Robert Delfino '94Ph.D.
Professor Robert Delfino, Ph.D., '94C believes he always had a calling to teach, but it was his professors at St. John’s who greatly influenced him to become an educator: “I come from a family of teachers, and from an early age I have felt a pull towards teaching, but it was my professors at St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who inspired me to follow in their footsteps and further explore the teaching field.”
As a philosophy professor on the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University, Dr. Delfino believes teaching courses in metaphysics and ethics naturally tie in to the University’s mission: “I teach students about morality, purpose in life, and God and I tie these themes in with St. Vincent’s emphasis on love and care of one’s neighbor. I am constantly encouraging them to think about their life, its meaning and purpose and to consider carefully what goals they want to pursue.”
Teaching at his alma mater has been an extremely rewarding experience for Dr. Delfino: “There is no greater joy for me than when I see a student’s eyes ‘light up’ because he or she has understood a deep metaphysical point, or a profound moral principle. Experiences like these reinvigorate my passion to teach.”
“Being a professor at St. John's has opened all sorts of doors for me. For example, over the last three years I have presented papers in Rome, Italy; Lublin, Poland; Madrid, Spain; and Oxford, England,” says Dr. Delfino. The philosophy professor was recently featured on NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Web site, Scienceline, in addition to presenting numerous papers at conferences around the world.
Dr. Delfino believes input from his students is extremely valuable and he often has his students read and comment on the papers he is working on: “Several of these articles were published and the names of the students were acknowledged in the endnotes. It brings joy to many of them to see their names mentioned in a published article.”
Dr. Delfino believes in not only teaching students, but learning from them as well: “I have learned to see things from my students’ perspective, and it has inspired me to research certain areas in philosophy. All of this has deepened my knowledge and has made me a better person and teacher. As a result, I have come to realize that teaching is an honor and a privilege. I feel blessed to have it in my life. It is also a humbling experience, because a good teacher realizes that you can never stop learning.”