Creighton University may not have a graduate program in philosophy, but that did not deter Piotr Stankiewicz from leaving his native Poland to come to Nebraska to study with William O. Stephens, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and of classical and Near Eastern studies in Creighton’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Stankiewicz’s research interests led the doctorate candidate at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw to seek out Stephens, an internationally respected scholar of Stoicism. A scholarship from the Kosciuszko Foundation in Warsaw and a grant from the Polish Ministry of Science allowed Stankiewicz to live in Omaha and dissertate under Stephens’s supervision from September to December in 2012. In 2013, Stankiewicz returned to Creighton from February to December to resume his collaboration with Stephens.
In his dissertation, Stankiewicz differentiates nine motifs for artistic creativity. He argues that some of these motifs harmonize with Stoic ideals while others do not. He gave talks on his research to Creighton’s philosophical community in November 2012 and December 2013 and his poetry was published by Creighton’s undergraduate literary journal Shadows. He also commented on Stephens’s article “Epictetus on Fearing Death: Bugbear and Open Door Policy” to be published in the professional journal Ancient Philosophy.