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Editor's Note

LST-538 classroom
LST-538 classroom

Reinvent, Transform, Integrate

I am fresh from my third TEDxHouston experience, and this year’s theme was “Resonate.” As I sit at home today, reviewing my notes from the conference, I am reminded of my time in the MALS program. The MALS experience was such an internally powerful, transformative one for me, and it came at a time in my life when many powerful things—both positive, and negative—were working in externally transformative ways as well.

It’s exciting when I see other MALS students engaged in the program. We recently surveyed some students who are currently enrolled in MALS to see what they were thinking about, and what was resonating with them about the program. The students are from Dr. Anne Coon’s “Reading and the Roaring Twenties” class (LST 538). I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I did.

What about the MALS program appealed to you?

  • Julie Ann Wilson: The capstone doesn’t need to be a paper. Many people do projects, or write plays; it allows you to use your creative talents.
  • Melissa Pletscher-Nizinsky: Diversity of course offerings. The courses are interdisciplinary, and really force you to push the boundaries of your thinking. As a mom of three young children, the flexibility of the program was also a plus.

How do you see yourself applying things you learned in MALS to your current life or job?

  • Colleen Costanza: I am more tolerant of others, more well-rounded in terms of my knowledge, and I see life a bit differently than when I started MALS. It’s eye-opening, and keeps me questioning—I love that.
  • Stacey M. Sheppard: My undergraduate degree is in Biomedical Photographic Communications—very specified. I wanted a Master’s program that would broaden my horizons, and make me more employable overall; to think on an analytical, not just mathematical or scientific, level.

What would you tell someone who was interested in MALS, but was hesitant about whether the program would deliver a return on their investment?

  • Melissa Pletscher-Nizinsky: In the current employment environment the ability to “wear multiple hats” is a huge selling point; MALS enables you to expand your thinking, view things from different perspectives; an ability that will help you wear those hats.
  • Colleen Costanza: For me the value wasn’t really an “ROI” but life knowledge—to me, that meant more.

When I think about resonance, I realize that one of the reasons MALS resonated so deeply with me was that I enrolled in the program at a point in my life when not much else at all was resonating. I was frustrated with my career path; I was feeling ambivalent (on my best days) about an impending move to Alaska; I was numb after the too-young passing of a dear family member. Groping in the dark, finding MALS wasn’t so much about finding a light switch as it was about finding the volume knob on the stereo. MALS allowed me to turn up the volume of my own life, and to feel the vibrations again. Finally, my own life resonated, and from within. What a gift.

This gift of resonance resulted in the ability to see more clearly all of the opportunities before me, and ultimately reinvent myself. I was transformed! And I continue to be, every day.

As Thanksgiving approaches I am so thankful—for MALS, for all of the good vibrations the holiday season brings, and for this opportunity to reach out to you and share my experiences. Peace and light to all of you.

Christina E. Uticone
MALS Graduate, 2007


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