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Rebecca Blunk

MA Education Studies graduate

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Rebecca Blunk

I wanted to share a few thoughts I had, reflecting on my time in the MA program at Suffolk. I remember when I first signed up for my modules and then arriving to my first class- I was full of anxiety about what I may have gotten myself into. It had been between 2 and 3 years since my last formal involvement with higher education (as a student) and I wasn't entirely sure if I had perhaps endeavoured on something I wouldn't be able to necessarily complete successfully. I should also say that my previous experience in higher education was in the United States, so attempting to complete a program in the United Kingdom felt like an entirely greater (and more challenging) venture.

I am fully convinced that my experiences as a student in the MA program has made an immeasurable impact on my further academic (I'm now into my first year as a PhD. student in Curriculum & Instruction for Cultural Studies, International Education, and Multicultural Education) and professional career. In addition to having the opportunity to complete classes of genuine interest to my passions as an educator, the faculty in the MA program challenged me intellectually and consistently demonstrated their interest in me as a student. In addition to gaining confidence in my own abilities as a teacher, the support provided helped shape my understanding and experience of collegiality, professionalism, and camaraderie. It was my experience that because the MA program was small, I felt connected to my cohort and started thinking of them as professional peers, even though their areas of educational experience and expertise may have been wildly different from mine. By the time I was in my final semester of the program, and because our classes were structured around participating in meaningful academic conversations, I felt both uplifted by the other students in my cohort, as well as a sense of joy and pride for them- as it felt like we were "all in it together!" in completing the often-rigorous work!

People often ask me what made me want to pursue an MA in Education Studies. The answer seems obvious to me, but the best way I can articulate it is that I didn't just want to "teach" in a classroom. I wanted to be a great teacher. I often hear academic faculty at my institution talk about how the

majority of their instructors or professors are experts in their own discipline...but they aren't necessarily that great at teaching. It is an incredibly empowering feeling to know that I now have the theoretical foundations, tools to apply my knowledge, and a never-ending curiosity for how I can continue to "do better" within my own teaching practices- and that is something I would not carry with me had I not been part of the MA at Suffolk.

Since completing the MA in Education studies Becky has started on a PhD programme at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)