My message today is a mixture of good news and bad news. The bad news is that Nazareth College is phasing out the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program (MALS) primarily because of the impact of the economy on registration. Seven students will receive their diplomas this May; the last three MALS students will graduate in May 2015.
The good news is that currently—with this year’s crop of grads— there are 108 successful graduates of the MALS program, and by May 2015 there will be a total of 111 grads making waves in their respective areas of influence—and showing others how to think outside of the box. That is no small achievement for a fledging program that began in Fall 2002! In just thirteen years, MALS grads have significantly contributed to fields of education, medicine, science, non-profit agencies, and business. MALS grads have moved to Alaska, Florida, Texas, and several points in between. Often, students share with me that it was their MALS experience that gave them the courage to begin their own business, to take a job in a new company, to side-step into a related yet different career, to publish a book, to move to another city for professional advancement. Again, no small achievement!
Nazareth College is proud of each of you and I feel so privileged to have been a part of your unfolding lives. Your confidence in the intellectual challenge of the program, your willingness to step out ahead of the pack, and your intense involvement in your final capstone thesis/project have been a source of inspiration to me as I wind down my thirty-nine years of teaching at Nazareth College. While I have loved working with Freshmen writers, prospective teachers in our English Education program, upper-division English literature majors, and students in our professional writing program, it is YOU—the MALS students—who have given me “juice.” You have challenged my thinking, energized my creative planning, and offered professional and personal refreshment every step of the way. THANK YOU!
Because this is the last “official” MALS MATTERS newsletter, I thought it appropriate to share a few photos of recent MALS events. I am only sorry we don’t have a carefully planned archive of photos to document all the intellectual activity that has made MALS a stimulating program, but perhaps these photos will trigger some fond memories of your time in MALS.
There are three final pieces of good news:
Good News A) UNION INSTITUTE & UNIVERSITY has just inaugurated a very fine Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies. The program is offered on-line with two week-long residencies in Cincinnati per year (January and July). Those of you who consider yourselves life-long learners and who want more MALS-type experience might investigate their offerings. Check it out. www.myunion.edu/phd
Good News B) The spin-off informal book discussion, INKLINGS, is alive and well and welcomes newcomers (+spouses and friends) Next gathering in GAC 451 (munchies at 6:30; discussion 7-8 pm) is scheduled for Thursday, May 29; the book is Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Do come. For further information and to get your name on the e-mail list, contact ola.lapczak @gmail.com
Good News C) The wine and cheese reception to honor this year’s MALS grads—Thursday, May 1 at 5:15-6 pm in Medaille Formal Lounge will be bigger and better than ever if you will join us. I would like to display as many thesis/projects as possible. If you can come celebrate with us, let me know so I can have your capstone thesis/project in a place of honor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, “let us go forward on the road that has brought us to where we are…”
My best to each of you. Do keep in touch. I welcome news of you and your adventures.
Monica Weis, S.S.J.
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