graduate degrees, both the MA (1990) and the PhD (1995), from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. His teaching, writing, and research interests are in the areas of comparative philosophy, African philosophy, and social and political philosophy. Sam combines his training in philosophy with an interest in study abroad and has led study abroad trips to Kenya and Jamaica. He also taught a block seminar in Germany at Trier University in 2008 on the theme of American Islam. And, during the academic year 2013-14, Sam was the Resident Director of the Hamline in York Program at the University of York in England.
From Fall 2015 until January 2017 Sam served as Interim Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts. He received a Fulbright Award to lecture in Japan in Spring 2017.
Sam is an avid table tennis player. He is the 2013 Minnesota State U2000 Champion. He took second place in the same event at the 2015 Badger Open, and was part of the winning Division 4 team at the 2016 America's Team Table Tennis Championship.
As a teacher-scholar in the liberal arts, I strongly believe that not only must a college education equip the student with substantive knowledge in the specific disciplines, educators also have a duty to prepare students for meaningful careers in a global economy and for reflective professional lives. From our diverse vantage points in the academy, the common task is one of molding intellectually and culturally responsible citizens of the world. Over my career I have been fortunate enough to work, in many countries, with traditional, non-traditional, and international students. I have brought to these encounters a passion for intellectual discovery, for teaching and learning, and for building communities of scholarship between students and professors. The following four specific values guide my academic practice: a robust understanding of diversity, a passion for interdisciplinary and international learning, responsible engagement with technology, and a demand for rigorous scholarship in teaching and learning.
"I believe that the classroom, broadly construed, is one of the few remaining sacred spaces in our culture where we can respectfully wrestle with ideas. As a teacher, I constantly strive to create a learning environment that is stimulating, challenging, and supportive. The goal is to have each member realize their potential as an equal participant in the discussion and not merely as a spectator, and to develop the capacity to front difficult or controversial ideas without being confrontational."
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