Why University Students Need a Well-Rounded Education
Global and Mail | 13 October 2012
“By the time Atara Messinger finished high school in Ottawa, she had already settled on a career in medicine. But first would come her undergraduate degree, and she had no desire to ‘just be another biomedical major.’” Read more…
Photo by Peter Power, from the Globe and Mail article.
The education I was able to obtain in the program was rich and lasting; I draw from the ideas and skills I learned at Mac in every dimension of my life. As well, the wonderful friendships and relationships that came out of my time in Arts & Science have been one of the program’s greatest gifts. From my first days at Mac, Artscis have been inspiring, intelligent and entertaining, and I feel fortunate to be a member of the Arts & Science community, a great source of inspiration for my plans and goals after the program. In my professional life as an emergency physician, I wear many different hats, and from hour to hour, find myself thinking back to lessons from nearly all of the program’s core courses. Yesterday morning, I was writing a grant proposal and statistical analysis plan with thoughts of Inquiry, Writing, Stats, and Logic in mind; in the evening I was counselling patients with lessons from Lit coming back to me. I can think of nowhere else but Arts & Science where I could have found such grounding and preparation.
— David Mackenzie
Being in the Arts & Science Program was about learning how to approach the questions to which there are no easy answers; being part of a learning community that challenged and cherished me; and figuring out my passions and the ways in which I would contribute to life on this planet. It is a program that nurtured me as a thinker and global citizen, while incubating a community that continues to have a meaningful presence in my life years after graduation.
— Zsuzsi Fodor
I was attracted to the opportunity to take a variety of courses from different disciplines throughout the program, with a particular emphasis on writing and critical thinking skills. I was especially attracted to the interdisciplinary Inquiry courses focusing on global issues – I wanted to be able to apply what I was learning in my coursework to real and important issues, so that I could continue to do that beyond my university career.
— Farah Mawani
Courses are structured in a way that facilitates dialogue; they promote idea exchange rather than idea absorption. Personally, this ‘obligation to contribute’ taught me a lot. It taught me to take a position and defend it, to engage in thoughtful debate to achieve a higher level of understanding, and to read with a ‘critical eye.’ I used these skills effectively in business school and continue to do so.
— Sacha Ghai
Being an Artsci can lead to many things: realizing the goals you set for yourself when you were five (or twenty-five), surprising yourself with careers you hadn’t heard of before you arrived at the program, or, at a minimum, discovering that you are surrounded by students, professors and staff who are committed to a discipline of adventurous learning. Caution: you might lose the capacity to sit still, be quiet, and accept what you’re told… a phenomenon that later pushed the boundaries of my law degree into human rights activism and feminist legal research. While I was at McMaster, I knew I was part of an amazing academic community; when I left, I realized that I had been given the foundation to keep on educating myself, critically and energetically, in the world.
— Kat Kinch
See our Alumni Corner for further comments from our graduates on their experience in the Arts & Science Program!