Standard Bearer | Daisy Underhill, Department of Philosophy

Daisy Underhill, Department of Philosophy Student of Distinction

With a dual major in Philosophy and Biology, Daisy Underhill not only excels in both areas of study but has found ways to combine them through her research. 

“Each discipline tried to get human behavior someway. [With] biology, I though genes would give me the answer; [with] philosophy: ideology,” said Underhill.

Assistant Professor Dr. Vadim Keyser explains, “Daisy carefully examines philosophical text as well as applied scientific work in order to provide thorough exposition. She integrates philosophy of science concepts and applied research. Finally, she uses philosophy of science methodology to make careful conclusions about socially-relevant research.”

An example of this is Underhill’s research, which explores the inclination to blame the victim of sexual assault and exonerate the perpetrator. By using a philosophy of science methodology to explore the legal judgments, she was able to demonstrate that a prior relationship between the perpetrator and the victim produces leniency bias in sexual assault cases but not in cases of other violent crimes.

Underhill has been awarded two philosophy department scholarships and one biology department scholarship. She has received two philosophy essay awards and participated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) and the Pittsburgh Summer Program 3. She is currently an undergraduate researcher in the Telemeco Reptile Evolution and Ecology (TREE) lab, a member of the College of Science and Mathematics Dean’s Student Advisory Council (DSAC), and a Peer Mentor for the College of Science and Mathematics’ Building Opportunities through Networks of Discovery (BOND) program. 

She also served as president of the Fresno State Philosophy Club where she secured funding to take eight students to the annual American Philosophical Association Pacific Conference.

Underhill plans to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy with an emphasis in philosophy of science or biology — continuing her interdisciplinary passion.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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