Alumnus Michael Lamb
Master of Arts in English, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011
Michael Lamb finished his English MA in 2011. During the program, Michael started becoming interested in Post-Colonial theory. He wrote his thesis on how reggae music is used as a voice for those of Jamaican descent and how the artists use music to discuss oppression. He has been employed by UAA for about 6 years as a term instructor for English. He says he “got lucky” and right around the time he was preparing to graduate from the MA program, positions within the department became available. Michael says his MA in English helped him get to where he is because of the skills he learned. He says his English degree taught him critical thinking skills and how to analyze different topics from different perspectives. The different perspectives allow him to relate to people of all backgrounds, to keep an open mind, and to understand that people come from different histories and background. Michael says the understanding he gained from the MA program helps him with his teaching today.
Michael says his biggest take-away from the program was the ability to look at problems from different perspectives which is something that not everyone knows how to do. It also fit perfectly with his love of traveling. Michael says all the graduate classes he took were really important to him and allowed him to learn about many different aspects of English, like language and the way people communicate. As a student turned educator, Michael believes that it is very important for students to have a good rapport with their instructors. He says the advisors and faculty “tremendously” contributed to his experience in the program. The one piece of advice he would give to a student considering the MA program is to “do it. Develop relationships with your teachers and your cohort. Fellow graduate students are a huge support network.”