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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Alumni Testimonies

Judy Warner

What are the two areas of study you pursued as part of your interdisciplinary degree, and how did your coursework impact your teaching?

I chose Music and Rhetoric for my two areas of study for my degree. My course work helped me look for new ways to approach music. I think this has made me more tolerant in the differences of students from various backgrounds.

Has the process of researching and writing your thesis or final project impacted your teaching? If so, how?

The process of writing my thesis project has given me more opportunities to pursue more musical avenues. I know more musicians now and have achieved a great respect from them because of the impact of my project. Also, I have been hired as an adjunct professor teaching music at UAPB.

Would you recommend this program for other teachers?

Yes I would recommend, in fact, I already have. It gives a student a very well-rounded education and all of the professors were excellent. My abilities were stretched during the program and I was encouraged all the way through the process by the counselors. Thank you Dr. Hunter and Dr. Cox.

George Lea

You are also a basketball coach and a teacher. How were you able to balance work and school, and how has the MAIS program influenced your career thus far?

I decided to get my non-traditional teaching license and teach high school while I worked on my Master’s. Life is busy with teaching, coaching, and raising three kids with my wife. I took classes at night or on-line that fit into my schedule and I became a graduate assistant for the program. Of course, I couldn’t have done any of it without an understanding, supporting, and loving family. MALS has helped me in my career as a teacher because I teach all of the upper level social studies classes and some of the younger junior high students. In addition, I am the Athletic Director and head basketball coach for the junior and senior high boys’ teams. Blending academics and athletics takes some work. I attribute our success here partially to the MALS experience of combining two disciplines.

Justin Anders

What are the two areas of study you pursued as part of your interdisciplinary degree, and how did your coursework impact your teaching?

For my degree I studied Music (choral/orchestral conducting) and Education. Since the program is very flexible, it allowed me to combine courses in my minor area, education, that complimented my musical conducting and repertoire courses. This combination of coursework not only gave me valuable, practical skills as a conductor and musician but it aided in the development of educational theory and skills that could support what I had learned as a conductor.

Has the process of researching and writing your thesis or final project impacted your teaching? If so, how?

As for writing my thesis, I was not always eager or willing to work on such a massive project. However, now that it is finished, I can say that it has helped me develop into a more competent educator. Throughout the process of writing my thesis, I learned to look more carefully at current research, assess and analyze more completely research that I had selected and write academically in a more cohesive fashion. These skills, I hope to pass to my students in an attempt not only to make them more competent writers and researchers but also to prepare them for higher education.

Updated 6.11.2013