MA in Liberal Studies


Success Stories

José Acevedo (graduated 2018)

Before starting MALS in 2016, José worked in higher education and had recently graduated from City College with a degree in international studies. While pursuing his master’s degree, he worked at Lehman in the Dean of Students Office and Student Life.  He is now pursue a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of North Florida, with a focus on students' sense of belonging.

MALS: What motivated you to apply for Lehman’s MA program in Liberal Studies?
José: As an international studies and communications major, I wanted to explore interdisciplinary topics beyond my undergraduate degree and begin research in a graduate program whether through a sociological, anthropological, or epistemological lens.

MALS: Who has inspired you or helped make your journey at Lehman a success?
José: In my academic journey, Professor Alborn's enlightening classes and guidance were pivotal. As a result of his mentorship and expertise, my perspective on education has been widened and led me to continue working on a terminal degree.

MALS: Describe your capstone or thesis—how did it connect to your work/life outside of the program?
José: My thesis focused on mass sterilization and eugenics in Puerto Rico from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Throughout my MALS coursework, I connected history, sociology, and ethics to develop my thesis. As a result, I gained a deeper understanding of complex issues relevant to my work in higher education and diversity initiatives specifically around underserved communities across the United States.

MALS: How has MALS helped you achieve your goals since graduating?
José: The MALS program has given me a solid foundation in interdisciplinary studies and critical thinking. The experience has played a crucial role in shaping my career path and research.

MALS: What do you think other people should know about MALS and Lehman?
José: As a prospective student, you should know that MALS offers a unique opportunity to explore diverse subjects and develop a holistic approach to problem-solving. The cohort model is helpful and you’ll gain some very useful faculty connections along the way.

MALS: What advice would you give to current or prospective MA students?
José: The best advice I can give current and prospective MA students is to embrace MALS' interdisciplinary nature, stay curious, and tailor your education to your interests.

MALS: Is there anything else you would like to share?
José: I would like to encourage everyone to continue learning and seeking knowledge. Learning is a lifelong journey, and MALS at Lehman is a wonderful place to begin.