Maria Sanders

Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 535-3011
Office: Health & Human Enrichment, PE Center Rm 214C, MSC 22, Plymouth, NH 03264

Dr. Maria Sanders is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and coordinates the Philosophy program at Plymouth State University. Dr. Sanders is an applied ethicist whose research engages the public in scholarly philosophical dialogue within the areas of medicine, business, education, and law while encouraging thoughtful interaction with existing and emerging technologies in an attempt to create opportunities for civic engagement and reflective living.

Dr. Sanders also hosts a weekly radio program on WPCR-Plymouth (91.7 FM) entitled Philosophy 4 Life which offers a public forum for philosophical discourse. The show airs live Tuesday evenings from 5:00pm -7:00pm (EST) and streams live at .

In addition, Dr. Sanders is an award-winning teacher who has taught at the college level in both the community college and university systems for over 20 years. She has taught nationally in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and New Hampshire; and internationally in Greece, Turkey, England, Scotland, and Ireland. She recently led a major revision of the Philosophy program at PSU to focus upon Applied Ethics that resulted in 18 new courses. Dr. Sanders is passionate about building bridges between philosophy and other programs such as nursing, business administration, and criminal justice; and finding ways for her students to take what they learn in the philosophy classes and apply it to the real world through service learning and internship opportunities.


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy – Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • J.D. in Law – Saint Louis University
  • M.A. in Philosophy – Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
  • B.A. in Philosophy – Mansfield University
  • B.A. in Music – Mansfield University

Recent publications:

Sanders, Maria. “Social and Ethical Considerations of Smart Home Technologies.” (forthcoming 2017)

Sanders, MariaTo Lie or To Learn: An Honest Inquiry into Dishonesty in Higher Education. (forthcoming 2017).

Holba, Annette, & Sanders, Maria. “Carving Out Place and Time.” (forthcoming 2016).

 Sanders, Maria. “Revitalizing a Struggling Philosophy Program.” (forthcoming 2016).

Sanders, Maria & Phillips, Claire. Social Media in Higher Education: Possibilities and Pitfalls. (forthcoming 2016).

Moulenbelt, Jason, Sanders, Maria, & Thorsby, Mark. Guided Readings in Philosophy: Plato’s Meno. (forthcoming 2016).

 Sanders, Maria. “Embracing Critical Thinking as a Model for Professional Development: Creating CTB-FLCs On Your Campus.” Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 26(1), 29-37. Spring 2011.

Sanders, Maria & Moulenbelt, Jason. “Defining Critical Thinking: How Far Have We Come?” Inquiry: Critical Thinking       Across the Disciplines, 26(1), 38-46. Spring 2011.

Sanders, Maria & Thorsby, Mark. “Broaching Fragmented Learning: Principles for Reflective Learning in the Cyber-age.”       INTED 2011, 5th ed. e-book. March 2011.

Sanders, Maria. “Comprehensive Planning: The Freeburg Experience.” Municipal Affairs Bulletin, 15 (3), 2-5. Fall 1998.


Honors and Awards:

  • Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award Nominee, 2011/2012
  • National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Faculty Excellence Award, 2011.
  • Lone Star College System’s Faculty Excellence Award, 2011
  • Madison’s Who’s Who Among Professionals, 2010
  • South Texas College’s Jaguar Award for Instructional Services, 2006
  • Honorary Member, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, 2005
  • Morris Eames Graduate Award in Philosophy, 2000
  • Saint Louis University School of Law’s Outstanding Achievement in Criminal Jurisprudence, 1996
  • Saint Louis University School of Law’s Outstanding Achievement in Copyright Law, 1996
  • John Rutherford Ott Award in Philosophy, 1990

Courses taught at PSU:

  • PY 1010: Ultimate Questions
  • PYDI 1050: Building a Civil Society
  • PYDI 1120: Ethics in Everyday Life
  • PYDI 2410: Creative Problem-Solving in Ethics
  • PYDI 2710: Science or Superstition
  • PY 3010: Topics in Philosophy: Happiness
  • PY 3110: History of Ancient Philosophy
  • PY 3113: History of Contemporary Philosophy
  • PY 3360: Ethics and Psychology
  • PY 3390: Applied Ethics
  • PY 3720: Philosophy of Law
  • PY 3380: Humans and Humanoids
  • PY 4770: Great Philosophers Seminar: Aristotle
  • PY 4770: Great Philosophers Seminar: David Hume
  • PY 4770: Great Philosophers Seminar: Plato
  • PY 4920: Internship in Philosophy and Applied Ethics

Courses taught at previous colleges: Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Ethics (Honors), Legal Ethics, Business Ethics, Medical Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of law, politics, and society, Non-Western Philosophy, Legal Research and Writing, Introduction to Law for Paralegals

Professional Association Membership and Participation:

  • American Philosophical Association (APA)
  •      APA Philosophy and Law Subcommittee
  •       APA Women in Philosophy Group
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE)
  • American Association for Applied Philosophy (AAAP)
  • American Association for Philosophy Teachers (AAPT)
  • American Association for Informal Logic (AAIL)
  • American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC)
  •         AAWCC-LSC Chapter Advisory Board Member)
  • Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA)
  • Texas Women in Higher Education (TWHE)