Liberal Studies & The Why

What is Liberal Studies?

Liberal Studies is an intentionally multidisciplinary approach to education that emphasizes breadth of knowledge and academic inquiry. Courses are taken in a variety of academic disciplines. . .

For More information please check out

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Liberal Studies

Below are evidence of how and why I’ve earned a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Studies.

The Value of the Liberal Arts

When people ask me about my education endeavors I can’t help but to smile and share all the many things I’ve learned in these 4 years of school. From educating the future teacher of america, dancing in many different countries,  standing up and sharing my story about my veteran status, to conferences and events for professional and personal growth. Many would say I did a lot. But then there is this burning question they always want to ask you. They sometimes interrupt the amazing stories you want to share. This question is “What is your major?”

At first, I would say, with pride I am a Mathematics major dance minor. And I would get three cheers and a pat on the back. But then they ask me about my grades and I would then get a look of perplex. So when I decided, more like was guided, into Liberal Studies I was ashamed to claim it. Most of this anxiety comes from peoples perception on my newly claimed major. When I say “Liberal Studies with a minor in Dance” the look on their faces changes drastically. Some even fix their mouth to say, “oh you’re taking the easy road out?”

This is when I get up in arms and put them in their place!

Liberal Studies has allow me to take all my interest (which are Dance, Technology, Education, and Sociology-ish) courses and put them into one degree. This degree is the foundation for my future career in Higher Education Instruction. The classes I’ve decided to choose to fulfill the majors requirement opens my mind to deep critical thinking about myself in this world. This is important because many employers are looking for people who not only can fulfill the task at hand, but to empower and build a dynamic of people with a wide array of perspectives and experiences. This degree allows me to explore and learn these different perspectives in a safe and encouraging environment. It also opened many doors of opportunity to expand my intellect in internships, research, and well as travel studies.

I would also say Liberal Studies is the degree for the self guided free thinker. A cookie cutter option of learning wasn’t good enough for us. So we took the opportunity to take our educational experience into our own hands.

In closing, I have came to the point in my educational awareness to embrace my new major and degree. I say with pride that I will be a Fall 2015 Bachelors of Science Liberal Studies Major Dance Minor recipient, and there are no cop outs here.

Critical Thinking

During my undergraduate career I had the opportunity to take a class entitled “World Dance.” In this class we researched a specific area/culture of dance and choreographed pieces that appreciated their original works. In this class I decided to expand my knowledge of the African Diaspora from travel studies to my choreographic work. I researched the history of Capoeira, the similarities and differences of  Cuban & Brazilian Orisha dances, and the history of Jamaican Dance hall. Below is my PowerPoint I created:

Pieces of the African Diaspora UGRD

I also had the opportunity to present at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Undergraduate Research day. In my presentation I discussed how I used my travel study experiences to connect the dots of the African Diaspora of dance.

Ethical and Value Judgment

At the University we are required to take general education classes to get us to dive deeper into our learning. In my final general education requirement class, World of Ideas, we discussed different philosopher and their ideas on “The Good Life.” For our final paper we had to share our views on “The Good Life” theme and use the philosophers we discussed in class as evidence to our cause. Below is my final paper (before the professor made corrections).

Good Life Jazelynn

Knowledge Common to an Educated Persons

In Fall 2013 I took an education course that allowed me and 5 other people to create a STEAM (Science, Education, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) after school program at Whitewater Middle School. With a guided student learning method we attempted to create this awesome club everyone wanted to join (and they did). Everything we did was for the students to learn a specific task or learning objective in their standardize classroom.

With all these bright ideas, how can one execute them all? Positive communication and relationship with student.

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion Ted Talk spoke about this issue in education. Some educators believe since they are in authority they should be respected and the child should learn. But like any child, she claim they aren’t going to learn from someone they don’t like. So you have to go above and beyond to reach these children.

This was something that can be passed on to everyday life. No one wants to interact with someone they do not like. And If they forcefully do it, the outcomes will be much worst for the worker than they are for the boss. So I think to myself, how can I interact with others on a level where we are both comfortable? How can I as an educator reach my students and be apart of their A-Ha moment? Some take away from her speech and my experience are as followed:

  • Seek first to understand instead of begin understood
  • Provide an inclusive environment
  • No one has a stupid question
  • Be Flexible
  • Be Open minded
  • and maintain a positive mind

Below is the PowerPoint presentation I did at the end of my class. It was a pleasure to work with the Whitewater Middle School students.

Answering The BIG Questions

Communicate Effectively Orally

On November 11, 2015 I was selected to speak at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater Veterans Day Celebration. In preparation for this speech, I worked with Dr. Lauren Smith, who is a professor an and author of many books. We worked on the presentation and message of my speech to make it more of a celebration of veterans. On this day how can I celebrate?  When I reflect back on my life and my military service as well as others who served how can you be happy? It all boiled down to support. Begin there for the person/veteran when they need you (willingly and unsolicited). Acknowledging their strengths and strengthening them in their weakness. Understand that veterans are special and should be treated with care.  They decided to answer the call for service (forcefully or Voluntarily). Not everyone could serve and is capable of doing so. So lets uplift them and give them the services they need.

Below is the actual speech I did on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day Celebration Speech

 Information Gathering

During my undergraduate career I was able to obtain an job working in the Wisconsin Information Technology Resource Institute Center at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. The details of my job were to teach the future teacher of america, staff, faculty, and others how to use the technology they’ll be using in the class room. I would train students one-on-one, small to conference size groups. I’ve even presented through telle-conference for GLS (Gaming and Learning Society Conference) as well as the Playful Learning Conference to hundreds of people miles away. It was a fortunate experience to learn and teach things to people that I consider second knowledge.

One experience that I am appreciative to have experience is the Cyber Girlz Conference. Dr. Christina Outlay, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, had asked me in fall 2014 to assist in teaching girls about coding and technology careers that are our there for them. For the past two years (2014-2016) I have shared and taught many different young ladies that they can do anything in the IT career. From security, web page, to integrating it in your art form (like me). In and multiple all day conferences spread throughout the year we give them a crash course on what it means to me an I.T. Girl. They enjoy every bit of it.

Cyber Girlz C3 2015

Shake DOWN Segment of our program

Shake Down Lesson 

 Understanding Issues in Society

Social Work 380: Race Ethnicity, Gender, Class. Etc. class was a discussion/lecture base class that allowed students to learn about the different minority group and our interaction with them. We discussed issues and history surrounding discrimination, racism, and privilege. I kept reiteration in class that just because we are “better” off than before, we still have a long way to go before we see justice and equity to the people who have been discriminated against. For our final assignment we are to make a video scrap book of a minority group and how they are portrayed in the media.

My project will be about be the young, gifted, and black girl. This will show the media intake of a black girl from childhood to adulthood. Some media sources I’ll be using are:

  • Huffington Post
  • News One
  • Camille A. Brown Black Girl:Linguistic Play
  • Fox News
  • My Personal Facebook and more

This project will be finished and uploaded to my website December 4th, 2015