‘Most of the skills I use as Peace Corps volunteer I learned as a Liberal Studies major’

A Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe, Liberal Studies major Katie McCraw, APU ’11, concentrated her coursework in writing. Katie credits her Liberal Studies degree for helping instill professionalism she relies on daily:

‘APU’s Liberal Studies Department was a safe place for me to learn, question and grow intellectually at a time in life when “growing up” felt like an urgent task. I was so determined to avoid becoming yet another unaware American. LS professors respected my need to understand my place in the world and in my community.

‘I am, and still remain, divided about my exact career path. But I’ve learned that the foundation of knowledge I gained as a Liberal Studies major allows me to learn almost any professional skill without much effort.

‘My time overseas, contributing to a country where so much needs doing, has convinced me that every college graduate in every profession will need to think critically, argue logically and, especially, communicate on the screen, in paper and in person.

‘Majoring in Liberal Studies at APU gave me all that.

‘Being an American working in an under-developed community, I’m called on to be the local professional writer, media expert, policy administrator and village problem solver. The mayor, school director and local doctors have come to rely on me for help with technology or translating documents, and I work with them on community improvement projects.

‘As a Peace Corps volunteer, I reflect regularly on my experience at APU and time spent with my LS professors. What I’ve realized is that most of the skills and knowledge I use here in Moldova came from lessons learned while a Liberal Studies major.

‘I’ve been away 11 months and I’m getting all poetic and sappy about the place. Miss you, LS!’

– Katie McCraw is a former editor of the APU Journal campus newspaper.