Double Degrees in Hand, Alum Heads to Carnegie Mellon


Sometimes once just isn't enough.

After Nick Langner of Adams, Mass., completed his English/communications degree in 2010, he returned to MCLA to earn a second bachelor's in political science and public policy in 2012. But this fall, he'll try something new: he's headed to Carnegie Mellon University to expand on his area of concentration from his first degree - creative writing.

"Writing is something I enjoy and am proficient at, and it is a skill I wish to develop further," Langner explained. "Carnegie Mellon University is a very prestigious university with an acclaimed 'Master of Professional Writing' program, and this program gives students the opportunity to explore a wide range of writing specializations.

Ideally, Langner one day would like to work as a writer for the entertainment industry. He's particularly interested in creating storylines for video games, film, and/or television. Another possibility would be to write for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), because of his passion for soccer.

"I would love to help the sport to gain enthusiasm in the United States," he said.

So why the political science and public policy degree?

"I was considering pursuing employment with the United States government, but had only basic knowledge about politics and wanted to learn more," Langner explained. "It's interesting to learn exactly how our political system works, and to gain a better understanding of current events, both nationally and globally."

Originally a transfer student to MCLA from Western New England University, he made the switch because of the College's close proximity to his home. "And, (MCLA) seemed to be a better learning environment."

MCLA professors, he said, are "very dedicated to providing the best education possible to their students, and make sure they get to know their students and help them as individuals. I experienced a wide variety of teaching styles and methods of learning material, which made my academic experience diverse and interesting."

Once on campus, Langner learned that MCLA is "a very high-quality college, with excellent staff and plenty of extracurricular activities."

Oftentimes, his learning took him beyond the classroom.

"One activity that stands out in particular was a class trip to Ottawa for my North American Politics class. We learned firsthand how the government of our neighboring country works, and how it is both similar and different to our own. It was a great experience because it took me beyond textbooks and in-class discussion."

In addition to participating with MassPIRG for a semester, Langner worked on several community projects.

"I also did an internship for a local congressional campaign," he continued. However, "My favorite high impact activity was my travel course to Japan with Professor Huang. It was an amazing educational and cultural experience, and I had always wanted to travel to Japan."

MCLA also helped Langner to obtain confidence in delivering presentations.

"Most of my classes required presentations as part of the curriculum, and this helped me develop a skill that I had not been very good at before. I've also learned a number of different research methods and writing techniques that I'm sure will help my future academic work."

He concluded, "MCLA is a tight-knit community of professors and students, and you feel like you matter as an individual, as well as part of a group. I would recommend MCLA to prospective students who are looking for a smaller college where they can receive a quality education, experience excellent relationships with faculty, and make plenty of friends."