Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Student Profiles

Ann Marie Beall

As I remember my undergraduate years at Georgetown University there are many things I miss. However, I most often long for the exciting, enthusiastic discussions that took place in my classes. I miss the give and take of ideas that forced me to think quickly on my feet, intelligently articulate my opinions, and reconsider my position on issues. It was an intellectually stimulating atmosphere. I believe that the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, with its cross-curricular foundation and emphasis on cultural diversity, will allow me to rediscover this aspect of my undergraduate education.

Additionally, I have discovered that it is increasingly easy to settle into the routine of work and home life and neglect the intellectual life. The term that most closely applies to this phenomenon is to "become set in your ways." While this is a very comfortable place to be, it is also confining and can lead to stagnation. I want the opportunity to explore new ideas and move beyond the boundaries of my routine.

While the intellectual challenges of graduate study are most appealing and have a benefit all their own, there is also the more prosaic, but equally important, benefit of professional enhancement. As today's work force becomes increasingly technological and better educated, it is becoming increasingly important to pursue your education beyond the undergraduate level. This is particularly true when your career is in higher education. No one knows better the value of or places more emphasis on education than those of us working in the field. Because I have chosen to make my career in higher education and would like to explore job opportunities beyond my current position, I believe it is important to have a Master's degree.

There are other areas I could have chosen for graduate study and I have considered and discarded many of these including history, psychology, English, and business. A major stumbling block to my choosing an area of study was that each one possessed a certain appeal. Before discovering the graduate liberal studies program, I often wondered if there might be a way to choose one to focus on but still incorporate the others as well. Thus, the MALS program seems perfectly suited to my varied goals and interests. Professionally, it will enable me to advance beyond my current position. Personally, it would provide me with the opportunity to open my mind to new ideas, grow intellectually, and explore areas beyond my everyday routine. Some may view the former as more important, others the latter. I see them as equally important, and I am very happy to have found a graduate program that will, in my view, allow me to balance the two.

Last Update: October 17, 2003