Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Student Profiles

Beth Roberts -- Alumnus

Beth RobertsWhile working in Randall Library at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, I am daily surrounded by the world's great literature, history, and science as represented by the millions items in Randall Library and the World Wide Web. I want the opportunity to study in depth many of the topics that have "circulated" through my office or which faculty have enthusiastically, and often inspirationally, shared with me as they have worked with me in the library. No matter how much one thinks he or she is going to study and grow intellectually on their own, it usually, and regrettably, doesn't happen. For several years, my life has evolved into a "rut": work, home, work, home. Upon discovering and investigating the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at UNCW, I realized this exciting program would open up new, different, broadening, and enriching experiences for me.

As the saying goes, "I'm a Tarheel born and a Tarheel bred and when I die I'll be a Tarheel dead." That has been pretty much the story of my life for forty-three years. It seems that I have assisted hundreds of people throughout my short career to reach their educational goals and experience the joy of learning and now I'm ready to do something for Beth. Enrolling in the MALS program is exactly what I need to "jump-start" my own personal-directed learning experience.

I graduated in 1980 from UNCW with a degree in business. After working in the private sector for many years, I took a job on campus in 1991 with the Department of Biological Sciences. I came back to UNCW because I missed the academic setting of campus life, especially the stimulating and rewarding interaction with students, faculty, and a diverse university staff. I am at a point in my career where I would like to explore new options, and I am confident that the MALS program will facilitate such an initiative in identifying and shaping new career goals. While I have been fortunate to work in a variety of business and clerical positions, I would like to apply my talents in a more independent and creative setting. I am not sure where, specifically, the MALS program will lead me, but, like Huck Finn, I am ready to venture forward into previously uncharted territory. Karel Dutton, Director of Life Long Learning for Public Service and Extended Education, conducts and arranges trips throughout the world for Public Service at UNCW and, according to Karel, she has one of "the greatest jobs" on campus. Karel credits the completion of her MALS degree at Mary Washington College as a key factor, both in acquiring her present position and performing it well. It was her enthusiastic endorsement of her own MALS experience that first led me to seriously consider the possibility of pursuing a MALS degree, myself.

I look forward to designing my own individualized course of study and am anxious to work directly with graduate faculty, to investigate various issues and concerns across disciplines, and to undertake various research projects related to my course of study. As is the case in any major life decision, I have consulted family and friends regarding the advisability of this next step. Wow! To a person, I've received nothing but positive feedback and encouragement, which convinces me even further that pursuing the MALS degree is clearly the right thing for me at this point in my personal and professional life.

Last Update: February 12, 2008