Death of Philosophy Professor Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D.

Update on the Celebration of Life for Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D., associate professor of Philosophy at the University.
Death of Philosophy Professor Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D.

Feb. 7 Update

Dear Members of the University Community,

On behalf of the friends of Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, and the University, I wish to invite you to a Celebration of Life for Dr. Szymanski, which will be held Friday, February 28, at 3:00 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in The DeNaples Center.

A faculty member of the University for 12 years, Dr. Szymanski was an accomplished scholar and teacher. She taught courses on Ethics, Philosophy of Women, Feminist Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Food, and a first-year seminar on Philosophy, Wellness and Food. She touched the lives of many students and presented her research at professional gatherings around the world. Her research was motivated by an appreciation for the insights of ancient Greek philosophers and a desire to apply those insights to create a new metaphysics of food. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as Radical Philosophy Review and Food, Culture, & Society and in edited volumes such as Global Food, Global Justice, and Defining Food in the Contemporary World. She was a member of both the American and Canadian Philosophical Associations and the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, among others.

Her service contributions to the University and the community were numerous and included work on the Refugee Crisis Committee, Global Tastes of Scranton, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and the Latin American and Women’s Studies Executive Committee. She also volunteered for many years at the University’s Christmas Breakfast. In the community she volunteered with the Women’s Resource Center, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, and was on the Board of the Breadbasket of Northeastern PA. She participated in numerous service trips, including trips to Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, and had completed the Ignatian Colleagues program.

Dr. Szymanski earned a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Panamericana, and a master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Guelph. She loved languages and was fluent in both English and Spanish and proficient in French, Ancient Greek, and Latin. She had just started studying Italian. 

In the last months of her life she faced cancer with hope and courage, surrounded by her friends, until she died on December 12, 2019.  Gifts in memory of Dr. Szymanski can be made to The International Rescue Committee,, or The Women’s Resource Center,



Jeff Gingerich

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs



Dec.16 Update

I am writing to share information about the memorial service planned for Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Scranton, who passed away December 12.

 A Memorial Mass for Dr. Szymanski will be held on Friday, December 20, at 10:00 a.m. at Madonna della Strada Chapel.  A light brunch will follow the Mass. A Funeral Mass and celebration of life will follow in 2020.

Her full obituary can be seen here.


The following is a note to the University community from the Office of the President on Dec. 12, 2019.

Dear Members of the University Community,

I am saddened to inform you of the passing of Ileana Szymanski, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University. She died earlier today.

Dr. Szymanski joined the faculty of the University in 2008. Her academic research focused on ancient philosophy, specifically Aristotle, and the emerging field of philosophy of food. She also had an interest in feminist philosophy of science and was an associate faculty member for the University’s Latin American and Women’s and Gender Studies programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, and a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and a Ph.D. in ancient philosophy from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Service to others inspired her way of life. Dr. Szymanski was greatly moved by her experience during a University immersion trip to El Salvador, as well as by her participation in the Ignatian Colleagues Program. She served on numerous committees at the University including the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the Women’s Studies Steering Committee and the Faculty Development Board. She helped to organize the collaborative Global Tastes of Scranton series. She also served with numerous organizations in the community, including the Friends of the Poor, Breadbasket of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, among many others.

She will be greatly missed.

I will share with the campus community additional details regarding funeral arrangements when that information becomes available.

Eternal life grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.


Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S. J.





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