Beyond the Bluff: Joe Coleman ’19

Joe Coleman ’19

Major: Philosophy
Next Step: KNOM Radio Mission

Joe Coleman ’19 has always been drawn to things and experiences that seem to be passed over by most people. This, combined with his passion for social justice and mental health advocacy, led him to the KNOM Radio Mission in Nome, Alaska. As the oldest Catholic radio station in the US, KNOM Radio Mission aims to connect and serve the rural western Alaskan region. Coleman will spend a year as a full-time volunteer for the radio station where his duties will entail flying out to remote villages to conduct interviews, sitting in on town hall meetings, and being involved with the community at large.

“The smallness of the station, along with the fact that I had never heard of it before my mother brought it up, are what I find most appealing about the program,” says Coleman. “Because of its Jesuit affiliation, I know I’ll be able to integrate my Catholic faith with KNOM’s mission to bring hope and inspiration to those who may feel alone or struggle with mental health issues.”

Hailing from Lancaster, CA, Coleman came to LMU as an undeclared liberal arts major. He discovered a passion for philosophy in Professor Timothy Shanahan’s Philosophical Inquiry course where he found himself enthralled by the questions posed in class. Desiring to learn more, Coleman focused his research interests on ancient philosophy and ethics, in particular Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. During his time in the Philosophy Department, he participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program with his project “How the Vicious Person Can Move Toward Virtue Through the Use of Community,” and served as a research assistant for his mentor, Professor Erin Stackle.

“I always say that studying philosophy is acquiring a lens through which you see the world more than it is job training,” said Coleman. “The same holds true for a liberal arts education with the added benefit of engaging in social action through our Jesuit values. LMU’s holistic approach to education is what inspired me to pursue social justice advocacy work.”

Coleman knows he will continue to work toward the betterment of society long after he leaves the bluff. He hopes that his time at KNOM Radio Mission will help him break into the field of media and communications and provide a platform to advocate for the many issues he is passionate about.

Seniors at Loyola Marymount University have been preparing for life after LMU all year. In our Beyond the Bluff series, liberal arts seniors reflect on their post-graduate next steps and the experiences that shaped their career plans.