Nathan May, Alumni Spotlight for May 2018

Nathaniel May, JD

March 2018

Nathan May received his Masters of Arts in Bioethics from Wake Forest University in 2014.

Nathan believes that bioethics sits in a fascinating spot between science and policy. He knew that a Masters in Bioethics would not only aid his professional endeavors, but also fuel his personal curiosity as well. He states that the study of bioethics can range from abstract theory to deeply personal, real-life situations. He was drawn to the intellectual challenges offered by this dynamic field. He learned that many questions presented in bioethics are universal and the lessons learned can be applied in many fields of study.

Nathan graduated with an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He worked on various laboratory research projects until he realized that laboratory work was not his calling. He became interested in the ethical dilemmas presented by advancements in science. Nathan also discovered he had a deep appreciation for legal studies, particularly where ethics and the law meet. He pursued a Masters in Bioethics before going to law school in order to build a strong foundation in bioethics to complement his legal career. He knew his time in the bioethics program at Wake Forest University would guide his career path from that point onward.

His best memories of the Bioethics Graduate Program are those regarding the people. Nathan states that the faculty and staff were truly invested in the growth and success of their students. The sincerity of their teaching and charity with their time was evident. Additionally, his fellow students were open to sharing their diverse and unique perspectives–a necessity for an engaging study of bioethics. Everyone involved in his bioethics education at Wake Forest University contributed to his success in the program.

He believes that completing his bioethics degree gave him an advantage in the classroom at law school. He found he had a deeper appreciation than his peers for the complexities of policy issues, as well as a more diverse approach when it came to exploring the many angles of an ethical or legal problem.

In his current role as practicing attorney in commercial litigation, he finds himself steering towards scientific and technological issues that present complex challenges. His bioethics degree from Wake Forest University gives him the perspective to challenge his own view of an issue and see it from a different light. Although much of his work is not directly bioethics-related, the analytical tools, as well as sensitivity to different analytical disciplines, are tremendously useful. He retains a passion for bioethics, regardless of his job. He continues to progress in his career with a lasting desire to grow in the appreciation of bioethics and the challenges it presents.

The Bioethics degree pushes Nathan to shape his career towards goals of incorporating bioethics, law, and policy into his professional and personal paths.

Nathan lives in Phoenix, AZ, where he was born and raised. He works at a Phoenix law firm doing commercial litigation. He enjoys spending time with his fiancée, his family, and his golden retriever in beautiful Arizona.