In a techno-corporate world that seems more focused on gigabytes and stock points than human culture, students might wonder where a master’s degree in liberal studies will lead them. In front of a college classroom is where it led Katherine Bailey, Aby Boumarate, Jed Broitman, Megan Flocken, Leslie Gibson, Ilana Grimes, Amanda Hoaglen, Nichole Jackson, Brent Kubasta, Earl Mowatt, Tiffany Piland, Leslie Poole, Matt Sayti, Harry Straight, Rosemarie Study, Karen Styles, Patrick Szymanski , Jennifer Tomlinson, Eric Wallman, and Cori Walter—all graduates of Rollins’ MLS program, and among the many MLS grads to teach at the college level.
Ilana Grimes, who teaches several humanities courses at Seminole State College and Brevard Community College, acknowledged the value of the MLS program in preparing her to be a professor. “The breadth of classes offered during my three years studying in the MLS program compares to no other program,” she said. “I am able to bring the vast amount of topics offered in the program into the classroom, and it empowers me to become a more versatile instructor.” Nichole Jackson, a full-time professor of humanities at Valencia College, also commended the program for its comprehensive range. “The interdisciplinary nature of Rollins’ MLS program provides the broad scope that is critical for beginning to understand how to present vast amounts of course material to college students completing their general education program,” she said.
Rosemarie Study, adjunct professor of humanities at Valencia, noted other aspects of the program that have assisted her as a college-level educator. “I had the benefit of small classes and a faculty that was dedicated to facilitating the development of my intellectual resources,” she said. “In turn, I hope to nurture critical thinking and analytical reasoning in my own students.”
Jennifer Tomlinson, who currently teaches a Greek and Roman course at Seminole and will teach an African American course at Valencia in the spring, found the travel aspect of the program advantageous. “My field study in Greece with Dr. Rubarth was an amazing foundation for my course material,” she said. “It’s been great to be able to use my personal pictures of archeological sites instead of pictures found off the Internet.”
Though the job market of the twenty-first century may seem to favor those with technology and business degrees, Rollins MLS graduates are finding career opportunities right here in Central Florida. Karen Styles, professor and chair of humanities at Valencia East Campus, explained why MLS graduates are in demand. “Based on my own experience in the Rollins MLS program, I know that it teaches critical thinking skills that are necessary for effective teaching,” she said. “In the last few years, Valencia College has hired a number of very talented MLS graduates, several of whom have moved into tenure-track positions. As our program grows, we will continue to look to the Rollins MLS program to prepare our future faculty.”
By Renée Anduze