Curriculum and Instruction
- 2023, William & Mary, Master of Arts in Education, Secondary Education, English
- 2010, William & Mary, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature
What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
I have about twelve years of experience in forestry and trails construction, as well as outdoor education. I have worked with two federal agencies (the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service) as well as numerous non-profits whose aim is the stewardship and protection of our national lands.
As a student pursuing a master's degree in English Education, why did you choose this field and what motivates you in this work?
I appreciate the wonders of the outdoors and the joy that is has brought me – I wanted to better study how to share that with others and to make the outdoors more accessible to all.
What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
A career with the National Park Service or another institution geared towards outdoor education.
Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
I chose William & Mary for a number of reasons. I had a wonderful time here as an undergraduate student – even as a transfer student I felt accepted and embraced. I remembered wonderful professors, small class sizes, and a gorgeous campus. I looked forward to that experience again. The brevity of the program (one year) is also incredibly appealing. In my mid-thirties, I was not looking to be in school for an extended period of time.
What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
The professors, by far. Dr. Chen, Dr. Barko, Dr. Kier, and Dr. Johnson are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. Their energy and intellect is contagious.
Is there any additional information you would want a prospective student to know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
Though this is an education program, it absolutely derives from William & Mary's 'Normal' School (i.e. Teacher College) of the past. If you are looking for a career in public/private school as an educator, this is an incredible program for you. The internship/student teaching program is a wonderful foundation for educators and the classes cover a breadth of topics to prepare you as a new teacher. The course load is most definitely intensive (18 credits in the Fall), though it is doable. Not intending to step back into the classroom after this, I do at times struggle to highlight the lessons which will be applicable for me in my career moving forward. That being said, there are many wonderful things here: small class sizes, a fantastic & passionate cohort - dedicated, compassionate professors.