*AMERICAN STUDIES M.A. PROGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE*
When were you enrolled in the program?
Respondent #1 1995-96 (MA96)How did you learn of the program?
I was planning to apply to the graduate program in English, and as I read thru the brochures I found the AS@UVA program to be the most interesting (and most focused) program of MA studies in the Department.Why did you enter the program, and did it meet your expectations?
I was accepted into other PhD programs, and even though I was only accepted to the MA program at UVA I felt that AS@UVA was, again, by far the program that best suited my interests and future directions. The program met my expectations 100%.What did you find most valuable about the program?
The strength (and some might say the weakness) of the AS@UVA program is that it teaches real-world "New Media" skills that are not entirely designed for use in Academia. Alan Howard is one of the first people I ever met to realize the true Interdisciplinary nature of the Internet, and possibly the only person at UVA I ever met to offer a practical solution to the scarcity of employment in Academia at this time. I may not have tenure, but in only three years out of Charlottesvile I'm directing all Electronic Media projects at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in DC. The MA I earned under Alan's direction is very much responsible for this.Was the program different in any significant ways from your earlier education?
YesDid the program help you develop any of these aspects of your life?
-Thinking and communicating?
To what extent did your classmates affect your experience in the program?
The small, tight-knit group was very helpful in both offering criticism and new perspectives for my class projects. the group also provided the emotional support needed in getting through a pretty intense 11 month program.To what extent did the public venue (the Internet) for much your work affect your experience in the program?
The Internet was, as indicated by my responses, crucial to my experience in the program.Was the course work appropriate to the goals of the program?
YesDid you perceive yourself as part of any university department or community larger than the American Studies Program itself?
Not really, in fact I often felt ostracized by the rest of the English Department, which often regarded us as vocational-tech students. Probably the worst part of my overall experience.How well was interdisciplinary study integrated in the program?
The requirement for studying outside the English Department was well integrated and helpful to my overall development. I think, however, one particular requirement might be added: at least one non-English course should be taken in some kind of computer-science or New Media area. Not necessarily a technical class, but at least a conceptual overview...Were the following resources (and any other ones) adequate for your work?
-Computers and technical support?
Pretty much all of this was great.During the program did you have any relevant part-time employment?
No.Please describe briefly your major forms of schooling and/or employment since your time in the program (giving dates, name of organization, and chief activities there):
See above. I've been at the Kennedy Center for about 2 1/2 years; previous to that I was the editor of a web site called InterActivism (now defunct).Did you find advising and placement support in the program to be adequate?
NoHas your involvement in the program made a discernible difference in the subsequent steps of your career?
Absolutely. It has given me a viable, and lucrative, alternative to teaching.How might the program be strengthened?
If the ultimate focus is still on the internet, I think that more conceptual courses (like Information Architecture and maybe even graphic design) might be includedAny other reflections?
I think that the AS@UVA program is excellent, and should not be discontinued. It is possible that the program should not be located entirely within the English Dept; as a result, the program may need to be re-focused. I would be more than willing to volunteer my experience and expertise with the New Media industry in order to further this process.