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I grew up in a working class family in the Appalachians of rural western Pennsylvania and spent a great deal of my youth in the woods, learning from nature. I also learned much from my grandparents; my late grandmother, LaVerne Varrato, was an elementary schoolteacher for nearly forty years, and, among other things, she taught me the value of lifelong education.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, bodybuilding, playing video games, and hanging out with my cat, Clouseau.

Rory smoking a cigar in Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba


After high school, I attended Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where I majored in U.S. History on a National Merit Scholarship. I later returned to ASU and earned a master's degree in Political Theory.


Currently, I am an advanced doctoral student in the Philosophy and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. I have recently begun in earnest to work on my dissertation, which I intend to write as a philosophical dialogue exploring the human predicament in the Anthropocene through the lens of a conversation about the question of procreation at this juncture in world history.


Given my moral commitments and interdisciplinary background, I locate myself primarily within the following traditions and discourses:


Politically, therefore, I identify as a green revolutionary anarcho-communist and anti-imperialistIn my view, these are the ideological expressions of a way of life that is informed by and that strives to actualize—at both the individual and collective levels—James Fowler's claim that "the universal vocation of persons is the humanization of humankind."

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Prior to beginning my PhD, I worked as a high school teacher at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, part of the Great Hearts Academies network.

From 2017-2019, I served as the Graduate Coordinator for Freedom and Citizenship, a college seminar and academic enrichment program meant to help introduce dedicated NYC high school students to the humanities and to prepare them for a life of active citizenship in their communities.

I have also worked as an adjunct professor of philosophy at Fordham University, a graduate student instructor at Teachers College, and a course assistant at New York University and Arizona State University.

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