Congrats all!

Congrats to all our capstone presenters yesterday! Thank you everyone for your fantastic work! Special congratulations to our finishing grads: Ben Smith-Poulin, Mark Roblee, Bette Elsden, Roneva Keel, Jessica Frankenfield, Erik Ingmundson, Stephania Villar, Elizabeth Bradley, Molly Campbell, Juan Hernandez, Tom Goldscheider, Jessie MacLeod, and John Morton! We’re so proud!

Here is a note from our Graduate Program Director Marla Miller, no one could have said it better:

Dear all,

Many congrats and thanks are due following yesterday’s first-ever capstone presentations event for the M.A. students.  What a terrific job by all of the students presenting! It was such a treat to listen as you reflected on the work you’ve done here at UMass.  I learned about so many fascinating papers and projects that I hadn’t heard
about before, and loved hearing people describe the ways they see their three fields intersecting, in sometimes surprising ways.

It was also great to see the full turn-out by faculty and other students through the whole day.  The questions posed in each discussion period led to lively conversations about the students’ work, and I could see that we were all learning not just about what these individual students have achieved in the course of their degree, but what the department as a whole achieves in the training of new professionals.  It was terrific to hear faculty posing questions to students not because they were obliged to as committee members, but because they were genuinely interested in the work students have produced.

How gratifying, too, to see the student community come out in support of one another.  I was especially pleased to have several of the PhD students in attendance, since they weren’t at all compelled to be there by any current or future role in the proceedings. 

I want to thank Mary Lashway once again for all her hard work on the event, and most especially for wrestling the very complex schedule to the ground. 

This was the department at our best. It’s an old-fashioned thing to say, but I was just really proud yesterday of our department and the work we do here.  Many thanks to you all for making it such a terrific experience.

On toward graduation!

Marla Miller

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