Customized Curriculum


With an emphasis on individuality, MCLA offers programs that are as unique as its students. According to Devin Kibbe '11 of Ashford, Conn., who is majoring in English literature and secondary education, "There are no limits here - if you want it, you can have it."

"I had looked at other schools and simply was not satisfied," Kibbe said. "None gave me a sense of investment in their students. It was refreshing.

"MCLA is absolutely for me. As a liberal arts college it offers an array of opportunities both academically and socially that I can explore independently. MCLA offers the opportunity to do as much or as little with my work and community as I want."

While she is concentrating on English literature, Kibbe also is fond of poetry.

"I have taken every possible poetry course here and was recently afforded the opportunity to read my poetry as an opening act for a slam poet, Iyeoka Okoawo, as part of an MCLA Presents performance," Kibbe said. "What really works for me is being able to apply what I learn in the classroom to my own experiences in life. This poetry performance was definitely made possible from my education at MCLA, as well is my ability to critically analyze stories and paintings in museums, as well as techniques for teaching in my pre-practicum experiences."

Kibbe traveled to Britain for 10 days with Dr. Rosanne Denhard's travel study class after having immersed herself in British literature courses. While there, she conducted research on miniature paintings from the Elizabethan age.

"I have always been interested in painting and during research I found myself intellectually drawn to miniatures," Kibbe explained. "While I was able to understand so much about the functionality, purpose, popularity and history of miniatures through texts and traditional research, I also challenged myself to produce several reproductions and original miniatures as a creative component. The miniatures are best known for their detail and brilliant colors, yet so much is lost in pictures of pictures. I honestly believe that I would not have been able to produce quality portraits without experiencing the style and personality and presence of original miniatures firsthand, especially since I consider myself a strong visual learner."

On the trip, Kibbe visited several galleries, including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery, "all of which contain flourishing examples of miniatures, including several originals and vastly popular portraits by Nicholas Hilliard - Queen Elizabeth I's favorite portrayer," she explained.

Back on campus, "There is a definite sense of community (at MCLA)," Kibbe said. "Everyone here takes care of everyone else. There are no cliques, everyone knows everyone, and everyone wants to support everyone."

Kibbe is involved in an abundance of extra-curricular activities, including volunteer work through Student Teacher in Class Support, where she acted as an extra set of hands with elementary students in an art classroom. She also served as a residential advisor, as a tour campus guide and as an academic tutor for the Individual Enrichment Program. In addition to working on the phonathon in the Alumni Office, she is vice president of Good Vibes - the yoga club on campus - and vice president of the Lambda Iota Tau national honor society, which celebrates excellence in literature and through which she started The Literary Lion, a monthly newsletter that publishes creative and analytical works from LIT members.

"All of these positions have really helped me grow as a responsible student and person," said Kibbe.