“Dear Liberal Arts Capstone Students,
Greetings and congratulations on getting to this point in your education! I am Jennifer Mullet and I am a two time graduate of Maria. I graduated in 2009 with my associates in Liberal Arts and then again in 2019 with my bachelors in Liberal Arts. I would be considered a returning student and older than most students who attend Maria.
I attended a small high school and graduated with 66 classmates. At first I tried attending a larger college and it just didn’t work for me and that encounter turned me off college for years and years. I needed to repeat that small school with a large heart feeling and didn’t find it in classrooms filled with an overwhelming amount of students and huge campuses. Time passed and I raised my family. Then my nest was empty so I thought I would give college another try. I learned about Maria and applied and was accepted!
My experience at Maria is one that I often have a difficult time putting into words because for me a lot of the Maria experience is a feeling. A feeling of joy, pride, happiness, and accomplishment. The classes are small, your encouraged to participate, your voice is heard, and the faculty care about your success. What stands out for me during my studies at Maria was my relationship with my advisor. So many times I heard from others who attended college that your success depends heavily on your relationship with your advisor. I couldn’t agree more. My advisor guided me through selecting courses, checked in on me, supported my choices in projects, was a mentor, and in the end became a friend. The best courses taken were Cultural Studies I and II. My brain would literally ache but what I learned in those classes will take me far in life and has already made me a better person.
Maria offers a full array of courses in the humanities so students have an opportunity to open their minds, care more, learn deeper and meaningful empathy towards others, and understand different cultures and religions. These courses combined with the adopting the Maria Mission and Core Values provides me with an advantage in the workforce by giving me the foundation to be able to relate to the diverse population I work with – I understand their religious needs, understand their cultures, respect their differences, and honor them as a fellow human being.
My immediate post-graduation wish has been met – one year with absolutely no demands on me! Now I need to get serious thinking about what’s next for me. I would like to complete my master’s but Maria isn’t offering that right now so I have begun the process of looking into online master’s degree program in Liberal Arts and Rutgers keeps rising to the top of the list. It is my hope to complete this.
If I may impose some unsolicited advice to you it would be to learn from everything in your life. Learning is not only done in an academic environment. Everything you do each day has the potential to be a learning situation. Be open to the lesson. My second bit of advice is to know that life is really about taking care of yourself first, family and friends second and lastly work – life is meant to be enjoyed so don’t let a job take over your life – find balance. And my most valuable bit of advice is to take everything you learned at Maria and take it into the world to make it a better place. Maria has given you the tools to change the world so why not do it.
Congratulations on your amazing achievement. Remember…if your light is under a bushel, it’s lost something kind of crucial, you’ve got to stay bright to be the light of the world (borrowed from the musical Godspell but it is my favorite saying).”