Letter from the Dean: The Liberal Arts Story

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Caroline Schreiber ’15

As a student at Loyola Marymount University, Caroline Schreiber ’15 discovered two distinct passions: writing for television and European history. She chose to major in both Screenwriting and European Studies, the latter an interdisciplinary liberal arts program. She took on industry internships to make connections, and she studied abroad three times – in London, Rome, and Paris – to indulge her intellectual interests. Upon graduation, Caroline landed a job at a popular television show about Mary, Queen of Scots. In her interview, the hiring manager told her that her European history coursework and experiences abroad had set her application apart. Caroline’s is a liberal arts story.

When students have the freedom to explore ideas and dive into their scholarly interests, they gain deep content knowledge along with an orientation toward learning for its own sake. In Caroline’s case, her expertise in European history is also what caught her employer’s attention. As her career path unfolds, the intellectual curiosity and skills of close reading, historical analysis, and strong writing she developed as a European Studies major will continue to serve her in ways she has already seen, and in many more ways she can’t yet know.

This month, students and alumni will practice connecting the dots between their academic experiences and the world of work at the Second Annual BCLA Career Chats, a networking night during which alumni share their educational journeys and post-LMU career stories. The broad liberal arts skillset that students develop in BCLA – good writing, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and social justice orientation – is the reason that liberal arts students are in demand and deemed essential by employers. But students can benefit from some coaching to help them articulate those transferable skills as they move through their years at LMU, and especially as they prepare to enter the job market.

It is an exciting time for the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. Our new International Relations major and minor program – on offer beginning Fall 2016 – will prepare students to become thoughtful, ethical leaders in global affairs. Our partnership with a renowned global policy think tank, the World Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University, will generate faculty- and student-driven academic research on the pressing global issues of our time. As illustrated in the story about Psychology Professor Cheryl Grills our faculty members are not only committed teachers and top-flight researchers, but they are bringing their expertise to our communities most in need in service to a faith that does justice. These, too, are liberal arts stories.

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of BCLA Momentum, the first in a few years. We look forward to bringing you many more compelling stories about our students, faculty, academic programs, special events, and alumni. Thank you for your continued interest in the important work we do in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at LMU to cultivate curiosity, intellectual passion, and ethical leadership in each new generation of liberal arts students. As our world becomes more interconnected and the challenges facing us seem more complex, the liberal arts are more relevant than ever in preparing students to live lives of purpose and consequence.

– Robbin

Robbin D. Crabtree
Dean, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

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