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Liberal Arts for a Brighter Future

Paige Roberts

View of Peace Plaza in springtime, pink flowers lining the walkway

It's great to be back! I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter break. While reflecting on my undergrad journey as graduation creeps closer, there’s one component that has made my experience especially valuable and distinguishes the Mount from other schools. Our liberal arts education structure is aimed at preparing students for lifelong learning and instills values intended for inspiring meaningful work in whatever career and mission we are each called to. Ethical leadership is what I'm excited to strive for in my professional life, but I expect it to take some practice, just like gratitude does.

The road ahead

More now than ever does the world need strong, ethical leaders to persist in advancing progress within our politically divided country, racially unjust world, and climate-threatened planet. I’m so happy that my college education not only prepared me for a hopeful career in my field of specialty, but also assisted me in further developing my leadership qualities to help our generation in the effort to transform the world. While I’m incredibly terrified, I’m also passionately inspired to do the work that has been left up to Millennials and Gen Z.

The Mount attracts, educates, and empowers resilient students that are not afraid to speak up, even when challenged by adversity within the institution itself. Efforts toward increasing diversity and equity and improving resources on campus for the Mount community’s BIPOC members are supported by current students as well as alumni. It hurts me deeply to see my peers struggling with these oppressive challenges that are also clearly visible throughout the country. I am hopeful that the Mount will hear student's concerns and continue to work towards a more welcoming environment, free of hostility and prejudice. Hate doesn't belong here.

Small classes, big opportunities

Me and Dr. Brian Gilchrist at the Duquesne conferencePutting myself in my own shoes as a shy, nervous freshman, the thought of sitting in a lecture hall packed with 200 other students seems pretty anxiety-inducing. The Mount’s small class sizes were a quality that appealed to me, having attended small Catholic schools my whole life.

Having discussion-based classes encouraged me to participate in intimate conversations, share my ideas without judgment and hear the viewpoints and experiences of others. This environment gave me the opportunity to present my ideas in a more professional manner at the 4th Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference at Duquesne University in June 2019.

My roommate, Caitlin, a political science major, enjoyed a similar opportunity lobbying on behalf of the Mount to state legislators at the Maryland State House in spring of 2019.

Taking the core classes that are built into the Mount’s curriculum might seem like a drag to some underclassmen, but I hope that any student feeling this way takes a course in which they find meaning and enjoyment. For me, these courses were Ethics and the Human Good with Dr. Matchulat and America in the World with Dr. Wehner.

Caitlin and classmate Charlie lobbying in AnnapolisThe texts were engaging, and both of their teaching styles made learning fun; I looked forward to attending each class and exploring new topics. These classes are intended to give students a deeper perspective into the human experience through learning about philosophical ideas and historical events. The ideas explored throughout the core curriculum are intended to apply to our own flourishing lives as we grow into ethical leaders. Receiving a well-rounded education is valuable beyond our initial understanding. 

Thanks for reading this week! Check out Cara’s blog post about being kind to yourself while transitioning to post-pandemic life. Remember to cut yourself some slack as warmer weather begins to bring brighter days. 

Paige Roberts