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Message from the Director

If the country is to prosper—economically, culturally, morally—we have to trust in the institutions, old and new, that nurture creativity, and then hope for the best.

Jon Meacham, Newsweek, January 9, 2010

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the MALS Newsletter. This project has been an idea—and only an idea—for at least a year. By some serendipitous cosmic force, Christina Uticone (MA 07) contacted me from Houston—having returned from 3 years in Alaska—to say she was now running her own business: managing social networking and writing newsletters. Voilà! What better way to create communication between and among MALS grads and current students and friends than to hire an editor with hands on experience of the program. So, welcome to each of you "out there," and welcome to Christina as editor of this new venture.

If you check the MALS website, the letter from the Director used to read: "Welcome to the dance"; it now reads "Welcome to the safari. Yes, the intellectual safari, a wondrous interplay of students, faculty, and subjects…." Whether you prefer the image of dancing, with all its complexities and beauty, or the tantalizing picture of embarking on an unpredictable intellectual adventure of multiple surprises, the MALS program remains a set of provocative courses that nudge old notions, tickle the brain to embrace new perspectives, and challenge you to stretch into new scholarly and creative territory.

And there are innovations in the MALS program. We have added one on-line course each summer. Last July/August Maryellen Potts, now Associate Professor at Iowa Wesleyan College, transformed her popular course, "Food in America: A Consuming Passion," into an on-line version that kept 13 students busy with movies, articles, blogs, and sharing insights in their MALS chat room. This summer Maryellen adapted her "Visions of Hell" course to Nazareth's on-line Moodle software. The same Dr. Potts energy continues!

MALS is also stretching out in new directions for electives. Dr. David Ferrell, retired chair of the Theatre Department offered his specialty during this first summer session: "Hitchcock: More than Suspense." Art professor Doot Bokelman and music professor Marjory Roth are teaming up to create "Magic, Music, and Art in Early Times" for its maiden voyage during Spring 2012. So, in addition to the three Core Courses ("Being Human," "Knowledge and Culture," and "Values and Action"), exciting electives continue to invite intellectual exploration and reflection.

By my last count, there are nearly 85 MALS graduates now spread throughout the country and we would like to hear from you. In this issue, Theresa Grzybek shares some of her thoughts about life after MALS. Congratulations are in order for Theresa, now living in Florida: her capstone thesis project, "Carried in Our Hearts" - about breaking the news of a relative’s suicide to children - is now available through Publish America.

So what are YOU up to? What have you been doing since receiving your M.A.? How has MALS inspired, transformed, challenged you to new ventures and adventures? What would you like to hear more of in this Newsletter? We are listening.

Blessings to each of you.

Monica Weis, S.S.J.

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