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Brandie Jefferson

Brandie Jefferson

Senior news director | Washington University | Class of 2001

To say Brandie Jefferson couldn’t wait to live the college life is an understatement.

After all, the 2001 philosophy grad remembers thinking, “college was where people got to think. Full-time. Not only as a means to solving an immediate, real-life problem, but simply as an exercise. For fun.

“When I arrived at the U of I, however, I didn’t feel as if I had time to think,” says Jefferson, now the senior news director at Washington University in St. Louis. “Instead, I was learning equations, reading a monstrous amount of work that I found uninteresting and, maybe, doing a little socializing at Mike & Molly’s.

“Until I wound up in Everitt Lab. Not as an engineer, but as a philosophy student in Philip Phillips’ Philosophy of Science course. We discussed the history and inner-workings of the scientific method and learned about cutting-edge theories.

“In Patrick Maher’s classes on the fourth floor of Lincoln Hall, we took a historical approach. A half-dozen students sat around a circular wooden table asking if Galileo could have used his pulse to make measurements as accurate as he professed, or did our most celebrated scientists stray — sometimes wildly — from the scientific method textbooks ascribe them?

“And why was he such a jerk to Kepler?

“In any event, those classes molded the way I think, not just as a science writer but in everyday situations — probably to the annoyance of those who have to deal with me — as I try to communicate with precision and logic in mind.”