Clayton State University Associate Professor of English Dr. Gregory McNamara has been named the director of the University's first masters program, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS).
McNamara becomes the third individual to head up the MALS program in its five years, following founding director Dr. Thomas Barnett and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino, who has accepted a position as department chair of Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. McNamara officially assumed leadership of the MALS program on July 1, 2011, upon the request of Dr. Nasser Momayezi, dean of the Clayton State College of Arts and Sciences.
On Nov. 16, 2005, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as Clayton State’s first graduate-level program, opening the door to a whole new world of meeting the educational needs of students and citizens in metro Atlanta. At the time of its official roll out in August 2006, the MALS was the only degree of its kind in the state, having been designed to give students with highly focused undergraduate degrees the opportunity to explore a more multidisciplinary approach.
“Shortly after I started teaching at Clayton State in 2005, the Department of English was asked to develop a significant number of courses for the MALS program, which we did,” recalls McNamara. “As everyone knows, Wendy did so much to make the program great, and my colleagues in English as well as our peers in History, Philosophy, Political Science, CMS, and, back then, Music, too, built MALS. And our first students built MALS and helped us to make the program possible: we have had some very strong projects and superb graduates come out of the program, and we have given back to the community and impressed SACS.”