March 12, 2012

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 3, Issue 1

Dr. Abigail Levin

by Nicole Mehlman

Dr. Abigail Levin.

Dr. Abigail Levin.

At 10 a.m., Dr. Abigail Levin sits in the front of her classroom on her desk with a smile on her face and greets her animal ethics students. In order to keep up with her fast-paced conversations, her students take out their notebooks and get ready to write as fast as they possibly can.
While always teaching up a storm, Levin makes a point to be cheerful in her political philosophy, eastern philosophy, animal ethics, and environmental ethics classes on campus. But she also often challenges her students preconceived ideas.
I love to teach all of these courses, because I think that they really make me, and hopefully my students, revisit habits and prejudices that we tend to take for granted, Levin says. These courses, I hope, make us aware of the smallness, and privilege, of our lives in the developed west.
Students who've had Levin know, she is a vegetarian and supports many clubs and activities on campus that encourage vegetarianism and environmentally friendly practices. She was a major supporter of establishing the vegetarian section in Clet Dining Hall in order to provide more variety for students.
From the time I was old enough to recognize that meat was once a live animal, around 8 or 9, I was viscerally turned off by it, she says.
On top of teaching, Levin is a Big Sister to a student attending Niagara Falls High School, a member of the Rochester Zen Center (a Buddhist community) and is an adviser for the NU Alliance, and NU's Gay-Straight Student Alliance.
When not teaching or partaking in various organizations, Levin keeps life simple.
I am a huge board game/card game nerd. I will drop anything to play poker or Scrabble, and I'm always up for learning new games. My husband and I have three cats: Oise, Elsinore and Donny, and we play with them all the time, she says.

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