What is MALAS? MALAS is the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences
program at San Diego State University--check out more
about MALAS here:

On this page, you can find out more about all the amazing
interdisciplinary and cultural studies graduate students
presently in our program as well as info about
our amazing alumni!

a hand that is pointing to the
                        rightActive MALAS Graduate Student Biographies

a hand that is pointing to the rightMALAS Alumni Biographies

Active MALAS Graduate Student Biographies

Hala hala! My name is Leena Ali. This Fall 2018 marks the beginning of my MALAS journey! I am new to San Diego, after making a coast-to-coast road trip from Savannah, Georgia. I received my B.A. in gender studies with a minor in sociology from the previously known Armstrong State University (now Georgia Southern University) in Savannah.

Thus far, I have lived in Savannah and Ramallah, Palestine. These two places and the people I have met have done so much in teaching me and building my understanding of life. I am excited to take in all that San Diego will give me--when not researching or going to classes, I enjoy nature, music and keeping up with local and global grassroots activism.

When searching for a grad school to study cultural studies, I magically and thankfully found MALAS! Some of my areas of study are feminist theory, transnational feminism, post-colonial theory, decolonizing studies, queer theory and sexuality studies. I am also interested in researching/communicating issues and injustices of poverty and violence within the Global South and the Global North. I focus on Palestine, Israel, the USA, as well as similar nation-states. I am thrilled to be with MALAS for this continuation of researching, learning and engaging!


My name is Chris Alvarado. I am part of the Kumeyaay Nation that resides in San Diego, California. The village I am from is called San Pasqual or Amulkulkul in our language Ipai Aa, ďLanguage of the People." The name of our clan is called Waipuk, which means ďkingsnakeĒ in our language. Our village was located originally in the San Pasqual Valley. The parking lot of the San Diego Zoo Safari is exactly where my great great grandfatherís village was located. Within the last 100 years, our stories, songs, traditions, and language have been documented by many scholars but for generations our own people have passed this knowledge down traditionally through oral traditions. I am a product of their knowledge. I am also business man. I graduated from University of Phoenix with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During my business career, I have been involved at the Executive level for 18 years. This involved the financial and gaming regulations of casinos. My experience involved implementing Marketing Analysis, Table Games Analysis, Slot Analysis, Direct Mail Analysis, Player Tracking Software, and most of all, casino design and slot layout. I have overseen a $2 Billion dollar revenue department that comprises 95% of the companyís revenue. In my recent adventures, I have been part of the operations team for the past 5 years  overseeing Transportation, Security, Risk Management, Compliance for the State, Luxury Line Buses, our Players Club Card Program, and Valet. My first year of MALAS started in Fall of 2017 and I was able to test the program out for 2 semesters. I fell in love with MALAS because it is going to allow me to broaden my view on how we take our Kumeyaay Nation forward using education that is infused with our culture, language, and our stories.


My name is Franchesca Avila. I live in Escondido with my family. I am a psychedelic artist. Additionally, I am a Coast Guard veteran who has circumnavigated the world, and, after 18 years in the military, I earned my degree from The University of Central Arkansas--there, I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Science.

Iím a ďrather driveĒ type person and love 10+ week road trips. The MALAS program will help me lay the foundation to own a woman-focused veteran's art gallery that highlights and inspires others to heal through art!


My name is Josuť Arredondo. I grew up in San Ysidro, CA. I have an MA in English, 2008 (American Literature) from SDSU. During my first MA I worked closely with MALAS Director, Dr. William Nericcio. I currently teach at two community colleges in San Diego. I am an adjunct professor and a proud product of the community college. Additionally, I serve as a faculty union board member for the California College Association. My emphasis is strengthening part-time faculty rights. (My courses are themed to study social and economic class differences.)

I love music and it is my therapy. I love many styles of music.In my free time, I sing tenor 1 in a choir (range C5 to A2
). Our choir, the Southwestern College Concert Choir has performed in several cities: New York City; Syros, Greece; the Vatican; Rome, Italy; and Florence, Italy. One piece in our repertoire is Misa Azteca by Joseph Julian Gonzalez. It has parts in Latin, Spanish, and Nahuatl. As a result of my musical avocation, I have attended many symphonies and have become a classical aficionado owing to the San Diego Symphony. One recent musical composition that interests me is Mason Bates's Alternative Energy commissioned by the Chicago Symphony. I like how it merges post-apocalyptic themes, industrial sounds, jazz, and simple tunes.

I started as a Gelfling at Azusa Pacific. Then I found what I thought was my stride with Integrated Marketing and Communications at WVU.
I never had the opportunity to think about rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns until I found the MALAS program.  Now I know that snozzberries taste like snozzberries.

 Letís get ready to poke them with the pointy end because winter is always coming.

P.S. This is my pup Darsha Happenstance the doberman.

Steffi Beigh here, named after Steffi Graf, so yes, it is Steffi not Stephanie. No, I cannot play like Steffi Graf. Mom had ambitions for me to be a tennis player, but here I am, new to San Diego, a recent dog momma to a Rottidoo (rottweiler + poodle mix) and now embarking on my second MA in the funkiest program I could find (took me almost two years to find MALAS - so worth it!). 

Professionally, I am an Innovation Consultant for F500 corporations. My work and purpose in innovating and creating positive, conscious, Earth-aligned change within corporations has proven impossible due to the patriarchal paradigm and undervalue of caring/overvalue of money. I realized corporations fundamentally could not create/expand to a higher consciousness and truly innovate because they have suppressed the feminine energy** (i.e. swirly, unrestrained, expansive, creative. -- **Feminine and Masculine Energy  Gender Specific
Because of this - I am setting out on my MALAS degree to arm me with knowledge and articulation, so that I can re-enter the corporate-world to help lead the system through transformational change Ė where reconciliation of the feminine and masculine energy is possible.
My hypothesis: Corporations, and, further Ė our entire system Ė only know how to operate and embrace masculine energy (i.e. analytical, direct, structured). Reconciliation with the feminine energy is required in order to innovate, expand, and thrive in harmony with Nature. 
The questions I seek to answer:
  • Why is the feminine energy suppressed? 
    • Did patriarchy religion begin the suppression of the feminine?
    • Did humanity succumb to Egoís inherent insecurity - thus one energy needed to dominate the other?
  • Is the suppression of feminine energy the reason we are at war with our Earth?
  • How would feminine energy benefit corporate and society?
    • How can society be encouraged to undergo the transformation?

And now, Iím off to drink a ButterBeer!


Hello! My name is Hannah Broadland and I am a recent SDSU graduate, majoring in Journalism Media Studies with a minor in film. A day after graduation I shipped myself out to Iowa City, where I spent 4 weeks competing for a spot on Team USAís national u23 rowing team. I am happy to announce that I officially made the squad and am currently in the Czech Republic for the u23 World Championships. The finals run from July 9-11 and I am very excited to see how my boat performs! When I am not doing school work or practicing for various rowing teams, you can always find me working or at the beach! I work as a surf instructor for young children, as I started putting together small surf pods for children who couldnít attend school during the pandemic. My dream job would be to create a non-profit organization that teaches underprivileged children around the world the joys of outdoor sports, including rowing, surfing, skating, rock-climbing, and more. I am super excited to get started with the MALAS graduate program and canít wait to meet everybody!


My name is Evelina Dimitrova. I am an international student at SDSU, where I received my bachelorís degree in interdisciplinary studies in the departments of sociology, journalism & media studies, and psychology. I come from Bulgaria, which is a small country in Eastern Europe established in 681 AD--a  cultural melting pot fusing influences from the Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian empires. The Bulgarian culture is distinct from other parts of the world and is based of Thracian, Slavic, and Bulgar heritage, where we have 5 uncommon traditions that are still unapologetically performed to this day. 

Like many people in my country, I have always been an extrovert, which  explains my passion for traveling, dancing, and moving to new places which I  believe is a gift as it has allowed me to travel around the world, learn 4 different languages, and gain knowledge of other cultures.

Sports have always been part of my life, starting as rhythmic gymnast at the age of 4, moving on to boxing during my teenage years, and trying out and being part of the SDSU Womenís Rowing team. 

I've joined the MALAS program, because it allows students to focus on their own interests and gives opportunities to be creative and unique. While I was doing my B.A., I discovered MALAS and even though I had offers from another university, my final decision was to be part of this program and continue with Sociology, Psychology, and journalism and media studies--at this point, my main focus will be on Sociology and Psychology due to my desire to be able to help other individuals in the future whether it would be working with at-risk youths or working with athletes as a sports psychologist.


Hello, my name is Hana Elysia and I am a returning graduate student as of Fall 2021. I am a dancer, a proud Japanese-American, and love creative writing. Though I havenít yet discovered what direction my life will take, I hope to implement some of my interests under the guidance of the MALAS program. よろしく !


Ivan Fernandez is the birth name of the writer/photographer who typically moonlights under the nom de plume ďAfroxander,Ē a name chosen to highlight his luscious mane of hair and to make him easier to find within internet search engines. He has two decades of experience in journalism where he continues to cover numerous topics in the arts, culture, history, and sports of Latin America and the Latinx diaspora across the world with a focus on those living in the United States of America.

His work has appeared in various online and print publications including GRAMMYs, FLAUNT, L.A. Taco, KCET, LA Weekly, Coachella CAMP magazine, Remezcla, Gamecrate, Panamerika, MTV Iggy, and others. His research at SDSU focuses on the ethnography of association football (soccer) fandoms/fans through the complex and interrelated relationship between the sport, art, culture, history, and politics as a means of creating and influencing such fandoms. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from California State University San Bernardino (2004). He also writes (ir)regularly at his blog.


Hi all. My name is Angela Feres. I completed a BA in Religious Studies and MA in History (Medieval) from SDSU, then went on to get a PhD (Early Modern Studiess) and an MA (History of Christianity) from Claremont Graduate University. I teach in the Department for the Study of Religion here at State and in the History Department at Grossmont College.

Iíve always wanted to return to school because I am always aware of just how much I donít know. In a perfect world, Iíd stay in school forever -- learning, growing, and pushing myself to be a better person. This past year convinced me that putting off returning to school for some future "perfect time," was a waste of precious time. Iíd been watching the MALAS courses for years, super intrigued and envious of all the amazing things everyone was learning. So, I took a deep breath and took a chance on applying. I start Fall 2021 and could not be more excited! My areas of focus include psychology, sociology, anthropology, with an emphasis on identity, race, sex and gender studies, memory and memorials. Lastly, I love kayaking, riding, and trying out new wines - not all at the same time!


Hi all! My name is Jose Flores. I graduated from Whittier College in 2015 with a degree in Anthropology, and in 2019 I received my History/Social Science and English Language Arts teaching credential from SDSUís Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education. Fall 2021 marks the beginning of my MALAS adventure, and Iím thrilled to have the opportunity to explore my diverse academic interests and work with people who share my passion for understanding the world through a multitude of perspectives.  

I currently work in the San Diego Unified School District. My favorite subjects to teach are US History (particularly Black history in America), Government, and Economics. I enjoy designing my own curriculum and coming up with new ways to engage students with the subjects they are learning. I have recently been working on a Government/Econ curriculum that gives students the opportunity to apply the concepts they are learning by putting them in a zombie apocalypse scenario, in which students working in groups would form small ďcommunitiesĒ of survivors who are to create their own system of social and political organization, as well as establish trade and commerce with other communities. Iím hoping I will have the opportunity to implement this curriculum in the near future.   I am fluent in English and Spanish, as I grew up moving back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana. I also studied Japanese for two years in college, and I had the opportunity to attend university in Tokyo for one semester, but I am nowhere near fluent in this language. Iím an introvert, and I spend most of my free time indoors. My personal interests include reading, binge-watching TV and anime, and finding new music to listen to (anything from Rammstein to Luis Miguel to Ariana Grande). I also enjoy writing occasionally, especially journaling as a way to de-stress and reflect on my current and previous life experiences. Iím beyond excited to start this new chapter of my life and take advantage of this great opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.


A San Diego native, Gabe is very excited to enter the MALAS program at San Diego State University. He is most interested in pursuing further study in the areas of literature and theatre, with a specific focus on the works of William Shakespeare. Gabe has spent nearly his entire adult life working for theatres in various capacities, most recently spending six years with the nonprofit Cygnet Theatre Company as development associate and grant writer.

Believing in the power of nonprofit organizations to transform lives, Gabe has also volunteered his time with various community service organizations. Some issues near to Gabeís heart include Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialism, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, MeToo, welcoming all immigrants, healthcare for all, free college education, gun control, criminal justice reform, and environmental protection, to name a few. His other interests include reading, video games, politics, baseball, craft beer, science fiction, theatre, vegetarianism, hiking, and writing.

Gabe graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Arts, Media and Culture and a minor in Nonprofit Management. A proud queer, Gabe married his partner in June of 2018. They live with their cat in a sustainable, one car household in Lemon Grove.


ďI have never let my schooling interfere with my education.Ē 
Mark Twain

Hello, my name is Declan Halloran.  I am fortunate enough to call San Diego my hometown.  I attended SDSU as an undergrad, and graduated in 2016 with a BA in Sociology.  The highlight of my undergrad career would have to be my Cuba study abroad trip at the end of my last semester--it was a true test, and perfect platform to apply all the theories that I had studied, into real life.   

 I have been playing drums since I was a wee lad, and have kept it up for the past 15 years of my life. Since I graduated from school, I have been playing drums for numerous projects around town.  Music is my true passion.  I also have a job as a rigger for numerous venues and companies around San Diego, and have had the pleasure of helping put on some amazing concerts. 

Prof. Choi of the Sociology department at SDSU, highly recommended the MALAS program, and I can not wait to get started with new experiences, expand my mind, and meet some amazing people.  Besides music, my passion is learning.  I have an epistemological curiosity that leaves me with a thirst for knowledge.  Iím really looking forward to making education and higher learning apart of my life again. 


Remarkably, it was 10-years before yours truly, Dwayne Hill, a non-traditional transfer alum graduated from City College with triple associate degrees in Alcohol and Drug Substances, Black Studies, and Sociology. Invested in modeling the transfer process, I endeavored to show young African American students how to navigate the higher education industrial complex that comprises the San Diego Community College District to matriculate into the university setting. I'm a mentor, recruiter, and advocate, and my undergraduate research revealed that only 30% of first-year African American students persist to graduation, which ignited my mission to assist students through the trauma incurred from racial battle fatigue. 

I graduated from SDSU with my bachelorís degree in Sociology, Spring 2019. I'm a regular presence at SDCCD board meetings and a staunch Black Men and Women United supporter; I work tirelessly to ensure successful outcomes for young Black students and youths. I am also a well-known community member and regular contributor to San Diegoís Voice & Viewpoint newspaper. I begin my graduate career at SDSU's M.A.L.A.S. in interdisciplinary cultural studies program in Fall 2020 and hopes to continue my journey afterward to pursue a PhD and a career in Education. 


Hi everyone! My name is Katherine Isola and I will be experiencing my first year of Graduate School this upcoming Fall with MALAS (2020). I completed my BA in anthropology here at SDSU and I find myself being pulled toward a career in the subfield of archaeology. 

As an undergraduate I was lucky enough to attend an archaeology field school offered through SDSU, which allowed me to excavate a historically relevant site. It gave me the opportunity to conduct research on artifacts, work with other involved students, and become a published co-author on a technical report. In addition, it allowed me to work on a conference paper under the supervision of Dr. Seth Mallios, which I would have presented at the 2020 Society for California Archaeology meetings had the Covid-19 pandemic not have reared its head. This field school confirmed my drive to pursue a career in archaeology, and I have faith that the MALAS program will provide me with the tools to harness my passions beyond archaeology.

I find archaeology very malleable--unique to each individual who studies it, and I want to challenge what I am capable of studying during my time as a Masterís student. Having always had a fascination with music (especially vinyl LPs), I look forward to bringing archaeology, public history, and music together in my researches. I understand that our campus has a vast music history from the bands that have performed on campus to the vinyls accumulated from use at our on-campus radio station. I am excited to start exploring our very impressive music collection (the art on the covers, the popular songs selected, and the favored bands), cataloging them, and researching their impact on students and student life over the years.

But who knows! Iím a great admirer of comedy, movies, fiction literature, the environment, and Iím ready to avail myself of the many graduate classes offered here. I am so looking forward to the journey ahead of me, and canít wait to take every opportunity the MALAS program has to offer.


HmmmÖ The story of MALAS and Me. Though it has barely begun, it appears to have the potential of a perfect match. I was sure that I wanted to go to grad school, but there was a bit of an unresolved issue--how can I mesh my inspirations, experience, and former studies together so that they coalesce into a credentialed, progressive and cutting-edge degree?  This task seemed certain to be a huge challenge, until I stumbled upon the glorious MALAS website and Öbehold!  I now feel confident that I have an excellent opportunity to combine my Fine Arts degree, my Chicano/a Studies degree, and my twenty years experience in Sustainability and Conservation and take things to the next level.  I look forward to the plethora of seminars to choose from and hope to come out of MALAS as an expert, an artist, a scholarÖ.and a trailblazer of some sort...

My name is Michael Lopez.  I joined the MALAS program in the Fall of 2020. When not at SDSU, I am a professor of Philosophy at Miramar College with degrees in Religious Studies, Philosophy and Literature. 

My foray into MALAS started with me taking a sabbatical and looking to just take some interesting courses to expand my breadth of knowledge and pedagogy. But once I got a taste I saw no reason to stop. 

The unbridled nature of MALAS was enticing.  As a result, I had to explain to my wife, and to the university itself, why a guy in his late 40ís, with an established career and 4 degrees, needed to pursue one more. Fortunately, after a little cajoling, all parties accepted my answer.

So, when not teaching, or coaching soccer, or shuttling kids around, or stealing away an evening with my wife, or staring numbly into the flickering abyss of technologyÖ I am studying Baldwin and Woolf, Bhartrhari and Husserl, Asimov and Orwell, & Plato and Epicurus.  Hard to imagine a better use of my (not so) free time.  So, to everyone involved in a program that clearly embodies the genuine and inherent purpose of higher education (namely, to foster the continued growth of the pondering, questioning, seeking while ever-toiling, collection of warm hairy flesh that is humanity), Cheers! 


Hi, my name is Antonio Tonatiuh Marquez Camacho or Antonio Marquez for short. I moved to San Diego when I was seven years old and before school, I would watch The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in hopes of learning English which I did and, to this day, I still love the power rangers (photo evidence above).

At an early age, I decide I wanted to attend San Diego High School and San Diego State University, but San Diego City College snuck it's way in there also. As a transfer student, I have come along way with an AS Degree in Communications: Broadcast News, Journalism, Behavioral Science and Chicano Studies; and now, a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies.

But all of that has given me the opportunity to get to this point where I feel everything will align and I have found a place where I belong within MALAS  where I can be myself and study further topics that can someday help me achieve my goals.

As a journalist I am usually the one asking questions, but I love it when people ask me questions. My dream is to someday be in broadcast news, but I also wish to expand my work in other media--including radio and writing for SDSUís Daily Aztec newspaper. Through these vehicles, I am always seeking to help others and shine light on those stories that sometimes escape the newsroom without being told. As a radio host, I host The Dreamer Hour where I speak about my
experience as a DACA student but I also play music from the 80ís and, honestly, anything that pops up during the week.

One thing that I started last year was my podcast, but I have yet to understand how I can explore more topics with it. The end goal for me to continue my education is to someday go back to San Diego City College and inspire others to follow their dreams and not give up. I have had many obstacles along the way and have tried giving up, but I have followed the signs the universe has given to this point in my life. That is how I literally decided to apply for the MALAS program. This is how it happened: I was once lost in the bowels of the Arts and Letters building and I think I was also lost in my education career. Then,when I got off the elevator, the first thing I saw was a huge head with the words MALAS on top, so I followed the signs to the MALAS Director's office where everything began.


Hello all! My name is Rae Norton, and Fall 2019 will be the start of my MALAS journey. For as long as I can remember, Iíve had too many interests to count. My curiosity has always been one of the biggest parts of who I am, which may be responsible for my constant major changes while at community college. I graduated from Mount San Jacinto College, where I completed their Honors Enrichment Program and earned two AA degrees: Arts, Humanities, and Communications and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

From MSJC, I transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I majored in Feminist Studies and was given the opportunity to be a member of the Feminist Studies departmentís Senior Thesis Honors program and Feminist Studies Undergraduate Research Community.

Through these programs, I was able to conduct year-long, original research in which I explored how music is used as a way for queer people to express and build their queer identities. I graduated from UCSB in June 2019 with a BA in Feminist Studies with distinction in the major, and I am now embarking on this new chapter of my academic career with the MALAS program. I am excited to expand my knowledge through working with my peers in MALAS and being able to take classes in different disciplines!

Hi everyone! My name is Carson Poole, and I will be joining the MALAS program as of Fall 2021. I was born in Escondido, raised in Temecula, and spent my early 20s in San Jose. I graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Art History & Visual Culture from SJSU in 2018. My original undergraduate major was in Forensics Studies, but I've always been interested in art, history, and anthropology. I used to drag my family & friends to any museum I could get to, because I've always been a sponge for new information, even in topics I know very little about. 

In my free time, I'm a writer and a painter. My paintings have been shown in galleries in Riverside and San Diego counties, and I've sold art to buyers in Anaheim, Boston, and NYC. I write both fiction and nonfiction, but my main project at the moment is scifi.

I wrote my capstone paper for my BA on the intersection of science fiction, art of the Digital Age and the Industrial Revolution; my interests are varied, and the MALAS program is a perfect fit for me to continue to explore the intersections of all of the disciplines I'm interested in. My ultimate goal is to complete my Masters Degree and pursue a career as a professor. Getting an education has been one of the great joys of my life and I would like to pass that on to others. 


°Hola, MALAS! Es genial estar aquŪ! °Tengo la identificaciůn!
I am totally ďecstaticĒ to be in the MALAS graduate program. After shuffling around SDSU for years, a professor friend introduced me to the MALAS Program. MALAS is exactly what I have been looking for as a graduate: So much electricity, so much energy, so much excitement!

In 1979, I graduated from SDSU with a BA degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences.  I have 23 years of city government experience working in city planning. Now officially retired, I still work with CEQA as a student intern in Facilities Planning SDSU Administration. I will graduate this year with a second Bachelorís degree as an Art Education major and Art History minor. My artistic interests are painting, ceramics and furniture.  I even made my own paper out of lint from my clothes dryer!

My new interest is Latin America: history, politics, culture, art, language, customs, family and food. Did I mention food? I want it all. By merging my art experience with a working knowledge of Latin America, my goal is to advise potential art students, from across the border, not only in the different disciplines of art, but in the incredible amount of art content they bring with their heritage. My hobbies are travel, travel and more travel, Europe (three times), Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii. Favorite places: Edinburghís Military Tattoo, the Blue Grotto Isle of Capri, bicycling the Danube, Beach Pub in Sidney, and Kalalua trail on Kauai. As a grad student, I believe that we will only get out of MALAS what we put into it, so letís go for it!  °Buene suerte MALAS estudentiantes de postrado!


My name is Jhamir Ransom and I am from Southeast San Diego. Growing up there has taught me and shaped me to be the man I am today. After serving 3 years in the United States Marine Corps, I earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Africana Studies from SDSU. When I was serving with the Marines, I figured I would come home and serve my community the best way I know how. To that end, and while I was attending Southwestern College, I became heavily involved with my community's UMOJA Program serving as club president assisting students with academic achievements and community service--"umoja" is a a Kiswahili word meaning "unity." 

The drive to teach is a long-held passion of mine, developed since I was young--I see providing new people with information they've never heard of as kind of akin to being a wizard, magically dishing out keys to help people unlock parts of their mind, seeing things in ways they've never experienced before. 

I am an imaginative soul so in my spare time I like to write movie scripts and short stories to take up time. Cinema is a fascinating hobby of mine and I love to explore the fruit of other people's imagination coming to life on the silver screen. My long term goal is to earn a Doctoral degree and utilize my education to teach at the collegiate level within my community. 


Weston Robertson here! I am joining MALAS beginning in Fall 2021 after receiving my B.A. in English from SDSU in May 2020. Iím originally from Orange County, CA, and the first of my family to explore academia post-bachelorís degreeóso Iím still very new to all this.

Throughout my undergraduate experience, Iíve had many influential professors that have guided me through my academic journey, but itís not over yet!

After MALAS, I aspire to earn another postgraduate degree in hopes of teaching collegiate-level courses.

I aim to study the interdisciplinary connection between sports and culture, but baseball, specifically, has always remained my biggest passion. From reading DeLilloís  Pafko at the Wall: A Novella in undergrad to, more recently, celebrating San Diegoís very own Fernando Tatis Jr., baseball has always meant the world to me, and changes in culture, and sports culture, are still occurring right in front of our eyes. Utilizing MALAS and its flexible graduate program, I aspire to one day teach university level students this important correlation and its lasting impact on people and literature.

When Iím not in the classroom (or the library), I am working as a lifeguard, surfing, or exploring everything that Southern California has to offer! I also have been a Fellow for the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Program at SDSU and served as a Peer Educator for Aztecs Reaching Aztecs within Counseling and Psychological Services at SDSU. I canít wait to get started!


Hi Everyone, my name is Jillian Rosa. I am first-year master's program student who is excited to join the MALAS Program and the rest of you on this intellectual journey known as graduate school.  I am an SDSU alumnist--class of 2017--with a major in Gender Studies and minor in Sociology who graduate with honors (cum laude). I am a first-generation college student and daughter of immigrant parents who came to the United States as a very young child. My parents are of Portuguese descent and working-class who didn't have much education -- I think my father had a high school diploma, and mother, perhaps middle school at best (this is what education looks like in a second-order public education system within a first-world nation like Portugal -- where a K-12 education is not guaranteed without personal resources).  I work full-time and love my job because it is very flexible with a generous employer who allows me to engage in personal pursuits without much hindrance to educational goals and life ambitions.

I live in the charming seaside community of Ocean Beach -- a true oasis in a sea of conservatism known as San Diego.  This charming little town has its unique character and eclectic flavor reflected in diverse cultural and community membership.  Born from the turbulent sixties as a bastion of the counterculture milieu AKA, the Haight-Ashbury of southern California, it quickly gained notoriety as the center of anti-war protests that characterized this period.  I have been living in OB for my entire adult life, and have no plans to leave anytime soon.  Being a "transgender woman," I see no reason to abandon a town or community that has provided a safe haven for individuals seeking a tolerant and diverse community of likemindedness. 

My goals are to obtain a master's degree and continue my education (lifelong learner and academic who would like to continue along the credentialing path of higher ed. if possible) and become a professor at the community college level; I hope to obtain a position at San Diego City College: my alma mater.  

It has always been my personal dream to obtain the education my parents never had, and give back to the community (meaning community-college system in San Diego), which provided the primary, indispensable platform, for launching my academic career, undergirding "real" opportunities for advancement in life I would otherwise never have. To put it another way, I truly owe a debt of gratitude to higher to education that I feel must be repaid in some form.  I look forward to this academic year and meeting new classmates to establish relationships and learn from one another. So, please feel free to reach to me either in-class or online as I am always inclined to meet new people and make friends wherever possible.


My name is Robert Sanchez, a newly accepted member of the MALAS family here at SDSU for 2020. I am very excited to begin this journey as I never imagined I would be in graduate school. School has never been my forte, and the trip here was longer than average. However, my time in the work field helped me become a better academic and critical thinker.

Before coming to SDSU, I spent several years as a photographer here in San Diego, working in product house studios, marketing for a bicycle company, and documenting the local jazz music scene. Photography introduced me to many elements of culture, which lead me to study for my undergraduate degree in anthropology at SDSU. My goal now in MALAS is to continue utilizing my anthropological lens and combining it with visual culture studies, ethnic studies, and media studies. I hope to move forward with my research interest in a Ph.D. program after MALAS. I believe that an interdisciplinary program like MALAS will be that engine to help further my journey toward a doctoral degree.


Hi everybody, my names Molly! I am from Northern California (east Bay Area) and I recently graduated from San Diego State with bachelors in sociology and anthropology. My dream job would be to be a student my whole life, but I decided the next best thing is to be a community college professor in sociology. I love sociology, anthropology, philosophy, womenís studies, humanities, and everything in between. Which is why I am so stoked to be a part of the MALAS program where you can combine multiple fields of studies. 

My specific interests include war & media, concentration of wealth, the military industrial complex, and neoliberalism. My most recent favorite books are Hate Inc. by Matt Taibbi and Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges. Outside of school I enjoy beach volleyball, rock climbing, anything in nature, wake surfing, meditating, and learning about the ego/spirituality.


Hi there! My name is Michael Shaitrit and I am thrilled to begin my MALAS journey this upcoming Fall 2020 semester. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, but ventured up north to San Francisco for my B.A. in Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. I double-minored in Education and Special Education, adding an emphasis in Creative Arts. One of my favorite aspects of the Liberal Studies degree is the ďno rulesĒ roadmap in the program, leading me to explore topics that fed my curiosities. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I also had the amazing opportunity to be a Professorís Assistant in a Pedagogy of the Oppressed Course.

When Iím not deep in the books, you can find me curating delicious beverages at Starbucks, as well as spending days off at the beach, making art through painting and drawing, and taking pictures. Although I donít know what I would like to specifically study in the MALAS program, I would like to explore arts-based learning/therapy, psychology, and music. I am excited to be a part of a program with like-minded people like me who didnít want to feel restricted to one area of study. I appreciate the flexibility this program has to offer and I canít wait to meet you all in person soon. 


My name is Joe Tyler and I am joining SDSU after spending four years at the University of Iowa as an undergrad. I am proud to come from a small town called Corby, right in the heart of England--around 90 minutes north of London. Iím a really big fan of movies--every week I try to watch a movie I have never seen before. In addition to this, my biggest hobby is golf. If Iím not studying, watching movies or playing tennis, Iím out on the golf course. My ultimate goal is to play professional tennis after I graduate from school. I will be playing for SDSUís tennis team for one year starting this fall. Super excited to start a new chapter in my life, meet new people and enjoy everything San Diego has to offer.


Hello MALAS peeps! My name is Kristine and I am a native San Diegan. I am the proud mother of two fur kids, a cat named Kingsley & a dog named Zuri.

I graduated from SDSU in 2002 with a BA degree in Painting & Printmaking with a minor in Sociology. I was thrown into the legal field after undergrad and finally crawled my way out and into a position at SDSU. I entered the wonderful world of MALAS in Fall 2020, because my brain can never settle on one topic or idea at a time so why fight it? I am throwing in Art, Criminal Justice, English, Sociology, and other courses which fit my version of an Art Restorative Justice degree.

My career goal is to open a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged people of color create and sell art in order to curve racial and ethnic disparities in the prison system.  I believe we can restore justice for most offenses by having the offender communicate with the victim and using the healing power of art to repair the damage caused by the crime.

Spring 2021, I was able to help curate an art show for the first time called "A Place for Justice" and I was nominated to become an advisory board member for the Prison Arts Collective (PAC). My hard work is paying off, my vibrant personality is shining through, and my dreams are coming true! At the young age of 41, I thought I would never reach my goals, but it is never too late to do everything you set your mind to do, SO DO IT!


Hello! My name is Christianne Wittbrodt, and I am elated to be part of the MALAS program. I recently graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainability. I was born and raised in San Diego, which has only fostered my passion to preserve the planetís pristine beauty. Iíve been fortunate enough to have travelled all over the world, which has exposed me to several different cultures and has allowed me to explore with interesting people who have helped shape my perspective on humanityís relationship with the natural world.
Perhaps the most impactful interaction Iíve had was with the head dive master on the great white shark diving trip I took with my mom a few years back. He did an amazing job explaining how humans went from knowing nothing about sharks, to living in fear of them (due to movies and books like Jaws), to finally understanding and working to protect them.   When Iím not in school, I love to take trips with my family, spend time with my friends, and paint! My family and friends have always been there to support my academic endeavors, and theyíre all cheering me on as I take my first steps into the MALAS program.


Hello! My name is Samina. I immigrated from Iran to the United States by myself in 2015 when I was 24. I have a bachelors degree in midwifery from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences--I used to work as a midwife in a hospital, and I have delivered many babies which was an honor. After I moved to America, I could not be certified to work with my degree due to the policies here, so I decided to start school all over again, exploring different subjects and following my passion for music. I received two AAs in Music and Liberal arts from Los Angeles City College. Believe it or not, I started learning to read music at 27 and by 29 I was writing music for an orchestra.

Iím passionate to research and learn about social justice, immigration trauma and discrimination, music therapy, psychology and philosophy. Iíve always been a curious person, and I enjoy making connections between unrelated things, especially where most people donít see any. I was so lucky to have found MALAS program because it allows me to feed my curiosity, and use my imagination in innovative ways. Iím very excited to learn how I can contribute to betterment of human society through my research and work at SDSU. In my free time I go for long walks while listening to audio books, I listen to and emotionally support people on 7cups, and I bake. Iím  currently working on a musical for an orchestra and the subject is around self actualization and social justice. Iím also a cat mom, and I enjoy fostering bottle-fed kittens. Some fun facts about me: I played chess for my school team at national level; have a purple belt in Kong Fu; have an IMDB site, and love acting; and have released 3 music singles. Lastly, I am a highly sensitive person and I love nature.

Our Amazing MALAS Alumni



Hello! My name is David Ornelas Jr. This Fall will be my first semester in the MALAS program. I graduated from SDSU in May 2017 with a BA in Rhetoric & Writing Studies. I enjoy going to the bookstore with my sister and just checking out different books. In my free time, I like to play basketball, go on long walks and listening to newly released music of all genres. After graduation I wanted to explore my future in the Rhetoric Writing Studies Masterís program at SDSU. With the recommendations from both past and present MALAS students, I couldnít pass the opportunity up to apply to the MALAS program. The MALAS program gives students the opportunity to explore other areas of study versus focusing on just one. You get to meet new people and professors that are welcoming and opening to helping you out with not only school work but real life situations/problems. Talking to the Director, Dr. William Nericcio (aka Bill) about my future in the MALAS program has me not only excited but ready to take on any obstacle that I face. If you ever have questions about the program or any question in general, donít be afraid to email Bill. He welcomes emails and will reply within 24hrs!


Hi everyone! My name is Brett Seeburger, Iím originally from Oceanside, CA, in north county of San Diego. I attended Vista high school before accepting an athletic scholarship to play baseball at San Diego State. I played four years as a pitcher for the Aztecs, while winning three Mountain West Championship during my tenure here. Following my senior season in 2017, I was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. I played two season with their organization before ending my playing career due to a lingering shoulder problem. I am now returning to Montezuma Mesa to begin my coaching career as a Graduate Assistant for Aztecs' baseball. I am extremely excited to become part of the MALAS family. The freedom that Dr. Nericcio allows us to have when structuring our masters is a privilege not many students can say they have. I want to say thank you to faculty and my fellow students, canít wait to begin working with each everyone of you.

I am a lawyer who retired from practice in December 2014. MALAS works for me as a retired professional seeking the challenges of a graduate program at a major university. For some years, I was an American Bar Association liaison in Eastern Europe. I set up an office in Bratislava not long after Czechoslovakia overthrew its Communist government (the Velvet Revolution) and, soon thereafter, broke up into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (the Velvet Divorce).  I worked with the Slovak government as it replaced its Communist legal system with a western system, and prepared itself for entry into the European Union.The experience helped to develop a deep interest in the way that a legal system can advance (or impede) the progress that a society makes towards achieving its goals. Now that I am free of the need to practice law on a daily basis, I want to continue to study in the general area of law and society. It would be difficult to fit my proposed area of study into a single discipline (philosophy, history, political science, etc.?)  So, when I learned of the MALAS program, I felt that it was designed to give me freedom to experiment. The MALAS graduate emphases in Social Justice, American Studies and Intellectual History provide a perfect framework for the graduate curriculum that I want to pursue.


Howdy everyone! My name is Jacob Jimenez and Fall 2019 will mark be the beginning of my MALAS journey. I was born and raised in Round Rock, Texas, and attended Pflugerville High School. My high school was also made famous by a popular television show named Friday Night Lights!

Following high school, I was offered a full football scholarship at Brigham Young University (BYU) where I graduated with a BA in History. In addition to graduating, I managed to finish before exhausting my football eligibility--in this way, I was able to transfer schools to extend my education as well as finish my athletic eligibility. With that, I am pleased to announce that I will be finishing my football career here as a San Diego State Aztec this 2019-2020 football season!  

When I am not immersed in my studies, or locked in on the gridiron, I enjoy giving back to area neighborhoods through community service projects. If I am not doing either of those things, then you will most likely find me trying to learn songs on my guitar. I have too many interests to list, but that is what made the MALAS program so appealing to me. I am thankful for the opportunity to create a schedule that will let me explore my passions in depth. I cannot wait to start working with you guys!


Hi There! My name is Daniel and I am a first-year MALAS student. Having received my Bachelorís Degree in Art History from Humboldt State University in 2001 and a Masters of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in 2005, I have spent the past 15 years or so in a religious profession, and have had the pleasure of spending six years living in and exploring various parts of Japan.

Iíve entered the MALAS program to fully give myself over to my intellectual curiosity about the intersections of spirituality/religion and music festivals, environmental ethics, and justice-driven, ethics-based social movements. In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, spending time on the water in my kayak, and listening to live music.


Hello! Fall of 2017 marks my first semester in the MALAS program. I graduated from Humboldt State in 1999 with a BA in English (emphasis in teacher prep) and through an odd twist of fate, spent the last 18 years as a professional bellydancer instead. After living and teaching dance in Japan for the last six years, Iíve decided to hang up my spangles in favor of more academic pursuits. Iíve come to the MALAS program with a burning curiosity about how hate groups construct ethnicity identity, using dance as a mode of storytelling, as well as an interest in religion (specifically Judaism) and am currently being seduced by Japanese ceramics. Iím also interested in Freirean critical pedagogy and LGBTQIA issues. I still dance on occasion and can sometimes be spotted in the wild spinning poi, playing with fire, roller skating (Iím a recovering derby girl), paddle boarding, or cruising through campus splattered with mud from sitting at the pottery wheel.


Ahoy! My name is Katie May, a first semester MALAS student, Fall 2018. Born and raised in San Diego, I completed my BA in English at SDSU in 2017. In my year off, I worked as an English tutor for K-12 students, in which time I came to realize working with kids wasnít for me. Iím still open to the possibility of becoming a professor, and I believe MALAS is a fantastic stepping stone to a PhD program. Still, truth be told, I donít know what sort of career Iíll end up in. Thatís actually the biggest reason I chose MALAS over SDSUís English MA program: I wanted the flexibility to conduct research in multiple fields. At the moment, I plan to focus my research around some key questions: what can be classified as literature? and how do we read different literature as it bounces between various media? Iíd like to focus specifically on the way women are portrayed/read in film, possibly comparing print sources to their film adaptations.

Now that weíve gotten the scholarly side out of the way, a little bit more about me outside of the classroom! Iím an artist at heart. Iíve been playing saxophone for 13 years, including 4 years as a Marching Aztec at SDSU and 3 years in our Pep Band. I also had the amazing opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York during my senior year of high school. Iíve also been in various choir programs since I was 9. Iíve always had a passion for writing, and hope to show my unfinished screenplay some love someday soon. This past summer Iíve spent a decent amount of time sailing out at sea, learning the ropes (pun intended) and competing in races. When not on the water, you can catch me jetting off to cities across the country on weekend trips; recently Iíve made it to Palm Springs, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Denver, and Chicago. But the wanderlust bug I caught years ago is consistently pointing me back to Europe. In 2016, I spent a summer studying in London with a fantastic group of people (a few of which Iím lucky enough to now call good friends) and one pretty cool Professor (who may or may not be the MALAS director).  Iíd love to study abroad again during MALAS, but if not, you can bet Iíll be on the first plane to Heathrow once I get that degree!


Before becoming a full-time professor at Miramar College in the spring of 2014, I earned my B.A. in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Communication from SDSU, and am currently working on my second with MALAS. My focus is on Environmental Studies with the goal of building the Sustainability Program at Miramar College. I began my teaching career as a junior lifeguard instructor before teaching English and Video Production at the high school level. I am passionate about civic, social, and environmental concerns and have worked toward them in various capacities (such as working with labor groups and think tanks, coordinating community and college events, and working with community groups). I like to surf and generally play outdoors when Iím not working. I spend a lot of time with my friends and family, and I love to travel. Camping and road trips are essential to my happiness. One of my favorite recent trips was petting the Gray Whales in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California. It was awesome how a mother and baby came up to our boat wanting us to pet and play with them on each excursion!

I love to read (when I have time) and watch films/mini-series. A few of my current media favorites are Black Panther, Stranger Things, Blade Runner, and The Matrix; zombie films (although I admit that Iím not a fan of Walking Dead!); for music I like classic rock (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles) and alternative (Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire); I just read Overstory (about trees and the world we share with them) and am really enjoying The Fifth Season by three time Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin (sheís amazing!). In general, I like media that is both entertaining and offers food for thought in the form of social or philosophical analysis.


ďThe purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.Ē
-Ruth Benedict

Hello everyone! My name is Kira Carreon and Fall 2018 marks the beginning to my MALAS adventure. Born and raised in San Diego, it was difficult to imagine earning an education anywhere else. I received my BA in Anthropology from SDSU in Fall 2017. During undergrad, I worked at Grossmont College as an English teacher's assistant and reading and writing tutor.
Also, I was an intern at the San Diego Museum of Man in the Cultural Resources Department. This semester I have the great opportunity to be a Graduate Assistant for the History Department.

When Iím not immersed in academics, youíll catch me teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding at the local YMCA. MALAS was my top choice because I am able to integrate my skills and knowledge in English, anthropology, and history as well as explore other disciplines. My areas of interest include political violence, terrorism, and human rights.


Hello, my name is Paul Wentura and I am a MALAS graduate student. Growing up in San Diego, I have been fortunate with regard to the oceanís proximity to my home. For the last 15 years, I have been surfing and spending time in the water and I see an opportunity to explore my passion for surfing--both literally, in San Diego's amazing surf sites, and academically, through the diverse channels of investigation afforded by our interdisciplinary MALAS program. I completed my undergraduate work at San Diego State University in philosophy with a minor in history. I intend to continue research in these fields with a plan to investigate the history, philosophy, and science of surfing. With the support of MALAS, I hope to learn more about the influential moments, people, and technologies associated with the surfboard industry and ultimately survey the impact it has on cultures external to its own. 


My name is Hayley Kasden and I am a born-and-raised San Diegan who just couldn't leave the beautiful weather. I began my studies in psychology but quickly realized math was not my strong suit. So, I pursued my other passion of reading and writing. In Spring 2017 I received my BA in English at San Diego State University. Wanting to continue my education, I made the decision to fast-track my MA program and complete it within one year. Though it was difficult, Summer 2018, I graduated from MALAS. I hope in the near future to continue on to earn my PhD research cognitive approaches to literature and cultural studies. In the meantime, redirects the page reader to
                      illumina.comI have earned a job as a technical writer at Illumina, a biotechnology company studying the human genome. Here, I get to continue on my interdisciplinary path as I use my writing and design skills to craft technical documents for scientific research. MALAS was the best experience Iíve had in academia as it allowed me to discover my passions and then gave me the tools to excel in them. Faculty, staff, and colleagues in this program are all on your side, wanting you to succeed just as much as you do. MALAS is a family and we support each other even past graduation. I will be forever grateful!
Stewart Reid Parker grew up surrounded by the dusty plains of West Texas, in the town of Odessa, one of the United States's most prolific producers of natural gas and oil. Having grown up an only child with an interest in creating music, film and art in a predominantly conservative, blue-collar community, Stewart headed for the cultural mecca that is Austin, Texas, after high school graduation in 2002. Stewart spent 10 formative years in Austin, Building his identity of creative curiosity that eventually lead him back to the classroom in 2010. After studying film, literature, and art at Austin Community College, Stewart graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin with a BA in Studio Art and a minor in English. From there, he entered the Ceramic Art program at San Diego State University's School of Art + Design in 2016. Stewart's curiosity lead him into a number of diverse classes at SDSU and he realized his passion for writing and research had been too long on the backburner. Trading his pottery wheel for a pencil and paper, he is now happily under the tutelage of the MALAS program, and through its guidance has hopes of continuing his career in academia at the Ph.D level.

ismael pohlert
                        with professor michael roberts

Ismael Pohlert world traveler
Hi! My name is Ismael Pohlert and I am a First-Year MALAS student. I graduated from SDSU in May 2018 with a BA in Sociologyóthat same summer, I studied abroad in London and immersed myself in the culture. I enjoy cooking, reading, playing sports, listening to music, and eating food; in addition, I relish writing yelp reviews and collecting shoes. I chose the MALAS program so I can be flexible and find ways to incorporate my hobbies into my schoolwork. Creativity is one of the most important outlets for humans because it allows us to expand our mind and make our dreams become reality. I am excited for the school year and look forward to continue my collegiate career as a graduate student. I am constantly looking for new people to meet and would love to connect with past, present, and future MALAS students, as well as anyone reading this. Send me a message on Instagram @ice_24 or on Facebook at Ismael Pohlert.


John Rubio is a first year MALAS graduate student at San Diego State University. He is pursuing work in literature and cultural studies. John received his bachelorís degree in the Philosophy of Education from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands. He is a twenty year veteran of high school teaching, having taught classes in English, creative writing, film studies, speech and debate, and self-defense/physical education. John is an active member of the San Diego writing community, having worked as a film reviewer for The San Diego Reader and appearing/featuring at many San Diego area events. He is currently a regional editor for The San Diego Poetry Annual.
ďCaminante, no hay puentes,
se hace puentes al andar.Ē

- Gloria Anzaldua 

Saludos! Fall 2015 marks the beginning of a new journey for me and I have MALAS to thank for that. In Spring 2015, I became the first person in my family to graduate from a 4-year university. After many last minute changes, I ended up graduating with a BA in English and a minor in Television, Film, and New Media. The past 5 years contained very difficult times but also some of the most beautiful experiences of my life. For many of the beautiful experiences, I have MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan) at SDSU to thank. MEChA has been more than an organization but my guiding spirit as it helped me shape who I was, gave me motivation, inspired me, and gave me a purpose. Iím a Chicano now and forever. And being a Chicano comes with a responsibility to always be a part of your community and help improve it so that social equality can be made possible. 

Besides activism, my passion also lies in literature. I come from a working-class family so my experiences are limited. By that, I mean that my parents were working all the time and I spent many many many days home alone. Plus, I grew up in San Marcos, CA, which didnít really give me much to work with. Drawing, films, and especially fiction was how I traveled and saw new places. And when when my quiet high school senior self needed a way to let out all the thoughts and feelings Iíd bottled up, creative writing became the voice I needed.
Iím excited to join MALAS because it is the perfect program for me to explore multiple different subjects I am passionate about on and off campus. That list would include: Chicanismo, literature, creative writing, social justice, anthropology, immigration, and latin american art/culture. It is safe to say that my future plans are still under construction but I know Iíll be sticking to academia until my PhD is hanging on a wall. In the meantime, besides studying, youíll catch me scribbling in a journal trying to channel Ray Bradbury, hiking somewhere, playing soccer, joining a rally, or just binge-watching anime.


OlŠ! My name is Gabriela Bortoluzzi and I am originally from Brazil. I am a current graduate student in the MALAS program and the Administrative Coordinator for the Program on Brazil at San Diego State University. After receiving my B.S. in Business Administration/Management at SDSU, I learned about the MALAS program and realized that it would be a great fit to continue learning about the world around me. The Program has been crucial deepening my expertise and broadening my perspectives of diverse topics. When I am not working or studying, you will find exploring San Diego with my golden retriever puppy.


Hey there! My name is Aleiah Brandon and I am a first year MALAS graduate student from Corona, California. I completed my undergrad here at SDSU as well. I majored in Business Administration with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and minored in Communications. I am also a member of the SDSU women's basketball team, GO AZTECS! In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends and watching movies. I am so blessed to be apart of this very special graduate program and I am looking forward to making the best of this wonderful opportunity!

                    ellison, malas graduate studentKIM ELLISON

What's up! My name is Kymberly Ellison, and I am originally hail from beautiful Columbus, Georgia. Along with being a member of the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MALAS)  graduate program, I am a member of the SDSU Women's Basketball team. I received my bachelor's degree in Business Administration from SDSU in May, 2016 with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. I am excited to be a part of this program to figure out exactly what I want to do in life.


Hello all! I hail originally from Los Angeles, where I grew up doing Junior Lifeguards each summer until I overcame my utter lack of coordination and became a proficient surfer. With my umbilical cord still attached to the Pacific I moved to San Diego to study Anthropology at UCSD and further delve into the Oceanís bounty by gorging myself on the meaty peaks at Blackís beach. Early travel to far flung regions such as Micronesia, Mexico, and Greece had opened my eyes to the adaptability of humans and inspired a fascination with the interaction between culture and environment. I am excited to be at MALAS as it seems an ideal place to further my grand ambition to promote the positive cultural exchange tourism makes possible. I aim to create a thesis that looks into how positive potentials can be maximized by empowering local cultures in the process of development. As a pragmatist with a radical bent towards equality and cooperation (!Freedom throughout the Universe!) I see advancing technology and a growing understanding of the potentials and pitfalls of tourism combining to lead a revolution in how tourism is both developed and received.


Hello everyone! My name is Casey and Iím a first-semester graduate student in MALAS. I graduated this May from San Diego State with a BA in Journalism and a minor in Philosophy, focused in Ethics. My specialties are in English & Comparative Literature; specifically, late 20th/21st century novels, poetry, art, and everything in between. Iím a seasoned editor who enjoys working with other students on literary analyses/critiques, copy editing, and idea synthesis. Iím a self-proclaimed bibliophile, so I hope to spend the remainder of my time in MALAS sharpening my eye for great literature and learning as much as possible from fellow academics and faculty. You can find me on campus holding writing labs and tutoring students at the lEducational Opportunity Program (EOP) or at the CSU's oldest publishing house, San Diego State University Press, selling diverse academic texts to readers and educational institutions across the globe. I look forward to working with all of you!


Hi everyone, my name is Kareshmeh Kabiri. I was born and raised in San Diego and attended SDSU as an undergrad and receiving my degree in Biology. I wasnít really sure what I wanted to do with that so I thought I should try MALAS out to explore my options and so far I love it. I have worked everywhere from managing a restaurant to working in a biotech company. My parents are from Iran so I visit there often and other countries as well. I absolutely love traveling and aim to visit one new country a year. My hobbies include dancing and figure skating. I used to be a competitive figure skater and now I am hoping to coach ice skating.


Hello MALAS people! My name is Xinyi Lu (Hazel). I am an international student from China and have been in the United States since 2010. First, I studied at Syracuse University and then transferred to Australia to complete my B.A. in Media, Communication and Culture. I joined MALAS in SDSU because I love the arts. I enjoy all forms of arts, including photography, music, cinema, and books. I go to cities just to see all the art museums, and NYC is my mecca. I am also obsessed with film and music (I think they literally better my life). And MALAS is the program that gives me the access to all my interests. This program is really fun, and learning what I am interested in with MALAS makes the entire process more enjoyable. I had seminars focusing on womenís studies/ gender, race, and social justice. I genuinely like all the courses that I have encountered. Learning through watching films and reading books is such a pleasant experience that keeps me being engrossed in the content. It's a pleasure-filled process that helps me gradually uncover what I truly like, and what I want to do in the future. Whatís fascinating is that I can fuse different fields together and in the process, I get myself focused better for my research. For example, I have learned to analyze contemporary cinema focused on racial issues even as I was learning how to  curate art galleries focusing on themes of female empowerment. And we have a lot of cool professors!!!

My name is Andrew Martinez and I am a resident of San Diego, both born and raised. I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine, in late 2016 and was a member of their baseball program for all four years. My last year of athletic eligibility put me in particular situation where I could transfer, play, and begin a Masters program at any other Division 1 establishment. I could not think of a better location to spend the last year of my academic and athletic career than here at home. I was blessed with this opportunity and was welcomed with open arms into the MALAS program as a late addition. With a background in Sociology and interests in Homeland Security/Criminology, the MALAS program fit perfectly to accommodate my interests and goals as a student. Not only was the program accommodating, the professors were extremely helpful in their flexibility working with my baseball and work schedules. What separates MALAS from any other graduate program is its diversity, specifically the students themselves, the classes offered, and options to graduate. I am beyond lucky to be apart of the MALAS community and look forward to graduating at the end of this semester. Cheers!


Hi there!  Iím Marlene, native San Diegan, middle sister, super-mom, university employee, lover of all things Italian, oh, and most notably, a MALAS student!  I graduated from SDSU in 2010 with a BA in English and am excited to be returning to begin my graduate studies in the multi-disciplinary realm that MALAS offers.  I actually began my pursuit of higher education some time ago but got mildly distracted by life!  I took a big break from school, worked for many years in the world of the 'corporate American cubicle,' had four kids (several of them SDSU graduates), went back to SDSU, and completed my degree, then jumped back into the working world the past five years, all the while planning my return to my favorite university to begin work on a graduate degree.  For anyone out there who may think itís too late to begin pursuing the dreams and goals you may have lost along the road of life, take it from me - it is NEVER too late!  I got braces on my teeth, graduated from college, and accepted to grad school way beyond the typical and predictable timeline of life. The MALAS program was designed for someone just like me - a lifelong learner!  And did I mention that my daughter is already in the MALAS program and we will be attending classes together?  It doesnít get much better than this!  Ciao!


Hello, my name is Thomas Murphy, Iím originally from northern Indiana but I did my undergrad work in Albuquerque, NM. At the University of New Mexico I received Bachelorís degrees in English (Creative writing), as well as Religious studies/History. Traveling is one of my strongest passions and I have spent time in 22 countries throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. I was born in America but hold dual citizenship in The EU/Ireland through my fatherís side of the family and love every opportunity I get to roam the countryside there. I donít know if my love for traveling or my love for history came first, but they are irrevocably intertwined. I travel to the places I study, to experience them for myself, and along the way I expand my studies into the people/places/cultures I continually encounter. Like many of my fellow MALAS students I often have a hard time explaining to people ďwhat I study.Ē My other academic interests include areas of art history, architecture, religion, theology, philosophy, mythology, geography, and literature. I am excited to continue exploring the world and pursuing knowledge within the MALAS program at SDSU!

Hello all, Iím Damien Rosales and I am excited to begin the next chapter in my life as a MALAS graduate student this fall 2015! Iím interested in the MALAS program because of itís flexibility to create a masterís program based on coursework that I can select myself. When researching appropriate graduate programs, I had a hard time deciding on one single program because my interests vary substantially. When I discovered the MALAS program I knew this is the program I was destined to be a part of! When I first began school at the community college level, I was attending Cuyamaca College working towards a graphic design degree. I eventually transferred to San Diego State University and earned my B.A. in Multimedia Design in 2009. After SDSU, I went back to Cuyamaca College and have been working towards earning multiple A.A. degrees in Ornamental Horticulture. My focus is in Sustainable Urban Landscapes, Landscape Technology, and Nursery Technology. I should be earning my degrees at Cuyamaca soon! I am interested in ecology, geography, geology, photography and sustainability. I plan to focus my MALAS studies in these areas. I dream to one day work in a field that helps to protect and preserve the environment. I currently work at Cuyamaca College and SDSU. At Cuyamaca I work in the Ornamental Horticulture Department as the Plumeria Production Assistant and at SDSU, I am the Department Coordinator of Aerospace Engineering!


Hi! My name is Maura Walters. I graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a BA in Art and English. I never planned to work in art libraries, but luckily for me that is the way things turned out. After a brief stint at the Huntington Library outside Pasadena I was hired by the  Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, where I have happily worked since 2005. I am looking forward to learning about curating and organizing quality arts programming. SDSU's MALAS program appealed to me for the flexible schedule and wide range of subjects available.

Hi, I am Jinane Abbadi, and I have been enjoying the diversity, and the multiple possibilities of MALAS☺. The interdisciplinary concept became very appealing to me when I was looking to enroll in a graduate program. I received my Bachelors degree in fine Art from San Diego State University, and I have been working in the areas of painting, printmaking, and bookmaking since. I love making artists books that deal with different topics such as culture, diversity, and identity.  Here is a page from my thesis/project:

I grew up in Morocco, and I have a special interest in race, identity, and the many constituents of history, politics, and economics, which have affected the culture of the people in that area.  My thesis project is an artist book entitled ďSpeaking SubalternĒ that discusses the traces of orientalism and colonialism in the shaping of my personhood as a postcolonial artist.

N„o sou nada
Nunca serei nada,
N„o posso querer ser nada,
ņ parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundoí

Ńlvaros de Campos Ė Fernando Pessoa

Dreamer on board! Originally from Brazil and a Literature major at the University the S„o Paulo (USP), I had the pleasure of joining the MALAS Family in 2015. Certainly, it has been an amazing experience. MALAS Classes are extremely interesting and relevant, and I have been learning so much since the moment I joined. If you are a dreamer and you are more worried about enhancing your cultural background than anything else, this is your place to be! Another great experience out of the MALAS program was having the opportunity to teach Portuguese at San Diego State University (SDSU) during the ProjectGo summer program--an inspiring experience that I will carry with me the rest of life. More about me? Ok, I moved to the U.S because the love of my life happened to be a handsome Mexican-American living in California. I am extremely passionate about Latin America, Brazilian and Portuguese Literature and, as a writer-to-be, I try to travel as much as I can and go to my native Brazil and also any place south of the American border as often as possible in an attempt to experience and miss less, the Latin America vibes I love so much. Also, I believe that, now more than ever, it is time to dream of a better world: a world made from all of us and for all of us! Silly dreamers are still here! We will resist! (=

Hi there!  I am a San Diego native who attended UCSD for my undergraduate studies--my BA is in Sociology with a minor in Critical Gender Studies.I am currently a second year SDSU graduate student in the MALAS program and couldnít be happier! I also work full time as an adolescent substance abuse counselor, so the MALAS program allows me the freedom to choose courses that both fit my hectic schedule and eclectic academic interests.In my free time, I enjoy attending shows, being artsy-craftsy, and occasionally sleeping. My thesis topic is still in the works, but will most likely focus on media representations and socialization of adolescent marijuana use.

{From his bio page at CSU FRESNO, where he serves as Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Pre-Law and Middle East Studies Program}

" In 1963 the Supreme Court of the United States in Abington v. Schempp recognized that understanding the worldís cultures and the role of religion in them is vital to national interests.  Justices Goldberg and Harlan clarified how this would occur when they wrote that there is a clear difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion.  As a professor of Western Religions at a public university I am committed to increasing knowledge and understanding about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam without indoctrinating students into a particular faith or ideology. I do this using a History of Religions methodology that is comparative and multidisciplinary and examines how religious phenomena interact with their historical and political contexts.  Mircea Eliade popularized this approach in the United States and influenced a generation of scholars including my teacher at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1999-2005), Richard D. Hecht.  Another important scholar in this field was Ninian Smart who argued that scholarship pursued with empathy and epochť, or bracketing oneís own judgment, makes it possible to apply the leading social scientific methods of the twentieth century to increasing our understanding and appreciation of religion and its role in the world.  At the undergraduate level, an exploration of the richness and complexities of the worldís religions effectively sharpens critical thinking and communication skills."  

Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (2005) (With Critical Theory coursework at UC Irvine and Intensive Arabic at The American University in Cairo)

M.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences, MALAS, San Diego State University (1998) (Also enrolled in Teaching Credential Program)

B.A. Religious Studies, University of California, San Diego (1995) (With Pre-Med, Buddhism, and Economics coursework at UC Davis and University of London, SOAS


 Hi! My my name is Stephanie Bobp and I received my BA from SDSU in Religious Studies department, 2008. I am a first-year MALAS student with interests in globalization, poverty, urban renewal, culture, population issues, religion, equal rights, and so much more! When I am not working or attending school you will find me somewhere abroad. I live to travel and it is my number one passion. I have traveled to thirty-nine different countries and cannot wait to see the rest of the world! In the MALAS program I aim to focus my study analyzing our many worldsí problems in hopes of finding sustainable solutions!


Jennifer Carter
I'm a writer, poet, and German-English translator from the San Francisco Bay Area. My passion for academia stems from the interconnection between my many studies, my inherent love of reading, and culminated in the founding of The California Journal of Women Writers in September 2012. My work has appeared in The New Union, the UC Berkeley Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal and is forthcoming in Pomona Valley Review and various other capacities. My research has been presented, or is forthcoming, in a published collection on Jane Austen, and at conferences by CSULA and Ryerson University. I have a BA in English, with an emphasis in Womenís Studies, and an MA in Liberal Arts & Sciences, with emphases in Literature, Ethnic and Womenís Studies, and Media and Popular Culture. I'm truly bicultural and divide my time between my homes in California and Germany. My love affair with words has given me the fuel to publish and submit my work, long after graduating from MALAS. I have the incredible program and its dedicated professors to thank for my continued success.

The Structure of Scientific
                  Revolutions coverHello there. I received my BA in the fall of 2006, and studied abroad in Europe for a year, one of my best experiences ever. Some of the things that I enjoy doing are reading at the beach, surfing, exploring new places, road trips, and I like meeting people from all over the world. One of the craziest things that I do is to constantly train for 5K, 10K, and full marathons. I love to sing all kinds of music, especially rock and gospel music. One of my favorite books is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) by Thomas Kuhn, and two topics that Iím very passionate about are globalization and nanotechnology.  Iím currently serving as the Vice President of University Affairs for the Graduate Student Association, and the main reason I was drawn to the MALAS program is because of its flexibility and the wide range opportunities it presents after graduation. And since I didnít want to be limited to just one area of study, the MALAS program was a perfect fit for me. The topic for my thesis is still developing and taking shape, but it could possibly be ďthe impact and the relationship of nanotechnology with the environment.Ē One last note to prospective graduate students: once you join our program, youíll soon find out that it has the coolest students and most awesome professors at SDSU.  Cheers!

Hey! I'm Natalia Joanna Clingan and I have a B.A. in Comparative Literature, where I focused on British Literature. I studied at Oxford University for a wee bit and could easily pick up and move there at any moment. I hope to journey into the book publishing world after I complete the MALAS program. I was drawn to MALAS because although I'm a nutty Anglophile, I do enjoy dabbling in a wide range of topics. So this is obviously a perfect fit!


 As you get to know me, youíll find that I am full of random facts.  Iíve been known to drop little nuggets of information, like ďLions canít purr,Ē casually into conversation.  I am a collector of unusual tidbits of information, but Iím not a hoarder--I share what I learn.  This strength is good for two things. One, I make an excellent party guest. Two, it makes me a perfect fit for MALAS!  I have always been naturally curious and I am so excited to be in a program that values this Rainman-esque quality in me.  Definitely. IInez did my undergraduate work at California State University, Long Beach, where I received my B.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Bilingual Education.  Today my passion/focus is on sustainability, the creative process, design, alternative economies, the power of women, and much more.  I love group collaborations, making connections, and I have lots-a-ideas.  In my spare time I like to find adventures, which means pushing me out of my comfort zone (locally or on travel).  I train in Muay Thai and I love to hike.  Now, letís mix it up and see what happens, MALAS!           

Hello MALAS. My name is Victor Fabian Delgadillo and I too am a San Diego native. I studied briefly at Southwestern College where I received an AA in photography. I then went on to study film and cinematography at UNLV where I eventually received a BA. My interests revolve mostly around technology, although I do also enjoy fine dining, classical music, and nature, particularly Baja California. I dabble in graphic and web design as well as video production. I am intrigued by the technological evolution of photography and the influence the digital age has placed upon it. Having said all that I found the multidisciplinary diversity of MALAS to be an ideal match for my interests.


Mucho gustoÖ me llamo Yadira Diaz. I was born and raised in San Diego.  I am very fortunate to have grown and been partially raised en el otro lado, Tijuana.  I obtained my B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis on social problems and I minored in Chicana/o Studies.  I am a proud Xicana who is passionate about being part of a movement that creates social justice.  I am driven to end violence against women, racism, and social inequalities.  I have spent the last six years working and advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I have a special interest in working with the undocumented community because they are my community.  My thesis project focuses on the lives of women that are forced to live on the margins of our society because they are undocumented and living in a relationship where there is intimate partner violence.  They live in fear and stay silent. My goal is to allow their voices and concerns to be heard.


Hi everyone, my name is Annalisa Duarte. Originally from Hayward, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area, I chose to come down to San Diego for undergrad and ended up falling in love. I just received my Bachelorís in Sociology this May. I was really unsure what masterís programs I wanted to apply to and Iím very thankful that my coach pointed me in the direction of MALAS . The flexibility and wide range of courses I can take in this program is great for me. I currently donít know what I would like to focus on within this program but I know in time I will figure it out. I am currently a member of the womenís rowing team here at SDSU--this will be my final year competing. I am ready to take on the challenges and adventures this program has to offer just like I accepted the challenges of rowing when I walked on to the team several years ago.


ďThe only true voyageÖ would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is.Ē

- Marcel Proust     

ďSo what do you study?Ē Itís a very common question, but Iíve been trying to come up with a concise answer to it for quite some time now. ďLife, the Universe and EverythingĒ seems like a bit of a cop-out as answers go, after all. Another answer is that I am interested in understanding the connections and liminal spaces between areas of knowledge than in one particular field or discipline. Of course, I am ravenously curious about anything and everything, which I am happy to say is par for the course around here! I would also say that I am engaged in a sort of ďepistemological archaeologyĒ, digging through the massive mounds of information and knowledge that have been discarded, discounted, or simply ignored by the academic mainstream. Dumpster diving behind and between the Ivory Towers. Iíve spent some time inside those towers, too. Iíve acquired a Bachelorís degree from Swarthmore College, with a major in Theater and a minor in Environmental studies, which ought to give you a sense of the range of my interests. Iím still working on a way to connect the two together in an artistically interesting and politically relevant way. Iíve worked a variety of jobs from food service to summer camp counseling, but am currently employed as a G.A. in the Education department. And just before school starts this semester, Iíll be attending Burning Man, an amazing art-explosion, festival, and temporary city constructed in the Black Rock Desert. But enough about me, my fellow linguistically-enabled ape; I want to know about you!      

Hi, I'm Rita Enders, a returning MALAS student.  I earned my BA in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies at SDSU.  Living with a passion for travel and academics I found a niche with Semester at Sea, currently having sailed 14 voyages in the past 8 years.  I work as a freelance computer technician and voyage administrator, which allows me to travel the world and ardently practice being a part of one race, the human race.  Look for me at the beginning of the lineup for a "World Passport" when that queue forms. MALAS is providing the opportunity to make my Master's degree dream a reality. The flexible format offers the perfect opportunity to further my interests in the lives of women worldwide Ö how they reinvent themselves to achieve self-sufficiency and survival for themselves and their families.  My love for cooking, growing anything with roots and good conversation finds me in kitchens, gardens and often unusual educational environments.  By choice I practice and appreciate learning from personal experience and close observation so live without TV or movies.  Real life situations are my preferred reference points so I plan to incorporate these in my MALAS work.  I'm very excited to be back!


My name is Kenny Eng and I am a singer/songwriter/musician/nice guy. I use music to inform my understanding of the world, the people and experiences around me, and most importantly, myself. It works the other way around, too. I came to San Diego from the Bay Area after studying music theory and political science at UC Davis to find adventure and my way in life. I've held all sorts of odd jobs from freelance construction to working in an OB-GYN office to what I do now as a web content and social media manager. I am constantly looking out for new and exciting experiences to help broaden my perspective of life and the world, or at least to have an interesting story to tell when I come back home. I have no idea what I want to do with a masters degree from the MALAS program, but I'm up for the challenge.

Hello everyone! I was born and raised in Los Angeles (Pico Union).  I received a B.A. from UC Berkeley, where I double majored in Chicana/o Studies and English (class of '04),  I actually started working on my Masters in 2005 as part of the first cohort of the new Chicano Studies graduate program... after a year of being in the program, I decided to take a one year leave to birth other projects...its been 5 years. I have an awesome little boy who will soon be 5 and have also spent the last 5 years working in the border community of San Ysidro as the Director of Arts & Culture for Casa Familiar. I run THE Celebrating Womanhood
                    coverFRONT art gallery (we got named best Community Cultural Space by the Citybeat Best of 2010! ;-0), our new art space, el salon, and am also the organizer and co-mother of the Annual Dia de la Mujer Celebration--now in its 4th year. I've always been fascinated by sexuality and its many manifestations, and so I plan to focus my research on sexuality, visual representations/art, and space. That's pretty much it--I'm a very open minded person, who has created her own identity by taking bits and pieces of what thrills her about everyone else's... I'm a little bit of a lot of things: a xicana xingona, sexual activist, Macondo-residing poeta (moonlighting as an arts director) and am very excited to be joining the MALAS team this year!

ĎHi, hello, how are you? Well I guess Iím doing fine.í I got my AA in Liberal Arts from Ohlone college in Fremont CA, then transferred to San Diego State, where I got my BA in English literature. Best decision of my life! After graduating I moved back home and promptly realized how much I loved San Diego, SDSU, and learning. Other than being a rock star, education is the only career Iíve ever been interested in, and MALAS gives me the opportunity to explore the broader issues, and ask the tough questions, about politics, the increasing role of government in our lives, and the repercussions of technological development. Though I still havenít quite given up on the former, as I love all sorts of music and playing guitar. Some other hobbies include classic cars, camping, and traveling. And I will be studying abroad next semester in Estonia and backpacking all over Europe. Cheers! UPDATE: Mr. Gonzales is well on his way to becoming Dr. Gonzales; he is presently in the American Studies doctoral degree program at Charles University, Prague.


As our globe becomes smaller and our knowledge expands, information constantly intersects and this is why I love the MALAS program. The interdisciplinary freedom allows me to satiate my curiosity through multiple departments, broadening not only my awareness but imagination as well. After receiving my B.A. in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley and living in Mexico for four years, Iím back in my native San Diego to research deconstructing literature from a Buddhist perspective.

Hi! Iím Alexandra. Iím happy to be living back home in San Diego after living in Orange County for my undergraduate work at UC Irvine. I majored in Global Cultures, an interdisciplinary program that is structured similarly to MALAS. Iím very happy with the freedom and creativity this type of program provides. For example, this semester I am taking a Geography class on human geography of urban areas and an Education class on curriculum development for urban schools. The content of both classes inform each other and are leading me in the right direction for my thesis. I would like my thesis to address issues of language, power, and bilingual education. I spend most of my time on research and reading, but Iíve always loved sailing and have recently been getting into running.


Hey all! My name is Patrice Jackson and I received my BA in Economics in 2013 from SDSU and did not want to leave. I wanted to further my education, but didn't want to limit myself into one topic. The MALAS program was perfect for me--I could still further my education while getting to meet other amazing classmates and expanding my horizon about the way people think. I want to eventually start my own business and I believe in order to do that I need to learn and understand the way we as humans think and view certain things. This can lead to larger conversations that I am eager to learn about and I know that MALAS will certainly teach me!

I grew up in San Diego and began my higher education at SDSU for a B.A. in English, followed by a teaching credential in 2007. I currently teach high school English in El Cajon and love every aspect of my job that doesnít involve administrative politics, state testing, or budget cuts. I decided to return to State for a MALAS degree because it was the most appealing and eclectic program I could find. A part-time masters program and full time career is definitely challenging, but how else could I avoid a social life? Iím uncertain as to what I want to ďfocusĒ on in the program. Right now, Iím just sponging up all that the liberal arts have to offer. When Iím not neck deep in learning and teaching, I dabble in photography and write comedy sketches for my schoolís Faculty Follies in which I make a complete fool of myself.

I grew up in south Orange County and began to pursue a bachelorís degree in Liberal Studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2004. During the first few weeks of class, I realized that I didnít want to become an elementary school teacher after all, and spent the next two years trying to find my ďperfect fitĒ major. The university approved a new degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies at the end of my sophomore year, and after taking a few of the departmentís courses I fell in love with the field. I switched majors and took a leave of absence to work for a year with a college-based nonprofit in China.  Once I returned from China to my studies at Cal Poly, I graduated Magna cum laude with a B.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies and a minor in Spanish. I planned to begin a doctoral program in Afro-American Studies that fall, but after much soul-searching I decided to turn down the fellowship offered to me because of uncertainty over whether my passions truly existed within academia. I considered various other career avenues, including photography, divinity school, and opening a bakery-bookstore. However, I became increasingly aware that my passions were teaching and fighting against issues of social injustice.
After a few years of what I call my ďquarter-life crisis,Ē I started working for a local school district with at-risk middle and high school students, many of whom were enrolled in special education programs. During that time my passions merged: I had the opportunity to work with students of color, support the needs and goals of individuals facing disenfranchisement and discrimination, and teach. I plan to become a special educator and advocate for students of color who are over-represented in special education programs. I always knew I would eventually end up in graduate school, and I joined the MALAS program once I realized that my diverse interests couldnít and wouldnít be sufficiently accommodated in a more traditional program. Through MALAS, I am able to pursue my ever-evolving interests in Ethnic, Sex/Gender, Religious, and Disability Studies, and find my own niche within academia. When Iím not reading scholarly works or writing academic papers, I enjoy taking photos of and writing haikus about my miniature schnauzer.

After receiving my BS at Ithaca College in Television-Radio with a minor in Scriptwriting, I moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. After having several jobs at talent agencies and on reality television shows, I worked as a researcher on documentaries for Discovery Channel and History. In 2008, I returned to school to get my masters, originally in Television and Film, but ultimately switched to MALAS @ SDSU, where my current research is mainly focused on how media influences culture. UPDATE: Patrick Johnson begins his Ph.D. program in media studies Fall 2014 at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


I graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Art History in 2013 and with the MALAS program, I will continue to expand my horizons.Though art is my first love, I am excited to brush up on my writing, knowledge of history, linguistics, politics, business, a language or two, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and anything else I can fit in. Somewhere along the way I discovered that my true passion is learning and though I will never know enough, I will certainly work to know more. For the past five years I have been working for nonprofit arts organizations while pursuing my BA.  I have the great fortune of being able to see live classical music, dance, visual arts, and more right where I make a living. I plan to focus my career and my research on understanding and infecting others with the arts bug that has bitten me.


Greetings! My name is Marla Laguardia and I graduated from San Diego State University in 2009, receiving a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies and minor in Sociology. I love and enjoy working for the community and hold a strong interest in social justice movements. Iím currently a part of AF3IRM, a transnational womenís movement. Iím also a member of the Organizing Committee of the Filipino-American Arts and Culture Festival, also known as FilAmFest, held in National City annually. The diversity of the MALAS program is giving me a chance to continue exploring the many interests that I have, including race and gender issues and how they are perceived in the mainstream media.


Hi Everyone! My name is Anders Larsson, and I'm ecstatic to be returning for my second year of study in the MALAS program this fall. I am currently working on my MA thesis, entitled The LP as Post-WWII American Zeitgeist.  Cultural Studies allows me to explore different interests of mine, including Sound Studies and Complexity Theory. I've enjoyed studying everything from Vampires to Bruce Springsteen to Susan Sontag to Sigmund Freud to Deleuze....and that's just scratching the surface! When I'm not at SDSU I'm usually behind the drum kit, playing for artists like Gary Wilson, Two Wolves, Westside Inflection, Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, Jim Gibson, and Archie Thompson.

Hi! I was born and raised in San Diego, and in June 2010, I completed my undergraduate work at UCSD where I majored in History with an emphasis in the Middle East.  I like to travel to faraway places, experience other cultures, and eat good food!  I am interested in history, religious studies, gender/sexuality, and all things ancient and Near Eastern, so my planned thesis will attempt to undertake an investigation of some sort of mixture of that.  The MALAS program saved me from studying something restrictive, so to all you present and future graduate students reading this who are looking for a fun program full of variety, come join us!

Hi, I'm Vicki and I am just starting my journey as an MALAS student this year. I was born and raised in San Diego and attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for my undergraduate degree. I started in Computer Science and then switched to Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies, a major which gets a "huh?" response from most people. How can you study liberal arts AND engineering? Well you just do. Meanwhile I traveled, worked on a reality TV show, and got to go stormchasing! All of which I never could have done in a traditional major. After graduating I was faced with the prospect of getting a "real job" which I did for a
couple years until I realized that I was living the life of Peter from Office Space. I have always wanted to go to graduate school but my interdisciplinary undergraduate degree along with my array of interests deterred me from doing so. Then one magical day I was scrolling through all the possible graduate programs at SDSU and found MALAS!  I'm not quite sure what I want to focus on but my general interests include documentary film, cultural studies, non-profit organizations, computer science/technology and I'm sure I could go on forever so I'll just stop there. MALAS feels like the perfect fit for me because it doesn't actually require me to fit in anywhere. I'm so excited to start the program!


Aloha mai. My name is Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and I am a second year MALAS student. I am originally from the islands of Hawaiíi, but flew here to San Diego in 2009 to pursue a ďmainlandĒ college education. Although I was miserable at first and enjoyed nothing about Southern California (in fact I hated it and almost moved back home after a year!), I grew to love San Diego and am proud to call it my new home...just don't ask me to go in the water--I'm still a beach snob and miss my Hawaiian waters!

I studied Anthropology here at SDSU for my undergrad, but was unsure if I wanted to pursue it as a graduate student as it has always been a dream of mine to become a teacher. I spent the better half of my senior year applying to the teaching credential program here at State, so you can imagine my disappointment when I didnít pass the CSET by five points and did not get into the program. However, I suppose it was fate, because in doing so I stumbled upon MALAS (by seeing Billís crazy office door!), visited the website, and transferred my application. MALAS has allowed me to take courses that I have always been interested in, but didnít get a chance to explore in my undergrad, as well as pursue my love of anthropology and indigenous rights issues. Iíve taken the most inspiring, challenging, and eye-opening seminars that truly reflect the interdisciplinary and liberal arts nature of the program. My MALAS seminars have ranged from water sustainability, to homeland security--all of which I have been able to tie back into Native-Hawaiian issues and share with other scholars back home, as well as relate to teaching and education. I am forever thankful for Billís dedication and whimsical door dťcor, and am proud to be a member of the MALAS Ďohana!


Hola me llamo Guadalupe Medina but please call me Lupe. I consider myself a Midwestern girl from Columbus, Ohio, a BUCKEYE of course. And yes, I did attend THE Ohio State University where I received my B.A. in Public Affairs with a minor in Communications. While I love my Buckeyes, I have grown to love SDSU, MALAS in particular and have made a special place for it in my heart.
I am Latina, but growing up I had little to no exposure to Latinos outside my family. I was interested in discovering more about who I was as a Latina, as well as giving back, which led me to the L.A.S.E.R. (Latino and Latin American Space for Enrichment and Research) program. It was exactly what I needed! It was through that program that I finally began to appreciate and love being Latina, and the reason I applied to the MALAS program.
I would have never imagined what was in store for me, more than just an education, but an experience of a life time. Traveling is something I have always wanted to do more of and I had the amazing opportunity to represent MALAS and present my research at two international conferences, one of which took place in JAPAN, another country to check off my bucket list.

My excitement with the program continues this semester as I work closely with different Native American tribes, while teaching Kindergarten Spanish to students in La Jolla. I am loving the diverging experiences, as I close out my last semester with MALAS.

ŅQue onda my fellow MALAS Heads? Hope your journey here has been as amazing as mine. A little about me: first off mi nombre es (my name is) Francisco Antonio Miramontes, El Segundo, or "Cisco" for short. Right out of high school I joined the U.S. Navy as an IT (Information Systems Technician); next came four years service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Through the military I have been able to see the world, one of my many passions in life. I recently graduated from SDSU with a degree in Television, Film, and New Media. I joined MALAS to diversify my intellect, and in hopes of using my degree to become a professor of either/both Film and Chicano Studies, as both subjects fascinate me very much. Other miscellaneous items of note include my love of/indulgence in fine dining and my work as a professional beatboxer/musician; lastly, I have been known to occasionally plank on a random surface if my back permits it. I have many passions in life as does any other living, breathing homo sapien sapien, and am greatly looking forward to MALAS being an amazing opportunity for me, and my fellow colleagues.


Hey there, Iím Ozzie!  Iím from Los Angeles, but my family is from Southeastern Arizona.  For fun, I play the doumbek, perform with bellydancers and play the Native Flute.  I serve on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Centro Cultural de la Raza, the Council of American Indian Organizations of San Diego County, and the USD Native Alumni Association.  Iím a member of the American Indian Warriors Association and I am also a Gourd Dancer.  I am an honorary member of the San Diego Cherokee Community (they put up with me), and I volunteer at the local elementary as a tutor.  I may be joining Veterans for Peace, if time allows.  Iím an occasional activist, although I dare not lay claim to being a real Activist, since there are so many out there doing far more good than me. I earned my BA in International Relations from the University of San Diego in 1989.  After a brief 23 year hiatus from academia, and a minor case of procrastination, Iíve elected to make my return to academia by joining the infamous and glorious MALAS program!

What have I been doing during my break?  Well, how kind of you to ask! At the beginning of my hiatus, I served as an officer in the United States Navy.  Of course, given the diplomatic nature of my degree, it would naturally follow that I would go to war during Desert Shield/Storm.  After my stint in the Navy, I went on the become a defense contractor, eventually working my way up to VP of Business Development at a local, major defense contractor (which has since been assimilated by an even more major defense contractor).  I spent about 14 years as a ďlegalĒ international arms dealer, working mostly with the Aegis Weapon System, but the last 5 years of that time were spent working with (dramatic music) drones.

The great thing about those years was the travel.  That job took me pretty much everywhere in the world the U.S. has an ally (since I was a ďlegalĒ arms dealer, I couldnít go to those ďotherĒ places).  Of course, the bad thing about those years was that I was a merchant of death.  A petty one, perhaps, in the grand scheme of things.  Regardless, my earnings came things that kill people.  While I didnít peddle the things that go ďboom,Ē I did sell the things that tell the things that go ďboomĒ where to go ďboom.Ē (Without going too much into my psyche and the details of my childhood, there has always been an aching within me.  It got louder and more pronounced the longer I worked in the defense industry, and it eventually became a gnawing "I donít belong hereĒ feeling.  Then, in late 1996, a series of seemingly unrelated events began.  First came the voice of Guillermo Gomez Pena on NPR talking about ďTemple of Confessions,Ē then a chance encounter with an Ndeh (Apache) elder on a flight to DC, then my time as a delegate to the ďSan Diego Network for Homeland SecurityĒ where I witnessed the dirtier side of the defense acquisitions world (working directly with politicians, including congressmen and senators) and finally, the build-up to the Iraq War.  It all lead to me discovering a dusty box in my closet that contained my soul, which I promptly reclaimed.  And that led to me being a bit more vocal about the inner workings of my company, and being a vocal critic of sabre rattling of the Dubya/Cheney administration, which naturally lead to my semi-voluntary departure from being a VP at a Major Defense Contractor.  The Iraq War started a couple months later.

And so I began to walk the earth--of course,you can only do that for so long before becoming a bum. I worked in the Video Games Industry for a bit, but it wasnít meant to be.  And so, here I am.  Iím done procrastinating.  Iím going to grad school!  Iím in MALAS!  And so it begins.
Hello! First off, let me introduce myself. I am a lover of music, film, and art! I was born and raised here in San Diego and received my BA at SDSU in Television, Film, and New Media. A year or so later after graduating, I had the desire to go back to school. I felt like there was still so much more to accomplish. There were still so many areas that I wanted discover and grow in. In the 2-3 years Iíve been with MALAS, I have uncovered and explored topics on economics, philosophy, ethics, globalization, religion--courses on religion and violence, future technology, poetry, art, and even, the history of rock and roll! Itís an excellent and outstanding interdisciplinary program. I am sad that I will be graduating soon because the classes get more and more interesting each semester. During this journey I am thankful to have had some of the most incredible and influential teachers in all my education; Professor Choi and Professor Jeroen Pinckaers. After reading ďMountains beyond MountainsĒ and after taking an ďEthics and GlobalizationĒ course, I felt compelled to write my thesis on the subject of Poverty. Specifically: ĎNeo-Liberalism and its impact of Poverty.í It is currently a work in progress and has been quite challenging and much harder than I had anticipated! I have been so lucky as to have worked at several incredible places. Last year I had the opportunity to work at Legend 3D, a company specializing in the newest cutting edge of 3D filmmaking. Before that I was the Site Manager at High Tech High International. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the most amazing and extraordinary friends. Joan Kric Institute for
                    Peace and JusticeCurrently Iíve decided to focus on my thesis and my passion for non-profit work. I support and volunteer for several local non-profits including: USD Joan Kroc institute for Peace & Justice, the International Refugee Committee, and more recently I started an annual toy drive for a childrenís orphanage in Tecate, Mexico. Lastly the other love of my life is my 10-year-old son Isaac! Simply put, he is amazing!

Hi, I'm Sharon Payne, and I've been in the MALAS program for 4 years...the slow and steady option of one class per semester. My area of interest is globalization and issues of poverty, so I'm piecing together a program from all over the university. My interests stem from my global travel experience and my two boys, both adopted as babies from Kazakhstan.  By trade, I am a certified financial planner, specializing in socially responsible investing. This my second masters degree; the first was after my first mid-life crisis (I say with a wink) in 1995 in Cultural and Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland.  Mid-life crisis' (plan on a few) are a perfect opportunity to go back to school.  See you on campus!

Wassup World!??? My name is Paul Pitts III and this is my first semester officially in the MALAS graduate program! I graduated Undergrad from SDSU with a BA in Religious Studies with a Counseling and Social Change Minor. My future are aspirations are to be a Christian Pastor as I love the Lord Jesus Christ and am thankful for his Gospel! I also play football for SDSU and have played on the team since 2011--Go Aztecs! I'm a blessed here and looking forward to growing in my education enlightenment! God Bless, Grace & Peace!


As a roaming artist and student I have seen much of the beautiful American west. I now work as a technology instructor, but my favorite part about life is the great outdoors. I completed my undergraduate work at Oregon State University where I focused on the study of global social and economic inequalities, environmental sociology, and our modern interactions with technology. With the help of MALAS I hope to continue to creatively express my knowledge while making an impact on some of the world's most pressing social and environmental injustices.


I graduated from California Lutheran University with a BS in Political Science and a minor in History. After spending a year coaching football at my alma mater, I have been given the opportunity to become a Graduate Assistant for San Diego State Football. Upon hearing that the MALAS program allows individuals the freedom to form a Masters degree that fits their interests, I knew it was perfect for me. While I do not know what challenges this life has in store for me, I am ready to take them head on. There will always be people telling you that you're not good enough. But all that matters is what you think of yourself. Go after our dreams because, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

Hello fellow MALAS compas! My name is Carlos B. Solorio. Fronterizo aka transborder alien! I was born in Tijuana, BC, Mexico and raised in San Diego, CA. I received my BA in TV, Film & Media Studies from CSULA after transferring from SDSU. My interest for the visual arts spawned from my grandfather who collected antique cameras and captured family gatherings with his polaroid cameras. Growing up as the travieso kid from both sides of the border where the wild things are, the arts always brought me closer to finding my center. While at Mission Bay High School, I learned the language of photography and the process of dark room developing. While at SDSU, I took film history and theory classes that inspired my first short film "Think", which was selected to the Best Fest Student Film Festival, motivating my move to Los Angeles, CA for the film experience. The plan was to stay in the mecca of motion pictures after film school, but I knew my odyssey was to return home to my dual world and capture positive images and stories of our modern day US/Mexico border. I've been blessed to work behind the camera in various projects for non-profit organizations, art movements, musical concerts, tv/radio shows, film festivals, documentaries and independent films. I'm excited and ecstatic to embark on the MALAS journey and believe that the jedi powers gained from the program will catapult me to master the next phases of my personal, professional, and educational careers. I like movies, baseball/soccer, traveling, kerouac books, beer, tacos and love raising two beautiful children with my wife. In honor of my father, my ancestors and all the vatos, chucos, socios, mentors, and compas that came before me, Ahi los wacho!  


Born in another era, I would have likely been part of a nomadic empire or a cavalier. Alas, in the 21st century the bicycle is my steed which I have ridden over much of North American and Europe. Adventure and travel keeps my spirits high and my mind at ease. I was born in Chicago, but have lived in San Diego almost half my life and currently teach Social Studies for SIATech High School at the San Diego Job Corps site. I served on the SIATech Board of Directors from 2010-2013 and in June 2010 I was awarded the San Diego SIATech Employee of the year. I obtained my Teaching Credential from San Diego State University, and received my bachelor of arts in Anthropology and American Culture Studies from the Washington University in Saint Louis. I am currently working toward the Masters of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences at San Diego State University and have been involved in my community as Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation Board Member and Project Manager.


Caleb Rainey graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and majored in Women's and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Sociology. His research interests include social justice, gay male literature and politics, sexuality, and environmentalism. He is hoping to teach and do activist work in local communities upon graduation.


Hello, My name is Thupten Tashi. I was born to a Tibetan family in India. I did my high school and undergraduate studies in India, and move to the USA in 1998. While in India, I also studied Buddhist Philosophy from a private institute for seven years.  I was in the MALAS program in 2008, and I had to discontinue for a while. I am glad to be studying in the MALAS program again. With the knowledge that I gain from studying in the MALAS program at SDSU, I strongly feel that I will be able to accomplish my deeply felt goal to serve the Tibetan community and to enrich Tibetan culture with a more modern perspective. Since the Tibetans came into exile in India, Tibetan youths are being taught modern education in science, law, economics, and environments in the medium of English. But Tibetan language has not progressed in these numerous subjects. Efforts are being made to translate and teach all subjects in Tibetan language; however, due to a shortage of highly educated people in our society in these fields, so far no standardized books are being published. I have been urged by my fellow brothers and sisters to pursue my study and to engage in such projects which I personally feel that I can definitely undertake.  Unlike other academic fields, the MALAS program at SDSU allows one to see gain knowledge in many areas. I am enjoying this program.

Iím a San Diego native and after a year from graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in Asian Studies in 2010, I am back in the mix of school once again. Iíve been involved in community organizing for the last five years and that has deeply influenced my drive for learning about issues that affect all communities. My interests lies in Asian and Asian American Studies, Comics Studies, and Ethnic Studies, but I know Iím a dabbler and with the great diversity in these fields and in the MALAS program Iím excited to see whatís around the river bend  and to challenge myself with new things to learn and how to view the world. I joined the MALAS Program because it provided me the space to focus on comic books as academic literature.With Cultural Studies and Media Studies a core focuses of MALAS, I knew that this was a program where I could get the support and guidance as a graduate student with non-traditional interests. I am currently planning to write a thesis revolving around the Asian American as a superhero and exploring both the rhetorical nature artwork and story and how the writer and artist construct superheroes of color as well as how comic book readers receive them. Besides having my nose stuck in a book or comic, I am a community organizer primarily working with the Filipino American community where I currently serve as a mentor in the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program and as a member of the FilAmFest Organizing Committee educating the youth and putting on awesome events for the community. UPDATE: Mr. Valdez begins his 2nd year in the Ph.D. program in American Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Fall 2014. 

Iím what you call a ďTCKĒ- a third culture kid. My parents come from two different cultures and Iíve spent my whole life living in various places around the world. Iím truly an international citizen, from both nowhere and everywhere, and Iím thankful that Iíve had an unusual and diverse lifestyle. Since graduating from UCLA, where I focused on biogeography, Iíve continued on the path of adventure, which has included attending foreign universities, years of experience teaching English as a second language abroad, and of course, traveling! The more off the beaten path, the better.
Photography is one of my main hobbies and I enjoy doing exhibitions. Iím also interested in various global issues, such as conservation. Through the flexibility and creativity of the MALAS program, Iím curious about ways I can combine my passions to create fun, meaningful, and inspiring work. Iím looking forward to another new adventure!  

I am excited to pursue a second master's from SDSU in the MALAS program. I recieved a BA from USF Tampa in 2004, and moved out west to complete a MA in Literature from SDSU's English Dept.  After taking a hiatus from graduate study and immersing myself in the time-consuming labor of being an adjunct English professor in SD's local community college districts, I have returned to my own studies.  Between balancing teaching writing and doing my own writing, I enjoy taking road trips, chasing the Kerouacian charm of our national highway system, tasting and collecting excellent examples of America's booming craft beer industry, and wandering the CA coast to contemplate the abyss.  Academically, I'm putting together a study of apocalyptic theory by contemplating late 20th century literature, contemporary philosophy, and psychoanalytic reasoning for repression of memories.  The MALAS program is flexible enough to allow me to pursue this widely interdisciplinary study and eventually receive a degree for it.  The best of both worlds!

Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I began my college career at the University of Georgia, and then finished my undergrad at Washington and Jefferson College with a BA in History and Russian Language--it was during that time that I studied abroad in Eastern Europe. In 1999, I received my Social Studies teaching certification from Penn State University and taught U.S. History, Government, and World Cultures until June 2010.  I love the game of baseball and was able to go to Europe to coach.  Iíve been known to watch a good movie and even a bad movie on occasion. A member of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, my interests are broad--and when choosing a Masters program, the MALAS program @ SDSU was the perfect fit.  The current focus of my thesis is to look how technology is influencing religion, culture and society.

Born in Pasadena, California, Kelcey Wilson studied philosophy at Boston College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1998. Kelcey has had an eclectic work history, including jobs such as motorcycle courier, U.S. Navy Radioman, production manager for a toy company, Production Editor for Harvard Business Schoolís Business History Review, and, most recently, owner of a coffee shop. Observing the role media played in encouraging the unprovoked 2003 invasion of Iraq, he became interested in the relationship between media and politics, and enrolled in the Mass Communication and Media Studies program at SDSU in 2004, but quickly found the program limiting and transferred into MALAS. Kelcey has spent his time at State developing strategies for improving government, particularly through Internet-based transparency and campaign innovations. He is currently working on his thesis project, which is mainly a multimedia documentary of his glorious if not entirely successful 2008 campaign for President of the United States of America.


Hi there, my name is Norma Witzel and I am a new MALAS graduate student. I received my BA in SociologyPolitical Science with a minor in History from the University of California San Diego in 2010. I have always loved school and learning, and I have a special love for all things related to liberal arts and humanities. After undergraduate school I took a few course at community college just for fun, but I always knew I would eventually want to get my masters. When the time felt right to go back, I began to look into graduate programs, but I was beginning to feel defeated since I did not want to commit myself entirely to one field. This is when I stumbled upon the MALAS website. After reading the description I instantly knew that this was the right program for me. Through MALAS I will be able to pursue my academic interests without being held within the confines of one subject. I have not yet definitively decided whether I will be taking the comprehensive exam or the thesis, as that decision is a year away for me at the moment, but there are definite pros and cons to both routes. If I do pursue a thesis I am interested in the idea of social deviance and how that idea has developed and changed throughout history. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life and the embark upon the journey that is the MALAS program.


I have found that learning does not end just because I have a piece of paper with a degree stamped on it.  Realizing that satisfying my curiosity was much more interesting than working, I have become a perpetual student ever since leaving college (GO, Boise State Broncos!).  I have slowly worked my way down the Pacific coast, first as a psychiatric aid in Seattle, then as a music student and piano teacher in Sacramento, and now as a happy MALAS graduate student in San Diego.

My bachelorís degree is in psychology.  After a short stint as a graduate student in neuropsychology, I left the field and finally fell madly in love with music (much to my motherís happiness after paying for years of piano lessons).  I studied musicology for one semester at SDSU but missed the sciences terribly so I switched to the MALAS program. I now have the unique opportunity to pick and choose from the best of SDSUís humanities and science courses.

My long list of interests includes wanting to know more about human brain function, the workings of the cosmos, animal evolution, and (finally!) how to play Chopinís ďBlack KeysĒ etude.  I tear up when I see a da Vinci painting and sigh at hearing Rachmaninoff.  I want to understand the thoughts of the great thinkers, work towards womenís equality, hone my debating skills, open educatorsí eyes to the power of science and rationality, and help the worldís children to go to bed with full stomachs.

I want to develop in my children the curiosity of Richard Feynman, the wonder of Carl Sagan, and the inspiration of Beethoven.  The MALAS program is the only place I can pursue my education MY way so I can feel prepared to pass on this knowledge to the next in line.

Following my great-grandmotherís lead, for every big birthday (the ones that end in ď0Ē) I am taking on a new challenge. For the last one it was a triathlon.  This time itís a masterís degree.  Will I learn the cello when Iím 80 like she did?  Stay tuned!  Besides learning, I love traveling and throwing a great party! 
MALAS Home PageSan Diego State
                    University 1897
the master of arts in liberal arts & sciences at san diego state university
MALAS is the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences, an interdisciplinary/cultural studies graduate program in the College of Arts and Letters @ San Diego State University ē office mothership: Arts and Letters, 226B ē phone: (619) 594.1516 ē fax: (619) 594.4998 ē mail: 5500 Campanile Drive, mailcode: 6020, San Diego, CA 92182-6020 ē Director and Graduate Advisor: Dr. William A. Nericcio ē Administrative Coordinator/Guru: Katie Waltman