At the recent banquet celebrating May 2012 graduates, Dr. Monica Weis SSJ (left) and Dr. Stella Plutino-Calabrese (right) admire the capstone thesis/project of Julie Saltrelli, M.A. '12 and Fulbright winner on her way to teach English in Argentina.
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
(Romeo and Juliet II, ii, 1-2)
You may have seen some of the new MALS advertising on Facebook, the web, or on rack cards in your favorite coffee shop. Companies everywhere are in the business of re-branding their products to target a specific audience and catch the eye. MALS is no exception. Our key words now are:
your life and your work with a flexible graduate degree for adult learners.
In one way, that says it all—the stretching toward new personal horizons, the shaping of intellectual experience, and the opportunity to create your own thesis/project based on your personal passion, professional work, and academic experience.
But in another way, the tag line cannot really capture the depth of the personal and intellectual changes MALS students experience by immersing themselves in the thinking and writing challenges of liberal studies. That kind of testimony comes only from reflection on the specifics of the experience and realization of how that experience positively influences decisions in the workplace or career changes. Our new rack card has testimonials from recent graduates who use their master’s degree to be entrepreneurs of ideas, to personalize their future and advance their career.
MALS influences the pedagogical and intellectual lives of professors as well. Dr. Christine Bochen (LST 503 Values & Action with Dr. Mary Ann Bush) recently said:
"Teaching in MALS, I am reminded again and again that we discover wisdom when we are free to transcend the boundaries that separate our fields of study and, more importantly, the boundaries between classroom and world. The best learning happens when we listen attentively, probe deeply, and feel free to explore the ideas together. That is what happens in MALS. MALS draws us together as a community of learners!"
Professor Paul Morris (LST 532: Memory and Denial - the Holocaust in Italy) stated:
"MALS has given me the opportunity to move beyond my own department of History to participate in a genuine interdisciplinary team taught course with a diverse graduate student audience…. Conversations with students and participating colleagues still occur long after the class has been concluded. This ongoing quest is, in my view, at the heart of a program committed to liberal arts study."
So there you have it: the benefits of liberal studies continue beyond student and teacher and beyond the classroom; these benefits affect (and sometimes effect!) career choices and personal development long into the future. Take time to savor your MALS experience, and take time to share your story with us by email, on Facebook, or Twitter. We would love to hear from you.
Monica Weis, S.S.J.
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